Chapter 4: Dreams & Reality, Part IV

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

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Lance returned to his seat, giving a sigh of relief. He waited, and when Cal didn't move, Lance turned to see his friend staring at him.

"What?" Cal asked. "I didn't start it."

For the first time that day, Lance laughed. The side of his head found the wall, eyes closing. "Cal," he said, still laughing, "just get in the room."

"Why should I?" Cal turned to the principal, who wore a face of someone who had completely given up. "He told me to do it. Threatened to hurt my dog, even. Horrible person, really."

"You don't even have a dog," Lance commented.

"And a liar, too! Sir, this is an outrage, and I would never associate myself with such a—"

The principal curled a finger, motioning to Lance. "You. I'll take you first. It's too early in the morning to deal with him."

"Yeah, good choice." Lance stood up, walking past Cal before immediately stumbling over a foot.

"Fuckin' suck up," Cal muttered through a grin.

"Language!" the secretary barked.

As Lance walked through the doorway of the principal's office with a grin, Cal's reply followed him, voice both alarmed and flustered.

"You were like half-asleep two seconds ago! How are you so alert, is that like some kind of trigger word for you?"

The door swung shut, and Lance turned to see the principal standing beside him. He was a big man with horrible posture. Definitely ape-like. Lance watched him turn, ambling towards his desk. Something faintly smelled like stale Cheetos, and Lance wasn't totally sure how he knew what that smelled like.

"Take a seat."

Lance sat down as the principal thumbed through a short file.

"Fairly clean record," the man was saying. "Nothing recent, except for this." He briefly glanced up, like that was supposed to be intimating. "You had some issues in middle school, though."

Lance cleared his throat. "Yeah." That's when everything started. With Mom.

"A few outbursts, few class disruptions with your friend out there."

Lance nodded along. He remembered.

"Got caught trying to skip class."

Lance nodded again. He still had the scar from it.

The principal stared at him for a moment, almost like he wanted to chastise how casual Lance was acting. He let out a small breath instead, turning back to the folder and continuing on.

"Nothing real big until this. Someone really could've gotten hurt out there, you know that?"

Lance shrugged, figuring he'd just bullshit his way out of this one. "Yeah, but they didn't."

"Really?" He raised a thick finger to the side of his face, below his eye. "That little mark on your face tells me differently."

"That's from something else."

"You do this kind of stuff a lot?"

"No." Unless you count crowd-surfing off of venue balconies and landing on another, bigger crowd... His mouth twitched into a grin at the memory of last night's show.

The principal leaned forward, squinting at him through the lens of his glasses. Lance instantly wiped the smile off his face.

"Somethin' funny, Lance?"

"No. No, sir. There's nothing funny about this."

The big man across from him leaned back, chair sounding at the shift of his weight.

"Good," he said. "Now let's talk about this incident."

From then on, the principal's voice became background noise. Lance's focus drew inwards, thoughts coming to him as if they were traveling through quicksand. He really didn't even want to think, but he also really didn't want to hear this lecture, either. The guy barely knew what happened, too. His eyes drooped closed, the quicksand in his mind begin to pull his conscious down.

"What are you still doing there?"

He jolted awake.

"I told you to go! I thought that my first warning would be enough."

The principal was speaking to him, words beginning as the voice's ended. "You okay, kid? You look like you've seen a ghost."

Lance was breathing heavily, pulling the air in through his mouth. He closed his eyes, focusing on trying to calm himself down. He thought of a rhythm; three-three. But the voice was still here.

"God..." A sound of frustration came; like someone flicking their lower lip with their front teeth. "Bad way. Really bad way to go about this. I can't reach you any other way, though."

"You hear that?" Lance asked, voice rising. "Tell me you're hearing that!"

The principal stared at him.

"You sure you're not on drugs, kid?"

"The voice!" Lance was screaming now, still gripping the arms of the chair. "You don't hear that voice?"

He was met with another moment of silence before the principal's beefy finger pressed a button on his desk phone.

"Get a school medic in here, please."

"Right away, sir. I can hear him screaming from here."

The finger was released, the principal speaking a moment later. "We got someone comin'. Hang tight, kid. Try not to break anything."

Memories flashed again. There's someone coming for you.

His legs kicked out, pushing against the front of the desk and sending his chair over. Lance scrambled backwards, hearing that voice again. Ringing loud and clear from every direction.

"Dammit. I shouldn't have done this. Hold on; let me think for a moment."

"Since when can voices think?" Lance yelled back.

"Okay." The voice was quieter now. More centered... Like it was inside his mind. "I'm in your head now but don't—" Lance felt his limbs scrambling again, trying to force himself up. He suddenly stopped, relaxing and splaying out onto the floor. "Don't freak out. We can do this. I'm not the enemy here. I'm trying to help."

"Trying to help with what?" Lance yelled again, unable to calm himself down.

He couldn't move his body, and despite the pace of his heart, his breathing was relatively calm.

"It's a long story, and hopefully I can explain it to you later. I just need to get you out of here for a while, alright?"

"No!" Lance responded. "Not alright! What the fuck is going on?"

"I'm going to release my influence on your muscles. I need you to start moving when I do, okay?"

Lance felt the tension binding him suddenly release. He picked himself off the floor, feet slipping out from the speed. He turned around, suddenly seeing Cal holding the door open, standing there with wide eyes. He looked like he was terrified.

"Get moving. Don't worry about your friend; he'll be alright."

And yet, something was rooting Lance still. He couldn't move; he was still trying to figure out why he needed to. Why he was even hearing this voice in the first place...

"We don't have time to stand around like this! Get moving or I'm doing it for you!"

"Lance..." Cal said. "You alright, man?"

Lance couldn't reply.

He didn't know what to say. Suddenly, a space deep within his chest was pushed forward then pulled back, as though his own energy was being pushed a few inches away from his own body. He still saw the same things; his vision was the same. But he felt further away from himself. He heard the voice speak again, this time much quieter.

"That's what it feels like..."

What're you doing? Lance thought, fear shaking his words. What're you...

The pain was like his head had cracked open, splitting right down the middle. Images took over his sight, flashing too fast for him to really see. He caught glimpses—people, faces he didn't recognize. Markings, weapons, more people. Inhuman ones, distorted features of body parts. More symbols. Drawings. And then a face, shown long enough for him to take in.

She was beautiful. The pain in his head faded away, a glowing light in his chest replacing it. Green eyes. Something about them seemed incredibly familiar, like he was staring at a part of himself he didn't remember having. An extension of who he was.

Distantly, he felt his body curl inwards as he hit the floor. His vision was nothing but black, and then he felt a pressure zipping through his head, the memory of the last few seconds erasing themselves.


Submitted: October 30, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:


Al Ashcott

Oh boy ... This doesn't look good. I can sense it from here Lance will get into a lot trouble. And I'm not even talking about the voices he hears! His mother, the principal, the teachers, his friends ... are going to talk about this! And it'll get even more frustrating because he's a child ... ARGH!


Wed, October 27th, 2021 8:11am

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