Chapter One, Part Two
School went by fast. Decent lessons, the usual levels of stress, and a lot of the stereotypical high school stuff. The most exciting thing that happened was that they were serving double cheeseburgers with a salad to replace fries in the cafeteria. It could be worse Alisha always would say. She was watching a YouTube video on her phone on strange things the Romans did while she munched on her Tuna melt.
“So, what’s your fun history fact for today Alisha?” I asked feasting on my fries picking off the small ones first.
“Nothing too exciting Ryder, but I got a fun fact of right now, a kid got reported missing yesterday in California and the police there don’t have much to go on,” she told me, reading from an article she had on her phone. We always would talk about stuff in the news. She would get shocked by a lot of the crazy titles, but she would always turn into a detective for the FBI and not stop until she learnt everything on the subject and figured out what the truth was.
“What’s not much to go on Alisha?” I questioned not happy with the unclear statement.
“The name of the kid, Genki Akagawa, he was with his parents on vacation in L.A, and that he’s six, poor little guy,” she sighed.
“Summer is over now, and that isn’t a lot of detail about a missing child, usually they get as much out as they can, right?” I questioned Alisha, gently taking her phone from her so I read the article myself.
“They put a picture of him, but no statement from the family which is weird,” she added chewing on one of her nails in deep thought. Usually, you’d see them on the news or hear an official statement read out by the middle-aged blonde new reader in glasses and a respectable dress. Not with this case.
“The police say they are searching for the kid too, but no help given from the Japanese authorities,” I said then checked on a Japanese news website about it, but got no more information other than his Nanny was watching him. She probably lost her job unless she was some kind of Nanny Mcphee in training. “The Nanny was watching him, meaning there was an extra set of eyes on him, and he still went missing. And if they had a Nanny, they probably had other employees…”
“Aka servants,” She said with a bitter scoff.
“Employees. But still for someone to take the kid or for it to wander away would be difficult,” I replied.
“Could be an inside job, but why?” she suggested gesturing with her fork before she stabbed a salad leaf with it.
“Yeah, also we should be on criminal minds just saying. That conversation was literally like when they have that sit around the table and talk to figure out how to get the crazy dude they are after,” I added dipping some of my chips in the ketchup then eating them. “My Dad is in California right now ironically,” I stated while eating.
“Maybe he’s helping with them?” Alisha suggested.
“Yeah totally, my Dad would be the secret agent you never see coming,” I said dramatically wiggling my fingers like I was casting a spell. “Double o-seven would be shaking in his tux if he ever saw my Dad,” I added making her tilt her head at me disappointed I was mocking my Appa. But it was true, although he was strict when he had to be what with have two sons, he was still thin and lanky like me and was scared of my Eomma, like me.
“Hmmm, do you know who he’s translating for over there?” Alisha asked me while she kept eating her salad.
“No actually, he was quiet about them for once,” I frowned and a second after my phone started ringing.
“I can’t believe you have the theme to Pirates of the Caribbean as your ring tone,” Alisha deadpanned shaking her head.
“It’s so I don’t miss it!” I argued digging in my bag with my hand to get my phone out. I did so and saw that my Appa calling me. “Speak of the devil,” I chuckled then answered the phone. “Hi Appa,” I said smiling.
“Hello! I am not going to be home until later in the evening and your Mother has to work late tonight, her team have lots of extra paperwork. Could you do something for us?” He began speaking in Korean.
“Yeah sure, what do you need?” I replied.
“Will you pick up your little brother? I will help you with your homework when you get home and give you some extra money towards the next game you want to get,” He promised. I grinned like pennywise but with happiness.
“You got a deal Dad,” I agreed.
“A pleasure doing business with ya kid,” he said in English trying to do an impression of Marlon Brando in the Godfather. “Ask your Mom about dinner, she’ll probably have some leftovers in the fridge, if not you can get a take out,” he said in Korean again and I gasped over-dramatically.
“Good thinking Batman!” I said trying to sound like Robin. He chuckled but then someone else spoke to him in Japanese in the background. My Japanese was a little rusty but I understood that the guy said his boss needed my Appa to write something into English. Maybe some legal documents like he usually does for clients in the states? He’s done that before countless times both there and at home in his office.
“Ah, I must go now son, have a good day at school,”
“I will Dad, see you soon,”
“Bye Mr Park!” Alisha called in English making me roll my eyes and laugh once as I put my phone on loudspeaker so she could hear him.
“Bye Alisha! Make sure Ryder remembers what I ask of him please!” he begged.
“I will Appa! Jeez!” I scoffed then said goodbye once more before putting the phone down. “I am trying my best, I wish he would have more trust in me,” I sighed hunching over while I pouted to myself.
“Maybe he thinks you’ll get better after you go back to the doctors,” She shrugged.
“If I go back, my Eomma’s been trying to get the doctors to help more, but they say they can’t do anything,” I replied.
“Um, how long has it been since you went back to the doctor?” She asked rhetorically raising an eyebrow.
“Over a year, they just want me to keep taking the pills,” I shrugged by she just hummed not buying it.
“They are palming you off Ryder to deal with other, but you need help too,” She paused to lean in closer to me, “Especially if what you saw today was a hallucination, that was really vivid if it was dude,” She added referring to that giant woman.
“Yeah,” I nodded knowing my friend was right. “But I don’t want tonnes of special treatment or like I can’t cope, I’ve managed so far even though it has been tough,” I added and Alisha nodded understanding me and my family’s proud. Mostly my family’s though, I just wanted to not make things too difficult for others.
“Jeez!” Alisha and I were interrupted by a blob of lime green slime. It landed right in her salad and drops of it splashed on our clothes. There was laughter from a group of guys nearby and not just any group of guys. Jeremy Fritzberg, Cooper Wilkinson, Austin Turner and Cristiano Hernández. They were the typical jokester prankster bullies of our school. Cooper had a thing for all things gross, ever since elementary school. He never stopped doing that since Jeremy and Austin started finding it funny, they also thought it wasn’t bullying people and would pass it all off as jokes. At the start of middle school, they thought making fun of Cristiano being from Mexico, was just a joke, but they stopped doing that and let him be in their group when they found out he was good at parkour. He was an athletic guy and even though I stood nearly a whole foot taller than him I wouldn’t make him mad. Plus, Alisha would do a whole university lecture on why it was stupid.
“SERIOUSLY?! IT IS THE FIRST WEEK BACK!” She shouted standing up with her arms stiff at her side while she cringed.
“Oh, come on Alisha it was just a prank bro,” Jeremy snorted with a goofy sounding voice.
“Yeah, if this was a low budget cliché teen movie in the late nineties to early noughties,” I muttered taking off my hat to flick the slime drops off it cringing because they looked like boogers.
“Shut it, nerd, I wasn’t talking to you,” Jeremy shouted at me making me scoff.
“I prefer geek, or gamer if you are feeling original,” I shrugged.
“I can think of some worse things to say,” He seethed, I had a feeling it would be something to do with my race which did make me recoil a little.
“Bro, the teachers will be on your ass before you know it,” Cristiano warned quietly then looked at him. “That coño ain’t worth it,” He added a little louder with a smirk.
“What did you call him?! Say it in English douchebag!” Alisha shouted getting in his face defending me. I then stood up and gently tugged her back telling her to stop. She glared at me with a pout that made her look a little like a mixed-race Jessica Rabbit but I knew her, and she was pissed.
“Listen to your girlfriend Ryder!” Cooper mocked while Austin made a circle with one of his thin white hands and he pumped the middle finger of his other hand, and you can guess what he meant. I rolled my hand then held up one of my fists.
“Oh, look at this!” I said with pretend shock then began to pretend I was turning up a winch with another hand while I raised my middle finger like I was Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know how this machine worked,” I said sarcastically. The two thick-skulled goonies frowned at each other.
“Stick that up your ass,” Jeremy snapped before striding away with Cooper and Austin following. I sighed heavily shaking my head. Must be Justice League fans.
“Don’t worry, I got that reference,” Alisha said patting my shoulder with a sympathetic smile.
“It only came out two years ago, and they are working on the second film as we stand here, and before that, there were the comics!” I stressed clapping my hands together as I spoke the last few words.
“And everyone knows,” Cristiano began making us both frown at him. “Sequels are never as good as the first movie,” He sarcastically replied clapping himself before shrugging with a slight smile.
“Man, he is, confusing, one second he is acting like a bully then he is sticking up for us and then he shoots down my references,” I said shaking my head while I glared at the back of his head. “What did he call me?” I asked frowning at Alisha. She rolled her eyes.
“I’m not asking Mrs Gonzalez that,” She said then went back to our table. I took out my phone and went onto google.
“How do you spell it? Was it with a y?” I asked her, sliding into my seat.
“I don’t know or care, Ryder, all I know is if he says it to you again, I am punching him and all his dumb-ass friends,” She muttered stabbing the last bits of her salad with her folk angrily.
“O-kay then, thanks for sticking up for me,” I said tilting my hat to her.
“Been doing that since we were six,” She said with a wink and clicking her finger then pointed the same index finger she used.
“Yep, and you probably will do my whole life,” I chuckled.
“Let’s get out of here and go to the Library,” she told me crouching down to get our bags while I got rid of our garbage making sure to put the plastic and paper parts in the right recycling bins. I took my bag from Alisha and slung it over my shoulder as we walked out the cafeteria.
“The librarian Mrs Edwards said new history books were coming in,” She smiled as we walked down the halls. She kept talking more about them, me absentmindedly listening to her until I started to smell something. It smelt like really strong men’s cologne. It was like I just got hit by one of those muscular suit-wearing dudes that do the smouldering looks at the camera. The weird thing was Alisha didn’t look like she could smell it. Her sense of smell was not the greatest though. It could have been a new cleaning product the janitor was trying. Beats the nose hair burning smell of bleach, I guess.
The library was an open planned space with shelves lining the walls that stopped just above my head and there were many other smaller shelves in rows with tables in the middle of the room. We sat down at the table right up against the back beige painted wall, but she was soon up again, rushing over to where the new books were like a typical kid in a candy store. She picked up a few while I got out the homework that I knew would take the least amount of time to finish. And my phone on the side so I could check my favourite mobile game. Those dragons on there aren’t going to raise themselves!
Alisha began reading while I went between the two, focusing more on my game because I got a new high-level dragon but eventually, I looked up at her.
“You know the only thing I don’t like about history is that the winners tell their version of the truth and the actual truth takes a while to come out,” She sighed, putting the book flat on the table.
“Yeah, sucks,” I muttered focusing on a spinning wheel of prices so I could get the best one.
“I’m gonna go get another one,” She grinned then stood up, bounding off to get another new book. I smiled at her, and that me focusing for once got me the best gift I could from that wheel. New dragon egg for me!
“Yes!” I cheered with a fist pump of victory. That got a glare and shush from Mrs Edwards. “Sorry…” I said cringing then hunched over hoping to shrink away, but then again, I had no idea how to do that being so tall.
I sheepishly looked down at my phone now in my lap and closed off the game about to check my Twitter, but I stopped when once again I smelt that same strong smell of cologne. This time it was so strong I scrunched up my eyes pinching my nose for a second before I looked around trying to see where the heck it was coming from. This time though I saw nearly every girl in the library move towards one particular new teacher that looked like he just jumped out of a European magazine for men’s health. Buff body, tanned skin, smart suit, and big chin with a sharp jawline that looks like it could cut through a cheese wheel. I was surprised that Alisha wasn’t joining in on the drooling, but then again, she had more sense to not fawn over a teacher. The teacher though instead of ignoring it seemed to revel in it. He weirdly made eye contact with each and every one of the girls making them giggle or swoon. He then left the room, the smell of cologne following him, and an almost demonic look in his eyes. No really, his eyes I saw were black for the few seconds he glanced at me on his way out. That, was a new hallucination for me.
“Don’t freak out, don’t freak out,” I whispered to myself, my breath all over the place as I started to panic.
“Whoa,” Alisha squatted at the side of me seeing that I was not okay. “Focus on breathing Ryder, just focus on that,” I did as she said knowing that when I was as calm as I could again my mind could process what I saw.
“It was something new, something weird, and smells, smells are new,” I gripped the sides of my chairs while I took more deep breaths.
“You’ve had your pills, right? All-day on time?” She asked me and I nodded. “Your Mom needs to get your ass back to the doctors, as soon as she can,” She told me standing up then went to my bag getting the bottle of water I had in there always. “Take a drink,” she told me while putting it on the table next to me. I did so, my hands still shaking then sighed after I pulled it away from my mouth.
“She’s busy, and the doctors are too. It could just be a blip, someone new here or a change I don’t know,” I rambled.
“You’ve been like this since the start of the year Ryder if your Mom can’t take you your Dad can. You’ve got two parents,” she said crossing her arms.
“Dad doesn’t like going, he can’t deal with it,” I told her which was true. Although he loved me, he didn’t know how to help or deal with my mental health problems. He just paid for medication and the bills that came with my healthcare without question. Alisha huffed looked around.
“Wanna go outside?” She asked me and I nodded again then started gathering my things. The outside made me calm down a lot when I started reacting to my hallucinations. It stopped me from having panic attacks. I always made sure to take my pills on time these last few months. Seriously not even a real zombie apocalypse could stop me. But the hallucinations are more vivid and keep happening, so what else could I do?
“How’s Darren?” I asked her referring to her godfather and guardian.
“He’s good, stressing about one of his team members going on maternity,” She told me hugging her knees close to her. “Honestly I don’t know how many of them find time to even stop for a cup of coffee, let alone make a baby,” She chuckled. Darren worked in a home for elderly people that were either physically or mentally disabled. Even as a team leader, he somehow did it on top of taking care of Alisha since she was a baby.
“Struggling to find a replacement?” I asked and she nodded. “Too bad the baby can’t come out like,” I then made a pop noise with my mouth by sticking my finger in it. “And be ready to work with a little carer’s uniform on,” I added and she rolled her eyes with a snicker.
“Too bad I can’t go help him,” She sighed rubbing her thighs. “But he always says they can manage and that I should focus on my studies. ’You focus on your dreams sweetie’ is what he always tells me like I need to not worry about anything but that and that everything else will be done for me,” She ranted. Uh oh, ranting Alisha alert. “But I need to worry about more than myself, that would make me a selfish shitty person, you know like one of those spoiled Instagram thots!” She said picking up her phone and shaking it in my face. “He always thinks that I can’t handle serious stuff, I’m sixteen! I’m growing up! I can handle it!”
“Pretty sure being a carer needs training and stuff,” I pointed out.
“I’m not talking about being a carer Ryder, I mean serious grown-up shit: like help out with bills and work around the house! He won’t even let me take the trash out! I seriously have to do that in secret!” She exclaimed.
“Darren’s doing it because he cares, right?” I shrugged and she nodded.
“But I care about him and I wanna help,” She replied then threw herself back on the grass. “Maybe I should try to get a Saturday job, or volunteer at the museum,” She wondered and I nodded then took out my phone.
“There is this amazing new invention that can help you find a job, it’s called the interwebs,” I joked but she just glared at me. “You should talk to him about it, maybe try doing your own laundry in secret,” I suggested then stood up stretching my long legs and arms.
“Yeah,” She huffed pushing herself up. “I will when he gets back from his shift,” Then we picked up our bags and started to walk back to school since lunch was nearly over.
Our next lesson was in the science labs. Much to my annoyance, and every other student that didn’t like guys and Alisha, we were being taught Science by that new teacher I saw in the library.
“Great, it’ll be really awkward if I have hallucinations here involving him in front of all these people. Please work pills,” I thought to myself gripping my pen as he began to teach.
“Hello, everyone! My name is Mr De Santis and I will be your new Science teacher,” He then did the typical teacher thing of writing your name on the blackboard so the class can all spell it, remember it and learn to say it. “But, if you aren’t familiar with Italian last names, feel free to address me as Mr D,” I felt sick when I heard everyone staring in a trance at the teacher giggle. He had a smirk on his face before he looked scarily serious. “And let’s be clear if you don’t pay attention now and don’t do the work in class there will be detentions until you do,” He almost shouted making everyone sit up slightly in their seats. “Now, this week we will be focusing on chemistry, so each of you get out a chemistry book and turn to page sixty-nine,” I wandered over one of the cupboards near the teacher’s desk that the textbooks were in. I took out one for myself and for Alisha, the two that weren’t scribbled on too much, and stood up to get out of the way, but stopped when I saw Alisha sat talking to the teacher.
His eyes were a normal colour this time, but Alisha looked uncomfortable while Marisol Jefferson was staring at him like he was her favourite boyband member. He wasn’t too close to her, and he was making small talk with the other few students on our table, but he seemed to be focusing more on Alisha. Maybe he was picking up on the fact Science sent her to sleep like a lullaby; it bored her that much. I thought it was cool but confusing.
Mr. De Santis then quickly turned away and strode back to the front of the class. It was a good lesson about chemical reactions that happen in the body. He didn’t explain how the chemical reactions that would theoretically change in superheroes’ bodies when they got their powers, but it still was interesting.
The bell rang at 3:30 marking the end of the school day. Alisha and I wandered out of school. She was ranting at how the girls on our table, except her and Alexis Lee, were swooning over a teacher and how messed up it is that some people get off on that. I mentioned to her about the sexy school girl thing as we got out the doors making us both gag and cringe in disgust. The faces we made making the other one laugh though.
“Alright, I gotta go get Zack. See you later,” I said and she nodded then gave me a hug.
“Say hi to the little man for me, and text me when you get home,” She said this every day.
“You do the same, that way I know I don’t need to get the Winchesters to come to save you from a monster,” I joked and she belly laughed as she pulled away.
“Call ’em and send ’em my way anyway,” She replied sassily with a wink making me chuckled again as I began to walk backwards gripping my bag straps.
“See you tomorrow!” I shouted with a wave which she returned before crossing the road to get on the bus. I put my earphones in and walked towards my little brother’s school. The roads and pavements were busy all the way there, and I had to awkwardly weave my way through parents stood talking and kids running around to get to the door. My little brother was sat outside his classroom with his bag on the floor in front of him. He was staring at it in an unbreakable trance of sadness and fear. “Zack?” I called but he just sniffed. “Zack, what’s wrong bro?” I asked then sat down next to home, which was risky as they were tiny chairs and I nearly stumbled off the side of it but gripped on to the front of it so I could listen to him.
“I got in trouble today,” He muttered wiping his eyes with his little hands.
“Ah, what did you do?” I asked trying to balance out sounding like a strict brother and sympathetic brother.
“I told the teacher I saw something outside,” He told me making me frown. Why would he be in trouble for that?
“Excuse me, Ryder is it?” We suddenly looked up to see Zack’s teacher, Mrs Becker. She was a kind dark-skinned woman that wore bright comfy baggy clothes, and usually, Zack liked her a lot. She always had nothing but good things to say about him most of the time, but he never had gotten this before.
“Yeah, I’m Ryder’s older brother,” I said standing up again.
“I spoke to your parents over the phone, but I may as well tell you too. Zack here spent a lot of today saying there was a strange woman outside the school watching him. He was given several warnings and went to the principal’s office. He’s got a detention tomorrow too.” She told me shaking her head disapproving at Zack.
“A strange woman?” I questioned.
“There was no one there, he was lying,” She dismissed. “Which resulted in the detention,” She explained, but all I could do was frown. Sure, Zack would make up little lies like all kids would, but he wouldn’t keep it going throughout the day. Maybe she and the school thought he was starting to have problems like me. My parents would be worried sick now too. I felt myself being tugged in two directions. I didn’t want to disrespect his teacher, but I knew my little brother better than she did.
“Okay, I’ll take him home. Thank you,” I replied then picked up his bag. “Come on Zack, we gotta go,” I told him then he got off the chair and started walking beside me like a sad puppy. We didn’t talk until we got outside the schoolyard and were back on the sidewalk. “Hey,” I began nudging him with his bag. “Wanna talk about it?” I asked him but he still didn’t talk. “Zack, I’m not gonna get mad at you, I wanna understand what you saw okay?” I asked him coming to a stop to kneel next to him. He looked about everywhere but at me nervously. “Please talk to me Zack,” I begged putting my hands on his shoulders.
“I told my teacher that I saw a woman outside the school, but my teacher didn’t believe me, nobody else believed me,” He told me then pouted.
“Were you pretending she was there?” I asked frowning while I pressed my lips together feeling disappointed that my little brother was being like this.
“No, she was there, and she didn’t go away,” He then looked up over my shoulder. “She’s still stood in the schoolyard,” He told me and pointed. I let out a huff then heaved myself up while rolling my eyes. This could become a serious problem, and I knew as his big brother I would have to help. Maybe he was just going too far with imaginary friends or something.
“Sure, she is,” I scoffed but when I turned around, I felt shock and fear fill me so quickly I could’ve spontaneously combusted right there. There was a woman stood in the shade of the ground keeper’s shed glaring right at me and my brother. My eyes went wide and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My brother saw her too! That meant either she was the result of us both hallucinating the same thing caused by something in the air or water let loose by the government or an even James Bond villain, or…it wasn’t a hallucination and it was real.
“She’s looking at us Ryder,” He whispered clinging to my leg.
“I know,” I stuttered not daring to look away from her as she tilted her head at me, it was like she was conscious of me, but she would occasionally glance at Zack.
“We need to get away from her Zack,” I whispered stretching my hand out for him to take. We then slowly began to back away from the fence marking the edge of the school ground. I could only think of one thing to do, and I felt my mind going at light speed as I replayed the way I came to here from my school and then to there from the once place I knew this scary woman wouldn’t follow. That shop. I took a deep breath and looked down at my brother. “Zack?” he then looked up at me. “We’re gonna go somewhere safe, now gimme a koala hug,” I told him crouching down with my arms open. He jumped into my arms wrapping his little one around my neck letting and I held onto his short legs then set off running. “Hold on!” I panted running down the streets as fast as I could, eerily not seeing a single person or car as we ran.
“She’s following us!” Zack cried. I rubbed his back with one hand as I turned a corner getting closer to the area of town the shop was in.
“We’re almost there Zack, pretend we’re playing Crash running from the massive boulder!” I panted encouragingly as I felt my lungs burn and sweat build up on my forehead. I heard the sound of her ‘Po Po Po’ from behind which made me run even faster. I smiled a little while panting when I turned down the street seeing the shop on the corner. “Please be open, please be open,” I panted quickly as I heard her voice getting louder. The shop’s sign was still turned so the ‘open’ sign was facing out meaning it was open. I then turned around to use one of my elbows to push the door handle down, nudged it open with my foot and rushed into the shop seeing the woman watching from across the street. I kicked the door closed behind me then put Zack down and, in my panic, dragged one of the display crates with vegetables in it in front of the door in an attempt to barricade the door.
“What is this?” I spun around when the shop keeper Elsa spoke coming out of the curtained off area with an outraged frown.
“I saw her again, and so did my brother,” I said pointing at my confused little brother. Elsa looked him over worryingly before she slowly strode over to the door peering out of the glass window part of the door. She slowly stood back up and turned around to face us.
“Perhaps he saw a different woman,” She said shaking her head.
“There was no other woman, we both saw her!” I argued knowing that this time it wasn’t me, we both saw her. She pursed her lips then glanced at my brother again before she bent down to his height and smiled.
“What is your name?” She asked Zack who muttered his name back. “Zack? That is nice, short for Zackery?” She asked and he nodded. “Well Zack, I am Elsa and this is my shop, you want to go look around?” He asked then he grinned and looked up at me.
“Can I Ryder?” he asked me. I frowned at this woman suspiciously. This shop had all sorts of things in it that my brother could break meaning my parents would have to pay for it, meaning I’d be in trouble too. “Please?” He begged. I sighed knowing that I needed to talk to her.
“Remember the rule for when we go into shops?” I questioned raising an eyebrow at him.
“Don’t touch anything because if I break it the shop owner will take me to Judge Judy,” He told me, a weird rule but my Eomma drilled it into him because when she was pregnant with him, she watched a lot of Judge Judy.
“Right, now go on,” I told him and he dashed off to start looking around the room with the antiques. I then turned to the woman impatiently resting my hands in my jacket pockets as she walked back around the shop counter. “We saw her again, in his school, and no one else saw her,” I told her and she looked even more worried but kept calm as she spoke.
“Come through here,” She said before walking through to the kitchen curtained off.
“What do you know, why does she keep appearing?” I demanded.
“Well, maybe she is a strange woman or a dangerous one,” she stated getting a couple of cups off the draining board next to the sink. The kitchen was aged dark wood with some retro touches here and there, but it was still functioning fine and had a few colours in the picture, magnets, and a couple of appliances decorating it that made it homey.
“That is what I’m worried about, but what I wanna know is why she won’t come in here?” I asked as she put her kettle on.
“May she not like Polish corner shops?” The woman shrugged still avoiding my question again.
“Nope, but I bet twenty bucks she doesn’t like people who avoid questions,” I said back crossing my arms. The woman then sighed and made herself some kind of herbal tea. “I know what I saw lady, and I also know that my brother saw her too. We just ran all the way here from his school like Sonic being shot out of a cannon because of the hunch that crazy woman won’t come in here because you know more than you’re saying and-” I stopped mid-sentence when I heard from the top of the narrow dark wooden stairs that started just to the right of me a noise that sounded like footsteps. I turned my head up and saw the same little boy I saw the first time I came into this shop peeping around the corner of one of the two doorways on either side of the stairs. What made me freak out was that peeping around the corner of the other doorway across from the boy, was some strange looking short human reptile hybrid. It had a yellow beak, webbed hands, scaly skin in shades of green, yellow and blue, a shaggy bowl cut, beady yellow eyes and some kind of dent in the top of its head. “What is that?!” I exclaimed pointing at it and backed up away from it. The kid and reptile then jumped back into the rooms hiding as Elsa strode over to the lookup at the stairs where I was pointing. “There was that kid again and a low budge ninja turtle up there!” I exclaimed, that being the only thing I could compare it to.
“Ninja turtle? There is no other person but me here,” She told me with a frown. Crap, my tablets weren’t working, or I was insane!
“Oh my god it’s getting worse,” I began gripping at my head. “I’m going crazy, I’m seeing hallucinations everywhere,” I stuttered, my thoughts just falling out of my mouth.
“And now I’m seeing the same things they’ve become even more vivid, my parents are gonna send me to asylum and it won’t be like Arkham or Mount Massive, it’ll be real and way worse,” I said pacing around in the kitchen and around Elsa.
“What am I gonna do?! I’m going crazy what do people going crazy in the real world other than go crazy?!”
“RYDER!” I was stopped by Elsa suddenly grabbing me by both my shoulders to make me stop.
“WHAT?! I’M FREAKING OUT! I’VE JUST REALISED I’M CRAZY!” I exclaimed close to crying.
“You’re not crazy!” She dismissed firmly shaking her head.
“How can you say that?! I’m seeing things that aren’t really there all the time! Everywhere! I am crazy!” I argued, my eyes filling up with tears and hands shaking.
“Those things you see upstairs, they are not hallucinations, they are real. I can see them too,” She told me.
“What?” I frowned. Was she messing with me?
“Yes, you see a little boy in clothing from the nineteen forties with blonde hair and brown eyes,” As she described him, I saw the kid appear at the bottom of the stairs with his hands held in front of him nervously. “He is Hanz, a poltergeist. The other thing you saw with scales and a beak is Kappa,” She told me as the weird reptile creature that was a similar height to my brother walked down the stairs glaring at me with its arms crossed.
“Great, I’m seeing ghosts and something I haven’t even fucking heard of! I AM CRAZY!” I cried breaking away from her gripping my head again.
“You are not crazy,” She insisted shaking her head again. I scoffed at her shuffling around the truth and ignoring the elephant in the room which was that I was.
“What am I then?” I asked her with a shrug. She then looked me right in the eye and spoke.
“You are a Creature Seer.”