I'm not a normal, average, wearing-dresses-and-heels, girly-girly girl. I'm sure you read plenty of stories like this, and I'm sure you won't stick to the end. That's fine with me. If you don't stick to the end with me, then you're not deserving of me, and that's all there is to it.
If you're still here after that first paragraph, then congratulations. You've earned the title of Kiseki's friend. What an honor! Of course, that was sarcasm. I hope you'll learn to recognize it. I use it a lot.
The name's Kiseki, if you didn't pick up on that before. And right now, I'm in the middle of a brawl with Odoso and his gang of delinquents. Being a delinquent myself, it shouldn't phase me, it does, because this isn't my group of delinquents. Wait. Before we continue, know what delinquent means.
Delinquent- not a idiotic person: a rough-and-tumble boy or girl who gets into fights for the pure enjoyment of it
So, know I'm not an idiot. Odoso, on the other hand, is. Why? Well, see my definition of idiot, below.
Idiot- Anyone like Odoso: someone with a double chin, thinning hair though he's my age, a stout posture, and a mean little glare
You're sure to know someone like Odoso. Big, blockhead guy who isn't very nice. In other words, a bully. You'll get what I mean in a minute, just know that he's not very smart, despite what he says or does or anything.
Anyway, it was a cold, chilly December evening, the sun was going down, blah, blah, blah, like that jazz. I was hanging out behind the old marketplace on the edge of town. Now, don't try that at home. It's very unsafe if you can't defend yourself, and do it confidently.
"So, Kiseki's here again, ain't she?" says Odoso in his drawling, purely idiotic voice. He's stout and mean, with idiot written all over his face. He's a pure stereotype, with a nasty punch.
I grin. I'm not the type to back down, though I can recall plenty of memories in which I should have. Anyway, let's not dwell on sweet memories. I'll tell you about those later. Maybe.
"Yeah, I'm here. It's not like I can't, is it?"
"That's exactly what it is," Odoso says, stepping forward and almost stumbling. I had left my stitched up messenger bag lying there, a dead weight because of all the thick study books stacked in it. I had found the books lying around the old school, where the remainders of the Great War of 2028 bomb was buried. You know. The bomb that turned the world into an atomic wasteland. Well, it was one of many used to do it, but it was the most damaging- everything had to be built back, and most of the old buildings like the Statue of Liberty were left to rust, or they were blown up.
I snort. "That makes no sense whatsoever, you know. I'm here, and I was here first: there's no problem with me being here. However, there's a problem with you being here." I smile, knowing that that would tick Odoso off quite a bit. I know this guy very well, though not in a personal sense. It would be like you knowing that the girl next door always leaves her trash outside the door on Tuesdays, or that she always parks her car outside during the summer. You know, knowledge you get if you observe.
He takes a step forward, which is what he does when he's about to throw a meat-packing punch. I smile to myself. In 3...,2...,1...
I sweep off to the side, hands in my pockets. Odoso's punches are sloppy and they flail, which can be dangerous. Instead of hitting you in the face, he could accidently hit you somewhere else, or vice versa. He does exactly this: he was aiming for my shoulder, but barely skims my nose as I move away, out of range. The remainders of the marketplace's old ceiling are scattered around the cement, and I trip. I catch myself just in time and throw my body to the side, because Odoso just about stomped on my body. It pays to be small and quick, kiddies.
I leap, hitting Odoso in the mouth. Immediately, blood starts spurting from his nose. I don't like the sight of blood very much, though I have to see it every day. Adults fight to get money, and kids fight to get food. It's always fight, fight, fight. In fact, there's an Arena, called Fight for Freedom Arena, or F.F.F.A for short. Everyone dreams of being noticed by the F.F.F.A authorities: you get in the Arena, you win your fight, you live in wealth, you're promised safety.
I've always wanted all of those things, but no one's gonna notice me.
Odoso groans as the blood trickles down his chin- I take a few steps back, only to be grabbed by a few pairs of hands. You're an idiot Kiseki! I was so caught up in defeating Odoso I forgot to watch my back! I knew he had buddies, but I stepped into the fight without knowing everything. Classic Kiseki, being a blockhead as usual.
I look up. The drones that fly around with cameras and lights at night are starting to appear. That means curfew is getting near. After curfew, I'm sure you know, everyone goes back to the barracks, and the monsters, the Akkirasetsus, come out. No one wants to be out then. You'll die a horrible death, and that's the end of you.
"It's over, Kiseki," says Odoso, grinning, backing away.
"Gonna run home to mummy, I see," I spit, his buddies' hands still tight around my waist.
"Yeah, I am. And I'll leave you to get eaten by the Akkirasetsus. Then all my troubles will be over." he smiles. I try to struggle against the hands, but their iron-tight, and they won't let go, not until a monster appears and they run away, like the cowards they all are. I'm not a coward, though, so I'll fight best I can.
I lash out, kicking my legs backwards. They catch one of the guys in an unmentionable spot, and he groans. I struggle away, but the other guy still has his grip around my chest. He flips me over in a guillotine choke. I pull at his arms, trying to breath as best I can, and then I twist out of the headlock, prying his arms loose and throwing them off. I kick him in the face, and he falls down, face forward, his lip bleeding heavily.
I hear a cry. It's a mix between a roar and a shriek, and I know immediately what it is.
Tall, lean, with a terrifying face and the scaly wings of a bat. Eyes as big as saucers, only they aren't in it's face anymore. They were torn out sometime, I guess, with gaping, blood-crusted holes the only evidence of my theory. I began to quake with terror, stepping away as it's long serpentine tongue lapped the air.I glanced at the buddies Odoso has left behind. They are frozen still.
"Don't make a noise," I motion to them in sign language. I have read enough books to know that these monsters couldn't see you, but they could hear you. Nobody had survived an encounter with one of these, except Perry Seria, a man from the neighboring county. I had never met him, but had met people who had, and they told me all he said about the monsters.
Be quiet, I plead in my mind. The monster was turning away.
One of the boys scream as the tongue came closer to him. The monster turns in a great circle, grabbing the boy by the neck. A loud crack, and his head is torn off, a thin arc of blood following the head's progress into the air. When the head thumps on the ground, the other boy gives a whimper. The blood is pooling around his feet.
"Sh!" I motion to him franticly.
"I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die," he motions back. "I'm too young to die, I'm too young to die."
"You won't die if you stay silent!" I wave my hands to portray this with as quiet as possible.
A long pause. Then, he says, "I'm sorry." A scream lifts into the air, and the Akkirasetsu yet again flies around, grabbing his arms and tearing them free of the socket, then his head. Pain echos in his shrieks, and I make a little sound of fear as his body is gobbled up by the large creature, blood pouring onto the ground. The creature know someone else was here, and it would hang around until it finds me.
I clutch my legs. To my left is a longsword, one that one of the boys had dropped to grab me before. I inch towards it, and pick it up delicately. The monster's long, feathery, cat-like ears twitch, and I hold in a breath. It starts to hurt, but I stay quiet. It inches towards me. I pick up a rock and I toss it to the side. Just like I had hoped, it turns and chases the rock, leaping on it with deadly accuracy, it's huge crow-like feet smashing it.
That could've been me, I breathe in and out in a silent, and frantic, calming-down session. I imagine my body, mangled and broken and bleeding.
I inch towards the marketplace wall, where the light shines onto me and the monster. I drag the sword as quietly as I can, trying not to let the noise go over the crunching on the rock the Akkirasetsu is unknowingly attacking. Then it turns. The sword just made a loud, thumping noise on the ground. I breathe in, and breathe out. It's found me. I know it has.
It screams, and I throw out my arm, the one with the sword. To my surprise, the sword cuts the monster in the chest, and blood pours out of the gaping wound. I breathe with my mouth open now, not bothering to be quiet, and step back on the dead leaves. The monster cries in a loud mournful wail, and it slumps on the ground. I had cut it through the chest, right through the heart, which was a putrid yellow color.
As soon as I had stepped back, I take off running, dropping the sword To my surprise, one of the drones trails me as I dash franticly through the rumble-covered streets. It's a big silver drone, and it's light shows my way quite nicely. Then there is a yell. I keep running, flat-out, but the drone keeps up. It's large and sweeps over me, and it's wide metal front hits me hard in the head.
Everything goes dark.
I wake up several hours later. I look up and see that I'm in a cot. It's not unlike one at the barracks I live in, but something different. I'm in a private room, for one. Also, there's a logo on the opposite wall, which was very close to the foot of my bed.
I blink hard. My head still hurts.
Someone walks into the room, tall and muscular. A guy, with a thin lady following him. He smiles and sits on the foot of my bed. "Hello, Kiseki," he says. I don't ask how he knows my name. I don't know how he could've known, anyway, and I am too tired anyway. Weay and tired. "You're here in the Arena. We saw your performance last night. We would like you to Fight For Your Freedom. Are you up to the task?"
I look at him. There's something odd about him. He looks crisp, like he's wealthy.
"I'm aware you don't have family. You'd have a family here, you'd be safe and well-fed, and if you win, you'll have that and more for the rest of your life."
"If I lose?"
"You die." he says. "But we can train you. You're... special. We need a solider like you. You're young and capable. What do you say?" I give a tiny nod, though I don't trust him. He turns to his assistant. "Cheryl," he says, "give her some clothes, fill out her form, and get her downstairs with the other trainees after her shot and everything." Then he smiles at me. The shot part makes me shiver, but I quickly forget it.
"You're apart of an army now, kid."
"So, what's your name?" asks Cheryl, her voice tired like she didn't sleep well. Me every day. She's a thin woman , maybe early 30s, with dark red hair and blue eyes framed by purple glasses. Her right eye warrants a thin, pale scar that reaches her lip. She wears blue blouse and a long grey skirt. It all wraps up to make her seem just as crisp as the other guy.
"Kiseki," I say. I'm propped up in bed. It's not uncomfortable, but it makes me feel like I should be on the move. But I always feel that way.
She peers over her glasses. "You have a last name?"
"No," I say, a little annoyed. "Do you?"
"Yeah, I do. Anyway, how old are you?" She marks a few things on her sheet, balancing her clipboard on her knees. Since she's sitting down, I can see a bit of the paper. "You look like you're 12 or 13."
"Uh, personally I'm not that sure." I try to retrace my years and count them, which is hard. "I think I'm 11?" I bite my lip. She looks up and marks something on the paper. I don't know why she's marking all of this down. No one really asks your age around here. I'm sure that even you know that. "And you said I look 12 or 13, what do you mean?"
"You've never looked at yourself in a mirror, have you?" she sighs, which annoys me.
"No," I say.
She holds up a mirror and hands it to me. "Take a look then."
I look at myself fully for the first time. I have long white hair. Not like elderly people-type white, but like a very light blond. It reaches my lower back because I hardly have time for personal upkeep when I'm trying to find food or defend myself. I think they washed my hair or something 'cause it's not dark grey like usual. I have light grey eyes, though. That hasn't changed- and my skin is pale. I have a childish look, overall.
'You'll be so much prettier once we get you all sorted out," she says, which makes me roll my eyes and snort, suppressing a snappy comment. "C'mon, let's go do that. I'll ask you questions as we go along." Which she does. She first orders me to take a shower. We walk down the clean, bright halls to the bathroom and she directs me on how to wash. As I do, she asks me even more questions.
"So, how long have you been fighting?"
"Uh, I just do it whenever I have to," I say, rubbing soap on my legs and then washing it off again. It feels odd to be under warm water, all my life I've been under cold river water trying to get clean.
"A free spirit. Okay. Do you know anything about your history, like parents or siblings?" she asks as I get out and I wrap a towel around myself.
"No," I say a little snappishly. "All I know about is the bomb that almost destroyed the world."
She nods, and we walk along back to my private room. It's small, like I said. It has a cot, and then some shelves, and a window that currently has thick curtains across it. I can tell it's late afternoon, though. Cheryl turns on the light, shuts the door, sits down, and takes notes as I get dressed in a pair of stretchy spandex green leggings and a form-fitting grey shirt. I'm not very far along in the body-development category.
"Okay. Next question." she says and asks me another useless question. "What weapons can you use?" we walk along to the cafeteria, a clean, wide, open room with tables with white, clear, and shiny tbales, where she gets me a donut, which was unfamiliar to me, and listens to my rambling of what weapons I can use.
"Knives, guns, and normal combat," I say, eating the donut. It was sweet. I've never had anything so sweet before. If you have, then I envy you for not telling me. Maybe you don't get the title Kiseki's Friend after all. No offense.
"Okay," she says, again. She marks it down.
"If you don't mind me asking," I say, "Why are you talking all these notes?"
"So we can get you into the Arena, that's why. I had to go though the same thing. These notes also helps us pick a battle name for you, which helps us keep you anonymous if you ever win and get to live in harmony, you know." Cheryl says.
"Uh, you went to the Arena?"
"Yes. I was know as the Flamethrower, as a matter of fact. My specialty was explosives and flames." Cheryl says, smiling, as we eat.
"Er, what did you face? And, why did you say, that was your specialty? Do you not fight anymore?" I start rambling off. So many questions is unusual for me. I usually keep my head down and go with the flow. No questions asked.
"Can't tell you. The enemy is always different, though." she chews her own donut. It's oddly quiet in the cafeteria. "And no, when you win, you have to swear not to fight anymore. If you don't, you don't get to live in safety. So many people have been rejected from here after they win because of that. We erase all memory of their battles."
I shiver. The AC had just been turned on. "How do you prepare for the battle?"
"We train you. Everyone here gets injected with a special mixture of atoms that gives you a special ability, it could be an element like fire, like I was given, or an increased ability, like you can jump higher. Some people get several. It all depends on your skill level. We pick people who we think have potential. We use the drones for that and for watching the monsters." she says, yawning. "We're gonna go cut your hair and then we'll inject you with your solution of atoms."
"Can I pick?" I say, trying to make a joke. I usually don't do that. It just seemed like the right moment. Cheryl is so serious.
"You can, but I suggest letting the scientists pick. They know what's best."
We walk to a plain white room. I sit down in the chair and a young man with a lab coat walks towards me. He takes some scissors and cuts my hair to shoulder-length with a few quick snips. "She has beautiful hair," he says to Cheryl. "Dunno why you'd wanna cut it."
Cheryl doesn't answer. She's taking more notes. The man is mixing the solution as she does. She marks several things, I guess it's the solution components.
I grin to myself out of nerves as the man brings over a needle. "Okay. This won't hurt, but you'll wake up tomorrow feeling odd. It's gonna knock you out again. We'll train you with it tomorrow, so don't you worry, young lady." he inserts it into my neck, and injects the solution.
And once again, everything goes black, and I'm floating.
I hope you enjoyed this. If you want more, comment and/or vote up! It's a sci-fi style story.