I thrashed around in my sleep.
Blinding my eyes, a flash of blue filled my vision. All around me, once-green grass lay strewn across the cliff edge, a raging storm swirling up ahead. The sea below crashed against the side of the rocks, so hard it seemed unreal. Two figures crouched on the hill, poised, fighting a wall of mist.
My mother crouched beside me, her electric blue hair billowing behind her. Contorted with rage, her face was not the everyday image. But what was most startling was her eyes. They were a stormy grey, flickering spontaneously like lightning. As she turned to look at me, though, her expression became softer, more relaxed, and her eyes faded into an ocean blue, like clouds departing from the sky.
How did I know it was my mother? No idea.
“Take her, Alaya! Take her and go!”
Further forward, my father was fighting the mist, but he wasn’t getting anywhere, as if he was wading through sand. His flaming red hair was spiked into a hairstyle you might see 70s pop star wearing. And I mean flaming, as in, on fire, as well as being vibrant red.
Yes, on fire. His hair spat and sparked angrily, as if it was trying to hurt something. I looked into his eyes, and saw fire encasing sinking ships, wildfire tearing down the forests of Australia, and other indescribably awful things. As he turned to see my mother, his face read fear, but his eyes were filled with warm campfires.
Somehow, I knew it was my father.
“I can’t leave you!” My mother cried. The storm seemed to intensify.
My father was blasted back by a strike from the thing in the mist. As I stared into his eyes, I saw dying embers burning slowly. My mother collapsed onto the ground next to him.
“No, Zyon, please, Zy,” she whimpered, clutching his hands, willing him back to life.
“Go,” he croaked, one last time, and his irises turned as black as coal.
A terrible scream rang out across the landscape, my mother crying out for mercy from nature. She leant across his body and hugged it close.
The thing in the mist growled. As I heard it for the first time, I could identify the sound like nails down a blackboard. It reminded me of some of the bullies’ voices at school. It filled me with hate. I wanted to punch something, anything, but the only things around were the mist, my parents and the cliff.
“I’m sorry,” my mother tried to whisper, but it came out as more of a mourning wail. She waved her hand in the air, and a sphere of water formed around me. I stared in awe at the top of it. Mini thunderstorms appeared to silently rage, while the sun peaked through translucent clouds. It was beautiful. But my father had just died. Nothing should be beautiful.
Slowly, I started to float away, out to sea. The mist started creeping up on my parents, reaching out to them. I wanted to help them, but the walls of the sphere seemed to be as strong as steel. I was being carried away from the battle. Slowly, the mist trapped my mother as well. The last thing I heard was a pained scream.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Mya, my foster mother, leaned over me, looking worried.
“You’ve been twisting around for hours. I’ve been trying to wake you up, but it was impossible. I thought you were having a seizure! You should take the day off school,”
I pushed myself up to a sitting position, and tried to get my bearings. That dream had felt so real. It had felt less like a dream and more like… a memory. No, it couldn’t be. I was hallucinating. I have a wild imagination. My parents died on a ship in a storm. Not killed by some weird mist. Mya was right. I did feel woozy. Maybe I could just… sit on the sofa. With a remote control. Cake.
“You’ve got an exam tomorrow, just so you know, but I don’t want you to worry about that right now,” Mya reminded me. Oh, poo. She was right. It wasn’t just one exam, as I had told her, it was exam day. Our whole day was filled with exams, whether we flunked them or passed with flying colours.
“I… I think I want to go,” I stammered. I’m not the teacher’s pet, but I generally think the teachers like it when I get straight A’s in all my tests, and I would sure like to keep that title.
“Are you sure?” Mya asked, her eyes full of concern.
Mya was so sweet. With her frizzy Afro hair pulled back into two pigtails, she wanted to be a vegan, but never managed past vegetarian. She always wore the same style casual hoodie, tight jeans and colour-changing locket.
And she always put me first.
“I’m sure,” I mumbled, swinging my legs across the bed. Little did I know what a day I’d be having…