My twin brother Corin and I have seen some pretty weird stuff over the years. How weird? We once stood in sunlight and our bodies didn’t have shadows. That weird. Up until today, anyone would have said that we were simply intoxicated, even though we’ve never been on any substances before. Nevertheless, even our own parents didn’t believe what we told them. But now, no one will be able to refute the testimony of at least a hundred seniors.
This clown Chester had just pulled the biggest prank in school history on Corin (and ooooh, I’m so gonna kill him when this is over!) when the lights went dead and these shadow-ninja people (for lack of a better term) appeared from thin air. They came straight after Corin, and if I don’t do anything to stop them, they might just disappear with him forever.
I’m not about to let that happen.
The only problem is that there is slippery brown sludge all over the stage where we are, and the shadow ninja things (okay, okay, I’m getting tired of saying shadow-ninja too…..let’s go with….lets go with Anomalies) have their hands on Corin, pulling him toward the portal that they came from, edging him closer each second. I rise to my feet and make a sliding leap toward Corin, landing flat on my belly. But I’ve gotten just far enough for my hands to reach his.
“Hold on!” I shout, even though it would make sense if I had something to hold onto myself. It is a mess where we are, and as those fiends pull Corin, they drag me along. The auditorium is dark and almost empty by this time as everyone has fled, terrified to their bones. I can hardly see a thing in this darkness, because just like everything else weird that’s happened, it’s a kind of darkness like none other.
The portal that the Anomalies came from opens up again, and it’s emitting a very eerie kind of light. I am looking at Corin, holding onto my hands for dear life, and it seems as if the color on his face, and on everything else that’s visible, is being sucked off it by the portal. And I can’t even begin to describe these Anomaly things. They have….they have human-like bodies, but that’s just about all that seems human. The rest is rather undefinable in this light, especially with the way that their bodies seem to be absorbing the little light that’s there.
As if they have simply been toying with me all along, they suddenly become agitated and pull Corin with a fierce resilience, and with my hands locked tight onto his, I am dragged off the stage and across the gym hall floor until we are just feet away from the portal. When they realize that I am simply not letting go of my brother, one of them comes to me and yanks me off the ground from my waist, making me lose my firm hold on Corin’s hands.
“Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” I give a shriek that sound foreign even to me, because the touch of its hands, or at least I think they are hands, is beyond foreign. They have this very strange, cold feeling that seems to be going straight to my bones. I turn around and take a good look at this hellion, and my whole body almost freezes still when I lay my eyes upon it. I can see that they are more human that I previously thought, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t scary as hell. In the second that I look into this one’s eyes, I get goosebumps all over my body; they seem to have light not coming from them, but going into them. I don’t think I’ll ever unsee this.
Just when I think I am also seeing my life flashing, it tosses me away, and after hurling through the air like a rag doll, I land on the punch table that Corin and I spent so much time at. There is a stinging sensation in my left hand and on my face; it feels like I have just been attacked by a thousand bees. But none of that matters – when I look up to see what’s happened to Corin, he and the mephistophelean creatures are gone.
The first thing I do is drop to my knees as this pitting feeling in my stomach overwhelms me. What, one Earth, just happened? How could any of this even possibly be real? I don’t want to believe it myself, but the evidence is all around me. And with Corin gone, I’m gonna have to find a way to start explaining things fast, because I’m guessing my parents, the police, and the freaking Area 51 guys are gonna be here any moment, and they will have a hard time stomaching what I’ll have to tell them. And still, there is one question that even they won’t be able to answer:
How do we get Corin back?
And then the even scarier follow-up question creeps to my mind: Is he going to be alive when, or if, we find him?
“Maddie! Maddie! Are you alright?” At first, I think it’s Corin (I don’t even know why; just foolish, hopeful thinking I guess), but when I turn around, I see this guy called Raymond who I’ve never really talked to before today.
“Yeah, I guess, but………they took Corin,” I say, and my heart pangs just from saying those words. I don’t know why, but I have always taken it upon myself to protect Corin, be it from bullies or bumble bees. I felt like he’s always needed me to be there for him. And now, when he needed me the most, I let him down.
“No, you’re not okay, look – your hand.” That’s when I see it. There is blood gushing out of my palm from a glass cut. So that’s what the ‘bee sting’ was. Light soon returns to the room, first through the flickering neon decor and then the main overhead lights. With them back, Raymond sees the other pace where I was cut, just above my right eyebrow. “Wait here, let me get something to help.” He goes off to look for a first aid kit, and then I rise to my feet and take a look around.
The place is a mess. It looks like an angry herd of rodeo bulls had a party in here.
But even with all the junk that is lying around, something stands out. After quickly surveying the hall, on the stage, I see the meteor rock that I found a few months ago. The one that Corin had before he was taken.
I rush onto the sludge filled, slippery stage, and tread across the ocean of brown muck to get it. It still has that uncanny glow about it, and as soon as I pick it up, I get a strike of good fortune.
The gateway thing that the Anomalies came out off seems to have appeared again, albeit less pronounced than before. If I am ever going to see my brother again, there is no question about what I need to do now.
Raymond is only just coming back into the hall when I start dashing towards the gateway.
“Maddie….? Maddie, wait! What are you doing?” I am not even flinching now, I’m a hundred percent focused on what lies ahead of me. “Madison! We still need to treat-“
That’s the last I hear of his voice, the last I hear before everything goes dark.”