Chapter 21 Return to Burgess
A bear smog was just taken out by me with one swing of my sword. Seventy six down, hundreds more to go. I have been fighting for the last hour and already I could feel my body getting tired and my back was starting to ache. I was strong, but I still had limited stamina. Not even spirits can fight forever. This was not a good sign. Either I was reaching my physical limit or the children were losing their beliefs in us guardians.
After many years of experience, I know my body should be able to hold much longer than this, so then there was only one reason left for my exhaustion. The children were losing their belief in us again. Loneliness lingered at the possibility of having no children holding faith in us. In today’s world, children lose belief easier than they used to. In addition to the new doubt this era has brought, the speed of technology has only made it easier for faith to quickly fall and crumble.
If my strength was disappearing, then that meant the other guardians were losing their powers as well. The situation has become more dire and we were getting weaker. In human, strength came from the body’s condition and nutrition, as well as mind and determination. As a spirit, the same could apply, but belief in us acted as an amplifier to our strength. Belief would make us capable of more than what we normally could do on our own.
Another smog bear jumped from behind me and had its sharp claws raised to swipe me.
“Raaahhhh!” I grunted loudly as I quickly spun around and stabbed my sword into its stomach. The smog bear dispersed into smoke as its cry still echoed in my ears.
Not far from where I was fighting, there were yetis fighting the Nightmares and Smogs with their fists and clubs. They were punching and throwing their enemies like punching bags everywhere. Those with clubs were smacking and hitting the creatures. Their movements were slow compared to the dark creatures, but their will power and strength made up for it.
Some of the yetis were even using them like a bat and hit some smog wolves that came their way, which sent them flying into the air. A few yetis even went as far as to use two clubs and swung them around like mad beasts. Even the smog tigers and bears were having a tough time fighting them. One Smog pulled on the bat in between its teeth with growl escaping from it. A few Smog creatures teamed up against the yeti, but failed to catch them by surprise as the yeti sensed their presence and swung their weapons against the weak animals.
Then there were the elves who were doing as much as they can even with their small little bodies. They were using the toys from the workshop as weapons and transportation to move around quicker. I saw one elf propel through the air, sitting on a toy train as the vehicle crashed against a tiger with the elf jumping off to claw the wild cat with his small nails. Another toyed with a spiked yo-yo and hit a bear in the eye.
They used the ping pong shooters to shoot at smog boars, causing them to squeal in surprise from being hit by the tiny orange balls. Remote control planes, blimps, and flying saucers were flying in the air as they throw stink bombs at the enemies below. The horrible stench was creating quite a havoc for the herd of smog antelope. They were ramming into each other and knocking each other out. Then there were the lynxes that were chasing after the elves driving the remote control race cars. When the elves threw a ball of yarns at the wild cats, the lynxes immediately stopped in their tracks, stared at the tempting ball of strings, and pounced on it playfully.
Seeing that the yetis and the elves were doing fine, I felt a little more relieved and can concentrate more on my own battle. I ran into a herd of smog creatures with my battle cry shattering the air.
“And I’m Jamie. Jamie Bennett,” I introduced myself to the little girl. “This guy here is my friend, Monty.” I turned to my said friend.
“Hi,” greeted Monty, nervously.
“Hewo,” The little girl name Abby greeted back.
I couldn’t help but find this funny, because my dog, which was a greyhound, was also named Abby.
It was really weird for a girl her age to wander all the way here from Virginia. How did she get here anyways? Did she get a lift from a car or a truck? I didn’t see any cars pass by before I found her. I looked at her clothes and saw that it was dirty from days of wear. Did she walk all the way to the neighborhood? She did mention something about a horse that brought her here, but I didn’t see any horses around at all.
Her appearance also seemed to be pretty worn out. She had some dirt and twigs sticking out on her clothes and in her hair. It looked like she was traveling in the forest for quite some time. She was completely dirty and definitely needed a bath.
“Alright. Let’s get to my house,” I suggested. “Mom and dad aren’t home yet, but we can wait for them when they get back. Maybe they would know what to do. So in the meantime, you should get yourself clean up and maybe get something to eat. It’s almost lunch time. You can stay with me and my sister, Sophie, until my parents get home.”
“Okay,” replied Abby. There were still tears in her eyes from almost crying earlier.
So we all headed back to my place. Abby was following behind us, but with her little feet, she can barely keep up with us. She sometimes trip here and there, because of the branches and rocks. Seeing how she wasn’t complaining or whining even though her eyes were still red from almost crying, I felt pity and wanted to help her a little.
“Here,” I reached out my hand to her. “Need some help?”
Abby stared at my hand for awhile when she finally took my hand. When I felt her grasp, it was kinda weak. Well, weaker than normal. I know she’s only a little girl, so her hands aren’t that strong, but her grip was noticeably weak. She seemed fragile. There was uncertainty in her grasp. Her eyes showed hesitation when I offered her help. She was probably exhausted from her travel. She did came a long way.
We walked for awhile through the forest. Abby still seemed to manage to trip, but I would use my strength to keep her from falling down. It took us awhile to get out of the forest and onto the streets of my neighborhood.
Monty and I talked among ourselves for awhile as we walked until I noticed that Abby has been silent for awhile. I turned to look at Abby and noticed that she was starting to fall asleep. She yawned and rubbed her eyes, trying to keep herself awake.
“Tired, Abby?” I asked her.
She nodded tiredly.
So I kneeled down in front of her with my back towards her. “Here. Get on. I’ll carry you,” I told her.
Monty looked at me. “You sure you can carry her?” He asked.
“Yeah. I carry Sophie loads of time,” I explained.
Abby didn’t get on right away at first, but her exhaustion must’ve gotten the best of her so she finally climbed onto my back. Monty also helped her on, seeing she was having a hard time doing so. When I got up with the little girl on my back and started to walk, Monty walked behind me, in case Abby falls off.
“Thwank you,” she thanked us.
“No problem,” I replied. Then the next thing I knew, I heard a small snore from behind. Wow, she definitely was exhausted. She was already knocked out cold.
“I think she fell asleep on your back,” told Monty.
“I figured,” I said as I carefully carried Abby all the way home. Poor girl need her rest after that long journey.
After a long walk down the sidewalk, we finally made it home. We walked up the steps onto the porch. Since my hands were busy trying to carry Abby, Monty helped with opening the door.
“I’m home,” I called into the house out of habit.
Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!
“Shoot!” I forgot about Abby... Uh... I mean my dog Abby. She’s going to wake up the girl Abby! Oh geez, this was going to get pretty confusing.
My dog kept jumping onto her hind legs, trying to give me one of her ‘welcome home’ kisses as usual.
“Down, girl!” I told her, getting a lot of saliva of love from her.
“Hey, Jamie. Did you hear a screamed earlier?,” Asked Monty.
“Huh? Yeah, I think I did hear a scream,” I realized. I thought I heard something earlier and I think I saw something flashed by at the corner of my eyes. I looked behind me, but saw nothing. I checked the girl, but she was still asleep on my back. Guess it wasn’t her. “Maybe we were hearing things. Could be something else?”
“I guess,” agreed Monty, so he went to greet my dog. “Hey, Abby.”
Then my dog Abby went to lick Monty and gave him a good licking. My friend laughed as Abby pounced on him to the ground, giving a whole of bunch of kisses. “Hahahaha! Abby! Alright already!”
Suddenly, I felt movement on my back. It looks like we woke up Abby.
“Huh...?” Abby exclaimed when she woke up, rubbing her eyes. “We home?”
“Sorry if we woke you up,” I apologized as I put her down. “So this is my house. Let’s get you clean up or my mom is going to have a cow about bringing dirt into the house again.”
“Okway,” agreed Abby.
All of a sudden, my dog Abby pounced on the girl Abby and also gave her some licks. Of course, the little girl cried out in shock, but was then giggling as she was getting licked by the dog.
“Abby! Get off of her! Sit!” I ordered.
Unexpectedly, while my dog stopped and sat down, Abby got up and also sat down.
“Um... Not you, Abby. I meant my dog.” I pointed out to her.
“Doggy is Abby too?” Abby looked confused. She turned to the dog, who also looked at her back with its tongue sticking out and breathing heavily from the excitement. “Yay! Abby fownd ‘notha Abby!” She cheered.
Another Abby? What did she meant by that?
The dog barked as if it was also cheering with her. I guess I was thinking too much.
Both Monty and I laughed at this. Having two Abbies was probably going to be interesting.
“Jamie, it looks like Pippa, Cupcake, and Sophie aren’t home yet,” Monty noticed that no one but the dog was at home.
“Guess, they’re taking their time at the candy store,” I thought. Sophie did wanted to go to the candy store this morning, so Pippa and Cupcake offered to go with her while Monty and I went to explore the forest. “They’ll probably be home in a few minutes.”
After that, I got Abby to take a bath and I borrowed some clothes from Sophie’s closet for Abby to wear temporarily. Helping her take a bath and putting on her clothes wasn’t that much trouble since I have to take care of Sophie a bunch of times. For her worn out and dirty clothes, I put them in a basket for mom to wash them later.
I heard a growl from Abby’s stomach when I was putting a shirt on her. She touched her stomach and then looked up at me with sad eyes. “Abby hungwy.”
“Alright. I’ll whip something up in the kitchen. It is lunchtime,” I told her.
As I brought Abby downstairs to the living room, I spotted Monty playing with my dog. I told him that I’ll be making lunch, so I wanted him to look after both Abbies for awhile. Monty agreed, so I went into the kitchen to make some peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I was grabbing the peanut butter jar and grape jam from the cabinets when I heard the doorbell rang.
Woof! Woof! Woof!
“I got it,” I heard Monty shout from the living room. I could hear my barking at the door like she always does when someone was at the door. Then I heard the front door opening and a girl’s voice greeting my friend.
“Hey, Monty! We’re back.”
“Hey, Pippa. Hey, Cupcake,” Monty greeted the girls. “And you too, Sophie.”
“Candy!” Sophie cried out, showing her bag of candies to Monty.
I poked out of the kitchen and spotted my friends at the door, so I greeted them. “Welcome home, Sophie. So you guys want lunch? I’m making peanut butter and jelly.”
Pippa was a tall skinny girl with short reddish brown hair and brown eyes. She’s really nice and a lot of fun. She, Monty, and I actually grew up with each other since we were kids, so we were pretty close.
Cupcake, on the other hand, was the big and tough looking girl with short brown hair and brown eyes. Even though she looked like she can beat up a boy easily, she’s actually a nice person. She also loves unicorns and anything pink. We used to be afraid of her, but then it turned out that she was pretty cool.
“That sounds good!” Cupcake replied, her eyes shining with hunger.
“Sure!” Agreed Pippa. That’s when Pippa noticed that there was another person in the room. “Who’s that girl?” She looked at Abby.
“That’s Abby,” Monty introduced her. “We found her in the forest.”
“Hewo,” Abby greeted them.
“In forest? What was she doing there?” Pippa asked, suspicious.
“Ooo!” Sophie exclaimed and ran up to Abby. “Hi! Candy?” She showed her bag of candies to her.
“Ooo! Yes, pwease,” Abby thanked her and grabbed something from the bag of colorful sweats.
Wow, they became friends pretty quickly. It was nice to see those two girls getting along fine so fast.
When I finished making the sandwiches for everybody, I called out to them from the living room. Everyone came into the kitchen and gathered at the table to eat. They began to grab a sandwich each and shove it into their mouths.
While I was gulping down my sandwich, I noticed that both the dog and the girl Abby were messy eaters. Half of Abby’s face, the girl, was already covered in peanut butter and jam, while my dog Abby was spilling all her dog food, which I prepared for her separately, all over the floor again! Were all Abby messy eaters?
After everyone was done eating and completely full, we all moved to the living room to hang out. Cupcake was flipping through the TV channels, looking for something to watch like My Colorful Unicorns or Princess Pink the 3rd, while Pippa and Monty were watching Cupcake flip through the channels. Abby and Sophie were running all over the place with the greyhound chasing them. They were screaming and giggling as they ran into the kitchen while I was putting away the dishes.
“Aaaaah!” Screamed Abby, happily.
“Run! Run!” Cried Sophie.
They were now running around the table, playing chase I guess. But while they were running, the dog almost knocked a chair over.
“Watch out!” I almost had a heart attack when I saw the chair wobbling from side to side. I almost ran to grab the chair, but luckily, it just wobbled back into place.
“Abby! Stop!” I ordered the greyhound.
But something unexpected which I should’ve expected happened. Both Abbies froze. Sophie on the other hand, didn’t stop and bumped right behind the dog and fell on her butt.
“Uh... Sorry, Abby. I didn’t mean you,” I told the girl with the same name as my dog. Oh boy, this was getting really troublesome. “I meant my dog.”
“Oh,” exclaimed Abby in realization.
Maybe I should start giving them each a code name or something so I can call them separately without this confusion. Just when I was trying to figure out how to solve this name problem, the doorbell rang again and this time with knockings as well.
“Hey guys! You in there?”
“It’s us! Claude and Caleb!”
Thought it was them. They always press the doorbell and knock the door at the same time. Normally, people would do one or the other at a time, but those two loved doing both.
This time, it was Pippa who went to get the door. When she opened up, two dark skin boys with black hair stood at the entrance. They looked almost exactly alike since they were twins after all, except one had his hair combed back and the other wore a red beanie over his head. At least, this way we can tell the difference between those two.
“Yeah, we’re here. What’s up?” She asked the two boys. “Wanna hang out with us? We’re watching a movie about a wild horse and a native indian guy.”
“No thanks, Pippa, but we got some exciting news!” Claude said excitedly.
“A new game store just opened in town!” Announced Caleb, eyes beaming with excitement. “Wanna go check it out?”
A new game store?! That’s totally awesome!
After hearing the word ‘game store,’ everyone was in. We were all excited to go. How can we not? I wonder if they will have the new Star Blaster II that just came out two weeks ago.
While we were all about to leave, I remembered that we still have Abby, Sophie, and my dog. Since nobody was going to be home, I decided to bring the two girls too. I can’t have two little girls home alone, right? My dog will stay at home, but she’ll be in the yard. Who knows what chaos she can make in the house while we’re gone. I quickly got Sophie into her shoe and got my dog outside while Abby put on her own shoes. She seemed to know how to put them on, but...
“Abby, you got your left and right shoe switched,” I told her.
Abby looked down at her shoes that were on the wrong foot. “Oh... Oopsie.”
I chuckled a little before helping her out. For some reason, it felt like I have another little sister to take care of.
The town of Burgess was peaceful as always. Since the weather was a fine sunny day, there were people walking down the sidewalk, doing their business. There were few cars driving on the road, so it wasn’t as noisy.
The Burgess kids and Abby were walking down the sidewalk towards the game shop that was just opened today. They were all talking excitedly to one another about some games they were playing and what games were coming out. The two little girls, Abby and Sophie, were holding on each other’s hand as they skipped and laughed together behind the group.
While the older kids were busy talking among themselves, they didn’t notice that something odd was lurking in the shadows. The two younger ones, however, did.
Abby and Sophie were just passing an alley when they heard something fell. Both heads turned to where the sound came from and saw a pile of boxes stacked inside the alley. The alley wasn’t dark, but nor was it clear and bright. It seemed the sound came from a box that fell over.
Normally, people would just ignore something like this and blame the wind. But for Abby, she just stood there out of curiosity. Unlike other people, Abby had the knack to sense that some things weren’t as normal as people believe. After what she went through, she can sense that something dark was lurking in the shadows of the alley.
A figure moved by quickly as the wind. Even though Abby couldn’t make out what it was, but she was sure that, whatever it was, wasn’t human.
Sophie also could sense that something was there too. After seeing that figure, she jumped in surprise and hid behind Abby nervously. She started to shake in fear as something was appearing from the darkness.
Both Abby and Sophie stood there as a large four legged creature stepped out towards them. It’s body was a skeleton of a wolf with dark grey smog flowing out of it’s fleshless body. It’s eyes glowed bright with fire burning at them like prey.
Then two more figures stepped out of the shadow and stood close to the first wolf. Now they were three of them.
The creatures slowly walked up towards them as the two girls froze on the spot in horror. Every step the dark creature took, the closer it was getting to the girls.
Flames started to flash out of their mouth like wolves salivating before they attack their helpless preys.
But before the smog wolves could make another move, something came shooting out of Abby’s hood and towards the smog creatures. A ball of fire went zooming around the smog wolves, causing them to back off in confusion.
The little fireball was distracting the smog creatures as best as possible. Seeing that the wisp that was hiding all this time was trying to save her and Sophie, Abby quickly grabbed her friend’s hand and ran for her life.