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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flickering Light [Part 12]

Alex Reinhart didn’t like this. His day had already been going terribly wrong. He was late for work, and his uptight boss gave him some stern words. Then at lunch, another phone call from his sons’ school let him know that Cody got into detention yet again, frustrating him more. Since detention would take some time, Reinhart stayed at work (and around his disdainful boss) for an extra half hour. On his way to the car, this man had come up with a gun and forced him to be a chauffeur to where Cody was. The man, who called himself Conrad, was genial and tried to explain that he was Cody’s father and that he didn’t really want to hurt anybody. Reinhart didn’t trust him at all, and figured that the man was just disgruntled that he didn’t get his kid in whatever legal battle that he put Cody through.

On the way over, Reinhart got another call, this time from his wife. She was in tears and could only tell him there was an incident at the school and to be over there as fast as he could go. Conrad could understand the conversation just from hearing his end and fidgeted as they raced along the suburban road. Then without warning, Conrad shouted that he saw his son on the side of the road. Reinhart slammed on his brakes, not believing his eyes. He was dumbfounded, worried what might’ve happened that made Cody run from school. And was Ian okay?

This thought drove Reinhart to angrily yell at Cody and his father to stop hugging and get back in the car. They were both all smiles as they turned back. That was when Reinhart noticed the necklace that Cody’s father wore. It shone blue just like Cody’s, and both of theirs seemed to grow a little brighter as they walked over from the grassy shoulder of the road. But unlike Cody’s, Conrad had a clear coin shaped pendant. It didn’t seem natural, but Reinhart had bigger problems to worry about.

“We’re not going to the school. We need to get out of here, Mr. Reinhart,” Conrad said.

“I’m getting my other son and we’re heading back home where we’re never seeing you again, whether you like it or-”


“Mr. Reinhart, I don’t want to threaten you, but going to fetch your ‘other’ son is not an option right now, unless you want all three of us to get killed. Do you understand?”

“No, I don’t, buddy. Why the hell can’t I go get Ian and make sure he’s safe?”

“Because that would put us in more danger than you realize. There are men there that want to kill both Cody and myself, and would kill you in a heartbeat if they needed to. I don’t personally know who they are, and I don’t really care. All I need is a safe place for us that nobody knows that you know about.”

“What about Tom’s place?” asked Cody. “He lives in a bigger school place, and he took care of me really well.”

“No, absolutely not, I need to make sure Ian is safe and-”

“Mr. Reinhart. You will die if you go there. If not by the men that tried to kill my son, then by myself. Do you know where it is that my son is talking about?”

“Well I know the college he was found by, but-”

“And you know where Tom lives around there?”

“I do! I got his address right here!” Cody pulled out a piece of paper from the wallet his parents gave him. It was crumpled and stained, but legible. After much protesting, gun waving, and pushing through rush hour traffic, Reinhart managed to find the school and the apartment. He parked nearby, and Cody got out to find the right room. While he let his son go, Conrad stayed back.

“Look, Mr. Reinhart, can we have a little talk?”

* * *

Cody had found the door, with the correct number. He knocked twice and heard a muffled voice say ‘Coming, hold on’ from the other side. A few moments later, and the door opened revealing Jeremy with a spatula in one hand and plastic cup in the other. He looked down at Cody curiously until recognition swept over his face. Jeremy blinked twice and silently motioned for Cody to enter.

Jeremy led Cody into the small living room in the apartment, and went back to the kitchen where a pot was boiling over. He turned the heat down and grabbed a butcher knife to chop up some onions. The TV showed a comedian doing stand up as Cody found a seat on a couch near it.

“Um, is Tom here?” Cody asked, trying to make eye contact without luck.

“No. He’s not here. And he’ll never be here.” Jeremy was quick to answer, and cut down a little harder on the onion. Little bits flew away from the knife, and the audience on TV gave a round of cheery laughter.

“Never be here? Did he move out?”

“When he was coming back from the hospital one day, he crashed his car. He’s dead.”

* * *

“What do you want out of my wife and my children? Why are you threatening us?”

Reinhart’s eyes stayed on the gun while he spoke. Otherwise he faced forward while Conrad spoke.

“Look, I know this has been tough to accept and all, but he is my son and he needs to come back with me. I also believe that, since you took Cody into your home, which was very generous of you, I must say, but that since you did that, you put yourself in much danger. There-”

“I’d say so! A crazed man like you waving a gun around trying to find his own son? How many restraining orders do you have on you right now?”

“Mr. Reinhart, I really don’t appreciate your tone-”

“And I don’t appreciate the shit you’ve put me through today!”

“If you don’t shut your mouth and listen, I’ll explain! Cody and I aren’t from this town, this state, country, or even this planet. Probably completely different universes, but I haven’t figured that part out yet. We don’t belong here, Mr. Reinhart, and the longer we stay on your Earth then the harder it is for us to get back. It’s pure luck that we managed to even find Cody alive!”

Reinhart turned to look at Conrad, disbelieving. Cody’s father chuckled slightly to himself, as if he made a joke.

“You expect me to believe that? What’s so funny?” Reinhart asked.

“It’s nothing, and of course I don’t expect you to. The government in my world didn’t believe it when I explained it to them either. Your police force certainly didn’t. But see these pendants? These little charms we wear? You haven’t discovered how to make them here, have you? They’re my only proof to you, Mr. Reinhart.”

Reinhart gave him a long, hard stare. The radio buzzed in and out, and a college girl walked up to the apartment Cody had entered and knocked. A few birds sang out from the trees.

"You're nuts. Get out of my car and never come back."

"You and your wife are in danger! Now that they attacked my son at that school, they won't hesitate to kill either of you or that other boy of yours."

"Oh yeah? And who would that be, you lunatic?"

A jingle played somewhere in Reinhart’s pocket. Keeping his eyes on the crazed man, he slowly reached in to pull out his ringing cell phone to see that his wife was calling. His eyes lingered over Conrad’s gun for a few seconds longer before answering.

“Hello?...Who-...what-...honey, calm down, what’s going on?...Yes, I do, he’s with me. What? Well I’d love to but there’s a guy with a gun that says he’s his father and-...Hello? Who’s this? Put my wife back on. I don’t-...What’s going on? Why do you need him?...Coming for him? You don’t even know where I am! Give the phone back to my wife and stay away from us! I won’t let you-Hello? Hello? HELLO?”

Reinhart looked stupidly at the dead phone, then back up at Cody’s father who had been listening intently. Conrad started speaking.

“We need to go, now, before-”

A moment later, Reinhart’s hands were at Conrad’s throat, and punches were being thrown in the small sedan. Seatbelts came off and all of Reinhart’s childhood martial arts training suddenly came to him. And soon, so did Conrad’s gun.

* * *

“Yeah. Dead.” Jeremy made another harsh cut, barely missing his finger. His hands started shaking slightly. “I didn’t believe it either. I mean, he was my first real friend here. He was the smart guy, the guy who had his shit together, who knew where he was going in his life. Then you came along and ruined it all.”

“What? I didn’t ruin anything.”

Jeremy turned and glared. Cody sank a little further into the chair.

“You didn’t ruin it? Do you know what he did while he wasn’t visiting you? He was doing all sorts of research, trying to figure out what your stupid necklace was! He spent hours at the library and tons of time driving around, trying to find information. That’s all he did, day in, day out. He had to know, and the more he found out the less he cared about the rest of his life.”

Jeremy approached Cody, tears welling up in his eyes. His grip on the knife tightened while he shook it at Cody for emphasis. Cody stood up and began backing away as Jeremy’s voice grew louder and louder. The room felt much smaller to Cody as another burst of laughter came from the TV.

“We never hung out, he lost all his good grades, he was always distracted by figuring out that fucking necklace! That god damned necklace! And now you see what happened? He’s dead! He’s dead because he kept visiting you and cared about nothing else! My best friend is dead because of you!”

Jeremy sped forward and grabbed at Cody’s hair. Finding it, he yanked it back. Cody felt cold steel press against his neck, closed his eyes and whimpered. Jeremy’s voice was low as he spoke.

“If only you had never came here. If you had just died before we found you, then everything would be okay.”

Cody swallowed and waited for everything to end.


[Part 11][Part 13]

for those of you wondering, it's not Tosh.0 on the TV, because that show sucks

With that, I'm going to be moving to a month-long hiatus! I've decided to go ahead and do NaNoWriMo this year for the first time, and I doubt I will have any care to work on this story at all. Once November is over, then writing will resume...hopefully

Therefore, I leave you with this. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flickering Light [Part 11]

Two doors. Three windows. They’re coming through doors. Teachers can distract them. Go.

After a moment’s hesitation, Cody was standing and ready to go. The blast knocked him back into reality. He didn’t look at who was charging in the room, only paying attention to his nearest escape route. He made his way towards the window, praying that he could break through it. Gunfire filled his ears, and spiderwebs of broken glass were the last things he saw before closing his eyes and ramming into the hole-filled window.


Cody couldn’t believe that he was able to get through without getting hit. He landed in a pile of broken glass, and he felt a stinging up and down his entire right side. Glass stuck into his palm as he pushed himself up and began a limped run. His left foot gave a dull pain for every step he took, still sore from the hospital. More shouting reached his ears from behind him. In front there was tall grass and trees before the roads began.

Hide or run, hide or run, hide or run

Cody dashed into cover and kept moving. Limbs and thorny bushes scratched at him as he tried to push them away. He didn’t dare slow down for any reason until he knew he was far away from whatever the hell just happened. After ten or fifteen minutes of running, he paused to catch his breath and nearly collapsed on a large anthill. Not willing to wait for too long, he continued walking ahead trying to keep pressure off his bad foot.

Why do I always end up in these stupid forests?

He shivered and looked around. Dead trees lay here and there and dried leaves covered the rest of the ground. The weather was starting to turn warmer, but Cody still wished he had his jacket with him. A rustling to his right made him tense up, only to realize it was just a little squirrel. This world seemed to be much like his own, yet it wasn’t. They had some different names for things, gadgets that Cody didn’t know were possible, and a strange obsession with flashy boxes they called televisions and computers. Ian loved watching them whenever their parents would let him.

Oh crap, Ian! I hope he’s okay. Dang it, why’d I have to get that stupid detention and keep us both after school and now this crap. Jeez, I really hope he’s okay.

As annoying as he could be, Cody enjoyed being around him. Ian reminded him of his own little brother, never seen without a smile on his face and a positive attitude. Ian had listened to Cody’s stories about the other world with interest, and seemed to believe them. Cody wished he could do something for Ian, but his own survival was a priority. It always had been since he got separated from his family, and even when he had to kill his closest friend

Cody shivered again, but not because of the cold. The knife didn’t go down quickly, and he swore he felt Ty’s heart beat against metal while he was pushing it down. He pulled himself out of those thoughts and looked over his arm. The cuts weren’t worrisome, but there were enough little shards to cause plenty of small, pin sized holes for blood to escape. His hand was the same shape thanks to pushing himself off the ground in the middle of broken glass.

How many other kids have to put up with this crap?

Cody found the tree line as he thought this. A small highway ran to his left and right, disappearing from view in either direction. A few stores dotted the road farther down, but it was otherwise deserted. Cars flew by in either direction until one made a screeching halt in front of him, nearly getting smashed from behind by a large truck. Paying no attention, Cody slowly backed up, ready to jump into the trees again. But when the last person he expected got out of the passenger seat, Cody’s eyes grew wide in amazement and he clumsily ran forward.

“Father! You’re here!”


[Part 10] [Part 12]

Yeah, I don't think that many other kids get thrown into completely different worlds and then attacked at school. Sorry, Cody.

As you see in most of my posts now, there's links to the previous and next post (except for this one, obviously)! Hurray for good ideas from friends. Until next week (or later)!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flickering Light [Part 10]

Cody had spent every lunch period sitting away from the rest of the kids in the school. His 8th grade class had around 100 people, and had all swarmed him when they heard about why he was in the hospital. Cody hated the attention and ignored them until they all left him alone. Classes meant nothing in his eyes, so he sat in the backs of classes and drew pictures in the notebooks his parents gave to him. When a teacher rearranged seating because of disruptive behavior, Cody ended up close to the teacher’s desk. Seeing that he was not doing any work for her class, she took up his notebook and flipped through it. After class, she pulled him aside to talk to.

A short argument and a few insults later, Cody spoke his way into another after school detention. He already had two from yelling at other kids in the middle of a class because they wouldn’t stop annoying him about what it was like getting shot. This time it was the art teacher that was on detention rotation. Cody brought his notebooks again to doodle in while he sat in the chilly room that smelled like cheap paint. The art teacher, Ms. May, was a delicate woman in her forties who seemed like she drifted on air. The few other kids who also had detention had finished their short essays and left while Cody kept doodling along. Ms. May had glided up behind him and had peered over his shoulder to get a better look. When she spoke in the otherwise quiet room, it startled him.

“What is that you’re working on?”

“Oh! This? Um, it’s nothing,” Cody tried to close the book but the teacher’s nimble hands moved faster than he could. She swept it up and flipped through while Cody began fostering a strong annoyance at her.

“These are...quite interesting, Cody,” Ms. May told him. Cody’s glare cautiously let his face. Her eyes perused the pictures with genuine curiosity on her face. There were some of who she imagined was his family, others of tanks and guns and other sorts of weapons, and of cities that had seemed to be completely wiped out, all in more detail than she would’ve expected from someone Cody’s age.

“They’re just drawings. They’re not anything special.”

“I would disagree. You certainly seem to have talent.”

Ms. May turned a page to reveal a messy picture of a frightened person. Wide eyes, pencil scribbles everywhere below the person’s face, and the words ‘PLEASE NO’ written all over the pages in all sizes.

“Who is this? Someone you know?” Ms. May asked, showing him the picture. All the color slowly left his face as he tried to answer.

“That’s...that’s my best friend.”

“What’s his name?”


“Is he okay?”

“N-no.” Cody’s eyes were locked with the picture’s. He told himself to stop talking, but he continued on. “We were sleeping in a little empty house in the middle of nowhere. I woke up and heard him talking. He was on the phone a room over, in the kitchen. After I walked in and got a glass of water, I figured out he was talking to them. He was going to turn me in. My best friend was going to hand me over.”

He could feel his heartbeat pick up. Wringing his hands together, Cody’s voice picked up pace.

“He had a gun that his dad told to keep with him that we both had left in the room where we were sleeping. He had a head start back, so I grabbed a steak knife from the counter.”

His hand were shaking. A switch somewhere in the back of his mind turned off, and Cody lost his ability to control himself. He hugged himself as he spoke faster and faster.

“He got to the gun. He shot me in the arm but I didn’t feel it. I remember dropping the knife then running right into him. We fought and punched and kicked and yelled and I remember breaking his nose and getting my head slammed into the wall.”

Cody’s eyes were locked with the picture but he saw Ty’s scared face instead. That night replayed around him after he had blocked it out of memory for weeks.

“And then I found the knife again and somehow ended up on top of him with it and was trying just to hurt him so I could ask why. And he started begging me and begging me and saying he was sorry but he had to do it.”

At this point his voice had turned into a shaky shout and his whole body was quivering. Tears ran down his face but he still couldn’t stop himself.

“He begged me not to do it. He yelled at me not to. But he was gonna turn me in, and I couldn’t let them have it. I tried pushing the knife into him but he was holding me up. He kept screaming ‘PLEASE CODY NO PLEASE DON’T I’M SORRY PLEASE DON’T DO IT’!



He was yelling as loud as he possibly could. Somewhere in the world outside of his memories, Ms. May was trying to calm him down without any luck. She had closed the notebook and threw it on a desk. Cody could feel her arm around him but couldn’t process it being there in his mind.

“And then I pushed all my weight behind the knife. And it went down. And he choked and stopped yelling. And he stopped moving.”

Cody was hyperventilating in his seat, slightly rocking back and forth. The world had come crashing down around him. His left hand frantically rubbed the spot on his shoulder that had been shot. Feeling sick to his stomach, Cody spent the next five minutes replaying the night over and over in his head. He imagined what it was like to have a knife pierce his chest. He clutched his shirt, and felt the necklace underneath. He wanted to tear it off and throw it into the largest ocean where he’d never see it again. He wished he could take a hammer and smash it into pieces. If only he could find his father and demand to know why he had to wear it and to keep it safe.

Eventually he returned to his surroundings and saw the several other teachers that had rushed in when they heard the shouting. He sat, blubbering, feeling like an idiot as they all stared at him. He wanted to go home even more strongly than before. He gradually started breathing normally, still slightly shaking. Seeing that Cody had somewhat settled down, they got him to stand, planning on moving him to the guidance counselor for help. Ms. May gave him calming words, telling him that he was safe and that everything was going to be alright.

That’s when the doors exploded in a shockwave of noise and debris.


[Part 9] [Part 11]

New in my wikipedia article history: Hyperventilation, Panic Attack, PTSD

Today features a longer post, since I feel like all of this needed to be altogether. I was really surprised that I found the time to write this week, so I'm glad I got this much done. That's about all I have to say. Yup.