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Author's note: This was inspired by my brother who is almost always playing a video game. I think a world of sleek technology would look pretty cool, I don't know how well things would go, though.
The clouds make a roaring river of pinks and oranges against the deep blue sky. It looks almost as beautiful as the real thing. The cold, grey stone brushes against my hands as I take in the view. My eyes suddenly open as a gasp escapes my lips, and a smile spreads across my face. I pull my wet foot out of the water and decide to get up. I walk across hoverstones to a small patch of grass in the middle of the room, with a bridge leading over calm blue water to another patch. I step across like the breeze moving through a calm meadow. My feet know where to go without my eyes looking down.
I reach a door way, leading to my kitchen. I step from a pale stone to a black rock. The smell of fresh wetness and soft water is replaced with the melting heat of my kitchen 'floor'. The liquid rock bubbles beneath my feet. My steps lead toward my greenhouse, where I grow food like fruit and vegetables, baby chicks and other small animals. This time I step from black rocks to soft grass that almost tickles my toes, but I'm used to it. I pluck a ripe strawberry and take a bite while keeping up my pace and not looking at anything but what’s ahead of me. My graceful footing guides me to my clothes room where I dress in a simple black blouse and jeans. Sandals, a long dangly necklace, and a shawl of sorts I put on in the deck on my way down. I don't like to wear shoes when I'm walking one meter above water, or in the case of my kitchen, lava.
When I walk out of the deck, I take a deep breath. I press my shoulders back and down, with my back straight, I stand tall. I look around, deciding where to go from here. I decide to walk to the Grayt. Walking is the fastest way, no matter how fast hover cars may go. There’s just so many of them. I do see few people on the way, which is odd, but they say hello and wave, I politely wave back. When I get to the metallic sliding door of the tallest, biggest building, Joey scans my finger. That is the best way to tell who is who, even though everyone knows who I am. I chuckle at a joke he says about something and move into the deodorizer, the first room ef every building. The deodorizer has little robotic arms that spring out of the walls and puffs gas at you that smells like... the inside pages of a new instruction manual for a video game. I hate that smell but what are you going to do, take on the ENTIRE city. From the deodorizer, the fancy deck takes me to a sensor, it checks you for random things that are "potentially dangerous", but nothing bad has ever happened. No one has time to make other people's lives worse. Only to fill your own with more technology.
I'm clean, as is everyone, so I'm slipped off the moving floor inside the Grayt deck and I find myself a few feet into the front room of the Grayt, where people sit in chairs with wheels, headsets on, and fully focused on their monitors. The perfect example of this society.
Black, metallic, sleek. The feeling you get when you look around and see things like robotic arms, and sensors, and generated voices, holograms, neon lights everywhere, that's what this place is all about. Electronics, technology, doing things better, faster, being better, stronger, faster.
I go up to a desk with a woman sitting in the usual uniform; thick, black, spandex outfits that go from neck to toe. with random lines of deeper black, or white, hers are silver. She holds her glaze at her screen with her index finger up telling me to wait. She slowly turns to look at me, her eyes are on mine. Just staring. Then she shakes her head saying, "What?!"
"I need to talk to Crafter." Her eye brows fall and she sighs, turning back to her computer. Her sigh lingers, trying to make me feel... Guilty? Hello?? It's not going to work, you idiot!, wish I could say, but I don't. Usually these people, secretaries, are supposed to be efficient and emotionless. Efficient..
I look around and start tapping my fingers on the edge of her desk. She slowly turns to me.
"Do you, MIND ?! I'm trying to work!" My finger stop moving. But they don't move away from the desk. This girl is about to get fired. This building is for in and out business only. No time for people like this. "Thank you." She says but doesn't immediately look away. So I fling my hand up, obviously annoyed. She turns her head to her computer screen, then her eyes follow. She could just be having a bad day, but you’re not supposed to let it show.
She finally tells me to hold for confirmation. Meaning she has to make sure Crafter can come out or I can go see him right now. Then she rudely says that the approximate wait time is for-ty five min-utes. Right. Then I hear my good friend Crafter.
“Ahh.. Verza! It's you!” He said chuckling, coming out of an automatic door. He has guards behind him, as usual. He walks around a big semicircle desk that takes up most of this circular room. He walks from behind the idiot secretary purposely bumping into her. My good friend. I smile. He pulls me into a half unexpected, kingly bear hug. I laugh, may as well enjoy it. When he lets go, he leads me into his office of sorts and he lets me sit in his fancy kingly 'throne' of a chair. Like most places in this community, everything is either glass or metal.
It's an honor really, being friends with the biggest icon in this part of the world. Getting all the previews, and testing things, stuff like that.
He sits on his oddly shaped, dark silver glass table and starts to describe to me this new guff fad.
“What they want is faster, more compact, efficient, sleek. So what do we give them? This.” He pulls out a picture of a male head model, wearing this ear piece. Well, not wearing. According to Crafter, it's this new technology, you get this ear piece wired into your brain. So you think instead of pressing buttons or talking. It looks cool. People will spend all their money on this. No doubt.
“Looks totally guffy! People will fall all over it!”
“Yes. I know. And it comes in Sleek Black, Hypnotic White, and Techno Grey.” He explains.
“What’s a hypnotic?” I've honestly nerved heard the word before.
“I have no clue, but its guff enough!” We both crack up. I say I'll test it for him. We both get up and I say I have to go.
“Come back soon. I'm sure I'll have something new for you!”
“Of course you will, Boss.” I reply. I'm heading out when I see a guy walking through the deodorizer. He's coughing. I've never heard of that either. The little robotic arms keep puffing at him even though he seems to be holding his knees for dear life. I stop and watch him go through the sensor, he has something for the first time in the history of ever, as far as I know. He looks so confused and out of place. He is wearing jeans, like me, but his are loose, and his shirt, is separate from his pants. He is.. like me. Not like the others. I wonder why he looks like he doesn't know where he is. I should ask, but I said I needed to go, so I go. The last thing I see as I walk out the door, is he is holding up his arms, as the guards hop him, looking for what the sensor said he had. He is yelling, at the guards. Who is he? I walk out of the Grayt wondering. Somehow, I feel worried for him.
I go to Mathew's Tower, body of top gamers in the world. They are the best. Better than the best, good enough to be named the Graytest players. The Graytest players know everything. About games and technology, of course. The head is Mathew, shoulders are John and Theresa, place of torso belongs to Marci, and everyone beyond that isn't worth being named. Theresa and John are something going on. Mathew, is wanted by all girls. He lives, breathes, even eats, games. He has the latest head set, cushiony chair, powerful computer, and the guffiest hair, by far.
When I go up, I'm deodorized, and censored, and I talk to the legs for a bit, not knowing a single name. Then I move on to the torso.
“Hey Marci! How are things?” I say politely.
“Good. Waiting for my new computer. Torso is always last for things like that. But otherwise things are pretty guff.” I have the feeling she has a thing for Mathew, but I'm not sure.
“That’s good, but a bummer about the new computer. What about higher up? What's new with John and Theresa? And Mathew? Anything? Fill me in.” I smile politely, not wanting to sound pushy.
“Well, John and Theresa are keeping quiet like usual. But Mathew is like, not acting guff anymore. Just, dull. Something’s up, but I'm scared to ask. You know?” Of course. Something is always up.
“Yeah, yeah. I'll go check it out and message you about it, 'kay?” I need yo make my way up, nothing downing Marci, but I like the rooms upstairs better. They are darker, more tech-y, more, interesting. Plus, I want to talk to Mathew.
I see Theresa sitting on John's lap while they dual box some game I've never seen. From a small deck, to this huge, dark, still, moving, sleek, lit, dark room, it's almost overwhelming. Especially with the love-techs here. I see him whisper something, she giggles and starts kissing him. When her hands come off her mouse and keyboard, her avatar keeps moving, next to his. I notice her keyboard has a wave of colors. It is clear glass, then the left side turns a foggy blue, and as the blue moves towards the right, the left becomes purple, red, orange, yellow, green, blue. When the blue reaches the right side, it falls on to John's keyboard, hitting her mouse on the way. While she kisses him and he keeps playing, she sees me, looking happy at first, then glances back over at me and screams at me with her eyes to go away. So I silently back into the deck.
When I reach the head, I see Mathew. He doesn't seem not okay. He seems fine. Until he talks to me.
“Hey Verza.” He sounds disappointed.
“Hey. Are you okay? You sound.. sad, or disappointed? Something happpen?”
“Come on, Verza. You, of all people, should know that the top gamers don't have bad days. Or felings, for that matter.”
“Yes they do.” I nudge his sholder smiling, trying to get him to open up. “They just don't express them.”
“Yeah, well, no one does. It's not normal. Like you.” He teases, smiling. I laugh. Improvement. Just a little more.
“Hmm... If you tell me what happened... I'll... Get you a sneak peek on some of the latest Guff Stuff.” Guff Stuff is one of Crafter's lines of computer accecesorys. Mathew loves Guff Stuff, everyone does. And I'm one of the only ones that tests Guff Stuff. I'm the only one Mathew knows, far what it matters.
“Oohh...” He skoots closer to the chair I'm sitting in, and he stares at me like a little kid being promised candy. This is good. This might get him to tell me. “Well.. Then I guess I'll have to tell you.” He smiles at me lovingly. No one ever looks at someone else like this, except for love-techs like John and Theresa.
“Tell me then.” I say and our hands meet. I feel feathers in my stomach, but I block it out. Force of habbit.
“Everyone knows that all the girls have fallen for me. But one.” This makes me laugh.
“Who?” I say, still laughing.
“Well, I don't know how she feels about me. I.. kind of want to know.” We are sitting in chairs facing eachother, knees touching. Our hands make a messy sandwich on our knees. We are leaning into each other, faces only six inches apart. He was looking down, until his last statement.
“Then ask her. Why did that get you so unguffed?”
“Because. It's you.” I don't know what to think of this. And I don't have anytime to consider anything before he kisses me.
My mind is so blank as I sit here. He is enjoying this, savoring every moment. I almost don't even notice it's happening, just trying to process the fact that he kissed me. Mathew. The guy who could have anyone he wanted. Kissing me. I think this is either a joke, or I'm dreaming. But why would I dream of this. I feel my face move from a look of confusion to a look of satisfaction. He moves his hand from our knees to my shoulder.
Finally I come to my scenes and pulls away gently. I keep my eyes lightly closed, and I feel him brush my hair. I carefully open my eyes. He is looking at me like that again. Like he, likes me.
“Huh? What?” I stutter a bit, confused. I imagine my eyes flared open, and I leaned back a little, because he is smiling, almost laughing at me.
“What do you think? About me?”
“What about you?” I sound like I'm accusing him, but I'm not meaning to.
“All the girls like me. Everyone knows that. No one knows about you. Your the only variable in the whole community!”
“Well, not exactly. There was this male walking into the Grayt...”
“And he was just like the rest of us.” he interrupted. “I promise.” He smiles, trying to convince me that he is right. It is almost working...
“Is not what you thought. You are the only one like you. Trust me.” I lean back trying to separate us a little, let me think.
As I remember the male, I think of myself. How alike we dressed, how different we dress from everyone else, from Mathew. I suddenly get the feeling I'm being watched, and I turn around both ways to check. I obviously look odd, because Mathew put his hand back on my shoulder. This look, when he looks at me, it makes me sick now. I have to get out of here.
Then I realize his arm, tightly consumed by a thick spandex body suit. It also has stripes on it, like the idiot at the Grayt. Normal stripes, one every here and there. His are... colored. They change with mood, I guess.
I may as well give in before I get mad. Besides, it wasn't that bad...
“Alright... Your right.” I say very innocently to him, half looking down, trying to look cute. He just smiles at me. Next thing I know, we're kissing again.
* * *
After the last kiss, I get up and head home without a word. I'm walking away from him and I can tell that he's watching me leave. So I walk slow. I realize how much grey, black, and grid lines, there are here. Random lights from computers being on, and the buzz, it seems so loud all of a sudden. It's so intense in here now.
I want to look back, I have to look back. But I won't, can't. He is probably back on his whatever game, that means more to him that me. But if it means more than me, what was he doing kissing me? When he could have rolled a mage in the same time, easily? Maybe I reached an equal level in his mind with the little goblins. But I don't hear the keys being pressed, or the mouse in use, so what's he doing?
I confuse myself so much I accidentally look back. He isn't there at all. I look around and see him on the edge of his bed. He has his elbows on his knees, and his face in his hands. He heard me stop walking, so he peered out and I see his watery eyes staring at me in question. Then his eyes darted out the huge, half-tinted window. (He controls the tinted-ness.) I immediately dart my eyes in the same direction. I don't see anything. But I'm 100% confused now. So I hide it and head out the door.
* * *
When I stepped from their deck and onto a deserted street. I notice everything is quiet. The tall building's panels are all off. No hover cars, or people roaming about the streets. I'm pretty sure I know whats going on, but I look around anyway. Somehow, I still feel like I'm on camera somewhere.
I take one careful step, and it hits me like a cold hard slap. The music, the crowds, the spotlights, on random people, all the party food. It's the yearly party. No one knows why anymore. The computers didn't care, so no one did. For that reason. The panels, are blasting now. Live bands, streaming, pumping, swelling, from so much energy is being used for this... guff mess. That's what I call it.
I head to my building, ducking into the crowd, trying not to get noticed. I leap into my deck trying not to drag someone else in with me. On my way up, I strip my sandals, shawl, and necklace. I clutch my accessories in my arms trying not to drop them as I skip across stones above the calm blue water. I feel my necklace slipping in between my shirt and the shawl, messily draped on my arm. I look down to see it fall into the water. I makes no sound as it slips into the water. I don't have time to get it, so I keep going. I'm headed to the rock where I keep my body suit that I only wear on occasions like this. I strip down and slide it on. In just seconds I'm already headed back to my clothes room, where I set down all my clothes, except for my necklace. ( I wonder what's going to happen to it in the water.) I turn to the wall blocking off the kitchen from here, and it turns into a mirror.
It zooms in on my head, like usual, and I start to think about how I should have my hair. Females and their hair, it's the only thing that we take recklessly, but seriously, too. It’s very important to us, but we do whatever we feel like with it. I look at the mess of black curls tumbling off my shoulders. I run my fingers messily through my hair starting from my temples, one hand goes up the middle and holds what's there, my other hand gets behind one ear and holds, other side, held, left back hold, right back hold, middle back hold. Now I use my fingers to move the bunch to the tip-top of my head. With my hair like this, I see that it's tinted dark brown. I tie it up tight, even though it looks loose. I shake my head, and decide that this is okay, and move on. I grab a techno looking bracelet that doesn't fit, and wrap it around my hair, it's a nice touch.
I look at the built in watch on my shoulder and have a mini panic attack. I quickly grab up my belt and mini pack as I run into my deck.
When I get down, music floods my brain. I have a little relief party with myself that I got dressed in time.
People everywhere I look are enjoying themselves. I guess I'm looking around for Mathew, or the Male from the Grayt. The music was apparently quiet, because it just got a lot louder. My feet feel the pulse, my body becomes
in sync with the beat, and I feel my throat start to yell along with the rest of the people. I move away from my building, still yelling. I feel a dance off coming on.
I clap on the beat, and another other half the crowd claps off the beat. We are all in the spirit now. This party is going to be the best ever!
The music starts slowing down, which is normal for music to randomly have some weird thing happen, like slow down, or have weird vocal slurs. It's just normal. So no one suspects anything when everything turns totally black and quiet. We all just stood here waiting for it to blast back on. Some people lift one person up, and throw them high in the air, right when the music starts. But it never does.
“HEY!!” People start to voice their opinions about the lack of starting the music.
“Yeah! Where's The Music!?!?!?!”
The shouts are coming from everywhere now, and it's not quiet between them either. The whole crowd is making some noise. I find myself yelling too, so I don't look out of place at all.
Next thing I know, everyone becomes dead silent.
I feel the rumble about the same time as everyone else, but I don't know where it's coming form. I feel the ground moving like syrup, like it's trying to boil over, but it's to thick, or there are billions of little animals under a thick rug, moving around. I panic once I realize the screams coming from ahead. My feet won't move, no where to go. I feel my face getting hot and my breathing get faster, and louder, as the panic in me rises.
Now, with the party going crazy, I don't know what to do. I look into the sky, as if it has something to tell me. But it is silent. Then, I see out of the corner of my eye, the male from the Grayt. He looks almost as confused as me, as before. I run to him. Whatever is happening, I feel like he may be a good person to be with when it happens.
Right when he sees me, the very instant he knows I'm coming for him, he falls. With the ground. Down they go, into nowhere. I stop my self in my tracks, confused. I look at where his feet were. Where the ground was. I see a deep, black hole. It's cutting through the streets like scissors through paper. The street was falling into the earth as if there was nothing below us. I'm already in shock when I see this much, then i see the gaping hole grow. I force my feet to move me away from it. Hoping to not get sucked into who knows what.
I notice no other parts of the ground are moving except this street. Not other streets, not the buildings, nothing, but this street, which is odd. Now I'm running for my life, my precious life. I either slowed down, or the hole sped up, because it's biting at my heels now. I gasp from shock and now I'm coughing or something. I would look stupid, if I wasn't about to lose my life. Something hits my head, and I look up to see what it was. Crafter! He let down a rope ladder so I might escape this people eating hole. I see him up in a craft he probably designed, by its sleek design and stylish markings, waving at me to hurry up and get in. I look forward, back, and then up at Crafter again. The rope ladder hits me again and by force of habit, I lift my hand up to my head and slow down drastically. I throw my hand up to the ladder, hoping the worst doesn't happen. I'm out of luck. There is no ground beneath my feet, but just as I lose hope, my hand catches the edge of the growing hole. I'm trying to get my grip, but the edge of broken road is slipping out from under my fingers, falling into the gaping hole. So my hands are flailing upwards, acting like they can't find anything to hold onto, even though they catch something every time. I know for a fact that I'm going to die. So I stop trying to grab something. I let myself fall.
For a moment, I think of Mathew, and our kiss. Next I think about the male from the Grayt. And Crafter, trying to help me, no one else, but me.
Wheres the ground? I'm just sitting here, falling? The last hour has got me so overwhelmed and confused, I just let myself fall out of consciousness and I don't care where I end up.
I wake up, but don't open my eyes. I think about my dream, which is just a memory I rembered while sleeping...
I sit in class, bored out of my mind, waiting for something to happen. The males that always want attention are at it again. Making jokes, for the whole class to hear. I roll my eyes and look out the window, which is right next to me. One of the pack comes over to me and the female in front of me. He says that they are going to pull a trick on the teacher. I honestly don't care because it doesn't concern me whatsoever. I nod my head, hoping he'll just walk away, but he just stares at me. I turn back to him, lift my eye brows, and look away. He makes a noise that means he is like upset or mad at me or something but I don't care.
When they start the trick, I feel something comeover me. Like a wave of energy seeping into my brain, causing me to do things...
I stand up, and because I usually don't sdo anything in school this gets everyones attention at once, and my face is blank. I stand there, motionless, emotionless. Everyone is staring at me, but i can't feel embarrased or anything. I say something I don't even understand.
“Rooooooowwwww” They all stare at me. Their faces slowly, one by one, drain of emotions. I continue.
“Boooottttttt. Ssssssss.” the “S” gets quieter and quieter, and I stop. Then one of the females from the pack, stands slowly.
“Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu” She continues.
“Lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeee.” comes from my mouth.
“Llllllllllllliiiiiiiiiifffffffffffeeeeeeeee”We let out in usison, and a few others join us by adding,
“Ffffffffffooooooooooooorrrrrrrrr”And a few more.
“Eeeeeevvvveeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” The whole class is reciting random, miss matched sylables now. I hear a scream that sounds like:
“Guuuffffff!!!!” So people started stuttering this word as well. People's clothes disintegrated into mist as a body suit appears on their skin. They don't notice, much less mind. They go on chanting, while I come back into self-conciousness. I look around, and start moving my lips, so I don't look different. The floor melted while a new one was apearing, along with the walls. They turn black and grey. With grid lines and random lights that are small. Like on the front of a computer. All this seemed so normal to everyone. Except for me.
I open my eyes, the first thing I see is rocks. They go up in every direction. I sit up, seeing people in simular situations to mine, but some decided that this new “civilization” needs rules just like everwhere else has, and something about an anarc? I look around again, trying to find a familiar face. I see one, the male from the Grayt. He is talking to an old woman. She nods her head no, and he walks up to the next person. Same thing happens. He turns, and sees me. His eyes get wide and he sprints in my direction.
“Are you okay?”He asks. I feel dizzy.
“Who?” I manage. I was trying to say 'Who are you?' I think, but it didn't come out right. I feel my forehead, and he gets this worried look.
“You. Are you okay?”
“What? I'm Verza..?” He laughs at my confusion.
“Okay, and I'm Razz”He says, smiling at me, like Mathew did. I think I want to sleep again, my head hurts.
I wake up sometime later feeling a bit better, and very hungry.
“Razz?” I call out. Hoping to have a tour of this abyss. How did i get to the bottom without feeling the impact? It doesn't matter right now, I need food, it's been so long since I've eaten.
“Coming!” It's Razz. He sprints up behind me to my right.
“What.. Uhmm..” I reach out to his shoulder. He looks at where my hand goes before he answers me.
“What? Where are we? That's a long story, but I know one thing. You saw it coming.”
“I...” I did. I know i did. “I'm hungry.” He laughs, and I lay back down and close my eyes. This is still so much to take in.
He touches my shoulder to wake me up and he has food, fresh baked bread. He hands me a chunck and I hold it. Then I take a bite carefully to not drop crumbs. After a minute of endulging myself into the hot bread, I ask, “So where are we?” He is suprised by how strong I sound compaired to when I was half asleep.
He looks into my eyes and smiles. I raise an eyebrow, just in case he thought I was kidding.
“Where do I start?” He asks looking into the sliver of sky above us. I'm expecting an answer, or to have to ask again, but he just stands up and takes my hand. We walk hand in hand away from what I thought was my crash cite and go to a crowd of people.
I'm only excepting us holding hands because I don't know where I am, or who anyone is. I look around, for a hut, or a fire, or anything. But I don't find anything. Razz wispers look to me and points in a general direction. I don't get it, so I look up to him. He has a very eager face. He starts sptinting over to someone. I follow. As I'm running, everything around me goes slowly out of focus, and I stop running. I look around, at the fuzzy people, the fuzzy ground and the fuzzy brown, rock walls. I can't see Razz anymore, or the people, just colors. Bown and black. I look at myself, I'm perfectly in focus, all the way down to my feet. But the ground next to my feet is a blurr. I see on the leg of my suit, there is a gash. I don't know where it came from, and I don't remember the pain of getting cut this deep.
Seeing everything so out of focus next to my body, which I can see just fine, is very hard to understand. I get down on my knees and feel the ground. It feels like it looks. While I'm bent over like this, I remember the belt I'm wearing, and the attached mini pack. I remember what a mini pack has in it. I quickly stand up and pull it off my belt. I reattach my belt and fix my outfit. When I open my mini pack, I fing the ear peice Crafter gave me, with a note that I don't remember:
No matter what I.Q.
Everyone must follow the rules,
Running will get you nowhere.
Going faster won't work either.
If you try,
Even you will fail.
People make sense again.
I don't quite know what to get from this, but i know there is some sort of code. Because Crafter isn't this random. I try every possibility I can think of.
Backwards: 'Niaga esnes ekam elpoep.
Switched lines: 'Running will get you nowhere. Even you, Verza. Everyone must follow the rules, No matter what I.Q.' That could be it.
Begining letters: 'N.E.V.E.R. G.I.V.E. U.P.' By its self, it doesn't quite make sense. So maybe some of the lines mean something.
No matter what I.Q., meaning, you could be really smart or really stupid.
Going faster won't work either., meaning, you can't out run someone, or something...
Upside down, people make sense again., meaning, I have to find the right vantage piont for things to make sense.
I think I know what this means now. Razz and I were wakling on the bottom of the hole going with it, like walking down a halway instead of across it. So I turn ninty degrees so I can get to a wall as fast as possible. I walk slowly with my hands out so I know it when I get there.
Really smart, or really dumb. My hand feels cold rocks. I put my face really close to the rock to see if I could see it better. But I can't, so I think back to the letter Boss wrote me. 'Running will get you no where .' Meaning there is no way out on foot. So I made my way to the edge of the hole. I can only climb from here.
I feel around with my hands to see if I can get a hold. I find a place for my hand, but my feet have trouble, because the wall goes up at a strange angle, towards me, instead of away, like you would expect. So I take a careful step back and jump at the wall, probably looking pretty stupid, but I don't see anyone watching. I get a bad grip, almost haning upside down. Maybe that's the point.. But I can't ever get a grip, so it won't work. I move over to my right some to see if it's better there. It is. So I get a grip and start climbing. Soon after, I can't get another grip, so I try to move over and have trouble, but I manage.
I reach over to grab a rock that looks like it would have a good grip on it and right when i put my weight on it so I can find a close foot spot, the rock comes loose and I fall. 15 feet. For about ten miutes, I just lay here. If I'm going to try again, I need to be rested if I'm going to get to the top. Which I need to. Or at least to that vantage point that I got from Crafters letter. The letter that was with the ear/brain thing. The ear/brain thing I got before the party, before the street colapsed. He... knew. He knew, he knew. He knew. Who else knew? Did Mathew? Is that why he was crying?
Crafter knew I would be in this position. Because of that letter. How did he know? Why did he let it happen? He let it happen because he needs me to be down here in this hole. To.. give him time. Them, to get them time. Who is them? Why do they need time. 'Running will get you nowhere.' Because everyone can run, everyone can see you when you run.
I lay here thinking about all this and the posibilities.I decide to try again, and with one faulty roc out of the way, how many more can there be? Not enough to stop me. I start back up and make it twice as far as I did before which gets me really nervous because if I fall from here, I won't die, but I'll break my legs and not be able to move to get food, then I'll die.
About five minutes of climbing, the rock starts coimng toward me, so I make my way over to the right of the odd spot in the rock, so it's easier to climb. But I stay close, just in case it means something.A little while later, I look to my left, to see what has become of the weird rock.To my left is the same as to my right, and above me, and the same as below me. I lok down to my left and see a platform. Where the rock had been coming toward me, before I moved over,had stopped coming out. The platform looks big enough for a few people to sleep on. I think for a second and decide to see if it can hold my weight.
When I set my foot gently onto the edge, it feels pretty sturdy, So I slowly put more weight onto it. When my left foot gets about to the middle, I think its probably safe, so I slowly allow myselfto stand completely on the platform and I take my hands from the rocks in front of me.
I turn around and put my hands on the rock behind me.I look at the fuzzieness forty feet below me, and the fuzzieness by my feet. Each fuzzieness is different from eachother. It's clearer the further away it is, but still ery out of focus. Ilook up and see a streak of blue above me. That's the sky. What else could it be. I lie down on the rock platform and remember how hungry I am. I have no food. Just rocks. Thats all that's in this stupid hole. Except for what fell in.I remember what i had when I fell in.The small bracelet in my hair, my mini pouch, and my belt. I reach up to feel my hair, it's not how I had it at the party. Its down, flowing all over the dusty rock.
After I wake up from a short nap I remember part of the note, 'Upside down, people make sense again.' I put my feet flat against the rock wall and let my head carefully slide to the edge of the platform. When my neck reaches the edge, I let my head slowly swing down. When I see the ground, and the tiny people, it's clear. I can actually see them. I sit up quickly and stare at all the fuzz on the wall. I look down at the rock between my fingers. Then I fling my head back down to the ground far below me, crystal clear. I stand up and twist upside down so i see the wall as clear as the ground was. I wonder why this works like this.
I pull out the ear peice/brain surgery thing and remember another line, 'No matter what I.Q.,'. And it hits me. You don't need surgery, this is just an ear peice! He gave this to me, and only me, so that we can talk, only us, or him and others talking to just me.
I quickly get my hair out of the way and put in the ear peice. I think Hello. Hello? Hello-o!?
“Hello?” It probably can only hear me, because it doesn't require brain surgery.
“Who is this?!” I was expecting Crafter. It's obviously not him.
“Where are you? Did you fall in? Did you get my note?”
“Your note?! Who are you?!!” I'm almost yelling because it was Crafter's note. Wasn't it?
“Yes, my note. It's Mathew! Hello? Verza? Are you there?”
Mathew's note? How did he know about all this when Crafter gave me the ear piece? How would Crafter have known? Was this whole thing on purpose? Was I meant to fall in? Why?
“Verza? Did you die or go def?” This would make me laugh, but I'm actually very confused and almost mad. I decide to see what he says next before I talk again. But he doesn't say anything for a bit.
“So, since you're probably not listening, I was wondering if you wanted to
like, go get something to eat sometime? Don't answer.” He laughs. “Your not even listening! Verza!!”
“What?” Not like 'What do you want', but like, 'What do you mean'. He knows I mean this.
“Uh... Good, your there.” He chokes a little, like he is, embarrassed? And I thought I was weird.
“Go out to eat sometime? What happened to you!?!?!” I laugh. “Of course I'm here, now what's going on? How did the street cave in?”
“I'm sure, you uh, don't want to know..” He mumbles, making it hard to hear, as well as my impaired vision.
“Say Mathew,” I lay back down and bend my knees so they make a square hole with the rock, and put my right ankle on top of my left ankle, I cross my arms behind my head and put a smile on my face. This is going to be fun. “what would you say if, if I said I would love to go out with you sometime?”
“W-what? But, you..” This is a pleasant surprise to him. The smile on my face grows.
“B-b-but, I think it would be fun. But I just can't.” I say.
“Oh, that's uhm..” he continues but I can't hear him. Why is he being so pathetic?!
“Oh..” What am I supposed to say to the manliest, toughest, doesn't-take-no-for-an-answer, guy I know being a totally baby? Ugh.
“What?” Oh my god!
“I just, have never heard of you giving up so easily. That's all.” Oh, my. This boy, and me.. What's his problem anyway?
“Well, you said you were busy!” Oh wow, now he's like wining at me! I almost laugh. What happened to him?
“No, I said I couldn't. There's a difference.” Obviously, I'm stuck in a stupid hole! “You can help me if you wan--” I hear a grumble before I finish, then, as I listen, I hear someone else say,
“Don't do it..” Then a cold hard slap, to the face, a scream, from a male, a middle age male, and Mathew get's a hushed, sexy tone.
“I'm on my way.” I'm so confused. What just happened..
* * *
I hear my name. Again. Over and over. It it takes me about half an instant to get out of my train of confusion, and I shake my head to clear it and I turn around and look over the edge. The moment my hair tumbles over and frames my vision, I roll over so my vision is clear. When I gt steady, I notice Razz walking around looking for me, walking the length of the cut in the street, looking for me. My head begins to hurt, Razz, Mathew, Razz, Mathew. Their both looking for me. Flashbacks of Mathew kissing me and Razz saving me when I fell get me all confused. I shake my head and yell.
“Razz!! I'm up here!!” I hope he can hear me. “Razz!!!”
“Verza?!” He either can't hear me or can't tell where my voice is coming from, but he sopped walking.
“RAZZ!” I scream as hard as I can considering I'm upside down and the blood is already rushing to my head.
“Verza?” I can't hear him, but I know he said, because he is looking around in my general direction, if I was on the ground.
“Up here!!” Maybe if I show him I'm up here..
“Where are you, Verza?!” This endless game of Marco-Polo is pointless. I sit up and lean over the edge, make a fist and slam it on the edge of the platform. Small chunk of rock fall off and hurtle to the ground. He notices the sound but turns and sees nothing. I hit harder and grunt, forcing more, bigger chunks, to fall. Because he is already looking, he sees them hit the ground. “Verza?” He says quietly.
I slam my sore fist once more against the ground and a huge rock chips off and fly’s down.
Razz is under me, directly under me. Where a huge rock is headed, to Razz. I scream at him at the top of my lungs, but it's too late. The rock hits him and he falls into a pool of his own blood. My mouth falls open, and I sit here and think for about five minutes straight.
It's my fault. All my fault. Is he dead? Should I risk falling to see if he is dead? And if he is, I'll have to just climb up again. Right? What else would I d?Can I climb up to the top before he dies if he isn't? I don't think I could make it to the top without another ledge! Do I get him, or keep going up?!
My breathing gets faster, louder, noticeable. I get hot and nervous. I stand up and pace my little platform until I'm sure I've worn it away. I face the wall of rock behind me and place my hands shakily onto it, as if its comforting me. I'm crying. At the party I didn't even know him, and now I may have killed him!I throw myself down to the edge of the platform and look down. My hair surrounds my vision, my blurry vision, and I start to make sobbing sounds when I see a smudge in my vision. A red and black, a sad looking smudge; Razz. I let my tears drip down my red, hot face and fall silently to the crumpled body below.
I feel my eye lids press lightly against my stinging eyes. Each have the impression of a thousand pounds, but I ignore the pain and drift away.
I lean over the edge to watch my glistening tear fall so gracefully to the ground. I am as happy as I could be. I smile, allowing the flood water to pour into my soul. The feeling makes me smile brighter.
My teardrop looks as if its reached Razz's bent, broken body. Golden light shoots up in every direction. The golden happiness filling every crack and crevice with life, light and hope. The light is warm and fuzzy, filling me with overwhelming joy. As the golden light rises up to me, I lean forward fighting the urge to jump into the golden bits of fuzz lost in the mess of love and blessed air. I see a handsome figure rising up towards me from where the sweet light started spewing. The hair is thick and full of light, little soft spots of warm, golden love sprinkled throughout the perfectly laid, soft-looking head of hair. Laying lightly, airy, beautiful. The body rises up getting higher and higher, closer and closer to me. He is an angel sent from heaven below. He gets to my height and I reach out to him and he takes my hands.
His face is clear and warm-looking. So pure, golden, delightful. He leans in to me. I gently close my eyes, waiting for the magical moment when our lips meet.
Hard rock scrapes my face as I crumble to the ground of the platform. I roll over and feel a wet spot on the ground. I sit up slowly and notice the red liquid, blood, is in my hair and all over my shirt too. I raise a shaky hand to my bleeding face and my mouth hangs open so long that I snap it shut in fear of catching a fly. I'm bleeding, bad. Good, I hurt Razz, and now I'm hurt. Karma at work.
I wonder where Mathew is at now. . . Is he wondering about me? What about the rest of the body? Are Theresa and John okay? Why wouldn't they? If they were in the untouched buildings, they couldn't have been hurt, but what if they were at the party?
I lay here until I'm sure I've thought of every possibility of what happened. I look around at the fuzzy-looking, bloody rock and try to find where my earpiece went. I pick it up and smile; its dry. I shove it into my head and tap it as if I'm testing a microphone.
“Mathew?” I say in a ninja voice, hushed and secretive. I feel so sly.
“Yeah?” He says in the same sexy tone he left me with, who knows how long ago. Why is he talking like that anyway?
“Where are you?” I do my best to match his tone, but the pain hits and I sound more awkward than anything else.
“On my way,” I can tell he's smiling.”Like I told you before.” He continues, almost laughing.
“And where would that be?” I try to sound as zealous as he does, but my effort is wasted.
“We'll find out soon, won't we?” He says. “Look down.”
“What?” I don't want to look at Razz's body.
“Look. Down. You know, like at your feet, but further.” He laughs.
“I know where down is.” I lay down and let my head hang down and I look at Razz's body. “What?”
“You don't see me? Where are you?”
“Where are you?!” I yell.
“You don't need to yell. I promise, its not helping anyone.” He says quietly.
I grunt quietly and sit up. Where does he think I am? And why?
“So are you going to be a good little knight-in-shining-armor, and come save me? Or are you going to be a bum and just, not.” I say.
“Well, I don't exactly know where you are. So how could I come--”
“Where do you think I am?!” I burst out. I stand up and cross my arm angrily. “Just,” I grunt, he should be figuring this out. “Find me.” I pull out my earpiece and throw it down. It hits the ground next to my feet. I turn my back to the wall and slump down, frustrated and confused. I think I'll go get Razz now.