A Rainy Day In The Clement Fields Of Glasgow
It was a tent made by the most chary hands. Curtains of blessed teal were spun around, hanging like flower garlands propped up by wooden sticks. Through the cotton mesh, he could see two figures outlined black, looming out from the radiant lights and towards his home. His knees refused to bend. Old age gnawed at his bones and solitude digested them. Thrusting a hand on his chair, he stood up with some struggle and inched towards what he called a doorway, his right foot limping. A dark-haired man clothed in a white-coat with a clip-board resting on one of his hands looked into the old man’s opaque eyes.
“Nicholas Scott?” the dark-haired man asked. A name tag that read “LENNY” rested above his pocket. He wore a bag on his shoulders, a red cross printed on it with fine strands of polyester. Dark eyes peeped through the thick glasses that sat neatly upon his cheekbones. A lanky young boy, probably in his early twenties stood near him, his skin covered in ephelides.
“I guess I am,” Nick said as his voice broke into a violent cough, leaving him breathless. His cough had hardly subsided when he inhaled deeply, collapsing again into a volcanic hack. The city winds did strange things to him.
“Come in, please,” he said, walking back towards his wooden chair. Milo, the young boy, pulled back the curtains as the both sauntered towards the old man. Sitting on a chair next to him, Lenny zipped open his bag, pulling out a surgical box. Two ampoules of thick purple fluid slumbered in it as he yanked open the metal container. He transferred the contents of one vial into a transparent rubber ring, watching the bubbles sink to the surface.
“Mr. Scott, so you’ll be wearing this in your forefinger. As you can see, there’s a tiny needle attached to its inner surface. Once it hits your skin and the chemical enters your body, you can go to that one place you’ve always wanted to for ten minutes. An alarm will warn you if your time’s about to end. By then, you can remove the ring and get back to the real world,” Lenny said, adjusting the rustic golden rim of his glasses.
“What if I didn’t remove it in ten minutes?” the old man asked, crouching on his chair, looking at him straight in the eye.
“You’ll be dead,” he said, placing the ring on Nick’s hand. His fingers curled around it as he pulled a deep breath.
“So where do you want to go Mr. Scott?” Lenny asked, his chin resting on one hand. The old man closed his eyes and smiled. A warm pallor spread on his face as he whispered those words. “A rainy day in the clement fields of Glasgow.”
Lenny smiled, his fingers tracing his jawline.
“Great memories, eh?”
He looked at Milo, gesticulating him with his fingers. Two markers, red and blue, were hiding under his knuckles, their heads waiting to jump away from his grip. Milo extended the blue one, turning its cap open.
“You can’t be sure—”
He pushed the ring into Nick’s gaunt finger as it sat comfortably around it. “Ready?” he asked, rolling his eyes watching him closely through his glasses. “Already.”
Dark clouds of gunmetal grey scudded across the livid skies. Nick watched them mesmerised by their constantly changing shapes. They grew dark and thick, saturated with water in its purest form. His wrinkles distended, opening his pores as the warm summer rain kissed his skin. Untrimmed maize fields grown wild, danced with the natural orchestra, their tips brushing like ghostly fangs. The pitter-patter perpetuated into rhythmic pounding as he tilted his head up, and opened his eyes, allowing his tears to sluice away in the rain.
He ran. His legs swooshing in the flooded fields. This time they didn’t hurt, or at least, he couldn’t feel them. He opened his arms wide as if he could pull the air close and hug it. A loud vehement scream absconded from his vocal cords as he spun himself around, his hands stroking the grass. Those halcyon days were resurrected. He felt like an eighteen year old boy in love again. After a fifty years of what seemed like an eternity, he could see the sun, shining like a golden medallion pinned to a sheet of tar-black. The world was no longer a shadowy groove. It was all alight; it was all alive; it was bewitching. If only, if only she was with him… If only, if only this was real…
The timer beeped, counting his last minute. It called on to him, loud enough for his ears to catch. But his body had sunken deep in the feigned trance. His thirst wasn’t fully quenched. He collapsed to the ground, his head spinning in the trippy haze, but clear as ever. A tenuous smile surfaced on his lips as he stared at the timer. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. What is better—to live a dolorous life or to die a happy death?
“Eleven minutes gone,” Milo said, looking at his watch. “You think he is dead?”
“Obviously,” Lenny said as he crossed out his name from the clip-pad with his red marker. “Seventy applicants, sixty nine gone.”
Milo’s eyes widened in genuine panic. “This is crazy!” he erupted, shaking Lenny by his collar. “Clever,” Lenny said, apparently calm, his body relaxed as usual. “Revenue and jettison. Hold these for me, will you?” he asked, as Milo took the clip-board and marker in his hands. Lenny packed all his things back in his bag, leaving a message for the capital.
“So who’s next?” The question came like something that was normal. As if it was his habit to unleash hungry souls into the gates of death. Milo rummaged through the clipped papers of crossed names.
“Applicant 70, Sylvia Waterman, 52 years, two blocks from here.” He read out as Lenny outstretched his hand, signalling for the pad. Milo gave it back, his eyes looking down, his lips folded into a thin line, remembering that everything he speaks is being recorded. This time, without hesitation he held it out. The red marker.
Pen to the Paper 15
Nick ran around the dressing room, ensuring that all of his props that he had carefully placed were in their proper positions. A chicken head attached to a string that stretched to the platform that led up to the stage was dangling haphazardly above the "UP" button.
Breathing out a shaky breath, Nick said to himself, "Two minutes. Two minutes before the box of diapers falls off the shelf, knocks into the wheel of live snakes which will roll into a catapult that will launch a restrained Furball the cat at the mouse cage which will send the mouse running through the tubing that leads to the down button, where he will be rapidly intercepted by a hungry, annoyed, and newly freed Furball."
Nick kept a close eye on his watch as the platform moved upward.
Smoke rolled off of the stage, lights danced throughout the arena. When Nick emerged, everyone looked down at him with shock. The room fell silent.
"Hi there. I'm Nick, I'll be taking your order--I mean--I'm here in place of Caleb for today. As few of you know, he is currently out hunting. I told him to stay, but he wouldn't listen. Guess he would rather shoot Bambi than be here. Someone needs to reevaluate his priorities."
Nick looked down at his watch. "Shoot. It's happening," he said. "Well, guys. You all know what you're here for. Pen to the Paper is back for the November 2021 round! I know, a little late this month, but, trust me, if you wanted to see Caleb, this was the only way. And who doesn't want to see Caleb? He's pretty cool, I'd say. And awesome. What are these notes he sent me?" Nick shuffled through the rest of the deck. "He sent me thirteen pages on how awesome he is."
The floor beneath Nick shook slightly. "Ope, would ya look at the time?" he said as the platform began to lower itself. "We're looking forward to your entries this week! Stay safe, and have fun!"
When is a childhood truly over? Is it when you remember only the good parts? Those nights when you went to bed at seven and then your mom gently nudged you awake at nine, saying that it had rained, so you would go outside and look for toads. The water soaking through your bonnet, your pj’s covered by the yellow ruffled coat. You would catch a toad the size of your palm and hold it tight. You would make sure that your friend didn’t jump out of your palm. Everyone was your friend in those days.
The warm tears brought me back to reality, The reality I seem to be drowning in.
“I wish I were what I used to be” I whisper to myself.
The salty droplets falling into my mouth.
It had only been ten years from that night in the rain when I was four. The world felt so far away. I was only living in a fragment of it. It was like sea glass. A shattered bottle, with one piece that had softened edges from being loved by the ocean.
Now I was running in the space in between the broken glass. Sharp corners cutting me. Blood always on the floor. Scars slithering up my body.
“You’re 14,” my mother always says with a somewhat sour face, “You’re still living in the in between”
The thing is, no one remembers what it’s like to be in this place of darkness, where you can see light on both sides. In the future and in the past, but never in the place that you stand. You’re isolated and alone. Your “friends” are on the verge of enemies. Family becomes a restriction. Hobbies become an addiction, and time becomes endless with no forgiveness.
All of this is rushing through my brain while I’m sitting outside under a tree; waiting for the school bells to ring so that I can continue this day that seems to rush in a slow-motion blur of unimportant events. So that I can get home and lay down and sleep for hours. So that I can get away from these people who talk to me when they need a backup friend.
Finally, after science, the clock reaches for 3:30 and I run to my locker, then go wait outside for my dad. The cold sprints toward me, painting my skin with goose bumps, starting the music of chattering teeth. At last, he arrives, the beats of Tupac rocks my ears, and the smell of pineapple jerky drifts to my nose.
“How was your day?” he asks in his deep echoing voice as I set my bag on a pile of junk and heave myself into the front seat.
“As good as school can get” I respond with a sigh that I didn’t mean to release.
My dad chuckles. “Can’t say nothing to that”
The car ride is filled with his voice rapping along to “Dear Mama” the song that might as well be his.
We are home 20 minutes later and I walk to the pantry to get graham crackers and milk. The snack I’ve had since I was six. An unescapable craving. I pour the whole milk, then split my crackers into four, then dip them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 seconds then I pull each out. I bite into the soft, crispy sweetness. The sign that my day is at last over.
I drag myself up the stairs where I pull of my uniform and slip on a hoodie and sweats. I lay down on my bed then sit up as I realize that my mom is standing there at the door.
“You need new bras Isla,” she says. “those ones are getting to old”
“Not now I beg,” cringing at the whine in my voice.
“We’ll leave in ten,” she retorts undisturbed.
I slip on my converse, and leave my hair in a bun. I’m to the point of not caring anymore. It is freeing but terrifying.
Once again, I am in the car, but the music has changed. It went from the low rap to the soft voices of Jesus music.
“Why don’t you talk to me?” my mother asks resignedly.
“I do,” I say knowing that that is not all true, but the silence is what I need to calm down, and conversations only turn to arguments.
We walk into the store where she picks out a variety of colors, styles, and sizes.
In the dressing room I try on the first one. It hangs loose. To big for my flat chest. My eyes race up and down my body. Examining the way my thighs touch and my butt is nothing but bone. Insecurities that I file away to look at later. My hair is dry and frizzy. The curls undefined. My dark skin doesn’t match what the label says is “tan” One after another, I try each. The padding sticks out awkwardly too big for my small boobs.
Again, and again I repeat, “It’s too big” until at last, we leave in defeat. Our heads are down and our mouths are unmoving.
“It’s okay,” my mom says. “not all bodies are the same” A phrase that I’ve heard too many times.
It is recorded in my mind. But she doesn’t know all of it. Her hair is straight and her skin is light. Her eyes are blue. My hair is curly. My skin is dark. My eyes are a hazel or brown.She doesn’t know what it’s like for people to play with her hair like it’s a toy. Pulling it down then watching it spring back up, or when teachers handed me a “skin color” crayon that was so much lighter than my skin it made me feel like an alien. But then I would go to see my dad’s side of the family. Their hair all 4c. An escape from brutality, or so I thought. To them I was light. My skin the color of milk and hair too straight to call curly. That was when I realized I would never have a place.
Is becoming an adult the realization that you have no home to name your own, and no space create. Belonging is based on color and race, and friendships are never forever. The pinky promises you made as a kid mean nothing to them now as they disappear into a world that you are not a part of. To some, forever is temporary and meaningless while to others it is everything.
You do not know the words that float in people’s heads. The hate that they can spill, and the love that they can take and manipulate.
But remember your plans for the future. Now the whole world is straight.
I’ve reconstructed the glass bottle and now walk on top of it. Future how often do I forget that it is a possibility even for me. Where I can build up a world where I revolve around something. Where I have something to live and die for.
This realization helps me get up the next morning in my cardboard body that I see as fat. It gets me to school and I say hi to the girl I used to know in third grade. In a hurry the clock turns to 3:30 and I walk, head up, outside. The cold hits me but this time I’m smiling as my teeth chatter.
“How was your day?” My dad asks.
“It went by pretty fast,” I say wonderous.
I know then. I reached the end of my childhood. The end of the in between, because I am in the future that I always saw in my dreams. That light that glared at me from my right.
A future, I laugh, and my dad looks back at me confused, but I just smile and say “You wouldn’t understand anyway, but don’t worry that’s okay.”
What a fucking brilliant scam
That robbed this girl of all that I am
The world took a boy and called him a man
Placed him in the palm of my hand
Poor thing, he couldn't quite understand
Is a loyal thing that he ought to share
You see his father never taught him to care
A working man who's hardly there
So why should he dare
Break the cycle that's been spinning the Earth
Ever since before the day of his birth
After all, the cycle worked for them, so why not us?
He said, "It worked for them, so why not us?"
Is not the only reason to live
It's not the only thing we can give
I'm not my mother
You're not your father
Why should we bother
No strong arms to hold me
Where I sit in my corner
A little too little love
Bestowed on the one needing more
Lonesome and alone
This is how I belong
Craving more hugs and love
Aching to share and show
Tired of celebrating on my own
Reaching milestones in mystery
I cheer for my quiet self
Not how I should be
I write and write
Staving off insanity
Not understanding what I need
Nor where I need to be
All these never-ending voices
Exactly how it’s always been
My own hero, my own villain
Praise myself, break myself down
Believe in the self, doubting self
I’m holding up myself by myself
Clinging to a crutch and hope
Passing the cracked walls of my heart
It is my fault, has to be
It’s only me that lives for me
How I made it to be
Treading my own path
The traveler going insane
Tamping his heartache
Laughing when the pain hides
Sometimes doing better than fine
Until everything crashes and I find
Just been walking on a thin line
Keeping my balance
Until I tipped over
Inexperienced as the newborn baby
An old soul saying last goodbyes
The jubilant sapling has died
Crumbling black branches abide
As dark and black as my nightmares
As dead, impossible as my dreams
Living on music and words
Pulling through on sugar and imagination
Sometimes climbing out of the hole
Let everybody know I’m still half-whole
The cycle repeats itself, proclaiming
The only consistent thing about me
I wish you well, and you, and you
Tomorrow, we can laugh again
Today I sit and drink in darkness
Ridding myself of all the blackness
Tomorrow, the sun will shine and I will smile
Tonight…I fight the demons of my soul
Lonesome and alone
Unrelated Thoughts I Had
Im sitting in my bed, curled up in blankets and wearing a sweatshirt, and Im still cold.
My mom would tell me to put on some socks. She claims that putting on socks warms up your whole body. Shes probably right.
But I hate socks. They're like foot (feet?) prisons. So Ill just sit here and be cold.
I have a bag of junk food by my feet. I was supposed to pack it into my bag for my trip tomorrow. I didn't.
I need to get ready for my trip tomorrow. But moving takes energy and energy is gone.
My eyes are starting to hurt. My vision is going blurry. I need to take my contacts out and put my glasses on, but that requires energy and energy is gone.
Im going up north early tomorrow. 7 in the morning. I need to get some sleep. I need to pack first. But packing takes energy and energy is gone.
I get to go to a con tomorrow! Well, not a real con, but a Brandon Sanderson con. I've been looking forward to this for months and its finally here. Why am I not more excited?
Maybe Im tired. I need to sleep. I need to take my contacts out before I sleep. But I need to pack first, and packing requires energy and energy I do not have.
Chocolate gives me energy. I have chocolate in my junk food thats at my feet.
I should eat the chocolate and get energy to pack and take out my contacts and then sleep.
But moving takes energy and energy is not a thing I have.
Im still cold.
Arthur Giddleman’s Ankle
He was one of her least disliked clients. Kind. Benevolent. Octogenarian. Most favorably, impotent. They spent hours at a time together,(booked in advance of course) enjoying plush hotel rooms, and delighting in her connective comforts, provided for a nominal donation.
Mr. Arthur Giddleman possessed an exceptionally dry personality. Rather reminiscent of a pretentiously folded, decorative hand towel. A Certified Public Accountant by trade, the unchanging logic of numbers and statistics availed him certainty and comfort. It was the structure upon which he hung his mortality.
Receiving a call affirming his arrival, she made a quick assessment of her product in the mirror. Still top billing. After a quick misting of scented oil, and a dab of carnelian colored lip gloss, atop the high thread count coverlet of an unmussed bed, she waited.
Mr. Giddleman arrived by city cab to their clandestine escapade. He arthritically jerked himself up and out, into the brisk autumn night, brimming with the anticipation of a magical evening. Somehow, that’s not exactly how it played out.
She left the door slightly ajar. A short while later, Arthur entered the room, to be greeted as she deduced he needed to be. A gentle smooch upon his wrinkled cheek, accompanied by a calculated giggle and coy return to the bed. Now the comes the part where poor, dear Arthur unknowingly sets himself up for disaster.
Tan skin makes bodies look better, she thought. More desirable. Most favorably, more expensive. Shining, resplendently bronze skin…that would be best for business. Hitting the tanning bed 3 times weekly, religiously she sprayed and massaged her body with sweetly scented oils. There’d be no dry, peeling skin for this courtesan. That would be patently unacceptable presentation at her price point.
Per usual, Arthur left her a weighty envelope on the bathroom sink. He removed and hung up his favorite Brook Brother’s sweater (that just happened to be a few years older than his companion for the evening), and neatly folded his khaki slacks. Purposely avoiding the sight of his decrepitude, he turned from the marble sink top and entered the luxuriously designed shower. The warm water soothed his cold, aged bones.
The sound of wet skin squeaking against porcelain, unsuccessful at finding the balance being sought on this intricately patterned tile floor.
A loud, solid, thud.
Then nothing except the soft hiss of the still running shower.
Instinctively, she knew this couldn’t be good.
“You alright in there Honey?” She queried with a positive lilt.
It took a minute to catch his breath, but eventually he responded in a gravelly tone, “I’m so sorry dear. I think I’ll have to cancel our date tonight. I’ve slipped on some grease, and I think my ankle is broken.” This he relayed in monotone, with the stoicism once prized by his generation.
She didn’t wish to further emasculate an impotent senior, but she felt it only right to ask…
“Do you need help Hon?”
He’d never been so embarrassed in his 8 decades of living. Nor did he accept her offer of assistance. Somehow, he managed to redress himself nearly as sharply as he’d arrived. Repeating his apologies, Arthur exited the room with one expensive, aged brown loafer in hand, one wool-socked foot questionably angled, and a wonderment how the hell he always ended up on the downside. Limping like a beaten dog, he took home the first cab he could hail down.
Picking the generous donation up off the bathroom counter, she briefly pieced together what had just happened. Studying the angles and curvature of her softly glowing body in the mirror, she figured poor old Arthur had taken a slide through her delectable body oil, which had dripped unnoticed, upon last application. Cash-heavy envelope in hand, she found herself devoid of pity.
Smirking smugly, she shook her head and tucked her compensation safely away. You asked for this, Buddy. In fact, you literally paid for it. Sorry Arthur. Hope that ankle heals up real quick.
This morning, I am hoping I will catch the dawn as it breaks, ushering in hope along with beauty, offering us another chance to engulf this day, erase what should be discarded, start over again with this blank, tired old slate.
I missed the dawn,of course I did, caught up in the brokenness of other things
that mend themselves not with color or benevolent pardons, but tentative leaps into the jaws of yet another day, another new way to struggle, another dream for impossible things...
Lizzy ran. She ran because he told her to. That wonderful, stupid old man, who looked so young. She ran from the machines as they screamed "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"
"Need...to get...the sonic..." she panted as she ran. She ran past gravestones, barely registering the names: River Song, Rory Arthur Williams, Clara Oswald. Pale hands with eyes on their palms reached out to grasp her feet, and Zoe let out a sob. She knew she could never dance through them all.
Suddenly there was a wooshing sound, and she stood next to the TARDIS. Beside her was a young man with silver hair. "You didn't see that coming," he panted heavily.
"Pietro! Help me find the Doctor's sonic!" Lizzy cried. He nodded quickly, and she pushed her key into the door. It opened, and at once Pietro disappeared from her sight, zooming and dashing all over the inside of the TARDIS. In ten seconds he reappeared in front of her, holding out the screwdriver. "Why is it bigger on the inside?" He asked her, but she shook her head. "Get me back to the Doctor, now! He needs this!"
Pietro nodded, and in three seconds Lizzy and he were standing behind the Doctor.
"Hahaah!" The Doctor cried, putting his arms around us. "And this is why you should never let me talk, Davros! Unlike your very old self I have many friends, and they never, EVER, let me down!"
"I have no need of FRIENDS, Doctor," Davros retorted, his aged form slumped in the Dalek chair. "My children do my every bidding without question. And, unlike your human friends, my children do not easily die! Daleks! Exterminate the Doctor!"
The surrounding Daleks repeated Davros's words, and moved their weapons to target the three figures.
"Got a plan?" Lizzy murmured. "Because I am a teeny bit frightened."
"Ah, don't worry Liz. I've always got a plan. Though sometimes they tend to be a bit rubbish!" He yelled the last part as he pointed the screwdriver at the ground; a jagged crack materialized as the Daleks fired; Lizzy screamed as they fell down into a building. There were parts of smashed concrete and roofing scattered everywhere, and Lizzy saw two people looking astonishingly at the three of them.
"Where did you come from?" the Asian woman asked. The massive guy with her yelled a name and brushed past us to dig frantically at the pile of masonry that we had fallen into.
"Is somebody under there?" Pietro asked with his Sakovian accent.
"TURBO!" yelled the big man gleefully.
"Mack," came a weak reply from under the masonry. "I think...I think my legs are broken."
"Oh my God!" Lizzy cried. "It's you! Fitz, Mack, Agent May! Oh my God..." She covered her mouth with her hands. "Doctor...did we just kill Agent Fitz?"
"Like I said, Lizzy," the Doctor said sadly, "some of my plans are rubbish."
Lizzy gasped in dismay, and broke down crying when Mack lifted off a heavy rock to show the piece of roofing nearly cutting Leopold Fitz in half. The Doctor rested a comforting hand on my head. "The night's not over yet, Lizzy," he said, and the TARDIS formed around the two of them. He ran around the controls fiddling with them, but Lizzy slumped down and sobbed wretchedly. Leopold James Fitz...she had seen him from another universe. She had seen them all: Director Coulson, Melinda May, big Mack, Daisy Johnson the Destroyer of Worlds, and...Fitzsimmons. Jemma Simmons, oh how would she feel, how would she bare the news of her husband, dead in a flash...
"We killed him, Doctor." Lizzy said woodenly. "We killed Fitz."
"I'm sorry, Lizzy," he said quietly, coming over to sit next to me. "It was the only way..."
"To break the paradox?"
"Yes, to break the paradox. And Lizzy, I know you've been through so much, but please, hold on tight. You can do this, I know you can!" He kissed her on the head, and held her face in his hands. "My impossible girl," he whispered, and smiled at her.
And then, Lizzy fell.
She didn't just fall through air: she fell through scenes, and fell slower every time someone died. She passed Boromir , riddled with arrows, Aragon kneeling by his side. She passed Chuck pressing the bloodstained carving into Thomas's hand; then Newt, covered in black blood, whispering "Thank you" to Tommy as the knife stole his life away; then Teresa, she too falling into fire after saving Tom. Lizzy's tears fell more frequently each scene she came across. Kanan Jarrus, Fives, 99, Chirrut, Baze, Bhodi, K2-S0, Jyn and Cassian, Amy and Rory, Shrike, Wolverine, Ru and Finnick, Maul and Anakin...
It went on and on. Lizzy was crying so hard she could barely breathe. All of a sudden, she wasn't falling anymore: she was sobbing on the ground, her wet hands already covered with dust and tiny rocks. She raised her head, and her sobbing reached a crescendo.
It was Fitz again. Her saddest moment...of course it would be this.
"I think my legs are broken."
"No, Fitz!" She howled. "You're going to die! And it's all my fault!"
"No, no, it...it isn't your fault," he said, turning his head. "Loo...look at me."
Lizzy heaved in deep breaths as she crawled closer, and took his hand. "You sound...so Scottish," she blurted out, and her tears increased.
"Look, death is like...its like before I was born, I...that's what my mum used to say to, to me..." he trailed off, no more words to say. His hands were trembling badly: Lizzy held them tight. "Jemma should be here, not me. It should be Jemma."
"Shoosh, shh, Jemma would only worry, and Ma...and Mack can tell her once I'm, er...gone..." His eyes were glazing over. Lizzy wiped his dusty face clean. He wasn't even crying: he was peaceful, almost happy. "Liz...Liz. Lizzy, can you do one, one thing for me?"
"Yes, Fitz, of course, of course: anything!"
He paused to look away, then looked back into Lizzy's eyes. "Wake up," he said, and stopped breathing.
"NOOOO!" Lizzy bawled, curling up into a ball and holding Fitz's hand.
"My...my legs are broken..."
"...um, no they're not," Georgia said. "Wake up, sleepyhead! We'll be late for work!"
Lizzy uncurled herself slowly, opening her tear-crusted eyes. It was morning. All the crying had been in the dream...at least, she thought so until she saw her soaked pillow.
"I'm...coming, Georgia," she said quietly.
An Alternate Holiday Story From A Small Snowy Town
"So let me get this straight, you both have magical abilities and were previously shunned because of them, and the poor treatment Slyvan went through caused him to cast a worldwide curse?"
"That's right Ikari." Kalen answered. "Slyvan's curse is causing people who make bad choices to become monsters. However. Slyvan has had a change of heart, and he wants to save those impacted by his curse."
"Yes, this is true." Slyvan said humbly. "I still have much to think about, but Kalen's faith in God moved me, and I want to right my wrongs. I am considering Kalen's beliefs while I seek out those my curse is impacting. And with it even affecting those that are simply being tempted to do something wrong, we have our work cut out for us."
"Right, my king's attempted attack that you both stopped." Ikari reflected. "I'm a believer too Kalen, and I will gladly work with you. And Slyvan, I will gladly help you in your redemptive cause as well."
"Thank you Ikari, I appreciate it." Slyvan said sincerely with a smile. "It would seem that we don't have to look very far for our next victim to assist."
The trio had arrived in the small town Chriscendal, and the town's inhabitants were running and screaming in terror. Christmas candy, cards, and decorations were flying around the town, terrorizing the townsfolk.
"I'll protect the folks here, and you guys find the source!" Ikari yelled, drawing her sword and attacking the holiday traditions that had become weapons.
An attractive couple in the distance laughed gleefully as they held their interlocking hands in the air. Their hands glowed purple as various Christmas items flew past them.
"We may look like we belong in a Hallmark movie, but we hate Christmas!" The couple jeered. "This small town may have snow, but it won't have any holiday cheer in this story! Besides, it's too early anyway, Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet!"
Ikari continued striking down decorations, cards and candy with her blade. A few Hallmark Christmas romance dvds were also felled by her sword.
"I can't believe they're making me destroy some of my favorite films!" Ikari lamented. "Stop those Scrooges guys!"
Slyvan and Kalen ran towards the power couple, dodging candy canes and giant lawn Santas that were being flung at them from the couple's abilities that had been granted to them by Slyvan's curse.
"Cover me Kalen, and I'll stop them." Slyvan said with resolve.
Kalen smiled and nodded. Kalen blasted attacks away with laser blasts from his hands as Sylvan ran beside him. Once they were close enough, Slyvan dove towards the couple and hugged them, touching their backs with his now glowing blue hands.
All of the holiday projectiles fell into the freshly fallen snow, and the couple stared at Slyvan and Kalen, speechless. Ikari approached and stood by her allies.
"I'm not a Christmas fan either, and the whole good will towards others approach is new for me." Slyvan said kindly. "But Christmas brings a lot of joy to many, especially folks from your town here. You don't have to join in, but don't take it away from those that could use the positive energy in their lives."
"And if you like, we can talk about the one whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas." Kalen added, smiling. "He's helped me through a lot, and He can change your lives too."
"If you need some time before talking with us, here's my contact info." Ikari said, offering a smile and a slip of paper. "If nothing else, I will be happy to listen if you ever need to vent."
The couple apologized and promised to repair the damages they caused, as well as replace everything that they had turned into an attack. They treated Slyvan, Kalen and Ikari to a meal at Chriscendal's famous diner, where they all talked for hours.
After parting ways with the couple, the heroic trio set off, and Slyvan hummed Christmas Carols as they traveled on.
"I love those songs too bud, but let's save it for after Thanksgiving." Kalen teased.
"Don't worry Slyvan, I sing them all year. Don't let Scrooge here stop you." Ikari playfully said back.
The team laughed as they pondered who they would minister to next in their adventures.