It was the morning of Halloween and my mom was driving me and my little brother to school. I sat in the front passenger seat feeling more comfortable than usual. It was probably because of how cold it was outside and how warm it was inside the car.
The heated seat feature, which my mom’s car had, was definitely one major orchestrator of my unexplainable comfort. I had stayed up really late watching Family Guy so I took this as an opportunity to get a bit of sleep before I got to school.
I decided to take the sweater I was wearing off so that I could use it as a comforter for my upper body. Right after I unbuckled my seatbelt to take my sweater off, the car’s seatbelt warning sounded. I took off my sweater as fast as possible and buckled back up. Now I could go to sleep.
I was so comfortable. Really comfortable. Ridiculously comfortable. My eyes closed slowly. I could feel the warmth of the heated seats touching my ears. I breathed slower and deeper so that sleep could take me away faster. Finally, it took over and I began nearing the land of dreams.
In the first stage of my sleep, I wasn’t fully asleep. I could hear my brother talking about something but couldn’t make it out. I was very sure he was speaking full-on words but they weren’t making any sense.
“Lapis, your worth is next to nothing,” my brother said. At the sound of those words, I slowly come out of my sleep like a rising bubble in water, with my eyes still closed, and said “Suck my d*ck, Jonathan” with a low but audible voice. “Lapis!” My mom yelled. “What?” I asked. “Now, why would you curse right in front of me, huh?! I’ve told you too many times to not curse ever – in front of me!” She continued with a raised voice. “Well, Jonathan shouldn’t have said what he said.” I retorted.
My mom paused, looked at the road and looked back at me. She stared for a bit and said, with a raised voice. “Lapis, Jonathan didn’t say anything!” “Yeah he did; he just said I was worthless or something!” I yelled. “What?” My mom said then glanced at Jonathan behind my seat, then looked back at me. She had a confused expression on her face which made me a bit doubtful about the whole situation. So I turned towards Jonathan and saw that he had his noise-canceling headphones on with his face buried in his phone. He didn’t even know what was going on. My mom kept on glancing back and forth at me and the road, still exhibiting a confused expression on her face.
Now I was confused. I was sure I had heard Jonathan say what I heard him say. “Were you dreaming or something?” My mom asked and followed it up with a laugh right after. “Probably…” I responded with a smile. I was baffled. “But it felt so real.”
“I know honey; it’s normal – perfectly normal.” My mom responded with a bit more laughter.
“Really?” I asked. “Cause I heard him pretty clearly.”
“Yeah. Absolutely. It’s kinda like when you’re dreaming and all of a sudden you feel like you’re falling, and you wake up falling in real life. You know? It’s almost the same thing – well, along those lines.” My mom answered then laughed.
“Oh yeah, lol,” I said as I laughed with my mom.
“Wow, that was weird,” I said with relief. “
“Yes, it was.” My mom replied.
I glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard of the car. It was 7:12; which meant I had about 17 minutes before I reached school. “Ok. I’m just gonna go back to sleep, now.” I said to my mom with a moderate smile. “Ok honey; Oh and Lapis….” My mom started. I looked in her direction. “If you curse again in front of me, I’m gonna have to ground you for a year.” She finished. “Wow. Ok. I’ll……try? Lol” I responded.
Once again, I covered my upper body with my sweater; this time I put my hands through the sleeves so I was wearing it backwards. I wanted to go back to the same comfortable spot I was in before spazzing about a dream. It was probably not going to happen again but I tried anyway.
I breathed slowly and deeply as I did before and it seemed to work. The warmth of my seat was still captivating and I was truly snug. I loved it. Little by little, I sank into slumber. Sleep was taking me away to a new world.
Minutes later, I woke up. I felt well rested. I barely even remember what I dreamt about. I was sure that whatever it was, its contribution towards my sleep was more than good enough – I felt that good.
I slowly turned from my window to my mom’s side whilst rubbing my eyes. I wondered if we had dropped off Jonathan and/or closed up on my school.
“Mom, have we dropped off Jonathan, yet?” I asked but she didn’t reply. I finished rubbing my eyes and was fully turned towards my mom’s direction. I looked and she wasn’t there. Maybe I still had sleep in my eyes. I thought. I sat upright in my seat and rubbed my eyes a bit more to fully wake myself then looked again. To my surprise not only was she not there, but everything else as well.
The car’s seats, the dashboard; everything wasn’t there. I turned behind me to see if Jonathan was there – he also wasn’t there.
Maybe I’m dreaming. I thought. I got up from my seat with my sweater still worn backwards and observed my surroundings. There was literally nothing in sight. I looked above; I saw the sky with patches of white clouds. I looked below and there was a ground. It was very dark; I could almost see through it but not quite. I stared at it for a while and realized it bared great resemblance to a lake in winter – frozen. The only difference was, it was a little too clean to be ice.
I brought myself to test it out; I lifted my right foot and before I could put it back down, it rippled like water.
“What the…?” I said out loud. “Is this water?”
I took a few steps forward and glanced behind me where I stepped and surely, more ripples. “Oh my God,” I said. I was mesmerized. The ground beneath me was water! I was actually walking on water. But how was I standing on it?
I figured I was dreaming so I didn’t feel scared or frightened, or much of anything, really. I only felt curiosity.
What is this place? I wondered as I walked forwards. It was so empty but so beautiful. My eyes continued taking in the vast emptiness whilst my head aided them, turning in every direction. A smile came upon my face; I couldn’t help it.
This place is kind of awesome. I thought. I’d never felt a dream so real in my life.
Immediately, my eyes locked onto something peaking above the water. I gazed at it for about ten to twelve seconds then decided to move closer to find out what it was.
As the gap between I and the object shrank, I began making it out and to my surprise, it resembled a head. My walk slowly grew to a slight trot.
When I got close enough, the head quickly sank into the water. I instantly stopped in my tracks and walked with caution. I reached the spot it had just been and stared; there was nothing there. For a moment I began doubting I saw a head; then, the memory of the head from the time I saw it when I was at a distance to that very moment where I stood, killed my doubts. “No, that was definitely ahead,” I said.
“Lapis.” A deep, female voice called out to me. I turned my head to my right where it came from; no one was there. Abruptly after my name was called, a huge sound wave came my way carrying a strong wind. It vibrated the solid water beneath me creating great ripples. The great strength of the sound waves and wind made me unbalanced, causing me to fall on my knees. The vibration was so strong, I could feel it in my body.
“Come forth.” The voice called out to me once more. Even greater sound waves and wind came my way. I tried looking in the direction the voice came from to see who was speaking but the wind forced me to cover my eyes with my arm.
Finally, they ceased and my chance to see who spoke arose. I uncovered my eyes and stood on my feet; I looked in the direction the voice came from and saw a female figure in a black gown. She stood too far for me to make out her face. I wanted to go to her.
I took one step in her direction and then all of a sudden, my body jerked forward. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, my body was picking up speed. The speed I was traveling was astoundingly tough; I clenched my teeth and tightened my fists to help me cope with the high speed.
My breath became shorter and shorter; I wanted to scream but I couldn’t; the speed held my tongue. I still wasn’t slowing down and I didn’t know how to. I think I was getting even faster. At this point, I couldn’t even keep my eyes fully open.
The female figure became larger as I got closer – I was approaching her fast.
The nearer I got the larger she seemed. I saw her stretch forth her arm. Maybe she was trying to catch me or break my speed. I began feeling slight relief but I was still moving dead fast.
I got closer and closer. Oh my God! This woman was huge but so….gorgeous. I thought. Suddenly, I could almost fully open my eyes. I was still moving extremely fast but the effects didn’t bother me as much.
Her eyes were mesmerizing; they were pale green with streaks of brown. She had blonde hair with black roots. Her hair was braided in the front and fixed towards the back of her head; Short streaks of hair fell on the sides of her face. Her gown was black with dabs of pink. It completely covered her legs as well as her shoulders, biceps and half of her forearms. She was dazzling.
I noticed she was smiling at me; it was a light beautiful smile. She kept on reaching out to me; bending down a bit as I approached her from below. Because of how big she was, it looked like she was reaching in slow motion.
Delight captivated me wholly as she smiled at me; I closed my eyes and braced myself for impact. She was going to catch me.
The moment I got close enough to touch her hand, I made an “oomph” sound as something large hit me from behind making my body miss the giant woman’s hand, and bypassing her entirely. It held onto me quite tightly as we glided away from her and slowly downwards to the water.
I quickly glanced at what had grabbed me; it was black, a humanoid being and had the same head as the one I had found peeking out of the water. “You again!” I identified it.
The sky became filled with dark gray clouds. I looked back at the giant woman; she slowly turned to my direction. Her beautiful pale green eyes now glowed yellow and her pupils were vertical – similar to that of a snake. She opened her mouth and hissed very loudly, like a viper. Long sharp fangs and teeth grew out of the regular teeth she already had.
I felt my heart fall into my stomach as fear began filling my mind. What the hell was she? I thought.
As I continued gazing at her, I witnessed her stomach area open through her gown; I stared in the hole for a few seconds to see what would come out. Right after those seconds came by, a giant brown python, leaving no gap between its body and the circumference of the hole, slid out gracefully and lightly hit the water. As soon as it hit the water, it raised its head up like a cobra and stared in our direction as it continued easing out the rest of its body out of the hole
When the python’s body was finally completely out of the giant woman, she pointed at I and the humanoid being and hissed.
Immediately, the python ejected arms and legs from the sides of its body and started quickly in our direction. “Jesus Christ!” I yelled as fear gripped my heart and body.
The whole time, it had held me in a “damsel in distress” manner or carrying me bridal style
At this point, the humanoid glided close enough to the water to touch it and then said “Hold tightly onto me.” After saying those words, he lifted me up to the back of his neck and then I cautiously moved to his back and wrapped my arms around his neck.
I looked behind me. “Oh my God it’s gaining on us!” I yelled as the python was getting closer. The humanoid brought out a small cylinder-shaped device into his right palm and then smashed it with his left hand. Suddenly, stripes of light began wrapping around us from our heads to our feet, in an oval shape, and then instantly submerged into the water.
I looked up above us, where we had submerged; the python was nowhere to be found. I felt a great relief as we moved deeper and deeper into the water. Suddenly I had the urge to ask so many questions. Before I could even get a word out, the humanoid began speaking.
“You may think or feel like this is a dream but it isn’t. It’s reality. Where we are is not Earth or any planet, but rather a bridge between worlds.”
“What?” I asked with a confused tone. “All of this is real?”
“Yes.” He answered.
“That….that doesn’t add up! I yelled. “Because the last place I was before here was in my mom’s car…….AND I WAS SLEEPING! A dumb person, which I am not, could put it together. Therefore, this is just a dream.”
“its name is Rasalhague.” Completely ignoring what I had just said, he continued. “It is neither man nor woman; it simply took that form to mesmerize you. It can also take any form it chooses; I suggest you do not underestimate it or any creature that that does its bidding. I’m going to do my very best to arm you for the upcoming fervent battles.”
“Fervent battles?” I asked with mockery in my tone. “Dude, I’m about to bounce. All you have to do is pinch me hard so I can wake up or something ‘cause this is a weird ass dream lol,” I said with a laughed. He kept silent.
He began slowing down a bit. He grabbed my arms around his neck, pushed them apart, and let go; my body fell backwards and out of the light that wrapped around us; he kept on going.
I unconsciously breathed in the water and began drowning. I had felt the water sinking into my clothes as its cold touched my body but forgot not to inhale.
Suddenly, my back hit a solid wall and I fell onto a floor; it was see-through like glass. I coughed violently to get the water out of my lungs; I looked up and saw the humanoid walking up to me. I got a good look at him.
He wore a jumpsuit-looking attire; it outlined the shape of his body – muscles, abs, everything – and stood well over 7 feet tall. His physique was amazing.
As the humanoid got closer, he took off his mask; I dropped my jaw in both surprise and awe. I saw that he was not only a human but more than just handsome.
He had flawless dark skin; his jaw sharp and clean and his eyes were dark as night and glossy. He was more good-looking than anyone I had ever seen. And then I stopped to think, what is this hot, black guy doing in my dream? There is no way I had seen him in real life; otherwise, I would remember him. Suddenly, my thoughts were abruptly interrupted by his voice:
“You think this is a dream and you wanna wake so bad? That’s fine with me.” He said with a bit of sarcasm in his tone. Then a metal sword covered with burning fire instantly grew into his hand.
“What are you doing?” I said slowly, stretching out my words as I got up from the floor.
“Don’t worry, this is just a bad dream…..and I am the boogeyman.” He answered, still sounding a bit sarcastic.
“The f….?” I said straightforwardly.
He got close enough to me and lifted up his sword. I widen my eyes in dread; he struck. Before his sword could hit me, I quickly moved to my right; I hit the floor.
“Oh God! I said under my breath as I picked myself up and proceeded to run away.
“Why are you running? Don’t you want to wake up from this….dream?” He said as he ran towards me.
I reached the wall at the other side of the glass space we were in. “Well, this dream seems too real to be a dream so I’m gonna pass on trying to wake. I said with a shaking voice.
He got to me and struck again; this time sideways from my right. I dodged it by dropping to the floor where I stood and then began crawling to my right. He grabbed my neck while I was crawling and picked me up.
Instantaneously, something heavy hit the glass wall behind us which made a loud boom; a hissing sound followed right after. He turned to look at what it was with my neck still in his hand; “What the hell? I didn’t think they’d come for you that quickly.” he said.
Another boom sound was made by something hitting the glass; this time, in front of us. Jesus! I yelled in fear; it was the giant brown python; it opened its mouth with fangs sticking out and began spraying black colored venom onto the wall; cracks began forming in the glass wall.
He let go of my neck and I fell to the floor. “They will suck you dry of all that you are and you will feel every moment of it till the end. Nothing related to life will be left of you. Right now, I lay the choices before you: you can either die by my sword…..or by snake.” He said.
“Ok fine! I get it! It’s not a dream! It’s real. I believe you now! I screamed; vicious terror gripped me all over, making tears flow down my eyes like a waterfall.
Another python hit the wall; this time from above, and began spraying venom onto the glass roof.
“Make it stop! Please!” I cried out to him.
He lifted up his sword once more to strike me; I screamed as I raised my left hand towards him to stop the sword. His fiery sword met my forearm, cut through it and hit my shoulder, cutting through it as well. I screamed in agony.
The python that had hit the glass wall behind us, broke through and snatched the man’s head with its jaws and began swallowing him; water began gushing in.
I took this as an opportunity to get away. I didn’t know where I was going to go but I was going anyway. I got up with my bleeding shoulder, saw my arm on the floor in two pieces, and moved towards the back of the glass rectangle space we occupied; I didn’t hesitate.
The python that sat on the glass roof, broke through and crept in gracefully; legs and arms sprung out from its side like they did on the first python we had encountered. It hissed at me violently and began crawling my direction. Another loud boom was made by a python hitting the wall, followed by hissing as it sprayed venom onto the wall. The pythons were increasing in number.
I ran as fast as I could to the other wall even though I was in intense pain from my bleeding shoulder.
I instantly stopped in my tracks as I witnessed a giant python break through the glass wall I was headed towards. “Oh God! Oh God!” I shouted out in fear.
The python closer to the wall hissed at me with its head up high as it crawled slowly towards me; the rest of its body crawled in. I walked backwards with my right hand pressing against my shoulder’s open wound. The python behind me also hissed; I quickly turned to it. Back and forth, they hissed at me. I was at a dead end. Another giant python broke through the glass.
Now, there were three snakes after me and water was gushing in from the holes the snakes made; above and on all sides, the water came in.
In a flash, the python that sat closer to the wall sank its giant fangs into my right shoulder; another sank its fangs into my left thigh; and another, on the side of my stomach.
I dropped to my knees. I felt their fangs sprout out needles in my body as well as my blood leaving my body at an alarming rate. I was helpless.
“NO!” I heard the man who had cut off my arm yell from behind, as he ran towards me. With his fiery sword, he sliced off the pythons’ heads but for some reason, left the one on my shoulder.
I was still on my knees; all my strength had depleted; the only thing that held me up was the python with its teeth in my shoulder.
The man walked round to face me then looked into my eyes. With a relaxed voice, he said: “Unbelievable….you’re still standing; well, on your knees but definitely still standing.” He said with a smile.
“Though impressive, your worthiness, in my eyes, is still next to nothing.” He continued.
My eyes widened a bit at the realization, he was the voice in my dream earlier. But it didn’t matter; there was no doubt I was going to die; the pain I felt in my shoulder’s open wound was evidence of that.
“You know, I’m still offended you thought this was a dream?” the man spoke with a light smile on his face as he squatted in front of me. Our faces were an inch apart. “The fact that you were even willing to argue makes me laugh.” He continued.
“But you’re not laughing, dumbass.” I forced myself to say with my teeth clenched.
“Maybe next you won’t offend me….with your nugatory mind.” He said as he stood to his feet. He began raising his fiery sword like a baseball player would a bat, but with one hand – his left hand.
I wanted to run – move – fight – something! But I didn’t even have enough strength to lift a finger. I began to shake and jitter heavily while streams of tears rolled down my eyes; I feared for my life.
The python’s fangs were still deep in my shoulder and all I could do was speak. At this point, there was nothing I could do to make my situation any worse. So I took my best shot.
His sword had almost reached as far as it could go and he was near ready to strike, and then I took the very last shot I had.
I gathered all the strength I had left, stared into his irises and said to him without clenching my teeth: “Suck….my…..dick, bit-”
Before I could finish my sentence, he uttered a light, but audible grunt, and instantly swung his fiery sword right into my head from the side.
A flash of light met my eyes; with it came a sharp pain; and with it came darkness. The darkness became nothing and nothing became….nothing.
Suddenly, a voice began speaking to me: “This is the start out; terror and horrid will follow. Death is weak compared to what will be your end. I will consume your entire being.” As the voice kept speaking, it doubled and became a bit hoarse.
“Your existence will be crushed under the weight of my teeth into bits unseen and nothing – absolutely nothing…….will be able to save you this time, Lapis.”
All of a sudden, I felt my body accelerating forward extremely fast and then I jerked into a seat. I was in my seat; in my mom’s car.
“What the hell?” I said in shock.
I began to taste blood in my mouth and pain under my tongue; my lungs hurt like I had just run a marathon.
“No cursing, Lapis!” My mom said.
“What?” I asked with my hand on my chest. “What time is it?”
“Don’t try to dodge that. I heard you curse again?” She continued.
“Look out!” Abruptly after my brother yelled out and pointed at the windshield, a body slammed into our windshield. We all screamed at the top of our lungs; the car swerved as the tires screeched and then fell on its side.
“I told you nothing will be able to save you.”