This is about a boy just over sixteen who learns about a secret war that's continuously raging around the world, and joins the fight.
Please don't hesitate to post any comments or criticisms below!
For whatever reason you picked up this book, I implore you to let it go lest our view of reality become skewed. Now's your chance. Put the book down and find something a little more pleasant.
Still here? Alright then, you asked for it... My name is Samuel Dannison, and I used to be normal like you. That is, until the day after my 16th birthday.
Although I was always odd in one way or another, I never was really that different until that day. I was an average teenager, hanging out with friends, going to school, and accepting life as it went along.
That morning, I woke up and I could just feel something strange in the air. 'I probably ate too much cake last night,' I thought. That would explain the nightmares I had.
In my dream, I imagined myself standing in a huge room with vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. It was a cathedral, and an old one at that. The pews around me were all smashed, and chunks of wall were missing from the gray pillars that rose from the slate floors.
There was a man standing in front of me, but something was wrong about him. He was wearing a black coat that wrapped around him like a robe, and a wide brimmed hat to match it. That curly red hair that covered his shoulders looked a little too red, like a fire, or maybe it was that smile he gave me that gave me a serious case of the creeps. What really scared me were his eyes. They were like neon blue lights stuck right in the guy's skull.
"Come, friend, why must we fight like this?" he said with a voice like velvet.
I felt words float to the front of my mind, like a reply. "You stopped being my friend the moment you opened the vault," I said in a voice that wasn't mine, "Have you no idea what you've done?"
The man, who must've been just into adulthood laughed coldly, "Of course I do! It's all part of my plan!"
I was burning with anger for him. I wanted nothing more than to kill him, but I knew I couldn't. "I regret that I had to do this, but you give me no choice," I said. There was a bright flash of light, and I woke up in a cold sweat.
That was just he start of the worst day of my life. I forced myself out of bed and into the shower, which never fails in waking me up. I really didn't want to see the end of that dream.
The warm shower didn't disappoint, and I was sure I wasn't going to fall asleep any time soon. I stared at myself in the mirror as if to make sure I was still me. Same shaggy blonde hair, same peach fuzz stubble growing on my chin, and the same striking grey eyes.
When I walked back to my room, I saw that I had a message on my cell phone. I wasn't surprised because my friend Teek always seemed to be calling me early on Saturdays to let me hear about 'the greatest plan ever.'
Only half of Teek's plans actually worked out like he planned, and honestly, were great ways to spend the weekend. I dialed my voicemail, and wasn't surprised.
"Hey man," said Teek, "I got the greatest plan ever for reals this time. You gotta come meet me and Kat down at the mall and I'll fill you in. See ya. And yeah, that means you have to come."
I tossed on an old pair of jeans and put a short sleeved button up on over my black tank top.
I grabbed my wallet and crept out of the apartment as quietly as I could. If I woke my dad up, I could forget about seeing Teek and Kat today.
I remember the heat of that day, even in the morning. It was still summer here in Griffith, and the sun made sure to remind me of that.
I walked briskly down the street, stopping at a fast food burger joint for some breakfast before continuing.
As I sipped my soda and walked towards the Town Centre, I felt like someone was following me. I looked over my shoulder, but saw nobody.
This wasn't weird to me. I mean, I've felt like there was someone watching me before when it turned out to be a cat or something. Like I said, I was always kind of odd.
I shrugged and kept going. After another few minutes of walking, I was in the parking lot of the Town Centre. I pushed open a door and was greeted by a pleasant rush of cool air from the giant air conditioners on the roof of the mall.
Knowing Teek, I'd guess he'd either be in the comic store, Between the Panels, or the food court. Unsurprisingly, I found him and Kat sitting at a white plastic table the large circular atrium that served as a food court.
Teek waved wildly with a french fry hanging out of his mouth when he saw me. Kat grinned, stood up, and gave me a hug.
"Happy belated Birthday, Sam," she said, "Sorry I couldn't make it."
I shrugged, "It wasn't really that great. Nobody showed up."
"Oh, so I'm nobody?" Teek said irritably.
I grinned, "Yeah, that's right Edgar." He hated it when I called him by his first name.
He was about to rant on how Teek sounded cooler than Edgar or Teekman, but Kat cut him off, "Really? Then I feel really bad about not coming." She brushed a strand of her black hair with pink highlights out of her face, "I'll make sure I get the best gift for you today."
"Not another punk rock T-shirt, okay? They don't look good on me."
She grinned and displayed her black shirt proudly, which was emblazoned with her latest favorite band's logo. "Right," she said, "You can't make them work like I can."
I grinned. Katherine Sloan was my second oldest friend, with Teek being the first. She stood up for me one day when we were ten and we've been close ever since.
Teek grumbled and finished off his fries. He wiped his hand on a napkin and stood up. He looked so much different now that he switched from glasses to contacts. He looked mostly the same, though, with his swath of brown hair and hoodies to cover up his chubby belly.
I gave him a pat on the shoulder, "So, what's your grand scheme this time, Teek?"
The boy grinned, "You know that old hotel on the east side of town? The one that's supposed to be haunted? We're going to spend the night there to see if it's true."
Kat gave me a pleading look, as if asking to tell Teek it was a bad idea. I gave her a grin and a shrug meaning, 'What could go wrong?'
She gave me a punch in the shoulder, and you won't catch me admitting this to her, but it stung pretty good.
I winced and rubbed my shoulder, muttering a curse under my breath. I raised a brow at Teek and said, "So, when are we heading there?"
"Tonight before sundown. We'll get there while there's still light and set up base camp inside. And don't worry, I've got the sleeping bags covered. We'll need to pick up supplies before we mobilize. Kat," he said pointing to her, "You make sure our ammunition of manga is well stocked."
She gave him a mock salute, "Yes sir, general sir!"
He pointed to me, "And you make sure we have plenty of snacks to last the night."
"What about you, Eddie?" I asked.
He gritted his teeth at the name, "I'm going to be trying to borrow Kyle's van."
"You mean that old ice cream truck your brother fixed up?" Kat said with a snicker.
"The Chariot, please! Call it by it's proper name," he said and snorted at her, which only got a few giggles from her.
Teek's brother Kyle was actually pretty cool, even of he did drive an old ice cream truck around. He took the freezers out of the back and put in some beanbag chairs and a stereo system. He finished it all off by painting it black and christening it 'The Chariot'.
I shrugged, "Alright, sounds good to me. Should I get some jalapeño chips?"
He gave me a flat stare, "What do you think, Sam? What do you think?"
"I'll get the jalapeño chips."
"You bet you will," he said before turning around, "I'll head home. We meet at Kat's house at 1900 hours." He walked towards the nearest exit.
Kat smirked at me, "So, we gonna hang out 'till then or what?"
I grinned, nodding, "Of course. I mean, if I let you pick out the manga by yourself, you'll pick something that would give Teek a heart attack. Like yaoi." I fixed her with a scrutinizing stare.
She raised her hands lazily above her head, "Sorry. I apologize for Teek not being able to handle his gay." She nudged me in the ribs with an elbow, "Hey, maybe Teek's hiding some skeletons in his closet. A particularly chubby and nerdy skeleton especially."
I rolled my eyes, "Oh come on! Teek? Gay? You're talking about the guy that basically stalked Nancy Brookefield our freshman year."
"Maybe he's bi." She shrugs, "I dunno. Come on, let's hit Between the Panels and get out of here."