Broken Wings Still Fly

Image result for firefly magical

I am clumsy yet beautiful

A firefly flying high in the sky

Only visible in the void of the night

When people dare to admire my light

But, no one can shine the brightest

My left wing is bent, broken and bruised

Curved to the ground where the people shine too

In their own strange, greedy ways

Screens light up their faces

Day through night

Night through day

A box of wires blocking them from the meadows beneath their feet

I slowly sink lower, my eyes seeking the stars

Like drowning in quicksand

A frayed rope just inches away

I gave one last grasp towards the sky

Hopelessly falling into the dreaded fate of the norm

But she sees me and my fading green beam

Her soft hands catch me

And hold me close to her face

Electric blue eyes glimmering at me

Holding a world of her own

Her light

Lighting up mine

We hold that simple moment for a while

Our curiosity growing

And in that fragment of the universe

I then realize

Maybe I don’t need to be somewhere to be free

I need the spirit, the drive

The joy of having a light to be seen

The gratefulness to be given a chance to fly

And the trust to come back down and find my peace

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I am Annalia: Part Eight

coreopsis

I gradually opened my eyes, a blur of a very light yellow right up in my face. Something cold was gently resting on my left hand. I blinked a few more times, but I still couldn’t focus my vision. Glasses. I remembered. “Annalia?” I heard someone softly whisper.

“T-Tessa?” I weakly guessed.

“Yes…yes it’s me, Tessa,” I tilted my head slightly towards her. “Oh! Your glasses.” I watched as Tessa put on my glasses and I could finally see her. Her light brown hair was up in two braided space buns, with one stand of hair left loose on each side. She was no longer in her clothes from earth also. She wore a flowy light cream shirt with the shoulders cut off and the sleeves gradually growing larger until they hung off of her wrists.

“What…what happened? Where…”

“Wait, do you remember what happened?”

“Yeah, I just…wanted t-to make sure.”

“Okay, save your breath, you’re still weak. Anyway, I’ll explain what happened since I don’t know how much you know. While I was away getting Liku, you supposedly disobeyed me and didn’t stay put,” I wanted to object, but there was no point. “So, when I came back with Liku, I didn’t see you anywhere, so I called for you. Then Liku said he heard a very faint whisper from you?” I nodded. “Okay, cool. Liku searched through the woods for where he heard you and I followed after him. We found you lying on the ground next to one of the trees. Liku opened your eyes and saw your irises were slightly greenish-yellow, so we knew you were attacked by a Normwhaug. But-”

“The trees…are they magic?”

Tessa looked at me weirdly. Seemed like everyone was doing that today. “How so?”

“When…I was attacked, my hand on the tree…deduced the pain, and was helping to keep me alive,”

“They can do that, but not very often. Only if your hand is firmly grasped on it and it senses you’re in danger,” I nodded. “Okay. Anyway, I…got upset since I assumed you were dead. No one has survived a Normwhaug attack before until now. I held you in my arms while Liku looked around for where the Normwhaug went. That’s when I felt the slightest pulse from you. You weren’t dead, Annalia. Do you know how amazing that is?” Tessa gave a quick, relieved laugh and held my hand.

“Tessa.” She looked up at me. “You know I killed it, right?” The color drained from Tessa’s face as shock and graveness washed over it.

“You…you-you…killed it?” I nodded. “It’s true. A fear stronger than itself…”

“Huh?”

“I’ll have to have the council explain. But, let me finish the story, I’m almost done-”

“Wait, Liku. Was he in human or dragon form?” Tessa looked even more shocked.

“Human…but…but how did you know…” Tessa grabbed my other arm and looked at the inside of my wrist. There was surprisingly a tattoo there: a large black teardrop with a smaller one inside. “The blessing of Rohtaan,” She muttered bitterly. “Of course.”

“What’s wrong?” Tessa looked down at her lap silently.

“I…it’s a fragile subject.” Tessa fiddled with her fingers. I tilted my head towards the ceiling, now seeing that there were daisies literally growing from it, dangling over me.

“Did…did he lead you into a dark room with red mist?” she asked kindly and sadly at the same time.

“Yeah,”

“Makes sense…Moving on, Liku shifted into dragon form and brought us here, the Court Palace. Here lives Viallanne and the council, rather than her having the castle and power to herself. We brought you here, the recovery room, and just…waited. The council has been talking for days about you. Now that I know you didn’t merely survive the Normwhaug, this will definitely prove Viallanne’s point of human’s purpose here. I mean, I haven’t been included in the meetings, but Liku has caught me up on it. Now that I think about it, they didn’t include me in the meeting when they specifically chose you…I was just whisked back to earth after receiving the message about it from Liku… Anyway, now, finally, after three long days-” I whipped my head at Tessa.

Three?

“Uh huh,”

Days?!”

“Yes. Well, sort of. Time is kinda weird here compared to earth. While three days have passed here in Azudacluke, only three hours have passed on earth.”

“Oh.” I adjusted my glasses. “I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.” After a moment of silence, there was a soft knock on the door.

“Come in,” Tessa replied. The door quietly cracked open. A shiny, emerald green eye on a pale face peeked through. The eye scanned the room and quickly widened once it noticed me. The opened all the way to reveal a some-what tall young man, around twenty-one-years-old I’d guess. His hair was shaggy and furry but somehow slightly spiked up so it wouldn’t touch his forehead. That’s when his features got weird. His hair was a mixture of blue and purple, shining with stars in it. His skin was pretty pale with patches of fur the same style as his hair in random spots on his body. He wore a black t-shirt, neon blue galaxy jeans, and surprisingly, white Converse. Tessa probably got him those, that’s my guess at least.

“She’s awake,” He said, looking at Tessa. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“She just got up a few minutes ago so I was explaining what happened to her,” Tessa replied.

“Is this Liku?” I whispered to Tessa. She nodded in reply. “Liku, uh…thanks for helping to save me,”

“Oh uh,” Liku scratched the back of his head. “It was no problem, really,”

“Thanks anyway,”

“Hey,” Tessa began as she examined my face. “Are you up to walking at all? Because I should probably tell the council soon, I’ve heard they want to talk to you, especially since out of everyone in the council, only Liku has seen you so far,”

“Uh…I’m not sure.” I swung my feet over the side of the bed and shakily stood up. I immediately grabbed for Tessa, just in case my legs would collapse. What? I didn’t know the side effects to killing a Normwhaug! My legs were a bit shaky and my head somewhat hurt, but that was about it.

“Okay, I’ll have someone bring an extra chair to the council,” Tessa said.

“No, really, I’m fi-”

“Just in case.” Tessa sat me back down on the bed, and quite frankly, I was glad.

“Are you sure about this?” Liku asked. His face was extremely pale now, and I thought it was pale before.

“Why? What’s wrong?”

Liku sighed a shaky breath and paused. “I screwed up, Tessa-” Liku glanced at me worriedly. “really bad.

I am Annalia: Part Nine

Related image“Liku, what in  Azudacluke are you talking about?”

They both glanced back and forth from me to each other. Even though it apparently wasn’t my fault, they sure weren’t making it seem like that.

Liku turned around and pulled out a key from his pocket. He inserted it into the door handle and locked the door. Tessa was terrified. “Liku, what are you-”

“Please, Tessa, just let me explain,” Liku grabbed a chair from a table in the corner and pulled it up next to Tessa’s chair.

“Okay then. Start talking.”

“Okay, just, please don’t be mad at me,”

“I’ll try,” Tessa muttered.

“Okay, here it goes…uh…you know how…you haven’t been coming to the meetings lately?”

“Uh huh,” Tessa answered.

“And how I’ve been filling you in on the information,”

“Yes…”

“Well…” Liku squinted his eyes. “I lied,” he blurted.

“What?”

“About everything,”

“Liku!”

“All the information I told you was false,”

“Liku! How could you do this? Why did you do this?” Liku opened his eyes and held up his hands defensively towards Tessa.

“Okay, okay, please don’t get mad. I’ll explain, even though it sounds pretty stupid. Basically, the last meeting you went to was when we narrowed our heroes down to R.J.,” Liku motioned towards me. “Your classmate. And you, Annalia.”

I already knew that, but I nodded to be respectful. It seemed like this guy was already having enough trouble today. I wouldn’t want to put any of my secrets and facts on top of that.

Liku looked back at Tessa. “Some of the council thought you might be biased since you made friends with Annalia,”

“Seriously?” Tessa scoffed.

“Hey, I wasn’t for that. Anyway, they excluded you from the meetings, and I was ordered to relay information to you and not collect your opinion. As the meetings went on, we were still pretty torn between who would be chosen-”

“Hold on, wait,” I interrupted. “Can I stop you for a second?”

“Uh, sure?”

“I was wondering, why did you guys narrow it down to me and R.J. to save your dimension? We’re just kids!”

“Well . . . according to a prophecy that the head of the Normwhaugs said to Viallanne in a night vision–”

“A dream?” I asked.

“Yeah, whatever. Moving on, the Normwhaug said to her that only a fear greater than fear itself or a bravery that can bring down the strongest walls of this world can stop them. So, after Tessa performed a lot of research on kids and adults in your . . . county?”

“Yes,” Tessa said.

“County, she somehow managed to narrow it down to you two. No offense, but you’re not the bravest kids, but when necessary, you can be pretty tough. We would have brought both of you, but there was one problem: you two are arch rivals,”

“Oops,” I muttered.

“I hope that answers your question. Getting back on track, uh . . . right! We were debating on who to choose, and the council was leaning more towards R.J. Don’t ask why even I don’t understand. He’s just an immature brat.”

I couldn’t help but laugh in agreement. “Finally, the truth is spoken,” I added.

Liku gave me a half-smile and continued speaking.

“After a few more meetings, the council . . . the-the council,” The color quickly drained from his face. Liku looked at me, and then Tessa. “Annalia,” He looked at me. “You’re not supposed to be here,”

“Wh-what?” I asked softly.

“They chose R.J.”

“They did?” Tessa asked. He nodded. “But . . . Liku, then how-”

“They assigned us to retrieve R.J. like how we did with Annalia. But-” Liku turned his attention towards me again. “Do you remember those people that came to your school one day with all the snakes and reptiles?”

“Uh-huh,” I replied.

“I was the guy that brought out all the animals for the lady to talk about and show you.”

“Really?”

“Yup. And, I don’t know what it was, but when I first saw you . . . you had this . . . glow. Not literally, but you seemed to just, light up the room with your presence. I knew you were special. And in that moment, I knew that I would fight for you to be chosen. I tried everything for you to be chosen, Annalia, but it was no use,” Liku looked down in shame.

“So, Tessa,” he looked up at her. “I . . . I lied to you. I said that we were assigned to retrieve Annalia since she was the chosen one.”

Tessa shot up from her seat. “Liku! How could you!”

“I’m sorry, Tess-”

“Not only did you betray the queen, but you got us both in serious trouble!” Tessa glanced at me. “No, you got the three of us in serious trouble. Especially her,” I was speechless.

“Can’t Viallanne just have the pixies-”

“It’s not going to work that way, Liku.” Tessa walked past Liku and put her hand on the door handle. “Not only are R.J. and Annalia special, but they’re very stubborn. So trying to convince Annalia to do that is probably not going to work very well,”

“Convince me to do what-”

“You’ll find out later,” Tessa cut me off. I watched as Tessa grabbed a key from her pocket and inserted it into the door handle. She unlocked it and turned around to face us. Her face was fiery red with rage, but her eyes had the slightest gleam of worry.

“Come on guys.” Tessa grabbed the last white chair from the table in the corner. She walked with it back to the door and opened it. “There’s no way I’m going in alone to fix this mess.”

I am Annalia: Part Seven

Hand holding fire

I turned around and headed back to the door, my hands folded, close to my heart. I only had one question answered, and that answer sparked a bunch of new questions. I found the handle in the dark and shook it.

The door then unlocked and Rohtaan was standing outside. “Sorry bout that,”

“It-it’s fine, I guess,”

“It’s really not. I should have warned you,” I walked out of the room and down the dark hall. Rohtaan hurried behind me, fire still dancing on his fingers.

“Well, at least I mostly understand why I’m here.” We walked in silence for a moment when I suddenly stopped in my tracks.

“What’s wrong?”

“In my vision,” I snapped my fingers, trying to remember something. “That…leader, lady. Of the…council?”

“Did she control fire and ice?”

“Yeah,”

“Her name is Viallanne,”

“Okay, Viallanne. If she controls ice and fire, how come you can as well? It seems like she’d be the only one that could.”

Rohtaan seemed to tense up. “Well, I…I mean…”

“Are you related?”

“Related? Oh, no, no, no. Definitely not.”

“Then how come you control fire?”

Rohtaan looked down and walked past me. “Wait!” I said as I caught up with him. “I don’t want any secrets between us. Who knows how long I’ll be here. You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone,”

Rohtaan sighed and the hall was silent for a moment. He then suddenly stopped in his tracks. “I loved her,” I froze.

“Really?”

“Yes. I thought we were bound to be soul mates. We met in the forest one day, she was gathering berries and I was just taking a stroll. This was before she was ruler, when our land was filled with peace. As soon as our eyes met, it was love at first sight. We went on dates and got to know each other better and fall in love even more. After almost a year of dating, I proposed to her,”

I gasped. “Did she say yes? Did she?”

Rohtaan laughed slightly. “Yeah, she did alright. In fact, I gave her half of my fire-powers along with a ring made of lava, which is why she’s so powerful and has two elements,”

“Oh, makes sense,”

“And a year or so later, we decided to start a family and we had all of these wonderful dreams and plans…” Rohtaan voice began to drift and fade as the light in his face disappeared.

“But, one day, a little after she gave birth to our daughter, she got news that her father, the king, had perished. She was devastated. I was being foolish, my head up in the clouds, thinking about our future. I was too busy to care…” A tear slipped down his cheek. It looked like he had aged forty years within the past few minutes.

“I don’t remember exactly what I said, but something cruel and terrible slipped out of my mouth and…and that was the final straw. While I had gone to take a walk after we had a huge fight, she told the council that she’d accept her role as the new queen. So, I came back to an empty…dark house, with only a note and her ring on the kitchen table…” I walk up next to him and stood on my toes to put a hand on his shoulder.

“I…I’m sorry. I mean, everyone makes mistakes. I certainly do. She shouldn’t have just left you like that for one mistake,”

“Oh, no. That’s not even the end,” He said bitterly. “I immediately went to the Court Palace, where Viallanne and the council live. I guess the guards didn’t know about Viallanne and I yet, so they let me in. I begged her for mercy and to forgive me, but she refused. She wouldn’t even let me see our daughter! So, after tons of pleading and begging and apologizing, she said she had enough. So, since she said that I had ‘no conscience’, she banished me to here for eternity: keeper of lost consciousnesses.” I took my hand off of his shoulder and placed it in his hand.

“Wow, I…I can’t believe she had the nerve to do that, she sounds terrible! No offense, or yeah, uh…how do you feel about her now?”

“It’s weird. I’m mainly angry at her, but I do miss her when I think about the wonderful times we had. I guess I wish I could just turn back time to when things were good and happy.”

“I understand. I wish I could do the same.” I began to walk forwards, bringing Rohtaan with me. Once we reached the end of the hall, Rohtaan put out the flame on his other hand and sighed. That’s when I realized something important.

“Hey,” I looked up at Rohtaan. “I just realized, that as much as we want to turn back time, we shouldn’t. I don’t know if you guys can here or not, but you can’t on earth. Even though it may seem good for you back then, you never know what someone else was going through at that same time. Maybe while you were having fun with your new family, someone was dealing with a great tragedy. And I wouldn’t want to put anyone through anymore suffering than they need to. And I know you would too. So, basically, as much as we want to turn back time. We can’t. And if we could, we shouldn’t. We need to let time flow on it’s and work things out. Because, in the end, it will all be okay. Even if it’s not in the way you expected.” Rohtaan’s purple eyes glistened brighter than I had ever seen them.

“You know, you’re a lot wiser than most people would see you as. I respect that,” I tried to keep myself from blushing, but it was hard not to. Adults backs on earth didn’t say stuff like, “I respect you” to me ever. “It’s going to take time for me to fully embrace what you said. But, hey, time is on our side, isn’t it?”

Suddenly, I felt a jolt go through me as I disappeared for a moment. “Rohtaan? What was that?”

“That means you’re going back to Azudacluke, kid,”

“Really?” My body flashed and disappeared briefly again.

“Yeah. If you were dying, you’d be flashing red. But you’re flashing white, which means you’ll be fine.” I flashed three times with a grin.

“Thank you for taking me into that room so I could see what I needed to know,” I flashed twice.

“No problem. Thank you for teaching me something that I’ve needed to know for a long time,” I flashed four times.

“You’ve been super nice, Rohtaan. I’ll miss you,” Three times.

“I’ll miss you too. Don’t tell anyone this, but you’ve been my favorite visitor,” Five times, with myself blushing. I looked at my arms to see that they were now half-visible. “And hey, no offense or anything,” Six times. The room was getting darker. “But don’t try to come back anytime soon.” We both smiled as I waved goodbye and the room faded to a soft black glow.

 

Bullet: Part Six

 

Apartment Door Open

I sprinted to catch up with Rob and skidded to a stop in front of him. “Um, excuse me? What the heck! You can’t just march into my apartment room like a police officer!”

“If you didn’t have the bullet, you would be okay if I just searched,” Rob stated as he walked past me

“Rob, I’m being serious.” I grabbed Rob’s shoulder and whipped him around. “You’re not a cop. This is my property!”

“That’s the only reason you don’t want me to come in?”

“I wouldn’t want you to come in

for any reason! You made me lose my job!”

Rob sighed and marched onward. I couldn’t tell what it was, but as soon as I had mentioned that I wished he were never in my life, he seemed…quieter. And Rob is never quiet. I’m not a huge fan of most people, me being in introvert. But Rob? Complete opposite of me. Huge extrovert. So him being quiet meant something was seriously wrong.

“Why are you being so quiet?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” He said, purposely raising his voice.

“I don’t know, you’re being oddly quiet and more mysterious. I know we supposedly hate each other, but…” Don’t. Let your empathy. Get in the way.

“What was I going to wish for?” Rob finished.

“Yeah,” I need to stop going out in public. I instinctively went to walk into the building, not even realizing Rob was going to find the bullet on my bed if I let him in. Fortunately, Rob stopped in front of the building, and I turned around to face him.

“The thing is, I didn’t know what I was going to wish for. There were so many possibilities. Money, power, etc. But now, I’ve been feeling guilt for what I did as soon as you said that wish. All I’ve ever wanted was for everyone to like me, but now you hate me! I know you won’t forgive me for what I did so now I don’t now what I’m going to wish for, if I find that bullet, that you stole! So thanks a lot!”

“Wow,” I scoffed. “To think I thought you had emotions somewhere in you. Also, if you wanted people to like you, then why would you go through all that trouble to hurt me?”

“Jealousy,”

“Anyway, you don’t know if I’ll forgive you, even I don’t know. And you don’t even know who stole the bullet!”

“It was you,”

“Your proof?” Rob glared at me as he hurried by me and up the stairs. “Rob!” I yelled. I can never trust that never-changing jerk. I sprinted after him as I realized that I of course forgot to lock the door. Crap, crap, crap-

I reached level three and burst out the door and into my hallway. My door was wide open, Bullet howling like a mad-man. I whipped my phone out from my back pocket, steam rushing out from my ears. I dialed 911 and rushed into my room, ready to hit the call button at any moment.

“Ow!” Rob yelped, standing a few feet in front of me in the kitchen. There Bullet was, his head tilted sideways, his teeth locked into Rob’s ankle.

“Bullet!” I gasped, trying hard to keep myself from laughing out loud. Bullet released his jaw-of-death and rushed over to me, wagging his tail furiously.

Then, Rob’s phone began to ring just as he grabbed a paper towel and put it on his wound. He answered the call and put it to his ear with one hand, tending to his wound with the other.

“Hello?” A deep, muffled voice came from his phone. “New York City?…Now?…Yeah, yeah. I’ll try to be there as soon as possible. I’m currently in a bit of a situation with a neighbor, but I’ll try to hurry…Super important?…Immediately?…Oh, okay sir. See you there. Bye.” Rob hung up the phone, threw the paper towel away, and walked up to me and Bullet.

“You got lucky. But I’ll be back. I have a meeting to attend so I don’t lose my job like some people.” And with those final words, he walked out and slammed the door.

Bullet: Part Five

 

eyes

The hairs on the back of my neck rose to the sky. Then it hit me: If I stayed, he’d find out it was me. But if I left, he would suspect it was me and eventually find out it was me. I was screwed either way.

“What do you mean I can’t leave?” Evangeline walked back towards the crowd, leaving her kids next to me. She pushed her way through the crowd and into the center. “This isn’t some court trial or escape room. This is a campground with a bunch of our neighbors in New York. If I want to leave then I have the right to leave!”

“I was going to give my niece that bullet you know. She’s moving to Alabama this fall, so I bought her that bullet so I could have my mother make it into a necklace for her to wear. My mother owns a jewelry company anyways. My niece means the world to me, so I wanted her to have that to remember me. So, I will not rest until I find that-”

“Where did you last see it?” I interrupted. Everyone turned around to look at me, Rob’s brown eyes probably staring into my soul, if only I could see him.

“Who was that?” Rob called. I nudged people aside and stepped into the arena.

“Me,” I answered as I stood next to Evangeline.

“Well, I haven’t seen you in a while,”

“I asked you a question. Where did you last see it?”

“Right here actually,” Rob spread out his arms to display the charcoal grill and small patch of grass. “Why else would we be here?”

“I don’t know, so more people can see how utterly amazing you are. As usual.” I crossed my arms and glared at him. You see, Rob and I used to be friends, until he got jealous of my promotion at work. We became friends through work, actually, yet he got so mad at me that he wound up spreading a rumor about me at work which got me fired.

“At least I don’t have to try to get people to like me, they just do,”

“Yeah, because they feel sorry for your lack of emotions,”

“At least someone cares for me,”

“Well-”

“Okay, we get it, you don’t like each other,” Evangeline cut in. “I have to get my son to basketball practice soon, so can I go now?”

“Sure, whatever,” Rob replied as we glared at each other. Evangeline pushed through the crowd and hurried her kids out of the campground and into the street. The crowd glanced back and forth from Evangeline and Rob, hesitating to escape.

“Okay, this is getting stupid.” I flung my hands in the air, followed by people slowly starting to fan out.

“It was you wasn’t it,” I raised my eyebrows. Say something smart and witty. He’s onto you!

“Please, as if I’d want anything of yours in my sight,”

“You’d want my job,”

“Rob, I just started a new job last week. Besides, you stole it,”

Sabotaged,

“Doesn’t matter! I wish you weren’t even in my life anymore!” Rob remained silent as the last person of the crowd walked into the street, leaving us alone.

“Which is exactly why you stole it,” He said softly.

“Excuse me?” He knows that it’s an Enigma Bullet?

“I don’t have a niece-”

“I knew that,”

“Anyway, that bullet is an Enigma Bullet-

“I know, I learned about it briefly in seventh grade,” I fibbed.

“See, since you already know about it, you stole it from me so you could end me. Get your job back. Never see my face again!” Rob raised his voice with each sentence.

I remained silent and looked at the ground. Should I fess up? If I do, who knows what he’ll do with that wish. He could shoot me for all I know. “I didn’t take it,” I mumbled.

Rob inhaled through his nostrils and sighed. “Fine then, if you don’t have it, I suppose you won’t mind if I check for it…just in case,” Rob smirked and walked past me, bumping my shoulder with his. Crap.

Bullet: Part Four

 

I Speak Fluent Sarcasm

I set the bullet down on my bed and  hurried to the door, still in my robe. Bullet of course was barking on the couch, so I hushed him and opened the door.

Outside was Evangeline Wilcox, my next door neighbor, with her daughter and son, who were twins, running around her. “Quinn! Izzy!” Evangeline scolded, trying to grab her children’s shoulders to stop them.

“Hello Evangeline,” I greeted her.

“Oh!” Evangeline briefly glanced up at me right before firmly grabbing her kids and making them stand still next to her. “Hello there! Sorry about that,”

“Oh! No, no, it’s fine. Is there something I can help you with?”

“Actually, I came here to see if you were headed to the old campgrounds,”

“The…the old campgrounds?” I stuttered.

“Yeah! Didn’t you hear what happened?” I shook my head side to side. This can’t be good. “Our neighbor, Rob Maerring, the one that is always at that old campground claims that someone stole something secret he was going to give to his niece. And now he’s got a whole crowd that he’s ranting to about it! Can you believe it?” I stared at her with wide eyes and gulped. The Enigma Bullets. That’s gotta be it. 

“I…um…I actually didn’t hear about it until just now,” I admitted as I scratched the back of my neck.

“Oh! Would you like to come with us? You could bring your dog, if you want,”

“Uh,” I turned around to look at Bullet, who was now furiously lapping up some water in his water bowl. “Sure! I’ll probably leave Bullet though. I just need to change first,”

“Great! We’ll meet you outside the building,” Evangeline said with a smile. I waved goodbye and shut the door as they made their way to the staircase. Evangeline was only a year or two older than me, so she was pretty much the only neighbor I talked to.

I speedily went into my room and changed into a comfy, white t-shirt that said, “I SPEAK FLUENT SARCASM”, tattered jeans, and grey sneakers. I rushed into the bathroom and cleaned myself up, and quickly put my hair into a neat yet messy bun.

I put my cell phone in my back pocket, pet Bullet goodbye, and hurried out the door and outside of the building where Evangeline was waiting for us. “Hey!” Evangeline called with a wave.

“Hi! Thanks for waiting,”

“No problem,” Evangeline replied as she began to walk down the sidewalk as I quickly followed behind.

Once we arrived, there were a lot more people there than I thought that there would be. But, I mean, Rob Maerring is a pretty dramatic, young man around our age that makes everything revolve around him. I guess he started a rally to draw attention to himself and get back his “special item”. Please don’t let it be one of the Enigma Bullets.

“Someone stole it! The criminal shall pay! I don’t care who’s on my side or isn’t!” I stood on my toes to see Rob at the center of a decently large crowd. My eyes widened in horror. It wasn’t Rob that startled me, it was what was next to him. The charcoal grill. That was what I needed to confirm my theory, and I needed to get out of there. But I couldn’t let Rob spot me, or he’d get suspicious.

“I was going to give my niece a glass bullet! And someone stole it!” The crowd erupted into mumbles and whispers. Crap. Major crap.

That’s it?” Evangeline muttered, furrowing her brow. “Doesn’t seem that amazing. I mean, why go through all that trouble keeping it a secret?” Quinn began to kick the grass while Izzy picked at a bug bite on her arm.

“I think I’m going to head out, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal,” Evangeline turned around and headed to exit the campground.

“FREEZE!” Rob hollered.

“Excuse me?” Evangeline whipped around, clearly annoyed.

No one is leaving here until I find out who stole it. Not even you, Evangeline.”