Chapter 5: Flying WhalesA Chapter by Minoru Kusari
The ending of this chapter will have you begging for the next one!
Beep! Beep! Beep!
I immediately swat at my alarm clock to make the accursed noise stop. It’s 8 o’clock, Tuesday morning. Ugh, why is it so hard to get up in the morning? I briefly consider staying in bed for a while longer and skipping my first class or two, but decide against it.
After a shower and getting some breakfast, I begin walking towards the building where my first class is. The weather is nice today; it is sort of cool and sunny. I’m thankful it’s not hot today. Then again, it is still the morning; it could be hot later in the day. I’m wearing a thin long sleeved shirt and shorts, perfect for the weather. I listen to music as I walk across the campus.
My university is kind of big, both in terms of its property and the number of students attending. The campus is fairly pretty, with lots of trees and greenery which is kind of rare these days. In fact, even the surrounding town this school is in has a surprising amount of nature decorating it. It’s certainly different from my hometown, where barely any traces of nature are to be found.
I look up at the clear blue sky as I soak in the beauty of the weather and the nature around me.
When I get to my classroom, I pick a seat in the third row, making sure to be at least one seat away from the other students and put my bag down. Some other people are here already, others are still filing in. The professor for this class seems to be gathering her notes as she makes polite conversation with some of the students that are here. I just hope she doesn’t try to start up a conversation with me. It’s not like I particularly dislike this professor or anything, I just find it awkward to talk to people I don’t know well. Especially people in positions of authority, because then I have to force on a mask of courtesy. I don’t like faking things.
Soon enough class begins. It’s math stuff; boring. I occupy myself with looking out the window, letting my mind wander. Unfortunately, I find that my thoughts keep coming back to all the strange things that happened yesterday. That weird Professor Kusari guy replacing Bradford, and nobody finding it strange, which caused me to freak out, and then...that thing with Laura. It makes me feel weird to think about her right now, but I’m not sure why. I can’t always understand myself very well, so I guess it’s no surprise. I decide not to think about her for now. But isn’t there something I’m forgetting? Something else happened yesterday. Oh yeah, I remember now! Yesterday I "
“Hi there, Violet!” a voice calls out to me.
I gasp aloud, drawing the attention of some of the people sitting near me. I feel my face become hot.
“Aw, how cute, you’re blushing!” Atum is floating with his legs crossed right behind me.
I look around the room frantically, expecting people to be freaking out at the guy floating in the air behind my seat, but no one seems to notice. I’m more than a little confused.
Atum floats forward a bit so that he is now hovering next to me on the right. “How quickly they forget,” he says with mock exasperation. “Don’t you remember what I told you yesterday evening? You are the only one here who can see or hear me.”
As crazy as it sounds, he seems to be telling the truth. No one else has noticed his existence in this classroom. Instead of giving me peace of mind, however, this observation only serves to instill panic within me yet again. I fight the urge to speak my worries out loud to Atum; just because the class can’t hear Atum doesn’t mean they won’t hear me speak to him.
I make eye contact with Atum and then point to the notebook on my desk. I start writing and he leans in closer to see what I’m writing. He reads my message aloud:
“ ‘If I’m the only one who can see or hear you, doesn’t that mean you’re just some delusion I’m having?’ ” he laughs after he finishes reading, eliciting a nasty glare from yours truly.
Atum smiles and says, “Anything and everything’s possible, I suppose, but it would inconvenience me if you simply wrote me off as some figment of your imagination.”
I take a deep breath, but I’m not totally convinced that he isn’t just a figment of my imagination.
“Oh, and by the way, Violet, you don’t have to write things to communicate with me, you know.”
I shoot him a questioning look.
“If you just broadcast your thoughts to me, I’ll hear you.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” I accidentally say aloud.
The students near me all turn and look at me, making me feel like an idiot. I write ‘How stupid do you think I am?’ in my notebook for Atum to read. He reads it and just laughs.
“Come now, don’t be like that, Violet. Doesn’t this world have that saying, ‘don’t knock it ‘til you try it’?”
A sigh escapes my lips as I try to prepare myself mentally for what I’m about to do. I feel like an idiot for playing along with him, but then again, given that I’m talking to a floating guy who’s invisible to all of my classmates, I shouldn’t find this next step completely out of the blue.
H-Hello? I ask tentatively in my mind.
Hello? I think more ‘loudly’. I turn to face Atum, who doesn’t seem to be hearing me. I knew this was stupid.
Hello? Atum? Damnit! CAN YOU HEAR M--
“Whoa there,” Atum cuts me off, wincing, “you don’t have to yell like that you know, it hurts my head. I could hear you the first time.”
Then why didn’t you say anything!?
Atum puts his hand to his chin as if in deep thought, then perks up and responds, “I thought it would be funny of course!”
I cover my face with my hands and groan mentally.
Anyway, Atum, you’re seriously distracting me from class right now. What the hell did you come here for in the first place?
“Oh, I’m distracting you, am I? You didn’t seem to be focusing on the lesson very much even before I called out to you.”
He’s got me there. I was thinking about all the weird stuff that’s happened recently.
Touché. So what is it that you want, huh?
Atum hovers to a position right in front of my face, now completely blocking my view of the professor and the chalkboard. Thanks, you jerk.
“Well, we were talking yesterday, and I was about to tell you this before you rudely interrupted me and told me to get out of your room…” he trails off, as if expecting something from me.
I sigh. Yeah, yeah, my bad. I wasn’t in a good mood, and you were confusing me even more with your crazy occult bullshit. Go on?
“I can see why you have so many friends,” he says with a frown, then smiles and says “I wanted to tell you that I’m going to be your shadow for a while.”
Atum makes a confused face. “Oh, is that not how it’s said? I meant I am going to shadow you for a while. As in, follow you wherever you go.”
“What!?” I yell aloud, causing everyone in the room, including the professor to look at me. Damnit.
“Is there something you’re confused about?” the professor says kindly, though with a look of concern due to my strange sudden outburst.
I try to will my body to shrink away, my head hanging to hide my flushed cheeks. “N-no, it’s okay. I’ve got it figured out.”
“Okay, then. If you’re still confused you can ask me after class, then.”
I hear a few snickers and whispers in the room as the professor continues with the lesson. I sit with my head hanging, trying to block out my surroundings. I can still imagine their faces and words without actually seeing them or hearing exactly what they’re saying: What a freak! Haha, look at her! She must be crazy! I’m not sure if Atum says anything for the rest of the class or not. Because I don’t want to hear him, I don’t.
Class ends and I exit the room as quickly as possible. At some point while I was blocking out my surroundings earlier, Atum disappeared. I walk mechanically, trying to feel nothing so that anxiety doesn’t overtake me. I decide I need a break, so I’ll skip my next class. It’s no big deal, we weren’t going to do much today anyway. I head to a grassy field area and lie down, sucking in the fresh clean air. I gaze up at the clear sky and begin to feel calmer. I remember that I opted not to take my medications last night. I sigh and close my eyes. It really is nice to be able to enjoy nature like this. There aren’t too many places in this day and age with a lot of nature left. From my understanding, in the past there were lots of natural reserves and whatnot, but now very few remain. Also lots of animal species have been going extinct, and deforestation is accelerating. Furthermore, overfishing is ruining coral reefs and damaging marine life. It’s kind of sad, really, but oh well. I’ll probably be dead before things get really bad.
At some point while thinking about all this stuff, I drift off into a nap.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Her hair and tattered one-piece dress blow as she rapidly soars through the air. She rides a flying whale through the very fabric of space-time. All around her planets, worlds, stars, and various swirling colors zip past her as she rides towards her unknown destination.
The little girl, however, is not afraid despite these peculiar circumstances. Here, she can enjoy mystical fantasies such as these. Here, she can do whatever she wants. Here, she is not alone. She has her whale, and to flying alongside her, her new companion the majestic Silver Jackal. The kind beast had come to take away her pain, her sorrow, and her loneliness. As long as the Jackal is there for her, the girl feels that she will be alright.
For the first time in eons, the girl laughs. It begins as a quiet giggle, but then quickly gain volume and passion as she performs the timeless expression of euphoria.
She does not know where the Whale and the Jackal are taking her, but she does not care, for she is not alone here. For once, the endless expanses of the universe serve to fill her with excitement for a new adventure, rather than with fear of an unending solitude.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I wake up feeling much better emotionally, but feeling kind of tired. I rub my eyes and check the time. It’s almost noon. I only have two classes on Tuesdays, and since I skipped my second one, I’m done with class for the day. I figure I should either get lunch or head to my room, but I’m too darn lazy and sleepy to get up.
After a few minutes, I muster enough strength to sit up. I decide I’d rather stay outside while it’s cool and comfortable out, and pull my sketchpad and pencils out of my bag. I like to dabble in art in my free-time, but I don’t feel I’m all that good. Inspired by my surroundings, I draw some trees, grass, and flowers. When I’m done with that picture, I flip to a blank page and think for a few seconds about what to draw, and then suddenly, I know what I want to draw. I begin drawing whales --orca whales to be specific. I draw a mother whale and its calf, swimming through the heavens, with planets and stars all around them. When I’m finished, I feel proud of my work. It’s pretty good for something I made. I decide I will scan it to my computer and paint it later. I look at the baby whale and its mother, swimming amongst a celestial stream littered with different worlds and planets, and it fills me with a certain…warmth. Familiarity. I’m not sure why, though. Also, I really like orca whales, so looking at them for a while makes me feel giddy and happy with how cute they turned out.
Suddenly a chill goes down my spine while I’m admiring my whales. It’s as if someone is watching me…could it be that Atum came back? I look around the field, but there’s no one in sight. Actually, no one at all. Silence. Normally there are people walking around campus at all times of day, but right now, there isn’t even a single bird chirping. There is no breeze. No movement. Not even the blades of grass gently swaying. Everything seems to have stopped. Except for the sky. The sky darkens and churns disturbingly. I don’t feel safe.
I decide to quickly get out of here, but am faced with a pressing issue. I can’t seem to move. Uh-oh. Try as I might, I can’t budge at all. What’s going on? I suddenly feel an intense pressure around me, as if the air were condensing at my location. The dense air seems to be circling me slowly, as if sizing me up before going in for the kill. This situation seems familiar: the dark sky, the swirling air, the odd feeling that time is falling apart…
Wait, this reminds me of when that creature attacked Professor Bradford! What happened back then, last Friday? The sky went dark, then I felt air moving around, then it concentrated at the back of the classroom and swiftly flew to the front to attack the professor. That’s when the shadowy creature appeared. That means it’s probably not too far off to assume that the air signals where the creature will come from. Well, it’s great and all that I figured that out, but…I still can’t move at all!
The oppressive air stops circling me and stops in front of me, a mere foot away. The air starts to take a familiar shape. The same tall shadowy form I saw attack the professor appears before me. The shape of its body slightly resembles a human’s, except with longer arms and legs, making it taller than any human could ever be. Its ‘skin’ is pitch black, and there always seems to be some airy black shroud lingering off its body. It raises one arm in the air, revealing its long, sharp, sinewy claws that seem to break out of its flesh. It’s preparing to strike. I’m stuck sitting here like an idiot, waiting to be killed.
I look up at the creature in fear, unable to move. Tears start forming in my eyes as I realize that my pathetic life is coming to an end. I’m actually surprised to feel the tears stream down my cheeks. I didn’t think of myself as being particularly attached to living. Maybe I cared more about my life than I thought. Maybe I just can’t accept this crazy turn of events. Imagine, being killed by some ridiculous creature in the middle of a college campus with no one around. I think about all the things I’ve experienced in my life. Not that many happy memories, but there are some. There are also some parts missing, but whatever. Nothing new. I wonder if my mom would come to my funeral? I wonder if anyone would even hold a funeral service for me. After all, Professor Bradford was just completely forgotten when one of these things swallowed him up. Oh hell, who am I kidding? Would anyone even care if I died a normal death? I don’t really have anyone I can call friends.
I flash a self-deprecating grin and then begin to chuckle. I look up at my killer as it swings its claws down towards me. And so ends my s****y life.
© 2012 Minoru Kusari
AboutI'm in my late teens. I'm a pretty laid back guy most of the time, but I get really passionate about certain things. I like to play guitar, video games, draw and read. I love music. I've always liked .. more..