Chapter 8: A Worldwide Meeting
A deafening voice screams into my ear, and I jolt awake. I look around my room, shifting in a cold sweat. Cerberus is fast asleep in my lap, snoring and snorting every few seconds. I place my hand on his back, he’s so soft and warm. If he were larger then he would be my pillow, it will happen eventually, but I must wait a few months until then. I transfer my tired gaze over to my window, the moon is still in the sky, millions of stars shining down and not a single light coming from any window.
“What time is it?” I mumble to myself, not expecting an answer. I try to get up, but Cerberus shifts his head onto my leg and now I’m trapped here, I must respect the comfortableness of the small furry creature. I might as well attempt to go back to sleep as well. I lay back down staring at the mystical night sky, trying to think of a scenario to play out in my head to try and send myself back to sleep but my mind is blank. I can feel Cerberus’s calm and steady breathing on my leg, he feels so peaceful. Lucky dog, he’s able to stay asleep for the entire night. My mind is so empty that it’s starting to give me a headache. Why can’t I think of anything to think about? Everything I normally daydream about just feels boring right now. I close my eyes and focus on a mixture of the puppies breathing and the dark specs in the darkness of my closed eyes.
I lay still in my bed for another few hours, unable to fall asleep. Cerberus eventually wakes himself up with an extraordinarily loud snore. I giggle at his three quarters asleep face looking around in confusion. He crawls to the other end of my bed and immediately passes out. I wait until it looks like I can finally move without waking him up then I softly creep outside my room.
I don’t know why but I decide to go sit by my pool, I stare out the huge glass windows at the night sky. The moon is still pretty high, it must be around three am right now. I’m currently on March break, so it’s not like I have to go to school in a few hours. Although there is a huge announcement being made at one pm today, I still don’t exactly know what it’s about, but I have heard a few rumours that the name for us magic users has been chosen. I wonder what it is, a name will help save so much more time. We will no longer have to say magic user and non-magic user, we can have an actual name. Although we’ve existed for thousands of years and we’re far more advanced than the non-magic users, yet we still don’t have a name for ourselves or them yet, it’s pretty funny. I let slip my feet into the cool pool water, and lay down, staring at the ceiling. Hunter somehow makes his way into my mind. Why am I thinking about him? Oh yeah, the interview is in two days. I still don’t feel like it’s a good idea to have people I know in the army and I still have no clue why I’m so against it.
I fall asleep soaking by the pool and wake up a few hours later to Cerberus licking my face like it’s covered in peanut butter.
I struggle to push him away, he’s far too strong for me right now, “Cerberus, cut it out.” I push myself up and pull my feet out of the water, they’re wrinklier than a one-hundred-year-old grandma. “What time is it?” I ask again, still not expecting a response.
“Eleven in the morning,” a voice says behind me. I jump from shock and fall into the pool, that’s going to wake you up in the morning. I can hear muffled barks from outside the water, I float up to the surface. Chlorine irritating my eyes, as I rub them whoever scared me pulls me out of the water. “The ceremony is in two hours; you better get ready and eat breakfast.”
“I’m sorry but I’m still blind,” I say, still rubbing my eyes. “Who are you?”
“Yuhoghaneun,” he responds and pulls my hands away from my eyes. He then pulls up his shirt and uses it to dry my faces, the smell of his cologne slows my heartbeat. “Jowangsin and Dulyeowo are in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make you for breakfast and they sent me to come looking for you.” I hear his deep laughter, “I was terrified when I saw you passed out next to your pool.”
“Sorry to scare you,” I apologize and slowly wake up. “How did you guys get inside?”
“Honestly,” he makes a toothy smile. “I have no clue.”
I look at him confused, “What do you mean?”
He shrugs, “I was half asleep when I was dragged here.” He smirks, “I became conscious of what was going on when I woke up upside down on your couch while the two others laughed at me.”
“That sounds out of character for them,” I snicker.
He rolls his eyes, “Come on, breakfast should be ready by now.”
He helps me up from the side of the pool and we walk to the kitchen. I can hear laughter and struggling coming from the other two trespassers. We turn the corner and I see almost all of the stuff that was inside my fridge spread across my counters. There are cracked eggs and milk spilled everywhere, the cheese is in shreds, there are deli meats on the ceiling, and there’s peanut butter paw prints painting my floor.
“Aren’t you the goddess of the kitchen?” I nag. “What’s with all of this?”
Jowangsin and Dulyeowo jump at the sound of my voice, Jowangsin points to Dulyeowo and says, “He did it!”
“What? No, I didn’t!” Dulyeowo denies. “I honestly have no clue how this happened.” He looks around the kitchen as if he never noticed the mess before, “One second I was pulling the eggs out of the fridge and the next everything was everywhere.”
I drop my head in exhaustion, “I’ll call up a maid to clean it later.” I look back up and survey them, I notice a beat of sweat slide down the side of Dulyeowo’s head, “Why are you guys here?”
I can hear Jowangsin gulp, “There’s a portion of the ceremony where you have to go up on stage and we wanted to prepare you for it.”
“What do you mean?” I ask her. “What am I supposed to do?”
“Nothing much,” Yuhoghaneun shrugs, all nonchalant. “Just stand on stage, smile, frown, do whatever you want.”
“You also have to control your powers,” Jowangsin adds.
“But I can already control my powers,” I mention. “Besides, I can just wear my ring then.”
Jowangsin shakes her head, “No ring. Your powers need to be visible to everyone, and you also need to show that you’re strong without hurting anyone.”
“Why do I have to be on stage?” I ask her.
“Fyre and Cerberus will also be up there with you,” she adds. “It’s for your army, there will be a portion of the ceremony where they will be mentioning your group. So, you will also have to wear your uniform.”
“Why can’t it be more of an undercover group?” I ask her.
She shrugs, “I honestly don’t know. I figured that they would ask you what you would like to do, but I’m sure that they have a reason for not doing so.”
Fyre appears on my shoulder, ‘I’m not liking this.’
‘What do you mean?’ I ask him. The trespassers all go into the kitchen and attempt to continue making me breakfast.
‘First they give you an army, next they decide everything that goes on with it,’ Fyre exclaims. ‘I haven’t found any evidence that shows anything bad is going on yet, but I’m still unsure of this. I suggest keeping your friends close, focus on having your allies the strongest in the army.’
I nod, ‘Understood, thank you.’ Fyre disappears and I stand by the counter where everyone is frantically cleaning and trying to make some sort of breakfast concoction. I laugh when Dulyeowo nearly slips on a cracked egg on the ground, “Why are you guys so freaked out today?”
“Go get Cerberus and yourself cleaned up and put on your uniform,” Jowangsin orders. “Breakfast should be ready when you’re done.”
I do as she says and carry Cerberus back to my bedroom, ignoring all the eerie clanging and banging of pots and pans falling all over the place. I toss Cerberus onto my bed and start brushing his soft, fuzzy fur. He constantly attempts to nip at the brush. I go to brush under his belly but then I notice that he’s covered in peanut butter and eggs. I roll my eyes and carry him to the bathroom; I turn on the tub and set it to the perfect temperature. Once the tub fills up just to his stomach Cerberus jumps into it and dances around in the water, splashing it everywhere.
“You’re such a puppy,” I laugh, covering my face from the splash zone. I decide to wash him with an amazingly smelling doggy shampoo and conditioner. Once I completely wash all the soap off him, I struggle to lift him out of the tub without him flopping everywhere like a flimsy piece of bread. I manage to wrap a towel around him, and I carry him like a newborn baby back to my bedroom and plop him down onto my bed. I quickly get myself changed and brush the knots out of my hair.
‘Fyre, get out here and put on your uniform,’ I demand as I put his petite uniform on top of my dresser.
Fyre appears and hops onto his uniform, ‘Fine.’
I dry off Cerberus and wrestle with him to put his uniform on, somehow managing to put it on him properly without holding him down or asking for assistance. I put my hair up in a warrior ponytail, then pick up Cerberus and Fyre and carry them out to the kitchen.
Upon entering the kitchen Dulyeowo and Yuhoghaneun are leaning over the counter with a single plate with a single omelet in front of them. They both look like they’ve just sprinted a marathon, they’re sweaty, out of breath and look like they’ve lost all will to live. I look around for Jowangsin and notice her sitting on the couch, reading a book and drinking some tea. She has a proud ‘I just won’ smile on her face. I choose not to ask and go to grab my small, sad omelet.
“What happened?” I whisper into Dulyeowo’s ear. I grab a bottle of hot sauce and pour a small pool all around my breakfast.
He gasps for air through his exhaustion, “Cook off.” He gazes into my eyes, his face drowned in defeat, “She’s heartless and brutal.”
I chuckle and eat my whole breakfast in two bites, “What happened?”
“She-” Yuhoghaneun attempts to describe what went down but stops himself when he sees Jowangsin walk over.
“How was it?” She asks me, smiling gruesomely. She must’ve really destroyed their spirit and in a single cook off.
“Good,” I answer. I can tell by her face that she wants me to provide some sort of feedback or criticism, so I think about what could be improved. “The vegetables could be cut a little smaller, lighter on the salt and pepper, and needs some form of spice, I suggest putting milk in with the eggs, it could use a little more air.”
Jowangsin giggles and smiles proudly at me, “That’s exactly what I thought.” She squints at the two weary angels and they flinch. What the hell happened here? She claps her hands to get everyone’s attention, “Let’s get going, the ceremony will be starting soon.” She picks up my plate and places it in the sink among the landfill of dirty pans and other dishes. “We wouldn’t want to be late.”
We arrive at a huge field with a stage surrounded by cameras and people. I notice Darren and Daria Mungsion backstage, reviewing their speeches and fixing their outfits and hair.
“We’re going to look for a good place to fly without getting in the way of the cameras,” Jowangsin tells me before her and the two others leave me.
I stand awkwardly by myself watching Cerberus chase his tail and Fyre drift off into space, staring at the clouds. Daria taps me on the shoulder and smiles, “Are you ready?”
“I only found out that I’m going to be on stage today less than two hours ago,” I admit nervously. “I’m not going to have to make a speech or anything, right?”
She laughs, “Don’t worry, you’re just here for the appearance.”
“Though you will probably have to walk up and show off your uniform at some point,” Darren adds, joining our conversation. “I heard that you’ve recruited some people.”
That reminds me, “Why are you guys going to talk about the army?” I ask them. “Wouldn’t it be a bad idea to talk about it publicly since Anthony might do something about it?”
Darren shakes his head, “We’re not exactly sharing about your army.”
“What do you mean?” I twist my head in confusion.
“We’ll be saying a fake name and location,” Daria answers. “As for the name on your uniforms, we came up with a name that goes along with those letters without shedding any light on the actual organization.”
“Then why mention it in the first place?” I ask them.
“Because a lot of bad guys know about you,” Darren starts. “So, if they hear that you’re part of something that’s meant to bring them down, then some of them will go into hiding and it will make it easier on the rest of the government and law enforcement.”
“I’m not that know,” I oppose him.
“No, but eventually you will be,” Darren smirks. “Afterall, you will defeat Anthony.”
Before I get the chance to respond a loud cheer erupts from the crowd and we’re being led onto stage. I take a seat next to Daria, Fyre sits perched on my shoulder and Cerberus lays down in front of me. There are billions of people here and even more watching us live from around the world. I didn’t even know that there were this many people in our city, some must’ve come here for the ceremony. A man in a long, blue trench coat raises his fist and shushes the crowd. He spins around to face Darren; Darren rises to his feet and the man steps aside.
Darren walks up to the podium and begins the worldwide meeting, “Ladies, gentlemen, everything in between or not even on the line, my name is Darren Mungsion and I have some huge news to share with all of you on this beautifully cloudy day.” A murmur erupts from the crowd, I manage to make out a few words from some girls calling him cute. I wouldn’t necessarily call him that, outside of school he’s dressed formal and during school he wears a sorcerer’s cloak. I wonder how he dresses at home; does he even have casual clothes.
I lean over to Daria and whisper, “Does he ever dress casual?”
She twists her head and contemplates for a second, “I think I haven’t seen him wear casual clothes since he was ten.” She quietly chuckles, “Although when he did used to wear casual clothes girls everywhere thought he was cool. He manages to look decent in everything he wears.”
“Why did he stop dressing like a normal kid?” I ask her.
She shrugs, “He became the strongest in every school we went to, our parents wanted people to never underestimate us, so they forced us to change our entire wardrobe.”
“Why?” I watch as Darren continues his speech, not really listening to a thing he says. I probably should be paying attention though.
“That part I’m not sure about,” Daria responds. “They come up with a different excuse every time.”
We both turned our attention back to Darren, I’m pretty sure that the entire time he was talking he was only talking about his day. “So, with all of that, I will now be announcing the name for all of us magic users,” Darren announces in his deep, manly voice. “We will be called Sahri, or Sahrians.” Sahri is Arabic, nice. It does sound like a beautiful name; I don’t know very much Arabic but I’m pretty sure it translates to ‘Magical.’ “The non magic users will just be called humans, though we are humans too, this will just help out with separating ourselves, and it will save a lot more time.” Darren finishes the announcement and the booming cheers of the crowd flies all around us. I think I see some people in the back chugging a keg of alcohol and others throwing each other up in the air out of joy and excitement. This is a huge leap for us, the world is probably going to be partying for weeks after this. Daria stands up and Darren steps off to the other side of the podium, the crowd goes dead quiet.
“Well, my fellow Sahrians, it’s time to get a little serious,” Daria starts. Why is Daria doing the serious portion? Darren is known to be far more serious. Daria looks directly into one of the cameras, “Anthony Carcasco.” A mixture of chatter and gasps rises into the air. Daria continues, and I’m signaled to stand up and join Daria’s side. I do so, Cerberus stays right by my ankles and Fyre turns his face serious, as I join her, “And any other wrong doers, you will be taken down. Lexus Deathchill and her companions will be watching over us and protect us from any sort of dangers you attempt to unleash upon us.” Her voice is dark and intimidating, I’m scared just standing next to her. A few million eyes shift toward me, what do I do? Smile? Wave? Look serious and intimidating? I raise my hand, waving to the crowd, I smile sweetly and welcomingly. It will be funny when someone underestimates me, and I kick their ass. Daria laughs at my choice and continues, “So please welcome Lexus Deathchill, Cerberus and Fyre into our community and if they ever give you an order, I suggest that you follow it.”
‘So, I was to tell someone to get me a bucket of lava,’ Fyre jokes.
‘They won’t be able to understand you,’ I remind him.
He looks down in disappointment, ‘Right.’
Darren and Daria walk back to their seats and I follow. I notice a few confused faces in the crowd, most likely questioning why I’m not going to be saying anything. The long trench coat man steps back in front of the podium and concludes the ceremony.
“To all Sahrians everywhere, have an amazing celebration,” The man announces, “and have a great day, this ceremony has now been brought to an end.” The man walks off and the crowd disperses. Cameras go back to their owners and we all go home.
After I get back home Des and Troy come bursting into my room. Des grabs my shoulders and yells, “Why didn’t you tell us you were going to be on stage?”
I shrug, “I didn’t know until just before the ceremony.” Troy laughs and Des stares dead into my eyes, not knowing how to respond.