Waking up was not what I had in mind for my future.
Well… let me rephrase… waking up on Earth was not what I had in mind.
I sat up and looked around and was pleasantly surprised to find things that I recognized. I was in a park about two miles away from the apartment I rented. All I had to do to get back to my life, was get out of this tangle of bushes.
Shouldn’tbe a problem I thought, raising my arm and focusing on my Shrou-
I didn’t have a Shroud anymore.,, that was a good thing right?
Then why did I feel so… naked?
Several minutes and many scratches later, I finally made it out of the tangle of bushes. I received many odd looks from adults and kids alike as I left the park and struck for home. When I arrived at my apartment I was surprised to see a crowd gathered on the street and sidewalk in front of it. I walked up to the nearest person and tapped him on the shoulder. He spun around took one look at me, and his face went white. He started to stammer and back away slowly, then after a few yards he turned and bolted.
By this time, everyone in the crowd was looking at me strangely. Some with curiosity, others with fear, and still others with relief. Among the crowd was my Landlord Trent. When he saw me, his eyebrows shot up and he ran over to me.
“Oh Jeez, there you are…What the heck just happened!? Are you all right?”
“What are you talking about? What’s wrong? Why are these people here?”
“You were hit by a car about twenty minutes ago! Right here in front of the apartment! Then you disappeared and now you’re here again!”
Um. Ok… If I was correct in my assumption, the time ratio between Cyst and Earth was much like the relationship between Narnia and Earth. It had taken me 15 minutes to jog home, meaning I had been gone for less than five minutes.
And if I couldn’t account for what just happened, it wouldn’t just be my landlord who was asking questions.
“Oh! Ha ha… that? I’m working on a Talent Show routine… I wanted to try my hand at some magic…”
Trent eyed me, “The person driving the car didn’t seem like the cute assistant type.”
“Well… I couldn’t have someone who knew help me. They might have chickened out or something.”
“Yeah, and doing it this way could have caused an accident or gotten someone arrested.”
I tried to act as though that thought were just coming to me. I let my face droop in shame and mumbled, “Oh… I… I didn’t think about that.”
“Well that was pretty obvious! I suggest smoothing things over with the person next to the car there so that we clear people out before the police are alerted.”
“Right… thanks Trent.”
I made my way over to a panicked person standing next to a blue minivan. When she saw me, her eyes bugged out and she looked relieved, upset, and about to pass out all at once.
“What the-…. How the he-… What were you doing?”
“I… I’m really sorry. I was working on a magic tri-“
“A magic trick? A freaking magic trick!? You could have gotten people killed you idiot!”
The next few minutes were much the same. Me making apologies while the lady chewed me out for a multitude of sins that all had low intellect involved. Eventually she stormed around to the driver’s side of the van, got in and slammed the door behind her, then drove off.
She might have been breaking the speed limit as she did so.
With Trent’s help, we got the crowd to disperse and I was eventually allowed to return to my room. I hadn’t done anything physically since returning, but I felt exhausted. I crawled into bed and tried to sleep, which was exactly when my brain decided to kick into gear.
Was I just going to let this happen? Wasn’t I going to get back?
How? And why? This is what I wanted remember?
Yeah… that was before the leader of Cyst turned out to be its oldest bad guy.
That’s their problem. They didn’t help out during World War Two or anything like that… you don’t owe them anything!
But Biest said he knew me before I came to Cyst. What if I am somehow mixed up in all this?
Yes. Believe the word of a man who has been crazy for several thousand years.
He is crazy. Not a liar. And he somehow managed to con everyone into believing he was a good guy. SO he is smart. What did he have to gain by lying to you? He meant to kill you… usually when you tell someone something, its because you want to steal everything they have before finally ending their life.
Still… there is no reason to go back.
What about Pailadyn?
She betrayed you! Remember what Biest said? “I’m not able to control you like I control your friend.” You don’t have any other friends beside Pailadyn.
What was that about not taking the word of a crazy man? Besides… it could have been Traynur or Skrybe or someone… it could even have been Pownde before he died. Maybe Biest had something to do with his suicide run.
Younever would have cared about these people had you not turned up on Cyst. Just live your life like it never happened!
I can’t just forget the last few months of my life on Cyst! So much happened…
Like you nearly dying. Yeah, let’s remember that one for a while.
The battle continue on into the wee hours of the night until finally… mercifully… I fell asleep.
And I dreamed.