I reload my Stardyte Blaster for what seems like the hundredth time. Ejecting the empty battery, I recharge it into my charge and insert it back in. Standing up behind the box, I fire at the remaining three soldiers, eliminating them quickly.
"Team Tiger, you're good to go," our base commander informs my team. "Russians are going to use the Munch & Crunch cookie company factory to fire a nuclear weapon at Maxwell. Your new objective is to activate the bomb using the G6 explosive control on the Jubber Operative Building. It's the tallest one. Your connection to the bomb will be the best."
Was this really how the world was going to end? I wonder, reloading the Stardyte as our little team of four made our way along a road.
How long has it been since this fierce battle started? Ever since 2057, Russia was sending its troops all over Asia to take over the scarce sources of food there. The United States wanted to assist the countries in Asia, but they were too busy with their war with Europe. It sprouted into World War Three. Plexus Mercenaries, the company I work for, provided air, land, and sea support to Asia. And now, it is 2088, I've been involved in the war for thirty years already.
Plexus Mercenaries is like my second chance. I dropped out of high school as an orphan and couldn't find a decent job. Luckily, an advertisement caught my eye one day and I went for the job interview. Unlike most desk jobs, the interview focused more on fitness and ability to follow instructions and be independent instead of degrees.
"Sergeant Cadlaw, lead the way," Colonel Barrow orders. "We're taking a shortcut." Moving towards the front, I lead the team to a library. No, what used to be a library.
All of a sudden, a huge bookshelf moves aside, revealing a team of enemy soldiers. I fire my Stardyte's bullets at them, but before I know it, I'm taking heavy fire. As I duck, I see Colonel Barrow's lifeless body collapsing next to the armchair I had taken cover behind.
I don't even hesitate to whip out a Gadlaw explosive. There's a slight popping noise and the smoke layer activates, sending my remaining two teammates running for cover. I try to follow them but white gas stings my eyes slightly when I look up, but at least the soldiers are probably experiencing worse.
Not wanting to lose an opportunity to escape, I grab the G6 Explosive control from beside Colonel Barrow, dart between two different batches of patrolling soldiers and run through the winding corridors of bookcases. While stopping to check for enemies, I look out of one window.
The base commander was right. While, as the human population escalated to eleven billion, buildings all around the world became taller to save space, there was one particularly tall skyscraper surrounded by smaller buildings. I could just make out the words Jubber's Electronics, the disguise for Jubber, a terrorist organisation, in neon green. I attempt to radio our base commander, but there's only static.
My eyes drift to the streets full of soldiers, gunfire and explosions and I think of a plan. Instead of running across the street and risking getting hit by either side, perhaps I could try getting across by air instead. But I don't have a helicopter or jet with me.
I check my supplies and find a hook attached to a rope on my suit. Aha.
Reaching for my glazer, I activate it and draw a large rectangle on the wall. The rectangle's outline glows, and then I tap it with my hand. With a slight shake, the chunk of wall shrinks slightly and falls outside, and from the scream that follows, must have crushed someone. Oops.
I hook myself to the wall behind me and fire the other end at the building. It zooms across and latches itself onto a balcony railing. I attach the hook to the rope and zipline down. Once I land, I check for snipers, then press a button, and then both ends of the rope recoil back into the suit. I prepare my gun and reload the battery.
Next, I crouch down to watch for incoming planes. Hmm. I don't think I'm on the right level, I thought, shouldn't the operatives' base be higher up? Maybe at least five levels higher. Frowning, I decide to use my Panther Paws, pads on gloves that attract and stick to surfaces, to climb up.
Activating the pads on my gloves, I grip the wall and climb upwards slowly to prevent myself from losing my grip on the panes.
When I finally find the operative base, I hook myself onto the level above, deactivate the Panther Paws, and steady my Stardyte. Blasting the window into smithereens, I silently take down the soldiers on guard.
Once I have taken down the soldiers surrounding the main office, I search for a hiding place and I do find one: a metal shelf stocked high with documents. Squeezing myself into the tight space, I crouch behind the shelf and look at the hologram at the sides of my helmet's screen. Phew, at least my vital organs are working, my heartbeat is normal, the damage from wounds is not serious, and the overall vital stats are a healthy 83%.
Nodding, I stop moving when I hear footsteps. After this one, I tell myself, move faster, Liam!
When I reach the main office, I comb and deactivate every camera I find in the office, before taking out the G6 Explosive Control and placing it on a mahogany table, setting a timer. If I don't set this in time, I think, unarmed civilians will get hit by Russian forces.
In the darkness of this enclosed area, I spot two lasers slide up between my eyes. Sheesh. My eyes flicker up for a split second to two men holding machine guns. Upon recognition, the laser lights hastily lower towards the floor. "Sergeant Cadlaw."
I heave a sigh of relief when I realise the two were Private Xander and Sergeant Farrer, my lost teammates. "Phew, you both are alive! I was trying to contact Base earlier but they didn't respond," I inform them.
"How's the detonation comin' along?" Sergeant Farrer asks, walking over to me as I tap away at the holographic screen.
"Active for detonation in two minutes," I reply, stepping back from the bomb control.
"Xander, man the door, Cadlaw, clear all friendlies below. See if you can contact Base." Sergeant Farrer barked. I whipped out my binoculars and radioed, "Base, do you copy? We are ready for detonation; clear all friendlies from the infrastructure."
"Sergeant Cadlaw, we copy. Clearing all friendlies from the blast radius."
I watch in anticipation as the tanks and soldiers fighting below slowly retreat from the infrastructure. But as Sergeant Farrer and I were about to set the timer, small explosions came from the centre of the blast radius. Inspecting closer, I see a truck carrying unarmed citizens to cover. And most of them were children, around the same age as me when my parents left me.
"I thought Plexus said that the land was abandoned?" I frown, then pass Sergeant Farrer the binoculars, who replies, "Just proceed."
"We're supposed to only hit Russians!" I protest, wringing my hands.
"We cannot wait for civilians! Even more will die if we do not detonate it and stop the Russians!" Sergeant Farrer argues, banging the table with a fist.
"Stop the detonation now!" I growl, pointing at the panicking civilians below. "Those people down there are innocent!"
"If we don't activate the bomb on the infrastructure, many more will die in Maxwell!" Sergeant Farrer retorts.
I fume, turn to the door and ask Private Xander, "Private Xander, whose side do you take?"
"I-I- I just enlisted three months ago! Sort it between yourselves; leave me out of this!" Private Xander splutters, pointing at the control, which showed a countdown of fewer than thirty seconds.
"Stop, stop it......" Sergeant Farrer promptly interrupts my protests by slamming a hand down on the control. The blast took a mere thirty seconds to die down, but it felt much longer than that. With dread, I turn towards the window and see remnants of the truck parts in flames.
I feel like the destroyed vehicle, ablaze. My flames were flickering inside of me, but they are burning their way out.......
A whole city was saved, but at the cost of a few innocent lives. Why? Why must those few precious lives be wasted? What crimes did they commit that they needed to get such a punishment? Oh well. It's just the beginning, because this is war.
Mainly the war between Russia and Ukraine. This story delves deeper into wars, decisions and sacrifice. It is also inspired by a videogame, Call Of Duty.
I stretch my forepaws forward. The morning sun has just shone into my corner. That short nap I took earlier wasn’t enough. Maybe I’ll just sleep for a while more…… I slumped against the corner of my bed, exhausted.
“I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!!!” The black, vertical box with two eye-like holes shakes as Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball plays. Oh no, not that one again, I yowl. Her voice is raspier than my tongue. My owner’s a huge fan of Miley Cyrus and named me after the singer. It was definitely unfortunate; I have to listen to songs by the same singer every day. I’m not even a female cat in the first place! Oh, the indignity.
I’m burying my head in my long fur when several loud and sharp barks and howls alert me. Yikes! I slide my paws closer together such that my back bends in an arch, shaking. “Stop it!” I yowl in the direction of the sound.
As I’m looking out of the doorway of the cave, I notice that the barks sound like the song, just without the words. Sort of. “I’VE NEVER HIT SO HARD IN LOVE!!!” “Ruff-woof-woof-woof-ruff-A-A-WOOOOO!!!” Was that meant to be a song? It’s not the best.
I bury myself under my body. There’s only one dog in this place who sings like that. Actually, there’s only one dog in this place.
I hope I ticked off Cyrus.
I pad the floor, straighten my neck, and howl even louder, making sure even the song was softer than my howl. As I pause for a breath, I hear the owner chuckling and he pats my head as he walks to the huge red thing near the cat bed and sits down. I’m not exactly sure what the red thing is, but it must be special because I once sat on it and the owner scolded me.
Before I know it, the music ends and I sit on the toilet mat, anticipating my owner. My owner walks to the door and moves past me, hands full of tubs. He puts them on the floor, turns around and closes the door. Aha. No witnesses.
I walk over to Cyrus’s food bowl. Earlier, while Cyrus had been sleeping, my owner had filled the bowl with cat food. I look up to see a ball of grey and white fur in the cat bed. She isn’t awake; good. I watch Cyrus for a little while more and then I smash a paw into the bowl.
The cat food pieces scatter onto the floor around the bowl. I use my paw to nudge the pieces for a bit. Unexpectedly, Cyrus looks up from his nap. “How dare you!” He meows, jumping down to the ground.
Argh! That dog again! Just yesterday she pawed on my scratching post, leaving her awful scent on it, and last week she drank all the water from my bowl. I wish Lulu would just go back.
Splash! I look to the direction of the sound and see Lulu splashing a paw on my water bowl near the door, with water everywhere. “You already know how annoying I find that, yet you still do it!” I growl as I walk over to the door.
“Serves you right for hating me since I was brought home,” Lulu replies with a triumphant bark.
“But I’m not the one who’s trying to replace the previous fur baby in the house,” I hiss and bare my teeth at the black dog.
Just as Lulu is about to reply, our owner, who has collapses onto the ground. Lulu and I pause in mid argument, then we turn to our owner. He is lying there, struggling to get up.
After a while, our owner just stops moving. Lulu sniffs around his head and nudge him. I paw his hands and yowl.
“Ah! What happened?” Lulu panics, having never seen this before.
“I don’t know! But we need help from another human!” I retort, running out of the door. Lulu follows suit.
Cyrus scratches the door opposite ours and meows loudly. I follow her lead and bark frantically. The door opens and the male human who lives opposite looks at us suspiciously. I bark and run back inside and nudge our owner. Cyrus leads the male human to our front door.
“Oh ****! Mark, are you okay?” The male human kneels down next to the owner and asks. When nothing happens, he takes out the black rectangle I often see my owner put next to his ear and taps something on it. “…yes, we have an emergency at 16 Flower Avenue, Unit #08-09. He’s unconscious, no sign of bleeding. Hurry!” The male human says.
After what feels like a year, some humans arrive and carry our owner away. However, they stop Cyrus and I from following them and the male human next door tells us to wait here and he closes the door.
For the rest of the day, Cyrus and I stay near the door, waiting our owner’s return. “Where do you think they brought our owner?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I just hope he’s fine,” Cyrus replies, washing herself.
Just then, the door opens. But by the smell, it’s not our owner. The male human next door comes in cautiously and walks into the house. “Waiting for Mark? Don’t worry, he’s alright. But he’ll have to stay at the hospital for a few more days, so I’ll take care of you guys,” he says, walking into the kitchen.
Hospital? What’s that?
The male human has found the food for Cyrus and me and he pours some into our food bowls. Despite him mixing up our food bowls, we don’t grumble about it and eat off each other’s bowl.
Soon, we had our fill. The male human brings me out for a walk, changes Cyrus’ litter box and pours some water into our water bowls, while announcing, “I’ll be back tomorrow evening.”
As he is leaving, I awkwardly turn away from Cyrus and head to the owner’s bed.
I stretch out in my catbed, deciding to go patrol the perimeters of the house to check for stray cockroaches or lizards. As I pass by the owner’s doorway, I hear muffled sounds of whimpering. My ears swivel curiously towards the mound of blankets in the middle of the bed.
Padding in quietly, I jump onto the small table beside the bed. “What’s wrong?” I mewed at the mound.
“It’s nothing,” the dog sniffled curtly.
“Oh, come on, I don’t have all night.”
After a short silence, he goes, “I’m worried about our owner. What if he doesn’t come back? I don’t want to go back there.”
“Don’t be silly, the human male said he’ll be back soon,” I scoff.
“But that’s what happens with humans. They go away without bringing you, and then some people take you away to that place.”
I sense fear in Lulu’s voice, and for the first time in our lives together, I feel an odd sense of concern for her. I lick my paw awkwardly, “What happened with your previous owner anyway?”
“Well-uh- I was caged up and they didn’t feed us regularly and-”
“That’s outrageous!” I growl.
“Yeah, and some of my siblings didn’t make it. I vividly remember the cage being very smelly and filled with maggots,” Lulu buries her head in the mound of blankets.
“And then one day some humans came and took me away. The new place was better. I didn’t get locked up in a cage and they fed us but it was lonely there. When our owner brought me here, I was afraid, but things got much better.”
“Oh...” I don’t really know what to say. No wonder Lulu had been so attention-seeking when she first came. “Well, we just have to wait till our owner comes back. You heard what the male human said.”
“Okaaay.” Lulu still sounds unconvinced, but I can tell she is putting up a brave front.
“Right. Now go to sleep, I’m off to see what I can find in the living room,” I get up and leap off the table.
After our late night conversation, things slowly get better with Cyrus. I stop messing up his food bowl and he doesn’t make fun of me quite as frequently. The male human visits us every day and takes care of us.
While the male human next door is changing Cyrus’ litter box, there is a jingle and the door opens.
“Hey guys! Did you miss me?” I bound up to our owner as he walks in, frantically trying to lick his hands, as he scratches me behind my ears. Cyrus walks up and rubs against his pant leg, meowing in welcome.
I’m so relieved that our owner is home. At least this owner won’t leave me.
This comedic story was inspired by the Team's love for animals and jokes. But this story was very motivated by stories of animal abuse as shown in Lulu's backstory. The Team hopes that this story will raise attention to animal abuse.
23 Sylber, Saturdon
This morning, Ma said we were going on a trip to the Arctic Circle with my three cousins to skyde. I tried skyding before and I was the last. Flying down a mountain and raking the ice with one’s wing talons is really hard! Skyding is your typical high-adrenaline sport adored by your average dragon, as one could show off their prowess at controlling one’s wing talons to create exotic patterns on the ice. Most are obsessed with the sport, all except for me.
I hung about awkwardly, while the rest of the clan were showing off their talents at creating drawings, patterns, and whatnot. Big cousin Gertrude skyded over to me and poked me with a claw while twirling teasingly. “You should’ve stayed home, Emmatt! No one comes to the Arctic Circle to be a party pooper.” I snorted. Like I had a choice.
Thankfully, Uncle Maximus called us to The SnoWings, a skyding hotel, and invited us to some roast moose and fried otter. Of course, this lightened my mood, as fried otter is a delicacy uncommon in the land of the Wings Of The East clan. I was nervous when Pa came over as I wolfed down my fried otter and invited us to a skyding competition hosted by The SnoWings. Surely I could be excluded from this?
But I could not. Ma wanted all of us to join so we could increase our chances of winning. I still refused, but when I saw the disappointment on Ma’s face, what could I do?
As usual, Warrick, Pa, and Gertrude came in top. And me? I got disqualified in the first round. Dragonnit!
25 Sylber, Mondon
During lunch, I took out my lunch box and opened it. Roast ox from McDuck’s! I quickly tore off a piece and chewed it. Mmm. I also took out a factbook, The Great Reigns: Your Guide to the Greatest Dragons, for my upcoming project and started revising the history of Noah Snarby the Third.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw two dragons, a white and a blue one, whispering to each other and gesturing to me. But they were out of earshot, and I didn’t catch a word of their conversation. Then, the blue dragon strode over to me. I quickly averted my eyes to my timeline of Noah Snarby the Third’s reign and pretended not to notice the dragon.
“Hey, you. Come and join ma team,” the blue dragon asked.
“Team for what?” I replied, flipping the page of the textbook.
“Flyball.” The blue dragon flexed his abs, obviously trying to convince me to join. But flyball’s hard. You have to pass a ball around and score by putting it through one of five hoops placed around the arena, while dodging the opposing team, all without the ball hitting the ground. I had heard the training was so harsh players complain of backaches within five minutes. Some training.
So, of course, I refused. “Sorry mate, but no thanks,” I declined his offer politely. However, to my surprise, the blue dragon burst out laughing and told his friend, “See, I told you he would say no!”
“Dude, look at him! Studying what’s-his-name’s history during lunch! What a nerd!” The white dragon replied, hooting with laughter.
I had a lot of experience dealing with their type, so I tore off a chunk of ox meat and ignored them. “Everyone, look! Emmattagon from Wings of The East clan is a nerd! Hah!” To my disappointment, several dragons chuckled along.
“Jormungand and Kai from Claws of The North clan. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” I heard a female dragon say coolly. Turning my head, I saw a medium-sized blue dragon, Avonlea from Aqua Wings clan striding up to the two bullies, who scoffed, but they seemed to shrink back ever so slightly.
Avonlea was known throughout the school for her first-rate fire-breathing prowess. Once, in anger, she blasted off part of the cap of the mountain Ice Claw, which caused an avalanche. It was said that even Sigmongon the Terrible’s fire-breathing skills might have paled slightly compared to hers.
“If you want to compare wing-span, let’s take it outside then. We can have a friendly fire-breathing sparring session.” Avonlea confidently challenged the duo.
Kai and Jormungand cowered under Avonlea’s stare as she moved backwards and slapped a well-defined wing on my back, causing me to sputter and almost crush my lunch box. How awkward I looked, a scrawny dragon among these powerfully-built dragons. I definitely didn’t belong there.
The two bullies only took a few steps back, then ran away. Avonlea stepped forward and asked, “Are you okay?” I nodded in response.
“If you need help, just call for me. I’ll come ASAP, okay?” Avonlea said, and I nodded again.
As my dragoness in gleaming scales walked away, I turned back to finish the last of the ox, only to realise everyone was staring at me. Why did this incident have to happen in front of everyone? And why did my saviour have to be a girl? And worse, why did everyone involved in this incident have thick, shiny talons and defined wing-abs, all except me? I did not belong there. At all.
29 Sylber, Fridon
REMINDER: Do NOT buy general guides again!
That book I had bought about Noah Snarby the Third the other day was disappointingly skimpy in unique facts that couldn’t be found by the average dragon on Dracopedia. Sigh.
Since the book was of no use for my school project, I flew to the Snarby Library, at the very edge of the Scottish lands, where all the Snarby artifacts were housed to get firsthand information.
My thoughts turned to my recent encounters. Which self-respecting dragon can’t skyde properly? How many dragons do I know would be making a three hour flight to a library to research homework?? Am I even a true dragon? But such thoughts disappeared the moment I caught sight of the Snarby Library.
The most impressive thing about the library is that it is shaped like a dragon, and the chiseling was done by Snarby the Third himself (among his excessively long list of achievements, he was a famous architect AND sculptor). Talk about being talented.
Excitedly, I went straight to the Hall of Snarby, dedicated to its creators, housing artifacts and facts about Noah Snarby the First, Second, and Third. It even has several shelves of books about them, which I wanted to check out.
After spending some time admiring Noah Snarby the Second’s first-edition copy of The Principles of Life enshrined in a dragonfire-proof glass case, I made my way to the non-fiction section.
As I pulled out two books, I noticed two horns on a green head. It piqued my curiosity and I pulled out a few more books to widen the gap. It revealed two dragon heads whispering, one blue and one green, however, having realized they were busted, they stopped their conversation and turned to me.
“Dragonnit!” Put ‘em books back!” The blue dragon hushed angrily, reaching through the gap and grabbing the books in my claws. The dragon then attempted to slide the books back into place. I got the message and passed the books back to him, but walked behind the shelf and stared at the duo curiously.
The blue dragon turned around to face me, while the green dragon moved his wings furtively to hide something, and I caught a glimpse of a cover. I gasped out in a reverent breath, “The Chronicles of the Snarby Empire: Know Your Snarbs?” The two dragons turned to look at me, eyes wide. Two more dragons seemed to pop out of nowhere, a magenta pink dragon and another dark green dragon wearing a monocle.
“You know this book?” The magenta pink dragon asked, slightly shocked.
I nodded, joining them behind the shelf. “Yeah! Clawsome Reads says it’s one of the best works of non-fiction ever! Hey, can I borrow that?”
The four looked at each other and slowly, the monocled one nodded. I noticed the others seemed to look up to him.
Turns out, the four were friends and bonded through a book club.
The monocled one offered, “If you don’t mind, you can join us for our next book reading session. It’ll be about Seven Habits of Effective Dragons.”
When was the last time I met anyone else as interested in books as I am? I looked around at this odd little group and realised that for the first time, I had something in common with others. All were nerdy, like me. Not physically strong, like me. And all were bookworms, like me.
“Sure, I’ll be here!” I ventured a cautiously enthusiastic response.
Looks like I found my place at last.
This diary-entry styled story was released as part of the December 2022 Update and as part of the celebrations for the website's 1st Birthday! Check out the other celebrations by clicking the button!
Orla pulled on a baseball cap as she slid her feet into a pair of Adidas sneakers. Following her mother, she hastily picked up her handbag and sailed out into her father's sports car.
"Daddy, where are we going?" Orla asked excitedly.
"You'll see," her father replied as he drove past the nearby restaurants.
Orla sighed. It was her birthday, but her parents would not tell her where they were going to celebrate it. Every year, it was the same, old, fast food restaurant. She was definitely not looking forward to it. Shaking her head, Orla turned to face the window and daydreamed.
Half and hour or so went by, and finally her father stopped and parked the car. Once out, Orla looked around. This was not the fast food restaurant she had been expecting. It was way too crowded. A sea of faces blocked the queue to the ticket collectors.
"Tickets, please," A man interrupted Orla's train of thoughts.
"Here," her father fumbled in his wallet and took out three slightly crumpled tickets. The collector pulled off the stumps and handed them back to Orla's father.
Queuing up, Orla stamped her feet and paced around impatiently.
"What is taking soooo long?" she grumbled, emphasising the 'so'.
"Just wait, Orla!" her mother snapped back. Orla groaned.
After half an hour, it was finally her turn.
"Yes! At last, I get to see..." Orla's yell trailed off as she saw where the birthday lunch was going to be held at.
Orla's eyebrows arched upwards, over eyes as big as apples. She clapped a hand over her gaping mouth as she gasped in utmost shock.
She was in a zoo.
But not any zoo, thought Orla, still shocked. Was she in a Jurassic Park movie?
Yes, you guessed it.
"...dinosaurs?!" cried Orla.
One mundane morning, Mark was very energetic to finish his homework as that day was a Sunday and the homework was due on Monday. Being a clever boy, Mark decided to finish most of his work before eight in the morning and go to the park to jog.
Later, Mark changed into some leggings and an exercise shirt, said goodbye to his mother (who surprisingly did not reply) and left the house.
At the park, Mark did his usual thing: jog for an hour, say good morning to everyone who passes by, and buy an ice cream to enjoy using his pocket money, then watch the fish in the pond while enjoying his cone. Weirdly enough, when Mark tried to cross the road, a car almost crashed into him!
“Argh!” yelled Mark as he dashed to the other side of the road. “What a reckless driver! I waved my hand and told him to stop!” remarked Mark angrily.
It was not just the driver. Everyone had started to ignore Mark. Even the baby in the pink stroller Mark met every day at half past eight was scared when Mark had said, “Peekaboo!” to it.
The day was just getting worse and worse. Mark could not even buy his ice cream from the man selling ice cream at his cart any longer. When Mark said, “I would like a chocolate cone with nuts and chocolate sauce and extra tissue,”, the man screamed his head off and ran away. Sighing, Mark headed to the pond to watch the fish.
“I wonder what is wrong with me?” wondered Mark as he sat at the bench. Sighing, he bent over to take a look at the koi fish at the pond. He stopped short. A gasp escaped his open mouth. Realisation dawned on him at once.
He was invisible.
The cool breeze blew Max’s black jacket hoodie as he walked. Owls hooted, lights flickered on in houses, and stars twinkled in the night. Looking around, Max made sure that no one was following him by turning around every now and then. Rumour had it that the rich Mr Ali lived in the street in a huge mansion with multiple cars and a stretch limo. That was exactly the reason what Max was doing here in the middle of the night.
Max looked ahead and saw a large street lamp ahead of him, plastered with lost pet posters and the latest shopping deals. He made sure to avoid it and go around, as anyone behind him would spot him when he was spotlighted by the lamp. Moving on, he picked a darker side of the street to walk, the side where robbers escaped through as the police would not see them in the dark.
Being nimble, Max found it easy as pie to leap off garbage bins and tables. He found it even easier to shake off the police who were trying to catch him red-handed as he knew the West Street of Burry like the back of his hand, having grown up there as a kid and teenager. After walking one whole round around the place nearby Mr Ali’s property to find the best route to escape, Max walked around Mr Ali’s mansion and went into building and cafés to find the best place to break in. He found a window left open, probably to get some fresh air. The window was perfect.
Next, Max walked one last round near the entrance to check for any policemen on duty and realised they must have left. Quietly, Max climbed onto a nearby garbage bin and was about to leap over Mr Ali’s property wall when he heard an angry voice.
“Yes, I know, but you need to complete the assignment tomorrow!” fumed the voice, whom Max recognised as Mr Ali’s. He then noticed a man walk past the window.
“No, you cannot take a day off tomorrow!” continued Mr Ali, walking past the window again. Max realised that Mr Ali was pacing back and forth so he would be noticed if he went in. He leapt down from the bin just as he saw a shed. Walking towards it, his eyes darted to the door. It was not closed. Max entered after scanning the area twice.
The shed only had a fridge, bed, toilet, and a plate of food. Max even saw a couple of ten notes and he snatched them with the food. He was about to leave when someone entered.
“Oh, you want to stay with me?” asked the person. He was dressed in rags.
“Poor people can stay here,” he said, pointing at a paper. Max suddenly felt a feeling he had never felt before, something like pity, and decided to give everything he was holding to the man and ran, never to return again or steal.
“Bye, mum!” Anna said to her mother, who too greeted her goodbye. Anna then walked out of her house and headed to her friend’s house. Being an athletic teen, Anna walked with a rather big spring in her steps as she was invited to a big popular classmate’s birthday bash!
At the traffic light, Anna pressed the button and waited patiently for the green man turn on. When the cars stopped at the red light, Anna looked left and right twice ; a rule any child would have been told in primary school, but tragedy struck. One of the cars closer to the zebra crossing moved, and struck Anna, knocking her to the ground. Anna only remembered several shocked and pale onlookers staring at her, just before everything went black.
After losing consciousness, Anna woke up in a white room. Surprisingly, the room was not a hospital ward, but was an ordinary room, with a table, chair, wardrobe and bed. Anna’s eyes drifted on an envelope on the table. Opening it, Anna read it out loud.
“Dear Reader, please board the Ghost Express at nine sharp. Buy the book the man in the Barney’s Books bookstore is promoting before nine. Also, when you’re done, give the ticket to the beggar in the nearest train station to board. Please be punctual, or you will have to take the next train!” read Anna. Later, she headed on West Town street on the way to the bookshop.
Weirdly enough, it seemed that no one could see Anna while she was walking. Anna looked down and gasped. She had no legs! Creepy! Luckily, it was morning so it would not be as scary as at night. Anna even could go through walls! She went up to the salesman at the bookshop (whom nearly no one noticed) and asked to buy the book. After that, she opened the book and saw a ticket. “Ghost Express” it read.
After that, she glided her way to the nearest beggar , who was in front of platform 1, and gave him her ticket. The man smiled, and pocketed the ticket.
Suddenly, the train at platform 1 turned into a white train with the words “Ghost Express” on it! “Please board,” the man, who had unexpectedly turned into a ticket collector, said to Anna. She stopped him, however, and asked, “What’s this all about? Have I died?” she asked anxiously. “If yes, then how am I still here?”
“Well, basically, you died in the accident, came back as a ghost (hence the train name), and are going to the Ghost Half World to enjoy your eternal stay as a being,” the man explained. “But now, I think you need to board. Questions are answered later!” the man added.
“But wait!” cried Anna as the man put her on board. “Why…” before the train doors shut.
“This is going to be one wild ride,” Anna thought as she took a seat. She could not have been more right.
If you like this story and would like to give feedback, please do so by contacting us at email@example.com or by clicking the chat button at the bottom right corner of this website. If you wish to get your review posted on this website, please submit your review in this format: review title, rating out of five stars, feedback, name (you may use a username instead), and the date of submission. We look forward to your feedback.
Here, we write stories, teach other writers, and learn from others! Join us today!
The Word Artist Website has been updated! Check out more on From Pup to Alpha, sneak peek of an ongoing project, tips on writing blurbs and more!
Subscribe now by clicking the button!