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October 26

As I started to wake up in a daze from a sleep without a dream, I felt unsatisfied. As if by the ritual I used to do every morning, I naturally started to reach for an alarm that I could swear was going off.

“Just stop… Stop it you. Let me sleep… for two more minutes.” I reached for the snooze button but what I felt was not a button; it was a surface that was as smooth as silk and there was no ringing but I woke up all the same.

Also, why do I have something soft underneath my head, there weren’t any pillows in this place, at least from what I was able to see once the mask was gone.

I clamored my eyes slowly open, and the situation hit me once again.

I didn’t want to remember that I was here, but I am. I could no longer consider myself a living being, at least in the normal sense of the term “living.” But I can slowly begin to accept that.

My main attention, however, was drawn to the question of “why do I feel so comfortable in a place like this?”

Then, as if still dreaming, I heard an angelic voice ask, “Did you sleep well, Denny? Also, why… are you touching my arm?”

I looked upwards to see a smiling face looking back at me.

Is she smiling because she’s happy or is she just trying to make my awakening more bearable? Either way, it felt pleasant.

“Umm… I don’t really think I can call what that was sleep, so... I passed out well. Thank you.” I noticed that I should probably stop touching her arm so we don’t have any misunderstandings, so I quickly did so as to lower the awkwardness in the air.

“Sorry about that. But now on to my other question, why does my head feel like its resting on something very soft? We both know that there aren’t any pillows in this creepy place.”

She started to look a little flustered, I’m still curious though. “Well…. You see…” the words seemed harder to come out. So, as a curious man would do, I threw out a guess.

“I’m going to take a wild guess because I feel that I have a near perfect idea.” I chose the one that seems to happen quite a bit in one of the few manga that I have been keeping up on, so I thought “why not give it a guess?”

“Is it your lap?” She stopped immediately and started blushing quite badly now.

I sat perplexed at the girl in front of me, I was basically in shock. Then the moment dawned on me as the shock wore off.

I quickly jumped away from her lap, my chest started to tighten. “Wait, I was right? Okay… first, umm thank you for letting me sleep there… and two, it didn’t hit me until ten seconds after I guessed, so I am also sorry.”

As I sat there I couldn’t really hide the shock and blushing from my face, as if by someone else’s wishes, I couldn’t stop smiling. What’s wrong with me?

“Did… I do something weird?” She started to fidget a bit, not too badly but extremely noticeable as redness grew on her face. How can such a girl who seems so military-like act so unbearably cute?

“No… No, of course not, I’m… I’m actually very happy. I have never had a girl let me do that, especially not a girl as beautiful as you. It made waking back into this world more peaceful.” I said with a constant smile on my face and slightly avoiding her adorable gaze.

She whispers to herself, “He called me beautiful.” She started blushing even more. “Uhh… okay, umm lets… let’s move on then. What should be our next move?” She asked as she started to sit up. Her nervous face and clearly stunning complexion had been burned into my mind. Thank you God, or Devil, or whatever entity I have to pray to now for this.

“I think we should gather whatever weapons we can find from this room first. Wait, you’re from here, you should know this place pretty well, right?” I am guessing she is from higher up knowing that she is basically strong enough to stop a Chimera.

“Do you live somewhere around here? Or…” Before I could finish my statement she suddenly jumped up, deployed her armor, and reached for her knife.

“Kyoko… What’s wrong? Why did you jump up so fast, should I get ready too?” I said sitting almost completely upright now, wide awake.

“You know those sounds you heard before? They stopped.”

“They stopped? The saws and the screaming that came from the next room? What does that have to do with anything?” I asked with a concerned look and tone of voice.

“It shouldn’t stop, it shouldn’t ever stop. It’s not good if it stops. He must be coming. He must know I didn’t complete the mission.”

“Mission? He? Kyoko, what’s happening? Like I said before, should I help?”

“No, just…” She stopped to give a quick sigh, not in disappointment but in extreme thought before she continued. “Actually yeah, go over to my bag. I might have something that can disguise your scent and look. This can either go very well or go horribly wrong so grab the short sword from the left side pocket.” She yelled orders at me with leader-like conviction. I felt like I wanted to listen not needed to.

“Gotcha Captain, I mean, I’ll just go.” I ran as fast as I could towards the medium sized bag in the back corner of the room. I had no time to think of indecencies that I could find in a girls bag as I went straight for the side and the front pocket. Luckily they were both in their respective places and in surprisingly amazing shape.

I put on the robe first to make sure it fit; it was kind of tight but it was made specifically for women, so I didn’t complain. I then snuck the sword into my right pocket since I don’t have a holster for any type of weapon currently. Actually, I’m still wearing my street clothes that are stained with my blood under this robe. I’ll get new ones once we get out of this.

The cloak actually sealed my physique well as I stood at the ready next to my current leader. The stomping and I mean earth shattering steps, came closer toward the door that was about five yards in front of us.

Kyoko turned to me and whispered, “Whatever you do don’t talk and don’t move, I will cover for you if anything happens, okay?” She started to get into a relaxed but still defensive stance as the footsteps stopped in front of the door.

I heard what sounded like loud snarling in a weird pattern on the other side. Is he trying to smell us? Or is he just trying to understand what the noises are from our side?

Suddenly everything went silent. It sounded as if the whole world had gone to sleep as quickly as it had started when I had woken up.

Is everything fine now? Are we good? I’m not going to stop feeling tense until Kyoko gives me the nod, and even then I’ll still be on guard. It’s a new world, a new life. I should never put my guard down but she makes me feel even a little welcome in this world, at least so far.

The harshly worn silence was quickly broken as the beast crashed through the metal twin doors at full speed into our room. He stood there, we were both silent.

“Listen Denny, this creature is known as a Mercentry. It cannot see or hear but… here is a big but, he can feel the vibration of any slight movement from anything. He is also almost perfect at distinguishing anything apart from any other object and/or being. So don’t make any unnecessary movements, as long as you aren’t detected through his sense of smell, we will be fine.”

The gigantic beast hulking over me as if he was a bear standing on its hind legs looking for prey, but it resembled more of an oversized pig. I didn’t even breathe during that long minute that it took to walk around the room; I couldn’t tell where it exactly was. The breathing kept getting louder as he paced behind me, halfway through his walk.

“Oh god, what did I do?” I kept telling myself even though I knew the answer was nothing. Do nothing, say nothing, understand nothing. That saying has more or less been the definition of how I have lived life up until this point. But this is now, so no moving.

The beast started to get louder and louder but it wasn’t getting closer. Did I mess up?

The only thing I dared to move was my eyes as I looked towards Kyoko. Never have I seen someone yell as quickly as she did in that moment, all I truly saw were what words her lips formed, not the sounds.

The words I read were, “Roll left now!”

Wait, Roll left now? I didn't truly question it; I just did, almost instinctively.


Right after I rolled left, I turned to see a stray butcher’s knife the size of a full grown alligator sticking out of the ground where I once stood. I barely even kept myself upright as he jarred the knife loose and began to rush in for a second attack.

Well, just my luck.

Submitted: November 23, 2014

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