Published: January 2, 2010
"Run!" she called after me.
"What IS that thing!?" I called back.
"JUST EFFING RUN!" she yelled, as she pulled the top off her umbrella to reveal a rapier.
So I ran, and never looked back.
It's been a month since I ran for my life; yet I can only wonder what happened to her. She normally returns in a day or 2. So, as you can imagine, I paced. The sunlight slowly shifted positions as the sun slowly sank lower in the sky. There was a knock on my door at 3 p.m. I opened the door slowly.
"ERICA!" I cried and she fainted in my arms.
"Is she okay doc?"
"Let me FINISH FIRST!!!"
"Well besides a strange bite on her leg, she's okay."
"So she can leave soon?"
"Well I need her to stay tonight, but tomorrow she can."
the dial on my watch read 1:26 when i heard a rustle.
"what are you doing?"
"but the doc said not to leave until tommorow!"
"it IS tommorow!'
"morning!" erica said cheerily.
"morning" i said yawning.
"come on! we gotta get to the board meeting!"
"okay okay!" we walked into the kitchen and erica opened the fridge; she pushed a small button on the back wall.
"please prepare for transport" the fridge said. blue rings ascended from the floor where we were standing. after a bright blue flash we stood on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. before us towered the Burj Dubai (Dubai Towers). Once inside the unfinished building, we took the SUPER fast elevator to floor 161 of 162. the elevator opened onto a tiny white office space with an old and fat receptionist.
"Yeees?" she said in a voice like a squeaky door.
"HI! were here for the "secret" board meeting." said erica.
"and your names?"
"Erica Schneider, and Ben Slightom, Secratary understudies of "The Art of Fighting" by T.J. Wilson."
"Go on in"
"Take your seats please! Thank you!" said the chairman of the board. "first matter of buisness. congrajulations to Jorge francis on his succesful sealing of portal 48." everyone clapped while he stood and took a deep bow."now, a new enemy has been sited" he picked up a black dry erase marker and set it on the board."now" he said turning back around while the marker started drawing. "please note that this enemy is extremely dangerous, and should be regarded with the most delicate care; any sightings should be reported immediately" the marker dropped, having completed its task, and i gasped.
"so thats what attacked us!"
"you've seen it?"
"yeah, on our way home last night, it attacked us."
"and your not dead!!??"
"no Erica fought it off."
"with what!" scoffed Jorge. erica flung out her rapier and said, "would you like me to show you how it died?" she asked
"why not?" asked Jorge
"because I wouldnt permit it" said the chairman. i just sat there and gave erica a rather bewildered stare.
the view from the top of this puny planet, this insignificant world was surprisingly beautiful. i crept around the top of the tower and saw a human. mmmmm, delicious. i jumped at him and fed.
I felt the wind wip through my hair as i stood atop the Burj Dubai. the view was amazing, hell i could see into the next GALAXY if i had wanted to. i heard the door open and erica joined me on the railing.
"have you ever thought of jumping?" she asked.
"once or twice," i admitted
"lets do it," she said staring down.
"WHAT!!!!!!" i said stepping away.
"im sick and tired of life leading me instead of me leading life!"
"then take hold of life even if that means id never see you again," i said.
"you know id never do that," she said.
"i want you to be happy in your life," i replied.
"i am happy with you; not the rest of my life," she said taking a step.
"you know, were about three seconds from..." i said meeting erica, before i could finish she held up a finger and stood on tiptoes and, with no surprise to me, kissed me.
Jorge francis was a sad excuse for a human being; at 21 and a sophmore in college, he still lived at home but went out at night to clubs and often got in drunken fights with patrons. tonight he came home with a cut in his lip and a slight smell of gin on his breath.
"jorge?" his mom called from the kitchen.
"yeah?" he said starting to walk upstairs.
"Jorge, come here," she said.
"alright," he said dejectedley. he rounded the corner to the kitchen and jumped back.
"YOUR not my mom!" he said.
"Im not?" the creature said still using his moms voice
"your that...that...thing!" he said taking a step back.
"oh thats right. THIS is you mom he said pointing to the headless corpse on the table behind him while also holding up her head. at that point Jorge reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife. "you really think thats gonna stop me?" he asked laughing. he dropped the head then leaped at him.
I woke up on the floor, well you cant win every dream. i got up and stretched yawning. pulling on my pants, i went to the kitchen. when erica walked in i did a double take; she was wearing 6-inch platform heels, which made her taller than me, a teal dress that was floor length but the front was a knife pleat, her hair was pulled back into an elaborate bun, she had two black plastic chopsticks in her hair and two black ribbons were tied to them that ALSO trailed the ground.
"whats the occasion?" i asked still wide-eyed.
"do i NEED one?" she shot back.
"no; wait a second!"I said. "where did you get the money for that!?"
"the corporation pays very handsomely for dealing with demons, especially level 7 ones." she replied pushing the button in the back of the fridge. "see you later!"
Erica glided with ease and purpose up the steps to the towers, several bystanders turned and stared. It's not every day you see a 13 year old in a ball gown and 6 inch heels. Erica rode the elevator to the meeting room and stepped out.
"Erica Schneider, secretary understudy of "The Art of Fighting" by T.J. Wilson," she said to the secretary who was busily typing on her typewriter.
"yes go on I... WHAT THE!!!?" she said staring up at Erica who was towering over her.
"thanks!" Erica said, already walking away.
The CEO sat behind his desk filling in paperwork.
"knock, knock!" said Erica walking in.
"hold on just a...WHAT THE!" shouted the CEO.
"that's what she said," replied Erica, motioning in the general direction of the secretary. "so anyways," continued Erica, "how about hiring me?"
"you already are hired," said the CEO.
"that boring old job! Please," said Erica leaning on his desk.
"oh, you mean as," the CEO continued.
"a demon hunter? Yeah," said Erica.
"well your trial run was very impressive... Fine go to your old employer and give him..." the CEO said, "hold on a sec; I know it's around here somewhere. AH! Here you go! Official reassignment paper, just sign and date,"
"so I just have to give Theodore these? Hm.... easy," said Erica signing them.
"once you're done come back to me;I'll have an assignment for you," the CEO said.
"oh, T.j.!" said Erica walking through some of the many halls of cubicles. "where are you?"
"over here!" replied t.j. Practicing fencing maneuvers on his dummy.
"here you go!" she said holding out the papers.
"okay...WHAT THE!" T.J. Said, turning around.
"that's what he said," motioning in the CEO's direction.
"where'd you get that ball gown!?" he said still staring at her."
"well?" she asked, "you gonna read em' or do I have to?"
"your being reassigned!?" he said, reading the first line.
"yep, I requested a transfer," Erica replied.
"where to?" he asked.
"demon slaying!" she said "amazing isn't it? Kill one demon and move on up in the world.
"If you need some moves come to me!" he said.
"thanks, but I already have all I need," she said holding up one of his books and walking away with extra swagger.
"whelp! I'm back! Miss me?" Erica said standing in the doorway.
"believe it or not, the world DOES exist when your not in it," said the CEO not even looking up from his computer.
"I know, but it's a hell of a lot brighter when I AM," she shot back.
"you're being flown to new York. It appears you only severely wounded that demon; and a demon who has time to heal is a demon worth making sure is dead." said the CEO. Just then the phone rang. "herro?" asked the CEO, "WHAT!!! But that's terrible news! I hope we won't have to re-carpet? No permanent blood stains? Good, we'll just have to make it look like a domestic accident then. How!? Well how am I supposed to know?! Order a caterer and blame it on him! Well we won't hear wedding bells till then will we! Get on it!"
"what happened?" asked Erica.
"Jorge Francis, and his family are dead." said the CEO, smoothing back his hair,
"HOW?!" Erica asked.
"your demon friend," said the CEO. "well, the show must go on eh? Here's your plane ticket, and your license, weapons will be provided."
"thanks," said Erica taking them. The phone rang again.
"herro?" the CEO asked, "oh good the sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows bit of my day!" which made Erica giggle as she rounded the corner.
"Well, at least ONE of my workers isn't transferring!" T.J. said.
"WHAT! Erica transferred!" I yelled.
"yep, gave me the papers just earlier." said T.J., sifting through the junk on his desk, "that's one he'll of a sexy roommate you've got there pal!"
"WHAT!" I yelled again nearly slugging T.J. below the belt.
"well she IS! Didn't you see that dress!" he wolf-whistled at that.
"your a perv, you know that T.J.? Good at fighting; but still a perv," I said. "T.J.?"
"Hm?" he asked.
"why did you hire me?" I asked.
"because your a damn good files clerk, that's why Ben. Damn good." said T.J. still sifting.
"not good at fighting?" I asked.
"nope, not a bit!" said T.J.
"excuse me," I said running out of there.
"HEY!" T.J. said. "where you goin'!"
"Where'd she go!?" I shouted skidding into the CEO's office.
"Who what where!?" shouted the CEO looking wildly about.
"Erica! Who do you think!" I yelled.
"oh off to New York. Why?" said the CEO.
"thanks!" I called back.
"for a round trip?" the snotty flight ticket clerk asked.
"NO! I just want a ticket to New York and Hurry about it!" I yelled at her.
"here you go sir, plastic or paper?" I shoved the money at her and took off for the terminal.
"last boarding for flight to new York!" cried the attendant. I rushed past her and down the hallway. Jumping on the plane, I sighed. Taking my seat, I thought I saw a flash of teal but I just buckled my seat belt and waited.
I sat on the bench swinging my legs, waiting. A rather large black leather trunk started around the carousel and a rather ravishing looking beauty in a teal ball gown with 6 inch heels and elaborate hair was there to meet it. She pulled it off the belt and set it on the floor, and then she pulled off a second black leather bag, this one substantially smaller. I waited for her to turn, when she did her eyeballs nearly popped out of her head.
"HOW! I mean; Hi,"
"Hello," I said smiling, "pleasure meeting you."
"Are you stalking me?"
"Only a little," I admitted. We walked toward the exit but were met by a short teenager in a pink t-shirt with a name tag that said FELIX and black skinnies and a chauffeur cap.
"Miss Erica Lynn Schneider?" he asked timidly.
"The company sent me,"
"Aah! Good, here's my bag she said handing him the trunk, he staggered under the weight, but managed not to fall. Only his black chauffeurs cap stuck up over the trunk.
"Is that all?" he asked in a strained voice.
"Phew! I mean um...,"
"Yeah, yeah where's the car?"
"This way," He said staggering side to side under the weight of the trunk.
The car was the strangest I had ever seen; it had six wheels, two in front on each side and one in back on each side. It was black with sculpted silver accents everywhere that looked like waves. And, there was no trunk. The inside was stranger; black leather seats and the ceiling was strung with white Christmas lights. There was room for at least twenty-four people, not counting floor space. He slid the trunk into a corner then climbed into the front. There was no sound from the engine; I also noticed that there were no windows in the back. The black divider slid down.
"Do you have a hotel preference?" he asked
"No," Erica said reclining in the seat. The divider slid up and the car started rolling forward.
"Apparently, the company treats their workers very well," I said still in awe.
"You noticed huh?"
There was another strange thing about the walls, OLED screens (which aren't even supposed to be out yet) covered the small space above the seats. A section lit up blue and said, "Incoming message"
"AH! I see Felix picked you up," the CEO said steepling his fingers.
"Indeed, nice car you have," Erica said.
"Oh, the Othrys? That's nothing. T.J. is very lonely Ben, you shouldn't have run off like that," I blushed, "anyway you will be receiving information once you reach the hotel."
"So he didn't die actually?" Erica asked.
"Unfortunately no," the CEO said.
"I agree. Oh and one last thing, he uses trickery, do NOT be deceived!" the CEO said then the screen went blank.
The hotel was a tall skyscraper near the empire state building. The inside was all wood and marble and polished brass. At the check-in counter Felix showed the clerk a black and gold business card and the clerks eyes widened.
"Here's your room key sir," he said handing us an old fashioned key and a gold key card. Felix nodded and headed toward the bank of elevators, there were two normal ones and gold on in the center with a door frame that looked like a rising sun behind parting clouds. Felix inserted the key card into a slot that was shaped like a split cloud. The doors dinged open. The elevator was rather large with potted ferns in the corners and elegant couches. Once in, Felix inserted the gold key in a second slot. The doors swished close and we started rising, fortunately there was no annoying elevator music. We rode in silence up to the ninety-eighth floor. There was a paneled anteroom and a door with an old fashioned lock. Felix opened the door and dragged Erica's luggage in he set it down and handed us the keys, apparently, we got the entire top floor to ourselves.
"wake up sir, its seven," Felix said
"Gahh!!" i said sitting up on the bed, "don't DO that!"
"apologies sir." Felix left and i sat up, my room was rather large and on the nightstand was a black envelope with a gold depiction of the Burj. Opening the envelope I found Transference papers and a coded address which i easily decoded. I was now reassigned to field research, with a pay raise of nearly seven digits. I signed the papers and put them back in the envelope along with the decoded address. I opened the black trunk that was now also in the room, it contained all my old clothes which was very little.
The Suite included a kitchen which i found Erica already in.
"no ball gown?" i asked, she was dressed simply in a pair of converse high tops, black skinnies and a Metallica t-shirt.
"nope," she said draining her glass.
"the car is waiting," said Felix, this time he was dressed in just about the same things as Erica except he had an obscure punk band t-shirt.
on the ground floor, we took stairs down to the parking garage. the car this time was a Mini Cooper, a Clubman. Of course i was in back.