They say that books are looking-glasses into, just one of, the millions of realities in the multiverse...
Hello my name is Nicki I am 15 years old, and I guess you can say, my story starts back on Earth.
It was a warm day, I was outside my house lying in the grass my long brown hair strewn around me. There was a gentle breeze and flowers were blooming. All were signs of my favorite season, Spring. Once I woke up and saw the weather I just had to go outside. That and my brother Mike and I go into another….
What can I say, I never did have a great relationship with my 'brother' so to speak. I never really have. In fact, I can count on one hand the amount of times we did get along.
This is why I am thankful we are not genetically related. Y'see he's my step brother and my mother married his father, Richard. Unlike Mike Richard was nice enough, well maybe too nice at times…. Let's just say he spoiled his son rotten and leave it at that, but for the most part Mike and I would tolerate each other, but that was when mom was around. She always seemed to keep the peace between us.
Problem was, she was never in the best health, the last few months of her life, and no doctor could ever give us a straight answer on what was happening to her. Many gave us answers like heart failure, epilepsy; we even had one say radiation poisoning, and as far as I know my mom had never been around dangerous machinery. Whatever the case, she ended up in and out of the hospital a lot.
After a while of that pattern, the inevitable happened, and once she was gone the family was never the same, and I know for a fact I would never be the same either, because when we visited the hospital the day before she died, she asked to speak to me alone. I will always remember what she said.
"Nicki I have something very important to tell you." Everyone had left the room at this point and it was just me and her.
"Why are you being so cryptic? What's going on?" I asked
"This has to be between you and me... I fail…. I fail to see myself recovering in the future."
"DON'T SAY THAT!" She was right though, I don't know why I bothered trying to deny it, she never got better… only worse.
I could see mist gathering in her eyes "Nicki we both know what's going to happen. I need you to strong okay? I believe it's time to tell you something important."
"What is it?"
"Listen to what I say carefully"
"Do you remember how you grew up much differently than the most of the children?"
It was true, by kindergarten I already knew how to read, wright, and do simple multiplication and division. It was mostly because my mother Lexi insisted that I had an accelerated education. She would always tell me that if I was smart I would be able to get a good job when I grew up. At first I complained as, any five year old would, but every time I did she would remind me of the times when we hardly had enough money to put food on the table, so I would begrudgingly put up with the extra homework. I would never tell her this, but as I got older I suspected that was why she married Richard in the first place. So we could have a better life.
"Yes I remember" I said timidly.
"I hoped it would never have to come to this… Nicki, dear would you bring me my box?"
My mother's box was her prized possession. It was a carved wooden box, about the size of a loaf of bread. It also had a lock that I could never manage to get open. When I would ask her what was in it she would usually ignore the question and/or pass it off as extra cash or spare car keys. I could always tell she was lying though. Even my step brother was curious to see what was inside, but no matter how hard we tried to get her to tell us, what was in there, she would never crack.
She reached into her hospital robe pocket and pulled out a small key. Was she going to…. I couldn't believe it! After 14 years of wondering I would finally be able to see what was inside. I watched in anticipation as she put the key in and slowly twisted it until I heard a click. She then lifted the lid and the box creaked open, and when I looked inside there was….. a rock and a weird looking necklace. I looked to my mom and saw her weak, solemn expression; I really hoped she wasn't going crazy. She then pointed to the rock, and, after a moment I grabbed it holding it up to my confused face.
"What is it?" I asked "It looks like a regular piece of quartz."
"It is not quartz and this stone is very important, don't lose it"
Before I could ask any more questions I pulled out the next item. This one was the pendent. It had a crescent moon with a sun attached of it and looked like it was made of gold, and I could have sworn as soon as I touched it I felt a small shock.
"It's very….. pretty" I said hesitantly. Something about that pendent was very… foreboding in a weird way.
"Do not show either of these things to anyone not even to Mike or Richard the longer you keep these hidden the more time you will have to prepare."
Prepare? Prepare for what? At this point I was sure they had given her too much medication. I wanted to tell her that the rock and pendent were probably just some keepsakes she had kept in the box. That the medicine, she was taking, was causing her to have some weird fantasy that surrounded the objects. However, I was also aware that this could have been one of the last times I would ever speak to my mother, so instead of ruining her pleasant little fantasy, the least I could do was play along… right?
"Wait! If there so important why are you giving them to me? And why can't you just destroy them if no one is supposed to see them!" I said solemnly. Mom let out a soft chuckle the kind that made me think I said something completely stupid.
"I'm leaving them with you because the only other person that can keep these safe is you. Even if you tried you couldn't destroy them you couldn't and these are going to be one of your only sources of protection in the future."
"What protection? Why would I need protection?" Now she was scaring me. Her words were so solemn it was hard not to believe her.
"You will find out."
It was the only thing I managed to say before tears started creeping down my cheeks.
Then suddenly she lurched forward obviously in pain. Another heart attack?!. "NO MOM STAY WITH ME!" Then an ear shattering alarm went off. I quickly hid my mother's keepsakes before medics came rushing in, as they shoved me out I screamed.
I don't remember much after that. I remember the hospital called later that night and said she had died during open heart surgery. I know there was no real funeral because she wanted to be cremated after she died. The house went quiet for weeks. Some nights I would look at the two items she gave me and wonder if she was telling the truth. Does my future really depend on this stone and pendent... Then I would immediately cast those thoughts aside. No, it couldn't, she was on a lot of medicine at the time she couldn't have known what she was saying.
So instead of asking questions I couldn't answer, and frustrating myself, one day I tried something out. I went into the garage while Mike and Richard were at football practice bringing the stone and pendent with me. I grabbed a hammer from a tool chest and remembered how mom said they couldn't be destroyed. It was a longshot, but if either of them didn't brake I would get at least one answer, and if not I get to smash something with a hammer, everybody wins!
"I'm crazy." I said to myself as I placed the stone on the ground. "Why am I even doing this? People on medication said crazy stuff all the time" I felt I moment of guilt, number one: I was technically calling my mother's last words crazy. Number two: I was about to attempt to destroy a keepsake mom felt was important enough to keep hidden from my family for my whole life. Number three: I was talking to myself, so I kind of had no right to call someone insane.
With a deep breath I slowly raised the hammer as high as I could make it go, and forced it down with all the strength I had. As soon as it made impact sparks flew everywhere and a shock wave came out with such force that it blew me back into the garage door. I was winded but forced myself up to look at the rock. It sparked red hot for a while and then went out.
This wasn't real! I panicked, did that stone just throw me into a garage door a lot like a pro wrestler would? I creaked my head backwards to see a Nicki shaped indent in the garage door, and it took a moment but I finally felt the pain of a garage door shaped bump on my head. I looked back over to the diabolical stone "That wasn't supposed to happen" I squeaked.
After a long while of questioning 'everything I have ever known', I started to recover from the shock of it all. My mom….. was right? I suddenly had thousands of questions that I knew would never be answered. Sadly, I looked back over to the seemingly innocent stone and hesitantly made my way towards it. I cautiously picked it up and held it close saying the only words I could think of.
"...Mom I'm so sorry."
From that day on I always carried those items with me making sure to keep them well hidden. Because now I begrudgingly believed what my mom had said, and if those items were going to protect me from… well, whatever my mom was talking about, I needed them with me.
I woke up to the sound of a dog barking. I must have fallen asleep in the grass. The sun was still high so I couldn't have been out for that long. I heard the bark again it was my dog Tails. He was a shaggy black mutt that I found abandoned on a farm several years ago, and when Richard said we could keep him I decided to name him Tails because I felt it suited him.
Tails was very…. very overprotective. He would always growl and try to bite neighbors if they got within 10 feet of himself, my family, food, water, or me. Sadly, we had to keep him confined in a fence outside or it was almost certain one of my neighbors would press charges.
I tuned out his barking and decided to go do something I haven't done in a long time. However, I had to get stuff from my room to bring out first though, so I rushed to the house. I made my way to my room and pulled up a section of my wood floor where I hid my things. I rifled through my novels, comics, books, iPod, video games, fan art, and tools until I found my bow and arrow, as well as my pendent and stone. I grabbed them, and a handful of comics stuffing them all into a small back pack all the while putting the bow and arrows on my belt.
I quickly ran to a clearing where I used to do target practice. It was about a half a mile run but once I got there I was surprised to see my targets were still up, a little weathered but still up. You see I have shot arrows ever since I could walk, my mom taught me how when I was very young. But I've hardly even touched my bow since mom died. I guess you could say my bow reminded me of her, and for me it was still too painful to think about mom, but I figured I had to move on sometime right. I went about 10 meters back and notched an arrow, pulled it back to my cheek, aimed, and fired.
"Damn!" I hissed I was off the center by a few rings. I shot another one and hit the first ring away from the center. I strung one more focusing as hard as I could annnnnnnd... YES Bulls eye! I tried it again and another bulls eye! I kept on moving back and repeating the process until I was about 20 meters away. It felt just like old times! Maybe next time I could come down here and actually try hunting again with Tails!
All too soon I realized the sun was setting. That's when I decided to pack up and read some comics before I went back home. When I reached in first thing I pulled out was the pendent. I smiled and thought since no one was around I could probably hold on to it, but I could have sworn I put that thing at bottom of the bag. I reached in again I pulled out one of my favorite comics. I started to read it when I heard voices coming from the forest. It could be just some hikers so I decided to ignore them and kept on reading. However, as I continued reading the voices didn't stop.
"Augh!" I hissed as the voices got closer it sounded like they were arguing. I closed my eyes and curiously focused all of my hearing to the conversation and started tuning them in, like a radio. So what if it was eavesdropping! My attention turned to the conversation when I could start to make out what they were saying.
"I think that's the person he was talking about."
"Are you sure, he'll have our heads if we waste his time and bring back the wrong one!"
"Well it's not my fault Dr. Creepy Von Evil was so vague about explaining who we're looking for!"
Dr. creepy von evil?... I knew that reference…. Just as I thought it's just some of the neighborhood jerks are trying to scare me. They knew that I liked the Sonic comics and loved to pick on me about it. However, if they had eyes that could see, they would see that I had a bow with a nice supply of sharpened arrows. One would believe that a person would be able to extrapolate that they should not pick on an individual with said assets.
"Is it her or not!" " I CANT TELL ALL OVERLANDERS LOOK ALIKE!".
"Shhhh! Be quiet or it'll hear us"...
"Well it's not my fault for being frustrated after a long day of looking for a lost cause!"
" Heh heh heh the girley, swirley, pearley is coming this way."
It was true, I had heard just about enough and couldn't take it anymore. I'm not going to let some jerk try to scare me, so I decided to go teach them a lesson. When I was about a few steps away from the forest I realized 3 things.
1. Everything was silent, there was no dogs barking, no birds chirping, there wasn't even any wind.
2. The neighborhood bullies never tried to scare me they just picked on me up front, and they never even read a sonic comic so how did they know some of the names and personalities?
3. The pendent (which I still had in my hand) started to burn.
I looked down at my pendent. It was glowing like metal just pulled out of a eyes widened while my instincts and every bone in my body was screaming one thing.
As soon as I bolted, a prickly green ball blasted out of the trees. I barely dodged it and fell down. I got up just in time to see a familiar smug looking green hedgehog. He had red shades perched on top of his head he wore a black leather jacket with flames on the arms, he had green/ black shoes, and had 2 nasty looking scars across his chest. I watched in horror as a sinister smile appeared as he called out to his team mates and said.
"No way.." I squeaked
"Hey guys come on out, it's about time we wrapped up this mission!"