I entered my email address and password on the log-in screen of Protagonize.com. I had just finished my schoolwork and was ready to do some writing. No new notifications. Darn. I was ready and pumped about writing as I always am.
Writing is my thing. I can't explain how it makes me feel... but it just is. I've had this writer's mind since a child, and anything and everything I see or feel or think of is turned into an idea for a story. It is phrased into sentences that sound cool. My mind runs constantly. This racing, so ever-present as it is, has been, well, zoned out; I don't notice it anymore. I've learned to shift my focus enough that it doesn't impede my concentration, or change my reality. I think my "processing" is strange, but I don't know if it is just normal. It's how my mind works, I can't explain it but like I said, it just is.
So, as I do nearly every day around this time (if I have the time) I write. A half-hour passes... an hour... I look at the clock, defeated. Ah, time to go shower for work. I hate this time of day. When I must stop. Perhaps I can get online later tonight and finish this work.
On this fateful day, I get everything ready and step into the shower. Even here, my mind is running rampant with ideas. A new story is forming as I turn the water on. There is always that hesitant moment before the water comes bursting out of the head, and it's icy cold for a second before the warm water emerges. I always am shocked by this, and normally I lean up against the wall to avoid it. Today, I am too busy to step aside and the freezing water smashes up against me like a brick wall. If I was not awake before, I sure as anything am now.
"Ahhh! Cold, cold, cold!" I exclaim. And then the water gets warm. I test it with my hand. It feels so good. But just as I enjoy the warmth, my hand starts to tingle. That's strange. I look at it. There is steam coming from my hand, but the water isn't that hot yet. Strange. I step under the water and the rest of my body feels tingly. I see the steam rise from the rest of my body. It shouldn't be doing that, but I pay it no attention. I'm too busy trying to figure out where that sound is coming from. I look down at the drain. A glowing blue emanates from it. But as I try to lean down to look at it, I suddenly melt and slip into that tube.
Everything goes black. I don't know for how long, but when I wake up, something is different. Many things are different, actually.
First of all, I'm not in the shower anymore, and secondly, my mind isn't racing anymore. It is quite silent, but yet somehow, I do and do not realize that if it is possible.
Thirdly, I'm laying in the dirt under a tree and I have no idea where I am. My head feels like it's been kicked by a horse. Rubbing the temples, I sit up and look around.
Luckily, I'm dressed, but it's not in my clothes. I am wearing something that reminds me of a renaissance fair. Only something a man would wear. Over pants and tunic, a leather jerkin with a strange emblem over my heart. I stand up, and realize a weight on my hip. A sword! And on my back. A bow with quiver of arrows. This is strange. But it is a strange I like.
I have always enjoyed reading fantasy stories about knights and dragons and such.
Just as I am reveling over these new discoveries, I hear a voice in the tree above me.
"You do realize that you look like a git, dancing about like that, right?"
Looking up, I see the creature that has addressed me.
"And you're dressed like a man. I don't believe you are one, unless of course you are a very girly man..."
A colorful sort of feathery thing that I assume is a bird.
"Well, of course I'm not a man," I shoot back at it, "And why do you presume to insult me, bird?"
It laughs at me. "A 'bird'? I am no bird, girl, and you would be wise not to get on my bad side."
"Oh really? Will you peck my eyes out?" I say, cocking my head with a hand on my equally cocked hip.
"I should like to. But it would not be in my best interests to do so, however annoying your cheek. We need each other you see, or whether or not you see at this moment..."
I just stare at him, bewildered.
"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Imag, your guide in this world. And need me you shall, believe you me."
I just placate him. "And I am Amanda--"
"Amanda?! What kind of name is that?!"
"The one my parents gave me..."
"Well, it shall not do. We shall give you one befitting a hero, which hopefully you will turn out to be."
Hero? I mouth.
"Henceforth... you shall be called... Andromeda. Foregoing the 'princess' bestowed upon she that was chained naked to a stone to be devoured by a sea monster, I believe... And the Queen would not like such a title anyway!"
I noticed the reference to ancient mythology.
"The Queen?" I asked Imag, but he babbled on.
"Andromeda, I like it..." He said to himself. Indeed it would have been a name I would choose for myself, but only for it being a bright spot in the night sky.