- Bzzzzz –

My alarm blared through my subconscious, jerking me awake. The morning sunlight that lanced through the blinds on my window made me see colors, and I quickly squeezed my eyes shut against the assault.

Sleep crept at the edges of my eyes, and I contemplated sleeping in a few more minutes, but the time that glared sternly at me from my alarm clock dashed those hopes against rocks. I’d overslept. Not exactly the best way to start a school day.

Slapping my alarm clock into silence, I immediately leapt like a gymnast from my bed, my bare feet sliding a little on the cool hardwood floor. I was fully awake now and prepared to do my usually thirty-minute routine in record time.

I stretched my back and muscles out as I practically vaulted across my room and into the bathroom, worry driving me on.

As I tore a comb through my tangled hair and scraped my toothbrush across my molars, I tasted something strange on my tongue. Something that completely clashed with the mint flavor of my toothpaste.

I pulled my toothbrush from my mouth and examined my gums for bleeding or something else that could cause the taste, but I found nothing. I washed out my mouth and ran my tongue over my teeth. The taste was still there. A little less noticeable, but still there.

It tasted familiar, and as I struggled to remember where I had tasted it, my dream from the night before rose to the front of my mind.

I had had that dream for about a month now, ever since I’d gotten back from spring vacation. The dream was usually the same every night- myself stumbling through mists and trying to find someone, anyone that could help me figure out where I was. It was a little scary some nights and sometimes I wondered if I was getting the early symptoms of some sleep disorder. I hadn’t told anyone about it, especially my mom. Moms worry too much, and the dream was probably just my mind clearing itself of stress or something similar. Then again, the woman was new, and so was this taste. I shivered. Her ominous message still clung to me like a wet blanket.

I stared into the mirror. A pale, dark-haired girl with dark green eyes looked back at me, her eyes puffy with lack of sleep. When I was younger, old ladies at the mall would gush over how gorgeous my eyes were, but Brooklyn girls didn’t have amazing destinies on their shoulders, no matter what all the big shot movies said…so what did my dream mean? I shook my head to dislodge the ideas crackling in the storm of my mind. I was overreacting. Dreams were dreams, and that was it. Nothing real about them, and chances were the taste in my mouth was just my imagination too.

My eyes flickered back to my clock, and that glance was enough to get me back on track.

With all thoughts of my dream shoved aside, I rushed from the bathroom, grabbed a plain green blouse and my favorite jeans before throwing on a sweater I happened to find before running out my door, taking the steps by threes.

My schoolbag lay haphazardly on one of the chairs in the kitchen, and, judging by the lingering smell of coffee in the air, my mom had just left. Usually she would wait until I came down before leaving, but it was obvious that something had happened down at the law firm she worked at as a secretary and they had called her in. She was probably in as much of a hurry as I was to catch the train to Manhattan.

Waiting on the table for me was the glass of milk I drank every morning and, deciding I had enough time, I grabbed it and drank it back as fast as I could without choking.

As I was drinking my milk, I noticed a pink something at the bottom of my glass. I finished the milk and lowered the glass to see that the pink splotch was actually a sticky note clinging for dear life to the door of the fridge, my mom’s hurried writing scrawled across it.

After dumping my glass in the sink, I grabbed my bag and swung it over my shoulder, then snatched the sticky note from the fridge and began walking down the hallway towards the front door to start my trek to school. As I was walking, I read my mom’s note.

Dear Maris,

I’m sorry I couldn’t catch you on your way out,

Morrison called, so I had to leave early.

I shrugged. It was normal for Mom’s boss, Edward Morrison, to call her in early to unclog the dysfunctional coffee machine or to fix the printer, but she always seemed to think I couldn’t survive in the morning without her. I kept on reading.

But I didn’t want to leave you without first

saying happy birthday to my precious little girl.



Surprised, I stopped in my tracks. Birthday? I glanced up at the Events calendar my mom had in the hallway, where all the days of May were crossed out except for today, the Eighteenth.

My sixteenth birthday.

My mind reeled. Most girls turning my age would have been counting down the days until their birthday came, so how did I forget?

I shook my head. All the dreams and stress from school had probably distracted me so much I’d completely forgotten my day of birth. I didn’t know which was more pathetic, thinking my dreams were real or the fact I overlooked the single most important day of my life.

I managed a small chuckle at my stupidity before I opened the door and set out onto the bustling Brooklyn street.

~ * ~ 

“Shoot!” I spat to myself as I ran to the entrance of Vanguard High, one of the high schools located just a couple of streets away from where I lived. Most days I take fifteen minutes to make it to school; however I managed to make it in five.

        Even though my legs were pumping like crazy and my lungs were screaming from exertion, I was still running late. I’d have to go faster if I wanted to make it in time.

As I neared the entrance of the school, I noticed that the only students left outside were a couple of the more popular cliques who didn’t really care whether or not they were late to class, and my obviously flustered best friend, Melissa, who stood at the threshold with a look of fury on her face.

“Where in the world were you? You’re nearly twenty minutes late!” Melissa yelled at me as soon as I finally came to her, panting heavily.

“I overslept, alright?” I gasped, beginning the walk as calmly as I could to my first hour class while my nerves were as jumpy as Fourth of July fireworks. My mom would freak if I was late to class, especially now that I was so close to making it on time.

She instantly began tailing me, obviously not finished with her lecture. “Come on, Maris, don’t play that card with me,” She tutted, shaking her head and scattering the strands of her flaming red hair. “I know you at least have some money to buy a half-decent alarm clock!”

My jaw clenched. I hated whenever Melissa mentioned my mother’s lack of money. It wasn’t my fault my dad was gone, not even close. Sometimes she really knew how to get on my nerves.

“What good is a decent alarm clock if I don’t even know how to use it?” I snapped. I hurriedly ducked around a corner, hoping to put some distance between us, but she followed my every step.

“Say all the excuses you want, but you can’t expect me to wait for you every single time you’re late! I think I’m gonna start heading to class without you!” she threatened as we halted at the fork in the hall that divided our first hours. I bit back a sigh of relief.

        “You do that, but I’m one hundred and ten percent sure you’ll miss me after the first day or two!” I called over my shoulder as I walked away, happy to be away from her. It was usually this way between me and Melissa, but we’d been friends since the first grade and there was no sign of that changing.

I didn’t hear what she said in response as I rounded the corner into Biology, but just as I stepped into the doorway, I could hear her shout, “Well, happy birthday then!”

I groaned as I finally entered my class.

Apparently, I wasn’t as late as I thought I had been- a lot of the other sophomores were still gossiping about tons of other, completely unrelated things and none of them even looked up as I came in, except for one person, that is.

“Hey, Mars-Bars!”

“What do you want, Justin?” I bit back another groan as a tall, chocolate-haired boy towered between me and my seat, blocking my way. Not to mention using the nickname I absolutely hated.

“Just wanted to wish my favorite girl a happy sixteenth birthday,” he grinned, his dark blue eyes twinkling jovially as he looked down at me. “I mean, it’s not every day you turn old enough to drive- legally, that is.”

“Well, thanks,” I snapped at him.

Justin was a boy who had been hitting on my since the fifth grade, and, after ten years of having to put up with him, I was at the end of my rope.

“You know, I’ve been thinking about what to get you for the past few weeks, and just a few days ago I came up with a brilliant solution to this trivial problem,” he grinned.

“And exactly what is it, Justin?” I asked, fighting the urge to punch him.

“Well, because you and I are so much in love, I thought a small kiss would suffice,” he pressed.

        Another fun fact about Justin: he’s also been trying to get me to kiss him since I was ten.

        “Sorry, but it just isn’t happening,” I tried to push past him with one arm.

        “Come on, Maris! It’s just one kiss,” he whined, blocking my path with his arm and getting closer to me, uncomfortably close. “Besides, if you do it, I’ll never bother you again.”

        “No, Justin,” I repeated myself. “I won’t let you kiss me.”

        “Please, Mars-Bars? Just one eensy, little-bitty kiss,” he prompted. “No big deal.”

        “No is no!”

Just then, the late bell rang, saving me from Justin. For once I loved the fact that school had begun.

Justin moved back to his seat behind me, allowing me to finally sit down just as our Biology teacher, Mr. Walters, a rather round, short, bald old man with a bristly mustache, waddled into the room.

“Quiet down, quiet down,” boomed Mr. Walters. Most everyone hustled to their seats, but a few took their time as if sitting down when told broke some unspoken rule.

 “I will start our class today by introducing our new student. His name is… is….” Mr. Walters furrowed his brows comically in concentration as he struggled to remember. He was like Professor Plum in Clue- he had the type of memory that would go on vacation and stay there for a few weeks, which meant taking the same tests more than once sometimes.

“Seth. Just Seth,” a smooth, male voice said from beside me.

I turned my head to look at the new arrival (along with every other person in the class), and what I saw made my head snap back almost immediately to hide my blush.

Sitting next to me was an extremely handsome, dirty-blonde boy with a long, oval face. He looked a little old to be a sophomore, but that didn’t stop me from cursing myself for not seeing him earlier. Late or not, I should’ve noticed him. He looked like he could be on the cover of Vogue. 

I peered through my screen of black hair and took him in more closely. He had his books stacked neatly in front of him, one for each of his next three hours, nothing strange. I looked back up at the boy. He was wearing a dark, forest green shirt and regular, every-day blue jeans, not incredibly fashionable, but not something that looked like it’d been dug out of a dumpster.

 As I glanced back up at his face, I turned an even deeper scarlet when I noticed he was looking at me with keen interest; like I was some sort of new organism he had never seen before.

His eyes were a pure, clear blue, like sparkling blue ice crystals set in his angel-made face. It was such a beautiful, captivating shade that I was completely oblivious of the envious mutterings that the other girls emitted as they glared at me for capturing his attention. Not to mention Justin coughing a little too loudly as he also noticed what was happening. The moment stretched on, too long, but I soon forced myself to break eye contact with him. This was turning into a bad sitcom. Poor teen girl meets handsome model who turns her life upside down. The audience would eat that up.

“So, let’s begin!” said Mr. Walters, clapping his hands together enthusiastically, pulling me out of my reverie. He didn’t seem to notice the loud unanimous groan the class gave out.

As he began to ramble on and on about cells and their composition, I tried to push the boy to the back of my mind, but I could feel his gaze prickling the back of my neck. Questions spun around in my mind. Why had he looked at me like that? Where did he come from? And, most importantly of all, who was he?

“Maris!” Mr. Walter’s voice resonated in my head from out of nowhere.

I jumped. “Y-yeah?” I stammered, wondering why in the world he would say my name like that. Did he realize I wasn’t paying attention?

“Answer the question,” he replied.

“Oh, um…” I trailed off, turning a dark scarlet as I realized that I have absolutely no clue what question he had just asked. I could hear the chuckles emanating from behind me as my classmates laughed at my vulnerability, though half of them probably didn’t hear it either.

        “What is the basic shape of DNA,” murmured a barely audible voice from beside me. It was Seth, giving me the answer.

        “Oh, erm… a rope ladder?” I finally answered Mr. Walters, thanking Seth telepathically.

        “Correct. Now on to the next chapter,” said Mr. Walters as I breathed a long, slow sigh of relief.

        Sitting back in my seat, my mind whirled. I had never daydreamed in any of my classes ever, but a cute guy sitting next to me completely topples that over? No, there had to be some other reason. I must’ve been tired; spending the night studying must have finally fried my mind. All the dreams had made me insane. There was just no way I had some boy distract me from a lesson.

        My eyes flicked up at Seth again, who was still sitting nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t even noticed I was there, much less saved my life a few seconds before. Among all the questions in my head, one stuck out.

        Who was Seth?

~ * ~

After school, I returned to Biology to ask Mr. Walters about the rather large assignment he had handed to us. I was going to ask him a question about it, but I was also secretly hoping he would forget that he had ever assigned it and give me something simpler, like a worksheet. But when I walked in, he wasn’t in his usual chair.

I glanced around the room looking for either him or something that would say where he had gone, but nothing looked out of the ordinary.

Turning to leave, I noticed something in my peripheral vision. I veered back around to see a thick black book sitting on a nearby desk. Seth’s desk to be exact.

I walked towards it, confused. That was weird. I could have sworn the book hadn’t been there before, but there it sat as if it was there the whole time.

As I neared the table, I noted that I had seen the book before, earlier in the day. It was in Seth’s stack. I had assumed then that it was for one of his other classes, but I didn’t know any class that assigned pitch black books.

I pulled the book towards me, and it stuck to the table slightly, as if it hadn’t been moved since first hour. The book had somehow gone completely untouched despite the fact that the entire school day had passed. I was almost certain that someone would’ve swiped it by then, but apparently, they didn’t. Probably because no trouble-making student worth his salt would steal a textbook.

As I examined the book, I saw an inscription engraved on the cover in an elegant red script. My eyes scanned the cover, trying to read it, but I couldn’t even begin to decipher the letters or symbols or whatever was written on it. To my eyes, it said something like:

Enla Inakarei Ftermina

This definitely isn’t an English bookI thought to myself.  It must be one of those New-Age Goth books or something.Though Seth didn’t seem to fit the bill as a Goth…

You should find him and give it back to him,my conscience piped up, as righteous as always.

You should look inside, it could be something illegal or something, said another voice in my head, sounding a little frantic.

 I gave into my second voice and glanced around to make sure I was alone before I opened the book. No way was I getting caught with someone else’s book, especially if it was illegal.

Within the book were a whole bunch of small, close-knit paragraphs written in the same hand as the front but there were pictures. Horrible pictures of people getting roasted alive and man-eating trees devouring people with explanations and other captions in that same language. Not to mention other, indescribable things that I shuddered to think about.

Slamming the book shut, an icy shiver rushed up my spine. Why would Seth, who seemed like such a nice guy, be reading something like that?!

I’m going to find him, give it to him, and then I’ll be home free, I thought to myself.

“Oh, Maris.”

I jumped nearly a foot in the air as Mr. Walters trudged into the room, holding a fresh cup of coffee.  He looked surprised to see me. “What are you doing here at such a late hour?”

I hesitated a moment, having forgotten what I came for in the first place. “Uh, well, I was just wondering if you…” I struggled to remember what I had wanted to ask. Then, it came to me. “I was wondering if you wanted us to do the labs in the assignment you gave us.”

“I assigned you labs?” Mr. Walters face contorted with confusion.

I fought a smile as I nodded.

“Well that was stupid of me! Of course you don’t have to do them. I hate grading labs, so why would I give you more than one? How silly,” he chuckled, taking a long drought of his coffee.

I barely managed to choke down a whoop of joy. “Sure is,” I half mumbled.

“Now that that’s cleared up,” Mr. Walters slumped into his seat. “There was something I wanted to ask you as well, Ms. Bulok.”


“In class today, you seemed a little more than distracted. I wanted to ask you if you were alright after class, but it slipped from my mind,” he looked at me quizzically over the rim of his cup.

“Oh,” I said. “Yeah, I was a bit distracted, I guess…”

“Was it that boy, Simon?”

        “Um, it’s Seth, sir,” I corrected him, feeling a light blush burn my cheeks,“and… no, it wasn’t him. I-Er had a late night.”

        Mr. Walters looked unconvinced, but after a few seconds, he shrugged. “Well, that’s how you teenagers are these days. You get so hyped up on rap music and YouTube you forget to get some rest.”

        “I guess so, Mr. Walters,” I agreed, edging slightly towards the door. “I’d better go now so I can get started on my homework.”

Mr. Walters nodded. “I see. Well off you go then. Oh, and good luck on your English, I heard Ms. Eveny is a real stickler.”

I stopped on my way out, caught by his words. I turned to face Mr. Walters again. “My… English?”

“Yes, of course. Your English homework.”

I took a few steps back into his room. “Um, I don’t have English homework,” I said.

“Of course you do, you’re carrying your book right there,” Mr. Walters pointed a thick finger at the book in my hands. Seth’s book. The book that would give even Satan nightmares. I glanced at the book in my hands. It looked nothing like Ms. Eveny’s English books. I knew Mr. Walters didn’t have the best memory in the world, but even he should know an English book when he saw one.

I held it up. “This one?” I asked, confused.

Mr. Walters nodded. “Of course,” he said, but then he noticed my bewilderment. “Is something wrong, Maris?”

I did my best to wipe off the puzzled look on my face. “No, everything’s fine,” I answered. “I’ll just go now.”

As I left the classroom, I looked at the book again. No matter which way I turned my head, it still had the same script on it, the same black cover, and the same aura of darkness. Yet Mr. Walters was convinced it was my English book.

This day was getting weirder and weirder.

~ * ~

“Finally, you’re here!”

        “Yeah,” I smiled at Melissa as I sat down in the chair opposite her. “I had to ask Mr. Walters about the assignment.”

        Ever since our middle school days, Melissa and I would meet up after school at Starbucks to do our homework instead of doing it on our own, and once we entered high school, we agreed to carry on our simple tradition. I was late, as usual, so Melissa had ordered cappuccinos for the two of us.

        “Oh, did he say anything about the labs?” she asked, leaning forward. Melissa was always eager to hear that she doesn’t have to do her homework.

        “Yeah, we don’t have to do them.”

        Melissa gave out a cry of joy. “That just saved me a bunch of time!” she sighed. “Besides, who has sodium bicarbonate in their kitchen cabinet?”

        I shrugged. “Scientists probably,” I took a sip of the hot coffee before me.

        Melissa narrowed her eyes a little, but she soon shrugged it off and was back to her bouncing, beaming self. “I wish Mr. Reye would cut back on the equations, I mean, I won’t need quadratic functions when I’m a fashion designer, now will I?” she tossed her hair over her shoulder theatrically. I laughed at her antics, taking another sip.

        “By the way, do you know that yummy guy that keeps following you around?”

        I nearly choked. “Who?” I spluttered, trying to breathe.

        “You know, that guy,” she leaned closer. “Theguy?”

        “Justin?” I asked, regaining my composure.

        “No,” she swatted away the idea with her hand. “I mean, yeah he’s following you too, but I’m talking about the new guy. Scott?”


        A tiny frown pulled at the corners of her mouth. “That’s his name? Hm. Scott sounds manlier,” she muttered half to herself.

        “He’s following me?” I redirected her attention. Melissa was notorious for changing the subject.

        “Yeah. Not that I’m surprised of course, you’re a total babe, so what guy wouldn’t want you?”

        “Melissa, focus. How do you know he’s following me?” I asked.

        She shrugged. “I notice whenever any hot guy comes in my immediate vicinity, and let me tell you, he broke the scale on my hotness meter,” she said dreamily. Melissa’s been crazy about guys since the eighth grade, and that has only intensified as we got older.

        “How long have you noticed him following me?” I fought the urge to shake her by her shoulders.

        “Oh, he followed you into second hour and into each class after that.”

        “You didn’t bother to tell me?” I demanded from Melissa.

        “Hey, I assumed you knew. I swear, you were getting evil eyes all over the place, so I thought you were basking in the glory,” she said. “I know I would.”

I sat back in my chair and stared at my cup of coffee. Seth had been following me from class to class? But how had I not noticed him?

“So… he’s stalking me?” I half muttered.

“I wouldn’t say stalking, though having a stalker that hot is definitely fabulous,” she smiled, “but it’s less like stalking and more like… excessive following.”

I put my face in my hands. First the book, and then this? Something strange was definitely going on.

“Don’t be so sad, Maris, think of this as an opportunity to finally get a date,” Melissa encouraged me. “Besides, a guy that hot is bound to have a few hot friends, so maybe you could get me one too and…”

I looked up. Melissa wasn’t one to stop midsentence, and when I glanced at her, she was staring over my shoulder. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

Her eyes shifted to me, and a smile widened across her face. “Looks like your admirer has made his appearance,” she grinned.

I immediately looked over my shoulder and just barely caught a glimpse of tousled blond hair and a dark green shirt through the window. I felt goose bumps ripple up my arms.

“I told you, Maris,” Melissa chimed in, “that guy has the hots for you.”

My hand reached almost instinctively to my bag, where Seth’s dark book was nestled. I had thought about leaving it at home, but something gave me the feeling that I shouldn’t leave it alone. I turned back to Melissa. “Hey, can you pick up the tab? I forgot my wallet this morning,” I said as I stood up.

“Uh, sure, but where are you going?” she asked.

“I need to return something,” I answered vaguely, turning towards the direction Seth had disappeared.

“You’re going after him?” Melissa asked. I ignored her as I started off. 

Melissa bit her lip a little before finally shouting, “Hey, make sure you ask about his friends!”

I barely heard Melissa as I was already halfway out the door.

Brooklyn in late afternoon is almost always busy, so as I stepped out into the tumultuous chaos outside, I wondered if I was insane trying to find Seth. Especially if he didn’t want to be found. I turned in circles on the sidewalk, trying to catch another glimpse of him. Anything that could tell me where he went. But I couldn’t see anything else than regular Brooklyn people passing me on the street. I chewed my lip and contemplated on giving up and going home.

I turned to leave when I suddenly had the overwhelming urge I was being watched. I could practically feel a pair of eyes stabbing daggers into the back of my neck. Slowly, I twisted around to see an almost impossibly tall man glaring at me from across the street.

He was dressed completely in black- black hoody, jeans, boots- and his hood hid his face. But underneath, I could see twin golden eyes staring at me.

I froze under his gaze, my heart starting to beat loudly in my chest. No one else seemed to notice him; they just walked around him as if he weren’t there. I took a few steps back. That settled it. I had officially gone insane.

All of a sudden, someone bumped into me from behind, and I jerked in place. I glanced back to make sure all my belongings were safe and secure, but once I looked back up, the man was gone.

I trembled. There was no way a man that size could disappear in a matter of seconds. But no matter how long I stared at the spot where he stood, he didn’t reappear.

I hugged my arms to my chest, more out of anxiety than cold. The dream, the taste, the book, the boy, and now I was having hallucinations. What did it all mean? The woman’s voice echoed in my mind again.

It’s time you knew who you really are.

I shivered. I guessed she had wanted me to realize that I was a crazed schizophrenic on the brink of a major meltdown.

I stepped forward towards home, worrying about how I was going to break the news to my mom. Of course she would be hysterical; when I was six, I had fallen out of a tree and broken my leg. I had cried so hard she was terrified something was really wrong with me, so how would she react now that I had literally gone insane?

I looked up from the sidewalk, scared that I was going to see that man again, but instead, I saw Seth, waiting for the signal to cross the street. I stopped in my tracks.

It was definitely him. I could see the back of his shirt and his tousled blond hair that looked even more ruffled now, but even though I couldn’t see his eyes, I could still remember the way they fit into his face. My hands reached into my pack and pulled out the dark book.

It felt heavy in my hands, and I thought I could feel the temperature drop a few degrees. I shuddered. It was time that it got returned to its owner; however Goth Seth may appear to be.

I started forward, using Seth’s head as a landmark among the writhing crowd. I was about halfway to him when the sign to walk turned blue, and Seth strode across the street, followed by a mass of people.

“Hey!” I screamed over the heads of the people in front of me. “Seth, stop!”

He didn’t seem to hear me as he didn’t slow down, so I forced myself through the crowd, trying to get closer. “Seth!” I yelled again, ignoring the complaints and cries of people as I pushed them aside.

“Seth! Wait up!” I shouted as Seth rounded yet another corner into an alleyway. I hesitated to follow him as I noticed how dark the alley was compared to the street. I’d watched enough crime shows to know that following someone you barely know into a darkened, secluded place, was completely frowned upon. But I needed to give him the book. So I swallowed back my fear and stepped into the alley after him.

I lost sight of Seth several times as he weaved in and out of different corridors, but I would eventually catch another glimpse of him and start following him again.

After nearly ten minutes of tailing and yelling, the alley, to my relief, then opened up into an abandoned construction site. I knew the area enough that I remembered that a strip mall of sorts was going to be built there, but they had to stop construction because of contamination or something similar.

        I opened my mouth to yell his name again, but stopped short when he walked towards a small door in a shadowy corner of the site. If he hadn’t turned towards it, I would never have noticed.

        He looked over his shoulder as if to make sure that no one was around. I flattened myself against a nearby wall and held my breath. But he didn’t seem to see me as he turned back to the door. I released by breath. But I sucked in my breath again as Seth raised his hand as if to touch the door, and, with a bright flash of green light, he disappeared without leaving so much as a dust particle wavering in the air.

Instantly, my jaw dropped and my eyes widened in astonishment as my brain struggled to register what had just happened. I felt dizzy and reached a hand out to the wall for support.

How had Seth just disappeared? That kind of stuff happened in movies, books, and bad sitcoms! Not in real life!

I could feel my breath come in gasps, and my body was trembling all over. It was official. I had gone insane. I looked up at the door. It seemed normal enough, so how could touching it make you disappear?

But what if Seth hadn’t disappeared? What if he was trying to scare me?

I felt my jaw set. That explained everything. He had purposely left his book there; he had probably bribed Mr. Walters into messing with my mind, then he had paid someone off to stand across the street and scare me out of my skin. He was probably off having a laugh now that I thought I was completely off my rocker.

        The jerk had better enjoy the laugh while he still could.

I clutched the book in my clenched fist and headed towards the door. I was going to find Seth, and he was going to pay.

As I neared the door, it seemed to get larger, and once I was right next to it, I saw that it in fact towered a good seven feet above me, and engraved on it was a gnarled and twisted leaf-less tree with a small disc, which I took to be the sun, behind its trunk. There were words written across the tree’s trunk in the same language as the book, but I could barely make it out because of all the dust and grime that littered its elegant script. But, beneath all that, the words spelled out:

Erãhas Mersanavf Lemmisiia Ecladia

There seemed to be something else written a couple or so inches beneath that, but I couldn’t exactly see what it said. I peered at it closer, but when I still couldn’t make out the words, I raised my left hand to brush some of the dust off. Suddenly, a tree symbol appeared, out of nowhere, on the back my hand and began to glow a blinding white.

 I opened my mouth to scream, but it was cut short as I disappeared, just like Seth.

The End

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