It was early Friday morning and I was very tired. The second I had yesterday heard that there would be no school today I'd stayed up late playing video games and drinking Monsters. Now I was paying for it as I sat in the back of the bus, bumping along at depressingly slow speed to the highlight of the field trip. This was held at the most exciting place in the world---a museum! Just great.
I wish I hadn't gone over board with all those Monsters last night, at least I'd be able to get some shut eye instead of listening to the dozen or so girly conversation that now filled the bus along with the sound of my neighbors punk rock music turned up way too loud. I could catch almost every angry lyric and the sound of his eardrums fizzing off into oblivion.
I reached into the pocket of my faded leather and pulled out my lighter. It was an old lighter it had probably been around since the dawn of lighters...okay it hadn't really but it did have that classic rustic look. It was pure silver with an ornately detailed dragon that twisted around the lighter. Over the years the lighter had gotten quite scratched and dented.
I flipped the lighter absently in my hand, slipping it around my fingers skillfully.
I must say this was by fair the worst ride I'd been on in years; I was extremely glad when we reached the museum.
Everyone filed out of the bus but before we could go even a step in any direction the director of our field trip stop us to give last minute warnings and reminders. She addressed the entire group but everyone knew where her boring gaze was directed. Yes, she was especially talking to us trouble makers, party starters and jokesters.
And so went her fun sucking speech.
I sure this is not what she said but this is what I heard.
"Remember, it's not necessary to stay with the group, so if things get a little boring feel free to make your own detour. Plant cherry bombs if you must, but I think you could be a lot more creative than that. And the first group of boys to get us kicked out will get a grand reward. Lastly, please mock the history speakers behind their back, we could all use a good laugh."
She turned and fixed me with a pointed stare.
"Got it Hunter?"
"She ma'am I understand." I said accepting her orders with a silent snigger.
She watched me for a moment before turning to lead the group into the museum.
I pulled out my phone and texted one of my friends from the football team.
'Where are you?' I texted. Seconds later as if he'd been waiting for my text, Jake responded.
'Group B, we just took a stairwell 2 ancient artifacts.'
Awesome, I tucked my phone away and at the first opportunity I could get I lingered behind my group and sidled off out of sight before running off in the opposite direction as my group.
It took me about five minutes of rushing around and hiding from security to realize that tour directors were good for one thing, they knew how to get places. I on the other hand had no idea how to get Ancient Artifacts. This was not panning out as well as I'd hoped.
I turned a corner and spotted two girls reading the floor map. They looked just about as lost as I did. I paused and watched them, trying to decide if I should hide or not.
One of the girls was dressed in a ridiculous amount of neon, I mean neon everything! it made my head hurt just looking at her. Not to mention her attire was highly contradictory, as one top of all that crazy color she was wearing a hiking backpack of neutral earth tones. The other girl was a dressed like a normal human and was standing so far off from the first girl I was having trouble telling if they were together. Maybe she was just trying to preserve her sanity. *snigger*
"The map says Ancient Artifacts is that way." The insanely vibrant girl said pointing to her left.
"But we just came from that way." Replied her distant companion.
"We must've missed a staircase then." The first girl insisted.
"Hey!" I said walking towards the two girls. "Are you with Group B?" I asked.
"Yeah, you know where they are?" Asked Miss flamboyant.
"No, I was actually looking for them too." I said.
"Oh great, it's like they don't want to be found." the flaming flamingo complained rolling her eyes. I was beginning to realize her friend didn't talk much.
"You can join us I suppose or follow at stalker-ish distance."
Lord knows that'll be easy, no way I losing sight of them when she was dress like a freakin’ multicolored traffic cone.
"I'm Olivia and this is...I didn't catch your name." she said turning to the quiet girl.
So they weren't friends.
"Jacklyn." She said quietly.
Jacklyn had long mousy brown, a terribly shy stance but she didn't have the personality that would blend into a blah colored wall.
"I'm Hunter." I accompanied this with my signature flash of a smile.
"Oh." Jacklyn said in her quiet tone.
Olivia looked at me blankly.
What? Was she the only one who could be fancy?
We resumed the search for the elusive group B which lead us up many corridors and dim stairwells until finally we walked out into a section of the museum void of human life and electricity. It was a dead end. Directly in front of us was an open window letting in the soft morning sun. Which fell across the wall and glinted off the one and only display case in this corridor.
"Not here." Olivia sighed, turning back.
"No one is here." I said walking towards the display case. "Do you think it's alarmed?" I asked.
"Are you serious?" Jacklyn asked. “You want to steal that?!”
"Just a thought." I added quickly, gazing down at the sea weathered chest that held three crystals different colored crystals.
"Hey," Olivia said softly coming over to stand next to me. "They're kinda pretty."
"Let me see." Jacklyn joined us. "Yeah."
We stood there, I don't know how long, looking at the crystals, not thinking about stealing them! but just admiring the enchanting quality the possessed. Each of us murmured incomplete sentences, trying to express our personal experience of these fine jewels.
The soft breeze easing through the window doubled until it became like a violent fan whipping our hair and clothes around as if we were subject to a mini storm. But we could hardly bothered to look anywhere other than at these captivating crystals.
"We gotta find our group." I reminded breaking the trance.
The girls made a sad little noise at the prospect of leaving this magical display.
"What the Hell?!" I gasped turning on the spot.
I think that was an appropriate response.
We were not longer standing in that vacant wing of the museum but standing in a dust ridden, cobwebbed, boarded up building.
The only thing I could think of was we'd been hypnotized and kidnapped but why weren't we bound?
"What's happened?!" Olivia gasped sharing a bewildered look with Jacklyn.
I rushed to the door which was nailed shut. I kicked it down easily; it banged to the floor in a Flurry of dust and splinters.
I gasped as I looked out onto a world that was decidedly not earth.