I stared at the girl in front of me for a minute.

"Okay," I said, closing my book. I stood, and began to walk away. "I have soccer practice, if you don't mind."

"That's alright!" she said. She danced over to me gracefully. I looked at her, and she smiled. "Do you mind if I come watch?"

"You know, I don't really know you. Not to offend you, but, it's true," I said. She was pretty, I had to admit, but I didn't know her. She had short black hair, and her blue eyes sparkled almost. She smiled, and I sighed in frustration. I didn't want to be mean to her. "Suit yourself."

She followed me as I walked through the school. We walked through the halls, and no one said anything. I wasn't popular, but I wasn't at the bottom of the food chain either. I was smart, but not a genius. I was funny, but not hilarious. Kind of like a balance. I liked dragons, but I liked fact. Everything evened out. I had a lot of friends, just like anyone else, and I wasn't looking to make a new one.

Alice continued to follow me, and I realized that I didn't mind after a while. She was silent, as if she sensed I didn't want to speak. I liked people like that. They know when to shut up. When we got outside, she spoke. "Are you any good at soccer?"

"I guess," I said. "I'm on the team, and I play striker, so..."

"Cool," she replied simply.

"I was almost captain," I admitted. "But I turned it down."


"I'm not that much of a leader. I'm more of a blend-in-without-getting-too-much-attention guy."

"Really, now?" she asked. I smiled at the question.

"Yes." I looked around, and I saw the field was empty. Just how I liked it.

"No one is there yet," she stated.

"I know," I replied. "I always get here first so I can practice bicycle kicks."

"Ah, I see," she answered. I was starting to like Alice. She seemed pretty cool. As I put my bag down, she asked me something. "What do you think of Grade 12?"

"It's pretty good, but I'm excited to be gone soon. You?"

"I feel the same way," she answered. I put on my cleats and grabbed a ball. I started juggling it on my feet, and I stalled it on my foot, doing an around the world. "Whoa! You're good!"

"Thanks," I said. I juggled it as I walked, and then I bicycle kicked it into the top corner of the net. She darted after the ball. She was fast. I laughed as she returned with the ball, trying to do what I did. Then, she started juggling. I was surprised when she did ten and passed it to me. I repeated the number and passed it back. She did eleven. So did I. "You're pretty good yourself."

"Really?" she asked. "I played on the girls' team." We continued the sequence while talking. "So you really like dragons?"

"Not really," I said. "I just like reading stuff. Today I felt like reading about mythological stuff, and so I did."

"How come I've never seen you around the school?"

"I'm in Student Council, on the soccer team, basketball team, I'm in band, in the Piano Club thing, and a lot of other stuff. I keep myself occupied."

"Oh. That makes sense," she said as we reached forty. That was when the wierdest thing happened.

I missed the ball.

I never missed the ball. A clouding formed at the edge of my vision, and everything became hazy. Colours around me blended together as the mist blurred everything out. Suddenly I was somewhere else.

Everything around me was a bright colour. The grass was a beautiful green, and it blew in the breeze. The blue sky was clear and cloudless, and the sun shone down on the clearing. The grass ended abruptly a few feet away, and rock took its place. The rocky plane was cracked and broken, with red cracks running through it. It looked like a wasteland. The rock made a strange pathway that led up to a horrific sight.

The castle exploded from the ground like a knife that was striking through the very boundaries of Hell. The castle was dark, and the walls were covered with arcane markings. Ivy vinces crawled up parts of the horrible castle, and... creatures seemed to fly around it. The castle's lights were all out, and it was like the sky got darker around it. Strange rock formations lifted the castle up, and the dark clouds swirled around the top of the ancient building.

Every surface of the castle was smooth, and the towers were beautiful, and horrible. The castle rose over two hundred feet high, and I felt a strange vibe from it, like something dark was sleeping within it. It was a horrible sight to see.

Suddenly, I snapped out of the vivid dream, having the strange sensation that Alice was seeing the same thing.

The End

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