The idea stricken teen sped through the grass to reach the start of the bridge he needed to cross. It was a farfetched idea – he knew this – but it was better than sitting around moping.
If he could find a way to make himself appear more useful somewhere else, his dad might loosen his grip on him. We could imagine the Dragons ought to have some kind of grand mission he could participate in – one that didn’t seem too dangerous or anything.
As a plan B, Nikolas could always rely on fulfilling his dad’s predictions by just being the most troublesome kid possible – to the point of his dad wanting him out of the house.
A taxi driver honked at him and cast him a nasty look as he drove by him. Nikolas could’ve sworn he recognized him for a second. Could it be the same taxi guy he went to for information about his sister’s accident? The one who had threatened to ban him if he ever came by again?
Nikolas kept jogging, not sparing the man much more than a glance. His gaze got drawn to the blue girl perched on the side of the bridge.
He didn’t recognize her at first.
She was leaning over the side and staring at the fish moving against the slow current.
She had one pebble in her hand which she dropped into the water with a small splash. She repeated the process three times before Nikolas reached her spot on the bridge.
“Hey Sal, what are you doing?” I asked, brushing rain out of my face.
“Counting butterflies.” She said with a grin.
“Oh. Ok.” Niko said with a slight frown.
“What about you?”
“I was going to go see the Dragons! So they could give me a job that makes me so vital that dad has to cut me some slack and let me leave the house.” Nikolas explained.
“That sounds complicated.” Salandra said. “I don’t think the Dragons would have a job like that for you.”
“How would you know? You haven’t met them yet.” I raised my eyebrow. “Do you have a better idea?”
“Yeah I do!” Salandra chipped in a rather high voice. “It’s really simple as it happens.”
“You just need to listen, and to obey. You have to be the best kid possible. If you do everything they say, and become who they want, then everyone will be happy.” She stated calmly with a small smile.
Niko grimaced. “That sounds like a horrible way to live.”
“That’s what I did.”
“Hey! Where are you going?”
“Jogging obviously! Are you coming? It’s been a while!” Salandra called out.
I snorted. “Yeah tell me about it. Feels like it’s been weeks since I’ve gone out for a good jog.” His feet pushed him forwards on the bridge – right into a magical barrier.
“Ah!” Nikolas recoiled.
“Oh oh, looks like your dad’s spell still works.” Oscar clanged.
“What? How? I thought we just took care of that.”
“I’m sorry Niko, I thought I managed to take it off. Let me try again! I’ll get it right this time!” Oscar insisted, arms pumping with worrying squeaks.
Before Oscar could attempt anything, sirens were heard in the distance – and then quite promptly right beside Nikolas.
The window to the cop car rolled down.
“Nikolas Whitelight, you’re under arrest.” The driver said, munching loudly on some gum.
“What? Why? What did I do?” I exclaimed.
“You need to come with me.” The driver repeated, showing the gun at his side. “Now.”
Nikolas reluctantly climbed in.
“Where are the seatbelts?” Nikolas asked as he settled in the back.
“You don’t need seatbelts.” Alistair replied. “We’re only going to see your dad.”
“In Stonebridge? Grandpa took him away.”
The driver decided not to answer that.
Nato wandered onto the bridge, looking around for his master who’d mysteriously disappeared. Worried, the german shepherd began to sniff around, searching for the familiar scent.
Instead he found a scent that made his nose wrinkle. Something small, green, and furry had joined him at the bridge. He growled at it and instantly went into pursuit.
The cat sprinted down the bridge, with the dog close behind. Nato was determined not to let the cat get away.
It had already caused his master enough anguish in the past.
Just as he was close enough, Nato leaped to pin the green creature down.
At the same time however, the cat did a leap of its own into the air…
And into someone’s arms.
Nato slammed down onto the ground, catching only thin air. He snorted surprised to see someone else had entered the chase and caught the cat before he had.
Oh Nato would catch that cat one day. Or at the very least run it off the bridge. On that, he barked.
Why Nato had given up so easily, was a mystery to Nikolas. And anyway, how would he know? He was busy at the police station.
It’s been a while since I’ve stepped foot in the police station again. Not quite a year, but pretty close. I didn’t think I’d be back here so soon.
Behind bars too!
Well I guess I can check that off my bucket list. Got locked up in a jail.
I don’t even know why! Nobody’s told me.
Nikolas tried the door again, to see if maybe now it had magically unlocked itself.
What if Nikolas tried to pick the lock? Would that work?
What if he stopped talking to himself in the third person? What the hell is with that?
Dad chose the moment I had both my hands through the bars messing with the lock to waltz into the corridor.
“Dad! Great, I seem to be in a predicament. Can you help me out?” I tempted.
Xavier only sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I know. I asked the police to lock you up.”
I opened my mouth, but opted to swallow back the original words. “Am I the only one who sees how weird and wrong this whole situation is right now?”
“It’s for your own good.” Xavier repeated, as he had thousands of times before. “This will keep you safe.”
“This is stupid, get someone else in here.” I said. It doesn’t matter who, just anyone else with enough logic to witness this. “Tyzel, or hey Erin! She’s at home right now.”
“Erin?” Dad looked at me as if I’d just said the stupidest thing. Which, really isn’t the most unusual of looks for him. “She’s still on her honeymoon.”
It’s true she got back earlier than planned but…“Uh, no. I just came from the house, she was there.”
“No I just came from the house. She wasn’t there.” Xavier specified.
“No, no, you were in Stonebridge. Which actually, how did you get here so fast?” I eyed my father suspiciously.
“I explained the situation to James and he understands why, so he brought me back here.” Xavier replied.
I frowned. “No. I don’t believe you.”
“Are you calling me a liar?” Dad asked.
I grabbed the bars. “Your story doesn’t hold up.” I said.
Dad marched towards me, to meet my glare through the bars, when someone knocked on the wall between my cell and the next one. When I looked back outside, dad had disappeared.
The knock came again, and I gravitated towards the wall. I knocked in response. “Hello?”
“Hi!” A female voice replied. “I’ve come to offer my help!”
“Well if you have an easy way to get out of jail I’m all ears!” I laughed a little dryly.
“I’m all out of my get out of jail free cards unfortunately.” She said, and I could hear the grin in her voice. “But I was aiming to help you on a larger scale.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, touching the wall. I don’t recognize the voice. I wonder who it is.
“I couldn’t help but notice you seem to be stuck in your own mind.” She said. “I don’t know exactly what I can do to help, but I’ll try my best since I’m here!”
I frowned, slightly confused. “My mind? Who are-”
A window decided to appear between our cells then and I got a good view of my cellmate.
Well good view.
I saw a girl with luscious black blue hair – the kind that reminds you of a nightsky – with her ear pressed against the now-window-wall. I couldn’t see her face, it was blocked by her locks tied up in a braid, but I noticed her pale skin. She had a key around her neck, and a watch that looked like the type I wear on her wrist.
I don’t know why, but I hadn’t expected her. It surprised me.
She pulled back, noticing how the wall had become a window, and just as she turned to look at me – she disappeared.
Or actually, I disappeared.
I’m on a bridge now. Yup okay, something’s up.
The bridge itself is a little odd to me, I don’t really think I’ve seen it before, but I could be wrong. The other person on the bridge, however, is familiar to me.
It’s my grandfather James – who I thought was in Stonebridge, but at this point I’m not too sure what to believe anymore.
I noticed him before he noticed me, because his eyes started to glide up the railings of the bridge slowly and with a growing air of sad despair.
It made me think of our sign conversation on the balcony. He’d just begun a new story in his life when dad came to interrupt – a story involving a bridge and someone dear to him.
“Grandpa?” I spoke and my grandfather came back down to earth.
He moved towards me with determination and a satisfied smile. “I need your help.” He said. ER WELL, he signed and then I heard a male voice in my head.
Now I know something is really up.
“I can’t get you out of this on my own.” My grandpa continued. I stared at him wide-eyed.
“Out of what?”
“You’re asleep Niko.”
“Woah! Wait a second!” I exclaimed. “You mean this-” I gestured at everything that had happened so far. All those weird little details that were misplaced. “is all a dream?”
My grandpa nodded. “Xavier put you and the others to sleep. I managed to wake up the others, but the spell is making it difficult for me to wake you up.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yeah, this being a dream makes a LOT of sense.” I said. “But what can I do to help?”
“I’m not sure.” James admitted. “Was there something in your dream so far that could be representing the spell? If you fight against it, it might help trigger you awake.”
“Huh you know, now that I know it’s a dream, I’m technically lucid dreaming. And lucid dreaming means I have control over my dream…I’m probably the one who made that window appear earlier…” I thought out loud.
“Which means summoning this is totally possible.” I said as I willed two ninja swords to appear in my hands.
And they DID. I’ve always wanted katanas, this is too awesome. I’ve gotta look pretty darn cool with these.
“HA! Will you look at that!” I exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. “Now this is what I’m talking about.” I flipped the swords like a true expert. Which I’m guessing is only possible because I’m lucid dreaming.
My grandpa smiled, raising his eyebrows slightly.
“I do have a lead.” I told him. “My dad actually, well in my dream, has been consistently one way or another trying to restrain me. With the spell, getting put in jail…I think that’s my best bet.”
I headed for the side of the bridge, and glanced back at my grandpa who gave me a thumbs up.
“I’ll be right back.” I said with a grin. I gripped my two swords, and jumped off the bridge.
If I’m lucid dreaming, might as well make the most of it, am I right?
And that means I can fly HELL YEAH!