Friday, July 30, 2010

Angelus - Chapter II

The bell rang, signaling the end of the day. Amy got up and began packing up her schoolbag. Michael was running around campus asking questions for his psychology paper. John and James were walking behind her, still giggling like little Chinese girls over the morning incident. Needless to say, Amy had to smile about it as well.

What had happened was they had videotaped Mister Howard in the gym shower singing Mother Nature’s “It’s Raining Men” into a bar of soap. His expression was more than priceless when the class television blinked on and his bare ass was all over the campus television. He could not even teach after that. Of course, John and James were called to the office, even though it was pointless, there was nothing to tie them to the video.

Alexandria came up behind Amy and touched her shoulder – "Hey Angel, let’s bounce. I want to meet Priest before he leaves."

Amy nodded. She looked over at John who sat chatting with James chewing on a Fruit Roll-up while James explained the course of action for their next prank.

'So, when you planning on telling him?" – asked Amy raising an eyebrow.

"Telling him what?" – said Alexandria acting oblivious.

"Don’t act stupid, woman! When are you going to tell Drag that you like him?"

Alexandria blushed – "I don’t know. I’m just afraid he might not feel the same way about me."

"Well you’ll never know unless you go up and tell him how you feel. Personally, I think he likes you. You know, the way he looks at you and such..."

"Hmmm…well maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, I don’t want to end up having those awkward moments around him."

"Well you’re going home. Think it over and I want your answer tomorrow ‘cause if you don’t tell him, I will." – Alexandria nudged her friend playfully – "Hey, go find Priest and I’ll meet you at the Corner. I don’t want to end up running into Tyson."

Alexandria departed to go and look for Michael. At this time, there was probably a horde of girls crowding around him. Amy walked out of class and leaned against the wall. John walked out. She grabbed his coat.

"Hey Drag, got a sec?"

John motioned James to leave and he did just that.

"For you, my dear, I’d make the president himself wait. What can I do you for?"

'So when you planning on telling Sage that you’re into her?"

'Uh…" – John was somewhat dumbfounded by the question.

'C’mon, Drag. You like her, I know it. We’ve known each other since ninth. You nearly had a heart-attack the day she joined us."

'Well, yeah, I do like her, but…I ain’t sure she likes me. I’d rather be close to her without her losing her mind and kicking my ass."

"Newsflash!" – Amy knocked John’s head – "Sage is crazy about you, dumbass!"

"Yeah, but…wait…what? She likes me?"

"Oh god! You two are made for each other. You like her, but can’t say shit to her. She likes you, but she can’t say shit to you. God, it’s like I’ve walked into a really bad Hindi movie>" – she grabbed John’s cheeks – "You two need to get together!"

She let go of his cheeks and looked at her watch. – "I’m heading to the corner. You got ten minutes. If you haven’t told her by then, I will."

"Hey Angel-" – John called out to her as she walked off.

"Ten minutes!"

He stood there rubbing his cheeks.

Amy walked passed a vending machine and got herself a root beer before making her way to the corner where she found Michael, Alexandria and even James all waiting there.

She gave Michael another hug and gave the rest of the root beer to James who indulged every bit of it. Alexandria, sat watching the people filing out, no sign of John. Amy looked at her watch. Six minutes left.

"Amy!" – came a voice from behind.

Amy turned around to find Tyson standing just outside the corner. Amy turned away with a huff.

"Amy?" – he called again.

"Go away, Tyson!" – she said without even turning around to face him.

"Look, let me just explain-"

"There’s nothing to explain, Tyson. You made a bet and lost. Game over. Now fuck off!"

"C’mon, Amy, give me another chance..."

"Leave me alone, Tyson." – her voice was adamant.

"Baby, please."

"I said leave me alone, Tyson."

"Just listen-"


This made Tyson step back and wake up to the fact that he overdid it. As he turned around to leave, he ran into John.

"Hey, pretty boy," – John looked him up and down – "She said to leave her alone. If you were smart, you’d get a clue."

Now even though Tyson was a line-backer on the football team, John was a street boy. He knew nothing but street-fighting and it didn’t matter how big his opponent was, John would beat him someway. Tyson, to him, was no different than one of those other street punks he used to knuckle-up with.

"What? You expect me to listen to you?" – Tyson spit on John’s shoe.

"You heard him, Tyson." – Alexandria spoke up – "Get the stepping. She’s already got enough shit on her plate without you having to add on a second helping."

"I ain’t leaving until I’ve spoken to her. So you might as well mind your own business, you super-model reject!"

Just as he said that, John grabbed him by his shirt collar and slammed him chest-first into the wall. Tyson grunted in pain as John pressed his face against the wall.

"Drag!" – Amy cried.

"You come here and disrespect my friend. Bad idea. On top of that, you decide to disrespect another. Worse idea." – John punched Tyson in the kidney – "Last chance, asshole. I suggest you disappear, or I’m gonna give you a makeover."

James cracked his knuckles, but John motioned for him to stay where he was.

"Drag, let him go," – Amy shouted – "You don’t need to get suspended for wasting your time."

John punched Tyson in the kidneys a few more times and let him go. He got up, glared at the outcasts as they stood in front of Amy as if some sort of human shield, and walked off holding his sides.

"Oh, don’t worry if you end up pissing blood." – yelled out John – "That’s what happens when you get hit in the kidneys, bitch!"

"Asshole." – muttered Michael as he removed Amy cigarettes from his pocket and handed them back to her.

"Thanks a lot, Drag." – said Amy turning to John.

"No worries. I’ve wanted to do that since..." – he paused to think – "Fuck, I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now."

Amy cleared her throat and tapped her watch. The courageous, unshakable John from before had been replaced by a nervous, meek version of his former self.

"Alex?" – John called to her.

Alexandria sat up. Why had John called her by her real name and not her nickname?

"Can I get a moment of your time?"

Alexandria got off the bench uneasily but nevertheless followed John away from their companions. She looked back at Amy, who looked away as if not noticing what was going on. As the two walked, Alexandria’s heart beat rapidly. She looked over at John who kept his vision straight forward.

"So what is it?" – she asked as they stopped. – "You called me by my real name. This must be serious."

"Well it is..." – said John looking at his feet – "I wanted to tell you something."


"Yeah..." – he reached out and held her hands – "There’s this girl and I like her. I think she might like me too."

Alexandria was crushed. She was sure that John was going to tell her that he liked her. She felt like crying, but she managed a laugh.

"So what do you want from me?" – Alexandria said nonchalantly. – ‘Take her on a date, get to know her, so on and so forth."

"It ain’t that easy." – John shook his head – "I’ve known this girl for a while. I want to ask her to be my girl, but I don’t want to fuck it up. So if, uh, you know, like, a guy was going to ask you the same thing…I mean, uh, how should I ask her?"

Alexandria raised an eyebrow – "Well, first of all, you gotta relax. You can’t be all tense and shit. Just be yourself, you know? I mean she’s going to be your girlfriend, for god’s sake, not your alter ego. Oh and look into her eyes when you talk to her. And most importantly, mean everything you say." – she took a deep breath – "Yeah, I think that’s about it."


"By the way," – Alexandria said inquisitively – "What’s the girl’s name?"

That devilish grin made its way onto John’s face again – "Alexandria a.k.a. Sage."

It was almost as if Alexandria stopped moving. This kind of worried John.

"Okay, I know it’s a bit of a shock..." – he spoke rather fast – "I liked you for like a really long time. It was around the same time when you joined us when I started to like you, but I didn’t know if you liked me the way I liked you. I still ain’t sure what you think of me but I just had to tell you otherwise I’d lose my mind, so it had to be today that I told you."

He looked into her eyes, he golden-brown dancing with her jade green. – "I know I’m probably doing this all wrong and you’re gonna laugh at me after this but…"

Before he could say another word, Alexandria jumped into his arms and kissed him on the lips.

"Took you long enough, you dumbass." – she said pulling away from him.

They embraced and kissed. Joy welling up in both their persons.

"So I take it that’s a yes?" – John asked breaking the kiss.

"Oh yes, yes, yes!" – Alexandria proceeded to lock lips with him again but she remembered that their friends were waiting for them to return.

"Don’t you two make such a cute couple." – said Amy walking up to Alexandria and embracing her.

"I was so freaking nervous! I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell him unless I was really certain he liked me, but it looks like he does like me."

Amy nodded.

"I guess I got myself a little angel watching me, huh?" – Alexandria said putting her arm around Amy’s neck.

The two laughed.

"Okay, people!" – John called to everyone – "Let’s go celebrate in light of this most awesome change in my life, on me!"

He looked over at Alexandria – "Got any suggestions, my love?"

She whispered into his ear – "Somewhere where these guys can go on and have a good time..." – she played with his goatee – "And where we can be alone."


Night fell on the abandoned city. Kade had been drumming away for the hell of it. His arms ached and he was drenched in sweat. Everyone had eaten and had gone up to bed. He had planned on going to bed too, but he wanted to try out a new beat that was stuck in his head. He leaned against the wall, his muscles throbbed and his breaths were heavy.

"You’re still awake, Kade?" – Spin said as she walked down the stairs – "Everyone else is asleep..."

He looked at her as she wore her long nightshirt – "Couldn’t sleep. Had this beat pounding in my head all night and I had to do something about it otherwise I’d go mad. But, as usual, I lost myself." – he smiled at her – "Didn’t wake you up, did I?"

"Not really..." – she sat next to Kade – "I was thinking actually. Do you think we can live here for a long time? I mean we’ll have to move out, you know? Out of this house and out of this city..."

"Yeah I know, Spin. I think everyone knows. Rage is edgy and even Kanny, lazy fuckhead he may be, seems to a bit unsettled." – he turned to Spin – "Hey, don’t you worry none. I’ll bring it up next time we’re all together. If no one’s wants to move, then we’ll go, just you and me."

"You sure?" - she asked as Kade stroked her hair.


"Teach me to drum." – said Spin standing up.

"Say what?"

"You heard me, I want to learn how to drum. Teach me. I want to know how it feels."

"You know the only reason I feel alive is because I put all my emotions into my drumming. It ain’t all that easy..."

"Well I didn’t want it to be easy. Please, teach me." – Spin pleaded.

After a pause, Kade gave in. Spin sat down and put her foot on the pedal as Kade held her hands and taught her basic beats. There was many a time when he wanted to tell Spin how he felt about her, but he could never bring himself to doing it. Plus on the physical aspect, he figured that there was no chance in hell that a girl like her would ever be interested in him.

Oddly enough, Spin admired Kade. In her mind, a person did not have to look like a supermodel for her to be attracted to him. She just loved Kade for he was. Even if he did wear a tough-guy exterior, he was actually very soft and sensitive and, unlike the others, she could see all that.

As the beats got harder, Kade enjoyed being this close to Spin. Of course, he did not rush into it. He noticed how silky smooth her skin was, even to the point of wondering why her clothes had not slipped off yet. He gave himself a mental kick in the head mainly because he was not even sure if she even liked him and here he was having naughty thoughts. Not that he would mind having a glimpse, but that was to be something that came much, much later.

At about two in the morning, the lesson stopped. She leaned back against Kade.

"Now I see..." – said Spin in between breaths – "When I was playing, I started remembering my mother and then suddenly, I was angry and…I don’t know…but…"

"You felt alive, yes?" – Kade completed her thought. – "Like you just wanted to keep playing?"

"Yeah, something like that."

"Welcome to my world, babe. That was just a toe in a raging river. Doesn't happen to everyone, but it does to me..."

"My arms hurt." – she rubbed her biceps – "How do you do this everyday?"

"Fair trade."


"The more I play, the more anger I lose. The angrier I am, the harder I play."

"My god."

'I gave up on him a long time ago..."

"But how can you bottle up so much anger inside you?"

"I don’t know..." – Kade shrugged his shoulders – 'It just got built up, you know? I had to deal with my step-mom, my step-brother and my dad. It just accumulated over time..."

"I’m amazed there are other things aside anger in you."

"There are other things."

"Such as?"

"A speck, perhaps, of happiness. Plenty of sadness, apathy, and then some confusion, and..." – Kade cut off.

"And what?" – Spin asked anxiously.

He put his lips to her ears. – "Love,"

He kissed her cheek. Spin gasped in shock and turned around to face Kade.

"Shit, Spin-" – Kade apologized, realizing his error – "I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I…"

"You shouldn’t have done that..." – said Spin interrupting him – "You should’ve done this."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his lips. They kissed for five minutes, but between them, five minutes could only be compared to eternity.

"Whoa." – said Kade as he looked into her eyes.

"Yeah." – Spin yawned – "All that drumming made me tired. I think we better head to bed."

"Yeah, you’re right..."

"Want me to leave my door open?"

"Nah, it’s okay." – Kade smiled – "You need your sleep. Besides, if I show up, you won’t get any."

Spin laughed. – "Okay, goodnight."

She headed to her room. Kade stood there and watched her climb the stairs. He followed after her and watched her walk to her bedroom. A smile came across his face. For now all he needed was a shower and some sleep. Kannabis’s snoring could be heard down the hall and Rage’s room was always deathly silent.

As he walked by Spin’s room, he checked the door; it was unlocked. No hanky-panky tonight was something he decided. As he walked by Noire’s room, he heard her crying. He knocked on her door. She answered with swollen eyes and a runny nose.

"Noire? You okay?"

"It’s nothing, nothing, Kade." – she said trying to evidently put on a brave face but it was not working. – "You better get some sleep. It’s late."

"Look, if there’s anything I can help with, or if you need to talk to someone-"

"Don’t worry about it, Kade. It’s my problem. Now go to bed. If Spin sees us like this, she’ll shred us both."

Kade grinned – "Yeah, well it’s official between us now."

"Oh? Awesome."

"Yeah," – Kade turned to head to his room, but turned back to Noire – "You sure you’re okay?"

"I’ll be fine. Now go to sleep."

"Okay..." – Kade left uneasily.

Today had been one hell of an interesting day. He was tired, but very happy. As he fell asleep, one thought lingered in his mind, what was it that made Noire cry?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Angelus - Prologue and Chapter I

Before I get going, there are a few people I need to thank.

Ntale (Nyne): my co-author. Without you, the flavor of this story wouldn't have been as good.
TJ (Kannabis): for always inspiring me to keep writing, no matter how shitty it seemed at the time.
Bhooshan (Rage): for FINALLY reading my work and commenting



Contrary to what most people think, this world, this reality we exist in, is not the only one. Other worlds, other realities surround ours as would insects around a lantern. The realities are not conceded despite it all. Have you found yourself in a state of deja vu? Well believe it or not, that’s called a “reality flux”, when a reality is experienced twice over by an individual. And still, here we sit, unbeknownst to the fact that hundreds, even millions, of alternate realities surround us.

Another phenomenon that happens is called “Reality Fusion”. Sometimes this can be where one reality literally merges with another, and portals are opened or sometimes a complete merger doesn’t even have to occur for a fusion to take place. Sometimes all one reality has to do is brush up against another. The portals that are opened can be opened for a few seconds, or sometimes hours. When this happens, an individual can pass through these portals into another reality. Keep in mind that when an individual enters a portal, he or she cannot say where it leads or even worse, how long it will be open for.

Another thing about these realities is that they may resemble our own at times, but at the same time, they can be totally different. Some realities can seem like dreams, things that you hear about and imagine what a fairytale may be like even, but they can also be nightmares too. Sometimes a reality will be so similar to ours, that an individual would have a hard time telling the difference.

This is the story of a girl who found herself in one of these realities, and how it changed her life.


"Charges laid." – Amy heard over her headset, letting her know that her army was ready to engage. There was no way that her plan was going to fail if everything went accordingly. She nodded to herself. – "Dragoon," – she called as she sipped on a bottle of half empty Coke making sure not to get any drops on her microphone – "Take your position."

"Roger, Angel." – replied Dragoon as his army moved off from hers to where they had been issued to hold.

This time she was going to win the battle. She conveyed the same orders to Priest, her other commander, and his army moved into position. This was it; everything was ready.


Three rings, each coiled one within the other, exploded within the enemy base camp. There was nothing left of the troops who had been standing guard. All there was a crater strewed with singed body parts.

Dragoon and Priest’s forces entered the enemy base camp; it was bloodbath. Not a single enemy soldier could stand up to the assault. This was Amy’s plan. Her army sat in position, waiting for the signal. Finally Priest’s voice beamed over her headset.

"Okay Angel," – his voice was masculine and yet it could still be compared to the coo of a dove – "Send in the big guns."

Amy’s troops moved in, each troop armed with rocket launchers, others with mortar rockets and others with radio-activated explosives. The remaining enemy troops fought a valiant, but futile battle. The explosives were attached to the buildings and when all of Amy’s troops were out of range, they were detonated. Building after building fell to the ground. The taste of victory could not have been any more sweet than it already was as she saw “Mission Accomplished” flash on her screen.

"Okay guys," – she downed the last bit of Coke as she spoke into the microphone and exited the “Multiplayer Campaign” menu – "Good work. Same time tomorrow?"

"I’m there." – Dragoon’s voice echoed with fatigue and rapture all in one.

"I may have to pass," – moaned Priest – "I got this mega bad ass project that I gotta get done. There’s no such thing as procrastinating when you’re in Uni. I’ll let Chaos and Sage know, so they might be able to show up since I’ll be M.I.A."

"Okay, no worries. The server password’ll be the same. Drag, you coming today?"

"I got no choice. The Crane’ll have my ass on a skewer if I duck class again. Oh here’s some news, my dad was actually sober enough last night. He asked if I still went to school. So I kinda figured it’s about time I start showing my face..."

"Okay," – Amy laughed – "this is Angel logging off. See you later, Outcasts."


"Take care."

Amy exited the Crossfire game she had been playing and opened up her Winamp player. The house was empty, so empty that Amy could hear the echo of her own footsteps as she walked about her bedroom. Her father was out and she could give two shits where he was. Her mother had been locked up at Bakers’ Asylum. She had filed a complaint against her husband to the police claiming that she had been gang-raped on several occasions by him and his friends. On one such night, she had been gang-raped and beaten to the point of a mental breakdown. She had become so traumatized by this last incident that she became a mute; a living doll. She could not eat, she never spoke, and she just sat in the corner of her padded cell. Evidence to file against her husband was not found. Eventually, the case was dropped. Needless to say, Amy had to deal with her father’s drunken behaviors and his ability to not be at home for weeks at a time.

She turned the volume on her computer to the maximum. Lacuna Coil’s “Heaven’s A Lie” boomed throughout the room. She got up, stretched and went to the bathroom. She had been on the computer pretty much the entire night playing Final Fantasy X until Dragoon logged on to tell her that Priest had logged onto the Crossfire network.

It was yet another grueling school day she was to endure, but she did not mind it one bit. Anything was better than having to wait around for her father to come home. She washed her face. As the cold water dripped off of her flawless skin, she looked into the mirror; golden-brown eyes looked back at her, her raven-black hair with a red streak had been tied up haphazardly. On more than one occasion, she had been hit on by boys at her school relentlessly. But that was then. She had given up on boys. There was no one worth loving was the conclusion she had made, and she remained adamant about it.

The boys she had been with previously only wanted a trophy girlfriend. Something to hang onto their arms, and that was meant to be seen and not heard. If it was not that, they were only interested in sex. In total, she had had four boyfriends and all of them loved nothing about her, just her body.

The phone rang. She jumped a little. Who would be calling at four in the morning?

"Hello?" – she answered apprehensively.

"Amy, it’s Tyson, I…"

"Fuck off, Tyson!"

"C’mon Amy," – the desperation in his voice rocked – "At least tell me why."

"Oh, you wanna know why?" – the rage began to well up inside her – "You know goddamn well why, you son of a bitch!"

Tyson and her had been an item at a time. The relationship was like trying to put a burning house out with a canister of gasoline and propane. But just when things seemed to be getting a little better, she had found out the sick truth behind their relationship.

"Amy," – Tyson’s voice quivered. He was holding back tears – "C’mon, you gotta admit, we did have something. Now all of a sudden, all this. What happened?"

"You know exactly what happened, asshole! It’s over between you and me. And for your information, there was nothing between us."

"Amy," – the tears welled up over the receiver.

"You founded our relationship on a stupid bet you made with your boys."


"Did you think I wouldn’t find out one way or another? Why the fuck else did you think I broke it off? What, wasn’t it something like, whoever gets into my pants wins?" – Amy’s voice quivered in anger – "What were the stakes, huh? Fifty dollars, right? That’s all I’m worth to you, right? Fifty-fucking-dollars!"

The tears ran down her face. That’s all she was to Tyson, a game. To make matters worse, it was actually Tyson who had initiated the bet.

"Amy…listen…we were drunk, and…" – what else could Tyson say?

Amy sat in silence to see if he’d continue, but he did not.

"Tyson," – Amy sniffed – "It’s over. Nothing you can say or do will ever fix what you did."

Her voice was a whisper now. She tried to keep her hands from shaking, even though she held the receiver so tightly that she could’ve broken it in two.

"Amy, please," – Tyson tried again, pleading – "Just give me another chance!"

"Bye Tyson."

She slammed the receiver down.

She sank against the wall and shuddered in disgust. He actually had the audacity to call her. Why couldn’t he just let it go? She took three deep breaths to keep herself calm. He was a part of her past that had burned to ash. Anyway, she had too many things to worry about already.

She washed her face again, she grabbed her bag. Mister Howard, or “The Crane” as he was called for his tall, lanky physique and elongated nose, taught Statistics at her high school and she had three days worth of Statistics homework to do. She knew that if she walked in three days of undone homework, she’d be spending her time in detention. Even though, she would have Dragoon as company, she couldn’t bare not knowing whether her father was home or not. He had already sold the car, so it would be a lot longer getting home than usual.

Within three hours she was done. She was never any good at Statistics, but as long as it was done, it was good enough for her. The sun had finally peaked. She jumped into the shower. The cold water was refreshing against her stressed, naked body. All the sleep had been washed away with the water. Her mind had raced back to her conversation with Tyson and it had become a definite hindrance. She had redone her homework three times. She did feel for him, but that was overwhelmed by her anger towards him.

As she got out of the shower and took her towel, she stood and admired her naked body. She was not exactly Marilyn Monroe, but she did turn a couple heads, ergo, the bet. She punched the wall. Why had life become a pit of vipers and she, the helpless mouse? She toweled off and wrapped the towel around her. She went and switched her computer off. She once again looked at herself in the mirror. There were times when even Priest admitted that she was bombshell material. That was quite a compliment considering that Priest was interested in the female physique mainly in the medical sense, especially since he planned on becoming a doctor.

After she got dressed, she grabbed her bag and cigarettes, switched off the lights and went downstairs; double-checking that she had locked her door. Downstairs, she encountered her father who towered over her. The smell of brandy and weed swept over her. He swayed back and forth. Amy imagined just pushing him with her finger, just to see if he’d fall over. She hated him, and she hated his friends for keeping him up to all this shit.

"Heyeee Amyyyy!" – her father played with her name. He looked her up and down, lustfully – "You’re looking good today."

"What’s it to you?" – Amy crossed her arms. She really hated having to deal with her father when he was like this.

"You…really…look good! Mmmm..." – he shook his head a bit clearing out the bats in his belfry, even though Amy knew it’d take an aluminum bat to get rid of all of them. "Uh…how’s school, girly?"

"Better than usual, especially since I don’t have to deal with you."

"Aww.." – her father made a pouting face – "that’s harsh, baby..."

"Don’t call me 'baby'!" – she looked at her father and shook his head – "Look at you!"

Her father hobbled a bit and held himself against the wall. "What, this?" – he grabbed his shirt – "Aww, you know how it is with guys, right?" He looked at her lustfully again, shying away from the topic of his appearance – "You really look good. How about you drop your bag and you and…"

"As if." – she pushed passed her father.

She went into the kitchen and took out a sandwich from the fridge. As she left the house, her father still stood there making very unpleasant suggestions of what would happen if she decided to stay home. She lit a cigarette and turned on her CD player. It was nothing but aggressive, heavy metal that boomed in her ears all the way to school. She hated having to deal with her father almost every morning before school, especially when he started hitting on her. She walked by the 7-11 where she used to work. Most of her stuff was bought with the money she earned working there. Her dad’s job at the stock market was still bringing in money, so at least food was in the house and the bills were paid.

It had been a twenty minute walk from her house to school. Within that time, her pack of cigarettes was half done. She made her way to a corner of the school area that the other kids called the Outcast Corner. Basically if you were not with the in crowd, you belonged there. This corner had been home to the outcasts since she was in ninth grade. At present the school’s outcasts included herself, Dragoon, Chaos and Sage. Priest, Michael to his family, was a former outcast who had left for college. They had all just drawn together. Dragoon, who’s real name was John, and her had been in the corner since ninth. Alexandria, or Sage as she was called amongst her friends, became a part of the corner in tenth. And then there was James, or Chaos, came into the corner in eleventh, Priest’s last year.

As she sat on a bench, taking a drag off of her cigarette, she remembered a prank that John and James had done. There was not a single day that she didn’t find them in detention. She smiled remembering the time when they had stuck a microphone into the faculty bathroom and recording the principal talking about his hemorrhoids were flaring up and how he needed to use one of those hemorrhoid rings so he could sit down. Then there was the last time they stuck extra-strength, fast-acting liquid laxative into the faculty’s coffee pot and locked the bathrooms. Now that was the prank that got them, well John at least, suspended. The only reason he got caught for that prank was his bag was not closed all the way and three empty laxative bottles fell out.

Someone tapped her shoulder.

"Priest!" – she tossed her cigarette and hugged him. It had been about a week since any of the outcasts had seen him.

"Uh, Angel?" – he gasped – "Losing... Consciousness..."

She let go off him. His crystal blue eyes lit up when he smiled. He ran his hand threw his neatly parted blond hair.

A crush had been once present. This was when she just joined the corner, but eventually, after two boyfriends, the crush died off and was replaced with respect and friendship. Michael always spoke his mind and never really felt the need to hide anything from anyone. He had left for college after he graduated twelfth grade. He got into making games then. During that time, he had made three games for Nintendo and had also designed for the Game cube. Eventually, he left it all.

He straightened his clothes. He was always keen on wearing formals and preferred to be impeccable at all times. He grinned. – "You know, with a hug like that, people could’ve assumed that you and I were an item."

"Well if you showed even the slightest interest in females, I might’ve been." – she had told him about the crush she had for him once she knew that there would not be any awkwardness between them.

She remembered that he had actually apologized to her for not being interested in females in that way. On several occasions he had told her that she was quite a sight to behold.

"I kinda figured your dad would be backing home and you’d need someone to talk to," – his voice was velvety and very enticing at time. He looked at her. – "By the looks of it, my perception was correct. So?"

She looked at him, confused – "So, what?"

"So how many cigarettes did you light up this morning?"

"Seven..." – she said quietly, there was a hint of shame in her tone.

Unlike the others, Michael was not a smoker and he did not exactly appreciate the fact that the others did.

"So, go a girlfriend yet?" – Amy spoke up, changing the subject.

Michael made a mocked painful facial expression – "Why do you always bring that up? You know it won’t happen."

"Actually," – Amy rolled her eyes, uneasily – "Since you left, people have started talking and…well…"

"I am not gay!" – Michael said firmly – "I just prefer thinking with my brain and not my cock when it comes to female body..."

Amy went and leaned against the wall. Michael stood next to her. She put her head on his shoulder.

"Tyson called again, yes?"

She nodded.

"Want I should go knock some sense into him?"

"No offense," – Amy chuckled – "But he’s a line-backer and you’re…well…you..."

"Oh c’mon now! Okay fine, at least even if I can’t go Rambo on his ass, at least I can talk some sense into him?"

"You’d spend the next week and half looking for your teeth," – she sighed – "Thanks though."

"I wish there was more I could do..."

"It’s okay," – she looked up at him. – "You know, when you left, a bunch of girls cried and shit when you didn’t come back this year."


"Yeah, they were all like 'Michael’s left', 'Michael’s gone' wah wah wah! I mean you are cute and all, but Jesus Christ," – she shuddered. – "Crying over you, Jesus Christ..."

Michael laughed – "Well that’s interesting. Speaking of girls, where is Sage?"

Amy shrugged her shoulders.

"What about Chaos and Dragoon?"

"Probably on their way..." – she looked over at him again – "Didn’t you have a project to do or something?"

"I do. That’s why I’m here actually. It’s a Psych paper. 'Effects Of Social Discrimination On High School Students' how’s that sound?"

"Like something you know way too much about." – Amy giggled – "So you came here for research?"

"As far as the university’s concerned, yeah..." – he winked at her cheekily – "I’ve got pretty much half the paper from personal experience. I needed a break anyway, so I thought I come down this way and see what’s up with you guys."

"And it’s damn good to see ya!" – Alexandria said just arriving around the corner.

"Sage!" – the two friends shouted with open arms.

She gave Amy and Michael a hug each. She was about an inch shorter that Amy, with a long red hair and green eyes that could contend with a jade stone. Her willowy physique contemplated her attitude and her nature. She was the more logical member of the outcasts, hence the name “Sage”.

"Hey Sage," – Michael spoke – "You gotta cover for me on Crossfire tonight. I got this Psych paper that I want to finish up."

"No prob." – Alexandria slapped his shoulder playfully. Then she noticed Amy – "Hey Angel, what’s wrong? Why so glum?"

"Same shit, girl," – she sighed – "Tyson at four in the morning and dad just before leaving."

"Aww, baby," – Alexandria gave Amy a hug – "Don’t worry. Things’ll get better soon."

"Always optimistic, aren’t we?" – she smiled at her friend – "Thanks."

She popped a cigarette in her mouth which was quickly removed by Michael.


"Not while I’m around, dammit!" – he took Amy’s pack and put the cigarette back in and stuffed it into his pocket – "I’ll give these back to you before I bounce."

Amy grumbled.

"Wassup, my peeps?" - John’s voice filtered in.

John, alias “Dragoon”, was the tallest member of the outcast and not mention the most mischievous. He also had an affinity for contact lens. Today, his eyes were a golden brown. Many a girl admired him, even if he was one egg short of an omelet. As usual, his IPod dangled from his belt.

"Priest, my main man," – he gave Priest a fist pound and switched off his IPod – "I thought you had a project, bro?"

"That’s why I’m here."

Michael noticed the confused looked on John’s face.

"Research, you monkey!"

"Oh, yeah right,"

"Unlike you, Drag, Priest does take the time to say hi to his friends when he can." – Sage interjected, arms crossed resembling an angry pre-school teacher.

Amy looked over at Alexandria and smiled. No matter what Amy told her, she could never handle being ignored by John.

"Holy shit, Sage! I didn’t see you there!" – he came and gave her a hug and let go – "you know what, if you just bulked up a bit more, you’d be a lot easier to spot. Careful of those strong winds too..."

Alexandria punched his arm.

"Ow," – John winced in pain – "Who would of thought bones hurt that bad?'

"Drag." – Amy interrupted, holding back a laugh – "Where’s your 'partner-in-crime'?"

"What else do you think, he’d be up to?"

"Trouble." – all the other outcasts said in unison.

"Ding-ding-ding, tell ‘em what they’ve won, Johnny!!" – said John mimicking a game show host.

"So where is he?" asked Michael.

"He should be here any minute now." – John said looking at his watch.

He looked away from his watch and looked at his friends with a devilish grin on his face.

"Are you constipated, Drag?" asked Michael.

"No," – John continued to bare his grin – "something really awesome’s gonna happen today."

'You’re finally coming out of the closet? Oh happy day!"

"No, Priest! Chaos and me cooked up a plan and we’re gonna make it happen today."

"Hey Drag, everything’s set," – James’ (aka Chaos) voice rang out – "All we gotta do is…hey Priest."

"Hey man," – Michael shook his hand – "So Drag tells us you two got a plan happening today?"

"It’ll be big! You know that CCTV morning news they got going on?"

"Yeah, the one done by the students." – Michael shrugged his shoulders – "What about it?"

"Well I got a timer to it and when it’s time for the kids to do the news, they’ll get something else."

"Well if it’s as hot as you make it sound, then I might as well stick around and check it out. Who knows, it might actually be worth it."

"No Priest, you don’t understand," – James grabbed Michael’s collar and pulled him close to him – "this is worth it."

"Okay," – said Michael evidently freaking out – "um, you’re not going to make out with me, are you?"

James let go of his collar – "Sorry, sometimes I get a little excited."

"No shit."

The school bell rang.

"Show time, my peeps!" – said John two-stepping to the door.

James ran after his friend towards the main building to set the timer followed by Amy, Michael and Alexandria. Amy could not stop smiling the whole way. It looked like this day would not be as bad as she thought it would be.


The city was completely empty. It had been this way for a week since the evacuation. After the attack, the whole city had been evacuated except for a small group that had been left behind or rather they had wanted to stay behind. The small group trooped into the garage. Five kids in all; two girls and three boys. The garage that they had entered had been converted and modified, so now instead of it being a place where one would park his or her car, it looked more like a studio with two large speakers, each on either side of the entrance, and hooked to these speakers was a microphone, a bass and electric guitar, an electronic drum pad set and a set of turntables. Everything necessary for a jam session. A computer sat in the corner and this was used to record the music played.

Everyone positioned themselves to their respective places.

"Hey Kade," – said the tall boy as he adjusted his mic stand – "Don’t fuck up the drumsticks again, okay? Just ‘cause that drum kit is hella tough, doesn’t mean that your sticks are."

Kade rolled his eyes.

"And besides, the music store’s half-way across town. You fuck those up, you’ll be the one to go and get a new pair."

"Damn Kannabis, when did you get all responsible?" – Kade said brushing back his hair out of his eyes with his hand – "You damn well know I have no intention of walking that far, especially with all this shit going on."

"Easy Kade," – said Spin as she tinkered with the turntables – "Kannabis, you know he won’t break these."

"C’mon Spin," – protested Kannabis – "He’s already broken three pairs of sticks in only ten days."

"And I’ve gone out and gotten more each time, haven’t I?" – Spin interrupted – "If it ain’t no big deal to me, why is it to you?"

"Cause it’s too fucking dangerous for anyone to be going that far alone! Don’t you get it?"

"Fine!" – Kade spoke up running a hand through his shoulder-length hair – "If I fuck these up, I’ll go and get another pair. And," – he looked over at Spin – "I’ll go alone. I mean fuck, just cause I got a little extra baggage," – he slapped his belly – "Don’t mean that I can’t cover the ground."

"Kade," – Spin’s voice was stern – "You know exactly what’s going out there. Even the cops had a hard time. Fuck, I doubt SWAT could have done anything. Now you think you, one guy with a sword, can handle all that?"

"First, Spin, bullets mean shit out there, but this," – he held up an ancient Samurai katana – "This is useful. Second, I’m not bad with it. Thirdly, the cops wouldn’t listen, while I did. So if you had to ask me that question again, then I’d answer yes. I think I can handle it just fine."

He got off his seat and walked over to Spin and whispered in her ear – "Don’t worry, Spin. I’ll be more than fine."

"If you guys are done with all your cat and dog fighting," – Noire spoke up strumming her guitar – "Can we get this session started already?"

"Yeah, Noire," – Kade winked at Spin – "We’re done."

Noire rolled her eyes in annoyance. Her choice of fashion was most interesting especially considering that her hair color was changing almost everyday. On this day she chose to dye her hair a deep blue to match her eyes. She stood with her arms folded glaring at Kade, Kannabis and Spin. She shook her head and noticed Rage grinning.

"What the fuck’s so funny, Rage?"

"Well whenever shit starts hitting the fan, you always play peace-maker. It’s funny especially considering you’ve got the worse temper out of all of us."

Noire smirked.

"Did you do that with your parents too?"

"All the time. Until they got divorced and I was the one who got thrashed for it afterwards."

"Oh," – Rage realizing he hit a sensitive subject – "I’m sorry, Noire, I didn’t mean to pry."

"Bah!" – Noire waved a hand signifying there was no problem – "I’m over it."

She did not look like it, but Noire was agony aunt of the group. She would take the time to sit and listen to everyone’s problems and comfort them, but when it came down to her problems, she would keep quiet about them, even if it nearly killed her inside.

Noire gently strummed her guitar – "So are we all just gonna stand around with our thumbs up our asses or are we gonna play some music?”

"Okay people," – Kannabis grabbed the microphone – "Playtime is over."

"Fuck yeah," – acknowledged Kade as he sat behind the drum kit – "So what first?"

"Archetype, of course,"

"Okay people," – Kannabis said. – "You know what to do."

As they played, Kade felt alive for the first time in a long time. Adrenaline pumped throughout his system and it was like magic. So many different things would happen as he played; it was as if his emotions came out when he played. That half-explains how he broke the three previous drumsticks.

Kannabis growled into the microphone with so much power and fury, one would actually think he was transforming into an animal as he sang the chorus of Archetype.

Look into my eyes

And tell me what you see

Someone real, this is real

What you wish to be…”

The song ended and everyone was sweating and breathing hard.

"Rock on!" – Kade said in between breaths.

"Next song?" – Noire said taking a drink of water.

The band made their choice and played.


I wake up in this world. Again I’m here. I don’t know why, or how, but I got here when I closed my eyes. This whole world has weird colors. Blue is red, red is green, green is yellow… Nothing is right, nothing is straight. Buildings tilt at impossible angles, boxes litter the street. It looks like a street from Traverse Town in Kingdom Hearts, but much creepier. I start walking.

The streets are crowded with the weirdest people. Normal people, as well as what I can only call zombies. Half rotted corpses walk around, like Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, conducting their own business and such. It’s the oddest sight, yet strangely normal. Maybe I’m just messed up. I walk further, taking everything in. The green sun in the sky marks the time as evening. I trudge onward, trying to find my way to what I assume is my goal.

All of a sudden, I hear a “Watch your step!” from my feet. I look down and stare. Half a body is lying there, skeleton visible for the most part, still traces of rancid skin sticking to the ribs and face. They eyes are glaring at me with what I can tell is anger, but it doesn’t show. The odd thing is that I’m not repulsed, not even creeped out. It seems normal to me. I kindly step off of him and apologize. And I move on. I walk down the crooked streets. I make my way down stinking alleys and corpses hanging from balconies, ruefully asking each other “Hey, how’s it hanging?” I can’t laugh, I don’t find it funny. My nerves are tingling, like I can tell something is going to get me, yet there’s nothing that can. It’s very disconcerting. I continue walking.

Finally, I come to something that resembles a place to stay. It’s like an open area, walled off but not really closed. I walk in and lie down, resting my head on the small, flat pillow. I’m almost asleep when I hear someone talk. It doesn’t have a rasp to it, so I can tell it’s a human.

“You’re here.”

I get up and look around. And standing there is someone I hardly remember. His face is blurred to me, but I know his name.

“Karan. Why are you here?”

Karan Patil. I haven’t seen him since military school. He was one of the only people who stood up for me. I respected him, but we lost contact. Now why is he here is this place?

“I’m the door-keeper here.” He says. He’s speaking perfect English, something he couldn’t do. And he’s very stoic, not like he used to be. It’s odd. So is the weapon he carries. A sword. To me, it looks like a katana. Something a samurai would carry. Well, I guess that’s the way here.

“You shouldn’t be here. Night time is not the best time for outsiders to come here.”

“I didn’t come here on purpose. I wound up here when I closed my eyes.”

“Well, you are here now. And as gate-keeper, I have to make sure you get back. I hope school taught you something. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

“I can pull my weight.”

“I hope you can move.” Is all he says as the sun sinks. The minute the sun sets, a whole change comes over the place. There’s no twilight, no sunset. It goes dark like it’s Silent Hill. But it’s not totally dark. I can see everything. But it’s all different now. The colors have all gone dark. Dark blue roads, the shadows are grey, the buildings are dark red, like they’re dyed with blood. This is now really creepy.
And the floodgates open. The zombies come out, and now they look and act like actual zombies. They still talk like normal people, but they’re different. They’re violent now, like with the loss of daylight meant the loss of rules. I see them killing each other in alleyways. This isn’t safe. This really isn’t safe. One of them turns to us. He points at me, but addresses Karan.

“Gate-keeper, the rules stand. He’s in our territory.”

Karan defies him. “He’s a friend. He leaves now, and he leaves safe.”

“He’s in our territory. Unless you wish to become sport with him?” The corpse grins lopsidedly. I can feel icy fingers going down my back, the fear chilling my bones. This isn’t good. Karan hefts his sword and tells me, “Now we run.”

So we do. We leave the rest area, dashing around the corner and skidding into a building. I bounce off, grunting as my shoulder slams into the wall. I dash down the alley, weaving around the stacked boxes and barrels that line it. Sometimes it seems like I can’t make it, but I force air into my smoked-out lungs and run. My muscles scream, they beg for rest. I haven’t gotten very far. I curse my weight and continue running. Karan stays ahead of me, slicing through some of the corpses that try to cut us off. They don’t die, though. They grab at our ankles. We hop over them, step on crunching bone, and run.

We finally come to something that resembles a town square. It’s not empty, unfortunately. There are many bodies trundling around. Karan shoves me behind a box, and tells me to shut up. He tries to usher them away, telling them that the square is off limits. I clutch my chest, a stitch in my side, and I try to catch my breath without making too much noise.

“Ye cannae hid from us, lad,” I hear a strong accent behind me. I think it’s Irish. Can’t tell for sure. With a deep rasp, like a very old man. I turn around, and see two eyes set in a burned skull staring at me. “Ye cannae hid, ye cannae flee. We have ye, lad. May as well let us do as we will.”

“Over my dead body, sir!” I say as I slam my fist into his chin. His head snaps to the side, crooked at an unnatural angle. His lower jaw goes flying out into the square. The irony of my sentence isn’t lost on me, but I have more important things to worry about. Like my survival. I run while he’s stunned, bursting into the square. Karan turns to yell at me, then blanches. I don’t want to know what’s back there, so I run towards him. He turns and runs, leading me to, what I can only hope, is the door out of this place, the gate he’s supposed to guard. I have no idea where it is, but I follow him, forcing myself to run. I won’t last much longer, though, not with my current health. I bounce into a wall, my strength failing.

Karan turns around and says, “I guess it has to be here.” He stabs the sword into mid air, Vedic, Latin and Celtic chants coming from his lips. The hole gapes open, looking like a Garganta from Bleach. He turns to me. “This is the best I can do, Manav. I hope it takes you back to where you’re supposed to be.”

I don’t tell him he’s supposed to be there. I can tell he won’t come with me. There’s no one to close the gate, I guess. I walk through it, hoping it goes where I’m supposed to be. He grins at me as he closes the gate. “Take care.”

“You too.”

And I’m in my bed. I sit up, wiping the sweat from my brow. Damn, but that was some fucked up dream, I think to myself. I try to get out of bed. Something cold is wrapped around my arm. I look down and see a skeletal hand. Karan’s face grins from the bed beside me.

“I’m here for you!” He cries out. My eyes snap open. I’m back in bed. Now what? I look around my room, using my cell phone as a light. My room-mates are all asleep. There’s no one else in the room but us four. Sweat drips down my brow. I can’t sleep for the rest of the night.

(NOTE: Previously Posted on Facebook)