Chapter 1:

Chapter 1

The Sentiment of a Fight

If I were to give a starting place for my story, I’d start by saying this: my name is Clay, I am an ordinary guy of age 19, I am not the most confident person in my college, but I am good at running away from getting into fights. This attitude of mine has gotten me famous, or rather infamous at not putting the effort into helping others, even when they really need it, which is what happened recently. This story first started on a Monday afternoon, truly bringing a beginning to the day when I opened the door to my apartment, light filling the hall, flooding it, blinding my eyes with its radiance, enough for me to shield them with my coat’s sleeve. If I had to describe what I looked like, it would be a scruffy mess, my hair is long, reaching down to my shoulders and covering the emerald gemstones on my face, with a tiny set up of a small nose, mouth and ears.

Anyways, moving the set of side-tracking from front centre to back left corner, my previously blinded eyes readjusted to the luminous light exiting from my room; where then, I entered, one step after the other, left foot, right foot, left foot again, you get the picture, however instead of walking into the cosy little freezing apartment I’m used to, I was greeted by a wide, vibrant, wacky world full of vibrant colours and blocks of floating land warping into and out of existence, stretching out further than the eye could see. Now, normally when someone sees a sight such as this, they would think, ‘Am I hallucinating?’ or ‘Is this a dream?’, but no, I was one hundred percent awake and one hundred percent not on drugs! After pinching myself to verify if this fictional-looking land was not a part of some crazy dream, from the aftermath of drinking myself to sleep like I do nearly every Saturday evening, I looked to my right to see a familiar shape, one so familiar I felt like throwing up out of anxiety. Yes, this piece of geometry, laid down a few meters away, was not some object or thing, but a person looking directly at me; James is their name and causing as much awkward, nervous, shyness towards me seemed to be their game. Not just at first glance either did this seem to be the case, as the next thing I knew they were calling me out,

“Hey! Don’t be ignoring me!” they yelled out at me, very clearly meant to make me feel even more embarrassed to go and say hello, I looked away, trying to pretend they weren’t there, kind of like the more introverted way of saying ‘la, la, la can’t hear you’, as loud as you feasibly can manage. The wart called me out again,

“HEY! You heard me then didn’t you, you did then, did you not?” the irritatingly irritated, irritating man screamed obnoxiously, getting up off the rainbow, glass-like ground and slowly walking towards me, “Are you going to stand there as if nothing is wrong, like you did when I was getting bullied?” they asked rhetorically, slyly, like a fox hunting down a weasel hidden within the tall grass, that was what it felt like, I felt upset for my actions, being a bystander isn’t as easy as it may be made out to be, the guilt was soul crushing, nothing pained me more knowing there was something I could have done to help out a friend in need, but didn’t, even when placed in face of my good old chum’s peril, not blinking an eye when turning away, acting as if it were just an average day, without a care in the world. Selfish, it was truly selfish of me, I thought to myself, so I contorted back,

“No!” I exclaimed, “I didn’t mean to-”

“Didn’t mean to?” My ex-friend interrupted, smirking at my stumbling selection in words, “Man, I didn’t know you didn’t mean to walk away, as I was being ganged up by a bunch of big, scary college kids, very obviously trying to make my reputation even worse, by spreading false rumours, that anyone could believe to be true!”, they angrily, retorted, making me feel even more foolish than before. Grasping for straws, I tried to give reason,

“But I was just-” I stuttered, half-attempting to bring my words together in a coherent fashion, only for them to fall to pieces when once more intervened by my old pal,

“You were just what, looking for a teacher?”, “I would’ve known if that was it, they would’ve known if that was it, so what, what was this big act you were trying to accomplish whilst I, your friend, was being made a joke of in front of others?” they argued, fairly, making me bite my lower lip in the frustration of my lacking resolve, a trickle of sweat crept down my forehead, it felt cold. My teeth let go of my lip as I opened my mouth, trying to untangle myself out from the jumble of knots and twines I had gotten myself into. I was nervous, the kind of nerves you’d get from being placed on a tightrope 100m above a pit of spiky rocks, with no way to get down except walking right through across. It was almost definite I was to fall off, and from there, it could only get worse, there would be no brakes, no cushiony landing and no way home. I wiped off the cold sweat, now just left to my eyebrows; took a deep breath and shouted,

“L-look, I didn’t want to get involved alright!” I forced out from my throat, taking all the energy I had, I thought to myself I said it, no take backs now, another drizzle of sweat dribbling down my face, then thinking only of rushing in to claim my territory on the battlefield, I hastily went in to argue: “Y-you didn’t need my help an-anyways, w-what would I have done, what could I have done, to help you?” I tripped and fell on my own words, barely keeping myself balanced on the weight of them alone, I felt heavy, the once cold sweat was lukewarm, the feeling of a grizzly anger welled up inside, waiting to lash out.

I was right in what I said, is what I truly thought, what could have I done, it wasn’t like I could take on five guys each the size of a gorilla, If I had said a thing back then I’d have only made the situation worse for both me and him, but in reality that was just a lucky bunch of nonsense I threw together to convince myself I was right, that my actions weren’t inconsiderate of his feelings, of his trust and most of all our friendship, well that was my poor idea of an excuse at least.

“You could have told a teacher!” my acquaintance yelled out, rightfully so, I realised that yes, indeed I could have just gone and told a teacher, I was dumbfounded by my idiocy, by my earlier choice of words, my throat was dry and a wave of blistering bilious, fiery furious, hot-headed, temper tantrum inducing pain hit me like a crashing wave of foolishness. I had not seen light in my words, they were but without a shadow of a doubt the cause of my downfall, the entwined entanglement in my imprecise, densely knitted phrasing and wording brought me to my knees. It was bitter. The anguish, fear and anxiety all piled up, into one, messy, rough, scruffy, ball of emotions ready to unravel at a moment’s notice.

Before I could say anything, I heard a voice bellow down from the Chroma skies above, in a booming echo,

“If you wish to reclaim your standing, bet your mortal planes and fight for your right to keep persisting on,” the ray of reverberating light waved down, bringing with it two weapons next to me and my old friend, one was a sabre, its hilt wrapped in bandages, with a red, leather string flowing out from the hilt’s end. The other was a near standard broadsword fancied up a little bit, with a gold and scarlet colour scheme with a green jewel hanging off a crimson string looped through this sword’s hilt as well. Both of the swords showed off a gleaming coloured neon blade attached on top, mine was of a crimson red and my old pal’s, was of a glimmering olive green.

A wind of chill blew past me, the lethal items presented themselves before me, looming down from beneath me, yet they towered above in sheer fright alone. My adversary too seemed quite shocked by what was right before our eyes, not just the swords either, above us was a being obscured by darkness, floating there in the vast skies of reforming land and deforming shapes and textures.

It was too far to make out any hints of their appearance, obstructed in shadow, all we could infer was that it was a person with a somewhat short height. Their voice still ringing in our heads, they spoke once more,

“To motivate you, the loser has something special to them taken away from them, the winner gets a chance to continue on and live,” they slightly, smugly boomed, consequentially going on to infer to us, “Something special may consist of precious items, or people, you are being held hostage for a prideful, prance of glamour and power, I hope you understand, I wish you both luck on your battle.”, finally summarised, they disappeared the moment I blinked, leaving the two of us alone once more.

Attempting to evaluate what had been stated to us, caused our heads to spiral in the loud bells of sound that ought heavy words upon us. I held my head in my arms, recalling each sentence, word by word, letter by letter, ringing it through, in and out; grasping my hand out in hopes of reaching a conclusion to this weight which had pressed down itself upon my shoulders. The more I tried to make sense of the words, the greater I struggled to define them. They felt abstract; sounding fabricated and fictional, as if it was some new primary colour incomprehensible to the human mind. From what had been but a small weight, scaled in size hundreds of times, before breaking through the barrier between the clouds and the stars, stranded in the empty vast void imposed above; shining light at us, hoping we give a dance to appease their boundless boredom born from billions of years of inactive isolation.

On the contrary, my supposed opponent, stood there, with a static look on their pale, white face, stuck to one axis, shifting glidingly between their weapon and the abandoned space, previously occupied by the opaquely jumbled up jigsaw puzzle, leaving us befuddled, with little to go off from.

After a solid few minutes of just dazing stationed, my suggested adversary waveringly walked down over to the aura-infested broadsword, quaking as they held out reach for the blade’s hand, sweat gashing from their vampiric skin. I stood bounded, staring at the limed, steeled sharp, being approached by the trembling twigs seamlessly close to falling off its host’s arm. It took a few seconds to understand what my old chum had thought up at that time, at that moment, when everything took a turn for the worst. I gave a gasped exclamation of terror, as the scattering skittering sticks of skin and bone made their way to it, to the grounded blade laying dormant for a home, a home streaked red, decked down the halls, on a stained Christmas night, gored garments and crimson skies on a less merry Monday, spelling mayhem for disaster.

Flashes of thoughts crossed my mind, as I tried to search for something, anything to drive away from that spot. Cycling throughout my past experiences, memories for a method, a way, to figure out what to do next. I was hammered with times when I hurt others with my actions, truly coming to a halt when I arrived at that day, the day I wronged them, when I betrayed their trust and turned eye away from him, despite the trouble he was in and the very definition of bonds protecting the only friendship I had left, I shackled myself back to this day, one more time, thinking if only for a second, what I could do to make things right, to change that cold, miserable afternoon on the school playground and make it something I could put all behind me. I made haste to get an idea, or anything that could help me, yet I struggled too much, to the point of exhaust, after breaking out of fate’s thread calling me back there, to that spot, on that day, for me just to walk away once more. The event occurs once more, I took a step back, nearly losing my balance and ran away from the thought, only to run right into another one, ‘Something special may consists of precious items, or people’, those words granted shock to my core, reverberating into my soul, bouncing around, echoing, every bone, every muscle, a feeling of pain which could last centuries, one image came to mind, my little brother.

In that instant, that second, I leaped to the sabre sat beside me, grasping for its handle, nearly tripping but getting back my balance and standing right up. Even if it was but a chance, I had to give my all. I could not help but think one thing, one thing alone, I’m sorry old pal, but I have my own reason to bring sentiment into this fight.

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