Chapter 3: Tidal

Chapter 3: Tidal

A Chapter by Andrew M. Davis
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Chapter 3 of my book Genesis. This one gets a little bit more intense. But if you like this one, then just wait for the next.

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The bell finally rang for the last class to start. I quickly reached my locker, chucked all of my useless books into, shut it, and headed towards the athletic side of school for the second time that day. I entered the boy’s side of the locker rooms and took my time changing into my athletic clothes before heading out to the field.

Today would be exciting. We were playing soccer, but it was my intent to suck on purpose so that everyone would underestimate me when I tried out for the team. There were only a few of the guys from the football team in my class, but Erik was one of them, and he frequently went as hard as he could when it came to any sport whatsoever.

It didn’t matter what it was. If it involved running, jumping, swimming, dodging, whatever, he made the effort to be the best. I half wish today was a dodgeball day, because then I would make some sort of effort to accidentally throw a ball in such a way, at such a weird angle, that it hit him and got him out. If I actually tried, there would be no way that he could best me, and, if he knew why, if anyone knew why, they wouldn’t even put in the effort to try.

I reached the soccer field before almost half of the other kids, Erik not included. He stared at me with an odd sense of loathing, but not full loathing. He didn’t hate me, when no one was looking at him, I could tell that easily enough. His face changed when other people could see it, but, when we were alone-ish, like now, or during class yesterday, his face wasn’t so forcefully contorted into a false sense of hatred. He was a confusing person. I could never truly tell what his emotions were.

His heart was racing again. I couldn’t place why. It was almost as if he was attracted to someone in some way, but there was no one around he could be attracted to. All of the girls on the field were weird, except for one or two, but they weren’t his type, and their personalities were far too sporadic, in other words bipolar, for him to have interest.

If I was willing to put in the effort, I would spend a great deal of time trying to figure him out, to discover what made him tick. He had too sheltered of a personality to look at and decipher right away. He never let more emotion show then he wanted, except for the things beyond his control, like his heart beat.

It continued to throb, pumping within his chest like a mini-train faithfully circling a Christmas tree. As other people exited the doors to outside, his heartbeat began to slow down, as if his focus was shifting to something else, more competitive.

“Hmmm,” I said under my breath, making certain I was quiet enough that even someone beside me wouldn’t hear it.

The teacher, who was different than Coach Aaron, strode out of the locker room area and made her way to the field. She reached it promptly, holding a clipboard in one hand and a soccer ball underneath the other arm: Ms. Casper.

Her thick brown hair was tied back in a tight ponytail. She had neatly chiseled cheek bones and a thin jaw line that emphasized her thin lips and white, fair skinned face. Her hazel eyes looked between all of the students, mentally checking whether or not we were all present. By now she knew all of our names. In all honesty she had figured out our names the first day of class months ago.

“Well,” she started, loud enough so we could all hear.

Just then a thin framed girl came stumbling out of the locker rooms and sprinted her way awkwardly to the huddle at the edge of the field. Ms. Casper kept her eyes to us the whole time. There had only been one student missing, so she knew who was running up.

“Nice of you to join us, Lilly-Ann,” Ms. Casper said.

“Oh, it’s my pleasure,” the girl replied as if the response was normal.

Ms. Casper ignored her.

“Well,” she repeated, “as you all are already aware, today we are continuing our soccer lessons by moving forward with a full game. You should remember the teams that I gave you yesterday, and I’m not going to repeat them. If you weren’t here, Jasper and Kaila, then come see me, but if you weren’t those two, then ask someone else.”

Jasper and Kaila both casually walked up to her. Ms. Casper didn’t even speak, she just waved Kaila in one direction and Jasper in the other. When they reached their sides, then she decided to speak again. “Choose who is going to play what position. Erik,” she called over to the one person she was certain would be able to take command and threw the ball to him, which he caught easily.

After a minute in a huddle both teams split and moved into their positions, once everything was figured out, Erik put the ball in the center and Ms. Casper blew the whistle.

The game began immediately. Erik won the ball for his team and passed it to one of his forwards, who quickly moved it forward and dodged two people who had come to defend and kicked the ball towards the goal within the first few seconds. Thankfully the goalie was paying attention, and decent, and blocked the ball, throwing it, for some reason, to me. I was the only one open I guess.

The ball currently rested beneath my foot on the dry green grass. Erik, who was on the other team, clearly desired to take the ball from me, and, instead of being civilized and just stealing the ball away, he chose to ram me. His shoulder made impact with my chest, lifting me slightly off of the ground before I fell, landing heavily on my back. Since a blow like that would usually knock the wind out of someone, I waited for a few seconds before deciding to move.

I watched Erik as he pressed forward. He turned, a sinister looking smile breaking through the still features of his face. I could tell he had been waiting since lunch to do that to me. Upon looking away, I returned the smile and stood, preparing to run towards the ball. I didn’t have to run far. He had scored long before I could even get close.

The goalie kicked the ball back to center field, where the midfielder stopped it with the outside of his foot and waited for his forwards to get into position and the other teams midfielder to come to the face-off position. My team initially won the ball, but wasn’t able to hold onto it for long. The other team swiftly overtook the forwards, stealing the ball, and moving it towards my team’s goal again. My defenders were good, but not good enough to hold off the onslaught for long. The defense kicked the ball away a short distance, but it was intercepted by one of the other team’s forwards who had done a good job covering one of the other players. It was then passed to the midfielder, who quickly moved it forward, scoring another goal within seconds.

The game continued on in a similar fashion for the rest of the class period. My team was able to score one goal, but the other team scored three more. The defense on my team became increasingly better as the game progressed. It was able to stop most of the goals from going in, but our offense was lacking, which was my fault, so we were unable to win in the end.

“Hit the showers,” Ms. Casper said at the end of class. “You played a good game,” she encouraged, even though she probably could have cared less.

I chose to skip mine. I would become dirty again in about twenty minutes anyway, so I found little reason to make myself clean if I was to become muddy within the hour. I stayed on the field, sat on one of the benches, and waited for the team to come back out after getting ready for today’s practice.

Mr. Aaron walked out from the locker room area before anyone else and took a seat beside me.

“You’re certain of this?” he asked with his hands clasped around his knees.

“I’m as sure as I’ll ever be,” I said confidently. “Do they know?”

“Not yet. I will let them know and explain what’s going to happen once they’re all out here. Remember what I said this morning though, if you’re here to waste our - ”

I cut him off, “I’m not wasting your time.”

He nodded at me.

The cheerleaders had already taken up their positions for practice near the start of the grass, past the track, where the benches were. Sarah was with them and caught my eye immediately. She frowned at the sight of me next to the coach.

“Hey girls,” Sarah said to her team. “I will be back in a second.” She then turned and jogged her way towards me.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked harshly.

“Woah,” I responded quickly. “No need to be so forward.”

Mr. Aaron decided to stay out of it and stood, walking back towards the lockers.

“Well, you are on the football field, which you have never done outside of class before,” she commented. “You do stupid stuff sometimes. I am making sure you don’t do something too stupid.”

“Oh, well, I’m glad you care so much, but I’m just trying out for the football team.”

She stared at me like crop face did earlier, as if I was forgetting to tell the punchline to my lame joke. “Oh, ha, you really shouldn’t do that.”

“I what?”

“You shouldn’t do that?”

“Why?”

“Because you, of all people, are the most likely to get hurt attempting to do this.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because, for one, you said ‘just trying out’ as if it is going to be easy. You already are not taking this seriously,” she determined.

“Um, excuse me, ma’am, I’m taking this seriously.”

“Korbin, they are going to crush you.”

“Ha-ha, I guarantee they can do nothing to hurt me,” I stated confidently.

“I would not be so sure of that if I were you. You are human, like the rest of us,” she said with a look of concern.

“Why are you so worried?” I asked. “I won’t get hurt! I promise!” I replied to her sincerely, worried that she was worried.

“I know you, Korbin, you’re prone to getting hurt, and not even by your own fault, but this would be your fault. You are seeking this out.”

“I’m not seeking this out to get hurt.”

Sarah looked back to her squad, who were impatient for her return.

“Are you sure about this?” she asked seriously.

“If I wasn’t sure I would probably be at home sleeping on the couch and watching some boring sitcom.”

Sarah punched me in the arm.

“What was that for?” I asked, rubbing the spot.

“Take this seriously, Korbin!” she said loudly.

“I am!”

“You can still leave,” she said, looking to the doors and then back to me. “No one knows you are here!”

“They do now!” I said.

Sarah looked back at the doors just as the team was walking out towards the field and then looked back at me curiously.

“Fine,” she said. “Don’t do anything stupid, cowboy.” She started to walk away and then stopped after a few feet, did a partial turn towards me, turned back towards the squad, and then a full turn towards me again and looked me right in the eyes. “Good luck, Korbin.”

And then the team was surrounding me, and Coach Aaron wasn’t too far behind.

“Hey coach, what is he doing here?” one of the kids on the team called out to Mr. Aaron who, by that time, had reached them.

“Huddle up guys,” Mr. Aaron said, seemingly ignoring the question, “I’ll tell you what we’re going to do today.” Once the team had all gotten into a close circle he started to explain what they were going to do. “We have another guy who wants to join the team,” he paused as everyone turned to look at me, some of them gave me confused looks while the others gave me death glares. “Now, I know it’s already mid-season, but he put up a good argument, and I see no harm in allowing him to try out,” he looked to me and gave me an eye.

His statement was greeted by quite a few sneers and laughter. “Settle down boys,” he said, quieting them immediately. “So, here’s what we’re going to do. Today we’ll have a scrimmage. Erik, since you’re the captain, you can pick the guys you want on your team and leave the rest for the other team,” he turned away to allow Erik to pick his team and switched his attention towards me. “Well, let’s see what you got kid.”

My team lined up on our side of the field; Erik’s team was kicking off while my own team was looking at me like I was an alien; they all stood a fair distance away like I was oozing some type of poisonous gas, that breathed, would cause them all perish. None stood any closer than ten feet away at any given time. I shook my head at their stupidity while I waited for Erik to kick the ball. I watched his legs as he ran up to the ball, pulled his foot back and let it fly.

The ball flew in a wide arc high above our heads; I knew right away that his intention was to aim it directly towards me. He did a good job at it too. The ball flew straight and true. I let a smile cross my face. I started sprinting forward the moment that his foot made contact with the ball. I knew that the kick-off would be a little short already, but, even still, I ran a little farther ahead of it, leaping for the ball while it was still a few feet above my head. I dexterously plucked it out of the air with one hand, bringing it down and clutching it close to my chest.

I continued to sprint forward when my feet landed lightly on the ground, swiftly rushing towards the end zone, which was guarded heavily by Erik’s team’s defense. Erik’s team, surprised as they were by my first maneuver, were not fazed enough to stop moving altogether. They were all decent players, but, as would soon be proven, I was better. At once they moved towards me, pumping their arms while their feet moving in tandem. They took up defensive positions, making sure that all of their bases were covered around the field, which they incorrectly assumed would be enough to stop me before I reached the end zone.

Two of the players on Erik’s team were coming in for a tackle simultaneously. My team, although in the perfect position to defend me, didn’t like me enough to try and stop them, or they were just trying to see what I could do, which, in a typical game, wouldn’t be much without the defense making sure they had my back, but oh well. I could see that, if I moved fast enough, I could easily slip between the two oncoming players. They seemed to notice the small gap as well. They pressed forward, increasing their speed and advancing to close it. It wasn’t enough, and I wasn’t going to change my tactic now either way. I made eye contact with one of them as they jumped, assuming that I wouldn’t be fast enough to dodge. I dropped low, keeping my knees from touching the ground and spun rapidly beneath their bodies. I could hear the impact above as they collided with a sickening slapping sound and fell to the ground, one on top of the other. Both of them released a loud groaning sound, but I didn’t stop to see if they were alright.

            It was Erik who was closest now, he had hung back a little after the kick off to observe my position and advance, and, knowing him, he wouldn’t leave room, or even give a slight opportunity to replicate a move such as the one I have previously performed, but I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of being the one to take me down either. The distance was closing quickly, and he was the only thing close enough to intercept me from my current position and stop a touchdown.

I lowered my shoulder, speeding up to sprint even faster, showing no signs that my long sprint was winding me. I continued to clutch the ball close to my chest, holding it in a tight death grip. I was slightly nervous that I was accidentally going to pop the ball in my grip, but, just like everything else, I didn’t have much time to worry about it. Either way, popped or whole, it would not be taken from my grasp, but, regardless, Erik was preparing for a tackle.

As soon as he came close enough I lifted him off the ground with my shoulder, using his momentum to propel him over my head. He went soaring, landing hard on his face on the field. I heard him gasp as he pulled his face from the turf, spitting out little bits of rubber that had jumped into his mouth from the turf on impact.

Moments later I was in the end zone. My team stood on the far end of the field either cheering or staring; a select few flung their arms up into the air and then brought them down to clutch the back of their heads with expressions of awe. I looked over to Sarah, she and her squad were all staring as well. It seemed as though they had been watching the entire time, spending no time to work on their own practice. Sarah was the only one who had any expression on her face other than reverence. She was smiling. It wasn’t a surprised smile, either. It was a smile that was showing pride, and it was a big one too. I had proven myself, if only slightly, and I knew it, so I smiled back before turning to jog back to center field to meet up with the rest of my team.

The game wasn’t over yet, and it was the other teams turn to have the ball. Now it was time to prove that the first play wasn’t just luck, like it could even be considered such with everything that happened. They formed up, lining up along the line and matching themselves individually to each player on my own team. I was counting on my team to keep everyone covered this time, because I was going to blitz.

“Set, HUT,” I heard Erik yell.

One apple…two apple…three apple, and I was off. Before Erik had a chance to breathe he was on the ground beneath me, but only for a second before he shoved me off, stood, and kicked the turf as if attempting to fling some dirt at my feet.

The remainder of the game flew by swiftly. By the end the score was 48-6, and that was only because I let them score so as to not completely obliterate them. I think that it was clear that I was on the team. Everyone may not like me, but they all wanted me.

Erik jogged over to me, switching to walk only a few feet away and then stopping in front of me before saying: “Where on Earth did you get any athletic ability? I just saw you playing like crap in Phy. Ed., and, now, all of a sudden you throw out this?”

I gave him an earnest smile, “I’ve always had it.”

Erik returned the comment with a confused, sideways look. “Then what’s the point in hiding it? I don’t get it, Korbin. You walk around school all quiet like, and you let yourself be bullied, and shoved around by whoever wants to, but I’ve felt your strength, dude. You’re not weak, not even close.” Erik said, lightly kicking at the ground. We were standing in the almost exact spot where I had knocked his legs out from beneath him and his face planted like a seed into the ground. “Korbin,” he sighed, his exasperation was obvious. Did he feel bad? “I mean, honestly, if you’re able to do all of this stuff, then why let people do all of that stuff to you?”

“Because I can take it, and I would rather have you guys pushing me around than someone who can’t take it. A lot of people get enough of this type of thing in their everyday life already. I mean, we aren’t aware of people’s lives at home. They could already be treated like crap there. I don’t want them to come to school, a place where they could, for a short time, retreat from all that stuff at home, and, instead, get treated the way all of you have treated me for the past three years. Now,” I placed my hand on his shoulder and changed the subject. I didn’t want my little spiel to make him feel bad, “you, Sarah and I have a project we have to work on…and finish, by tonight.” I turned around, away from the conversation, and started to make my way towards the locker room.

“Hey Korbin!” Erik called to me.

I spun my head so that just my ear was facing him, read to listen.

“I’m sorry.”

I smiled.

 

The three of us arrived at my house later than I expected, around six. It had taken Erik and I longer than it probably should have to get out of the locker room dressed and ready to go. My mother was the only one home, yet again.

“Dad working again?” I asked my mom when we entered the house. She was working hard making something in the kitchen.

“Yes,” she said, “he was called in for the late shift.” Looking up she noticed that there were two other people with me. She took the towel beside the cutting board and dried off her hands before reaching her hand out to shake first Erik’s, and then Sarah’s hand.

“Hello, Mrs. Amazia!” Sarah greeted my mother nicely. “I’m Sarah, and this is Erik.”

My mom looked excited, “Oh, you must be the one’s Korbin always talks so much about!” she said, directing the comment towards Erik, but including both of them.

Erik flicked his eyes at me, a nervous half-smile plastered to his face. “I hope they were good things,” he intoned, even though he knew they weren’t.

“Well I’m making pizza,” my mom said, making no further comments towards Erik. “It’ll be ready soon, so I’ll bring it up to you guys when it’s finished!” Erik already looked like he was starving; I looked around to see if there was anything I could grab to snack on while we waited.

My eyes fell on a bag of chips.

“Mom, can we take these while we wait?”

“Sure!” she responded, without looking over to see what I was talking about.

I threw the chips at Erik, who caught them easily. “Here, fatty,” I smiled at him.

“Hey!” he looked down at his stomach, offended. “I am nowhere near fat.”

Sarah gave my mother a look. She was clearly saying the word boys patronizingly in her head, and my mother understood it too.

They both rolled their eyes.

“Come on,” I grabbed Sarah’s arm and pulled her out of the kitchen. We made our way upstairs and entered my room, where Erik quickly invaded my space and plopped himself on my bed.

“Hey, hey, hey, shoes off. I don’t want your dirt trails making me itchy during the night.” I don’t know why it mattered. I can’t remember a time where I’ve actually felt itchy since before I turned eight. I guess it was just habit.

Erik kicked off his shoes, letting them fall to the floor, but continued to lie lazily on my bed. I slapped his feet, signaling for him to move over, and took a seat beside him. “You’ve sure made yourself at home, especially for hating me only about an hour ago.”

“I never hated you,” Erik said, sitting up and looking me in the eye.

“What?” I looked over his face, checking to see if he was being serious.

“I never hated you,” he repeated, continuing to look me in the eye, but I could tell he was nervous to say it.

            “Then why do you treat me the way you do in school?” I asked curiously.

            “Because…” he paused, sighing for the second time that day, “it puts up a façade. It tells people that I’m not soft, among other reasons.”

            “So you do it to make yourself look strong?” I asked.

            “Isn’t that the reason that anyone would bully someone else?” he retorted. “I’m not saying that it’s right, not by any means.”

            “Well, then it seems like you have some things to change,” I said.

            “Korbin, there have always been things in my life that have needed changing, and I’m not going to deny that. The thing is that I’ve never had anyone to talk to. I mean, with my relationship with my mom ever since she saw me…” and then he stopped and turned away from me, catching himself before he said too much.

It was safe to assume he stopped talking for two reasons: one, because Sarah was there, and, two, because it was hard for him to talk about. He was easier to get to open up than I thought he would be. He was always sheltering himself, putting on masks and showing less emotion than he was actually feeling, a lot like me, but for entirely different reason. At least I think they were for different reasons.

“Let’s finish this project,” Sarah said, “you guys will have plenty of time to talk later if you want.” She wasn’t saying it because she felt awkward being on the sidelines of such a serious conversation. She was just smart. She knew Erik wouldn’t keep talking with her around, and, thankfully, she didn’t take offense to it.

Erik shifted beside me, “come on then, let’s get this thing started!”

 

The next few months rushed by faster than anything ever has in my life. We finished that project in an hour with our combined minds, then went to school the next day and turned it in. Mrs. Schultze was impressed, and complimented us highly on our level of work and how well put together the project appeared. She liked us, who wouldn’t?

While my day life was focused on school, many nights were spent testing the limits of my power, flying around the heights of the world, lifting train cars in train yards. I even found a cavern deep underwater when I was testing how long I could hold my breath, which seemed to be indefinitely, but I also accidentally breathed a few times and nothing happened, so it had to be more than just how well I could hold oxygen. Most of my downtime, and I mean that literally, like, on the ground downtime, was spent on football. When I wasn’t doing homework, or flying, it was football, football and more football, all Erik’s fault.

The season became extremely smooth. From the moment I joined the team we never lost a game. The Eastwood Jets took the very nature of Jets, at least that’s what one of the news crews said in the papers after we won the playoffs. They described our athletic abilities as top tier, calling our games some of the best ever played in the history of Oregon. Our team continued on to state against another of the best teams. They hadn’t lost any of their games since the beginning, whereas Eastwood lost a total of three, but we beat them easily, crushing them beneath our speed and stamina. Coach Aaron told us that once we got back that he had a party planned at his house as a reward for us winning ‘The Big One’, as he described it. He invited the cheerleaders too, as they had “played an intrigual part in our success.” His words, not mine, I couldn’t help but agree though, but really only because of Sarah.

It’s was late November. Erik and I were lying out in the snow alone outside of Coach Aaron’s house. He had gotten the bus to drop us all of directly at his house, and then left it to us to find a way home, how convenient. Erik was wearing a heavy winter jacket with a hat pulled over his ears, as well as a thick pair of gloves, snow pants and two pairs of socks to keep the cold from touching him, while I lay beside him with just a light winter jacket, but none of the extra amenities. We lay in silence for the first five minutes, staring up at the stars and taking in all of the beauty the night sky had to offer in the quietness of the falling night.

“You know, I was wrong about you,” Erik said.

            “What do you mean?” I asked, turning my head to look at him.

            “I mean, you’re actually fun to hang around, despite what other people think of you.” I looked back up at the stars. Most of Erik’s other friends tolerated me because I was on the football team, and because Erik was fine with me. All the while, inside of their heads, they still held on to the very same stereotype that they had defined me by since forever.

“Ha, as opposed to all of the other times we’ve hung out where the fun was implied?”

He turned to me and gave me a weird look, like a playful snarl. “I’m trying to be sentimental here, Korbin,” he said, elbowing me lightly.

            I could hear footsteps coming from the direction of the house, coupled by the almost silent closing of a door; both Erik and I strained our necks back to see who it was. “See, Korbin?” Erik said, hand outstretched, upside down, and pointing at Sarah. “Now the moment’s ruined,” he exclaimed sarcastically. “I’m honestly kidding, though,” Erik added, cringing already as he saw the look Sarah gave him. “Hi upside down Sarah!” Erik said as she came up and lay down on the other side of me.

“I think you guys were the ones upside down,” she said playfully.

“Nope, it was definitely you,” Erik argued.

“Tell that to gravity,” Sarah retorted.

“Fine, you win.” Erik said, giving up.

            “You guys are dumb,” I said, making fun of their argument. “Now, I have called this meeting into order today to discuss matters of the utmost importance.” I could feel both Erik’s and Sarah’s breath on my neck.

“Shut up,” they both exclaimed in unison, causing me to cringe.

We all burst into laughter and turned our attention back towards the skies as we let the sounds of laughter fade away. “There is actually something I want to talk to you guys about, though,” they both turned their heads to face me again; I was stuck between two pairs of curious eyes.

“What’s that?” Sarah asked.

“Well, I actually want to ask you something first.” I waited for a little while, figuring out how I was going to phrase it. “What do you think our purpose in life is? Well,” I paused, wanting to rephrase it. “Like, what I mean is, what are we fighting for? Why does all of this even matter?”

“I don’t think I understand a hundred percent about what you mean,” Sarah said. “But, to put it simply, because life is about more than just stoking the fire to stay warm. It is not just about living. It is about making a difference, using the time we have to make a change in a world that may be incapable of making a change for itself. So many people claim that this world has little meaning to them, that purpose has faded from their lives. That leads them to a dark place, and yet, regardless of where they are, they still choose to move forward. If life meant nothing, then why continue to stoke the fire?”

Erik and I gave each other a confused look, but chose not to interrupt.

“It is life that is worth fighting for. It is not just about the pursuit of happiness, but for the lives of others. It has never been about us.”

“Wow,” Erik said, “that was a rant, a cool rant, but a rant.”

“Who is ruining the moment now,” Sarah said, reaching over me to punch Erik in the gut.

“Ugh, ouch, what was that for?” Erik exclaimed, his voice dripping with sarcastic pain.

“Ruining the moment,” Sarah said in fake anger.

I was going to tell them about my abilities, but, after that rant, I realized it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know if I have the heart to do that kind of thing day in and day out. I’ve read about superheroes. I’ve seen the movies. Every moment of their time is spent saving the world, but this world doesn’t need saving. There’s no one else like me in it who I would need to defend against, so what could I do? What could I possibly change? Maybe I just misunderstood, but, as of right now, there wasn’t much I could do, if even anything at all.

“It’s getting late,” I said, standing up and brushing snow off of the back of my jeans. “I think I’m going to head home.”

Sarah and Erik both stood up too.

“Come on, it’s only ten, and it’s the weekend!” Erik explained.

“I know, but I’m tired. We’ve been busy, and the past few days have really worn me out.”

Sarah moved forward and gave me a hug, causing me to blush, as always. “Alright, well, then, we will see you on Monday, Korbin.”

Erik reached out his hand, seemingly looking for a handshake, but I knew he was really going in for a bro-hug, so I complied, and then started to make my way towards home.

“Are you going to walk the whole way?” Erik called after me.

“Kinda,” I said, turning around and walking backwards, smiling at him and Sarah. “Bye, guys,” I said, spinning around.

I walked a fair distance away from Coach Aaron’s house and made my way between two other houses further away that didn’t have side windows that would give the people inside the ability to see my activity. I stopped, listening to my surroundings, searching for any sign of life larger than a dog outside of a home within a mile. There was nothing. Most people were sleeping, except for the house right beside me, where a kid was hiding himself away in the basement and gaming his heart out. I didn’t waste any time. I blasted off, creating a small hole in the snow as a sudden strong burst of air exploded beneath me. I shot like a rocket into the sky and only stopped once I reached the upper heights of the atmosphere. 

I had a plan in mind as to where I was going to go, back to that cavern I had found deep underwater not too long ago. It was an amazing discovery. I knew full well that I was the first person to ever set foot there. Well, technically I didn’t set foot, but I was the first person to go inside. I took one last look at the scenery below before zipping off towards the South Pacific Ocean.

I broke the sound barrier the second I moved. I had discovered my ability to do it when I was testing my flight speed less than a month ago, and had increased my speed exponentially since. Within a minute I was soaring above the southern coastline of California, swiftly making my way south, towards the French Polynesian Islands. The cavern itself was about a hundred miles east of the islands and over twenty-five thousand feet beneath the surface. The entrance was a single hole deep beneath the ocean’s surface, but was big enough for three people, arms outstretched, to fit through. At least I assume. I haven’t brought anyone down to measure it myself.

At the speed I was travelling, I would arrive there in about two minutes. I was already above the south pacific, near the western coast of Peru. Changing my course, I began to make my way in the direction of the Islands of Polynesia. I have followed the same course the past three times I’ve been to the cavern. It was my way of remembering where I needed to go, and it worked efficiently enough.

I decreased my altitude, lowering my body so it flew swiftly just above the surface of the water. My speed created a deep wake on either side of me. The walls rose up beside me and sent a series of waves across the ocean’s surface. I decided to have a little fun. Spinning rapidly, the water around me lifted up, surrounding my body within a tube of grey water. I stopped spinning and exited the tube, abruptly ending my movement and causing a massive wave to form behind me. I watched as the tube of water spun for a period of two seconds before it collapsed in on itself and reformed with the waves, ripples being the only sign that the funnel had ever existed. Twisting around, I shot forward, continuing on my way to the cavern.

            I reached its location while contemplating the possibility of starting a whirlpool. It would be cool, but unappreciated in the pitch black wastes of night, not to mention dangerous for any ship that may happen to pass by while I roamed deep beneath the waves. I placed my feet on the water, giving the illusion that I was walking on it, which, yet again, was unappreciated by all eyes except for the fish, who would soon forget all about it.

            I dropped beneath the waters, slowly swimming my way down to the entrance. It was unnecessary. I have the ability to fly through the air and virtually do the same through water, but I have always enjoyed the feeling of swimming, and I didn’t want to ruin it by rushing. It wasn’t the feeling of the water that I enjoyed, but rather the fluidity and sereneness that was required to deftly move through it.

I could see unusually clearly in the depths. There was very little light that was capable of penetrating so deep into the ocean, especially at night, where the only light was the subtle glimmering luminescence of the silver moon.

             A bull shark passed by me and brushed its tail fin lightly against my left foot. It acted as if it was telling me that I was entering into its territory, a subtle warning. It had done the exact same thing for each of the three times I had been here. I was under the impression that sharks roamed the oceans and were not necessarily territorial, except possibly in areas where there were sunken ships. I couldn’t be sure though. I’m no expert on shark patterns.

            The entrance to the caverns was only a few feet in front of me now. I took a quick look around, as if someone would be watching, before gripping ahold of the edge of the hole and flinging myself inside the deep oceanic tunnel.

I made my way through the short, curvy tunnel until I reached the mother cavern. The tunnel I had come through had a series of tiny, one man offshoots that fed off of the main circuit, but I had explored each of them previously, and each led to a dead end. One in particular led to a precarious drop off, which I had initially believed would lead somewhere, due to its length, but I was wrong. It ended abruptly with spiked rocks. At least it used too. I had found that out the hard way. I had assumed, given the length of the tunnel, that it would deposit me in some extravagant, never before seen, underwater cavern, but I was traveling down it very quickly, so, when the spiked rocks suddenly appeared out of nowhere, I collided with them, which, incidentally, turned them into a very nice pile of rubble.

The main cavern, which I currently floated in, was a place I had come to call the Spectral Cavern, mostly because of its fervent, aqua blue glow, causing it to shimmer as the water gave way to motion. I think it was because of the unusual coral that grew inside of the cavern. I had done some research after the first time I entered the cavern, and, from what I was able to find out, the coral seemed to possess some sort of bioluminescent property that allowed it to glow such an opulent blue. Blue wasn’t the only color that the coral glowed, but it was the most prominent, and tended to far outshine the other colors, except in a few cases.

Now, apart from the entrance to the cavern, there were seven other tunnels that connected themselves directly to the Spectral Cavern, each surrounded by the glowing corals, and each one calling out for attention that I alone could give. I had so far only ventured down three, but it was my intention to explore the fourth during this trip. I know that this tunnel in particular will take me deeper than the others, at least initially, because it sprouted directly out of the cavern floor, and, thanks to the light of the coral, I could see that it shot downwards a fair distance.

I settled myself into the center of the cavern for a few moments, waiting, listening for the dissonant shudders of any sound or movement that penetrated through the stone and made its way to me from deep within the tunnel below. There was something down there, a creature, maybe, or maybe just something creating a resonance that I could pick up. Whether or not the source was either of the ideas I had come up with was unknown to me, but there was at least something down there, which was different from the other three so far. The other tunnels I had already traveled down had all lead to dead ends, just like the offshoots from the entrance, and I was hoping for something at least a little more intriguing to be found at the end of this one.

I’d had enough of waiting. Flipping myself downward, I sped into the tunnel below, careful to avoid the many pulsating corals clinging for their lives to the edge of the tunnel entrance. It was windy, with turns and drop offs in many unexpected places. There was one point where I was caught off guard and careened into a wall when it looked as if it was curving upwards when, in fact, the ceiling only slightly curved upwards, falsely causing me to believe that was where it was going.

Stones shattered and broke off from the place that I had crashed into. The stones, as stones, acted like the lovely pieces of rock they were and instantly sunk, rapidly falling deeper into the downward hole I myself had to travel down as well. The stones created muffled sounds that echoed throughout the tunnel as they made impact with the walls on their way down. They made the tunnel sound so eerie.

I dove down after them, continuing my adventures through underwater cave land. I swiftly overtook the stones that I had previously broken off. They were rolling down a slight decline, which leveled out long before the stones came to a stop far behind me.

The tunnel walls were gradually becoming as smooth as polished marble, as if something had been rubbing against them like sand paper for a very long time. I wasn’t going to assume the walls were smoothed by men. It would be virtually impossible for any human, or anything they could possibly create, to come this deep and still be well controlled enough to carve the walls to a perfect smoothness, nor, for that matter, would there be any purpose to do so. Although the smooth walls were interesting, they were not what was creating the resonant sound I had heard in the cavern far above, so I kept pressing forward.

After what seemed like a mile of smooth circular tunnel, it opened up to reveal another cavern. This cavern was smaller than the mother cavern, but was still massive in size, though it lacked the same lustrous glow; no unusual corals grew down this deep. This cavern was still lit, but by a far murkier radiance, and could be grimly compared to the light of twilight. A fast moving creature made its way purposefully around the high arched ceiling, swimming in slow circles. Round and round it went in a monotonous, never ending circuit. When it came around the first time, I was able to glimpse a pair of dark red eyes. The eyes radiated pulse waves of heat and the creature itself released a subtle resonance like that of a humming mother lulling its child off to sleep. The cavern was noticeably warmer than the rest of the tunnels had been. It made me wonder if the creature’s eyes had anything to do with it.

Most of the cavern was circular in form, but the shape of the far wall was broken by a multitude of shallow coves. Each cove rested on top of another like graves in ancient catacombs. This place wasn’t much unlike those. It was deep underground, under water no less, and had the same creepy feel to it that any catacomb would. The only difference was that this place had a creature seemingly guarding each of the coves. I could tell by the way it moved. It was covetous.

            Hmm…I thought to myself. This isn’t right.

I was hearing more sounds than could possibly be coming from the creature swimming around the ceiling. It was like a constant echo of hollow murmurs through the cavern, a low hum. It was probably what I had been hearing before I entered the tunnel, but it had become much clearer, yet still somehow remained faint. It felt powerful, and ancient. The creature circling continued to guard the coves closely, individually eyeing each one each time it swung around. I wondered what would happen if I were to venture a little further into the cavern.

Just a few feet, I thought, but a few feet was all I was able to take before I was rammed back, greeted by the glaring eyes of the creature that had somehow made it from the ceiling to me in less than a second. I waited to see if it would make any further moves, but after a few seconds it sped back up to the ceiling, returning to the monotony of its repetitive circles.

            That was weird, what use does it have to protect anything down here.

I rushed forward carelessly into the coved cavern. I could feel the jolt of the water as the creature moved to intercept me at rapid speeds. I deftly stepped aside, easily avoiding it, but it wasn’t done yet. The creature circled around to my other side in the blink of an eye, ready for another attack. This creature was about as fast as I was currently moving, but I wasn’t yet moving as fast as I was able too.

            The creature floated a good distance away from me, allowing me to turn my body towards it while it looked me over for weaknesses in my defense. It acted fast, appearing as if it was going to strike at my head, but shifted its tactic instantaneously and clamped down on one of my feet instead. In a heartbeat I was flung away and sent careening towards the opposite end of the cavern. I slammed into the far wall, breaking through a good three feet of solid rock, which released a plumb of debris into the water, clouding it slightly. It also caused a good amount of crippled stone to fall down at my feet, encasing them, and most of my abdomen, in a tomb of rock.

            I wasn’t allowed much time to think before the creature rushed across the cavern and head butted me deeper into the wall. The creature rapidly pulled back for another go, but, before it had a chance, I pushed off with my hands against the stone at my back, freeing my body and dodging upwards and around the creature as it zipped forward into the empty hole I had vacated just moments before. While I was still above the creature I grabbed ahold of its long tail, crushing it in my grip so as to not allow it to slip free. I ripped it from the hole and flung the creature towards the opposite wall, just as it had done to me, but it corrected itself before making impact.

            It rushed towards me again, this time a little slower because its tail fin was no longer whole. Its slower movement offered me a larger window to fight back. As it rushed forward, I swam aside, allowing its head to pass by before shooting out my foot and kicking it in the head. It didn’t react as quickly this time, and, instead, collided partially with the wall on the entrance side of the cavern, and partially with the entrance itself. Its lanky body bent sickeningly around the entrance hole before it ricocheted, correcting itself to look almost like it had before.

             The creature, though, was not winded yet. It came at me once more, but far slower, only about the speed of a spooked, normal, fish. A black liquid oozed out of the place on its body that had cracked against the stone, and its body was contorted freakishly, favoring one direction to the other. It was no longer the straight, strong creature it had been before, but was now a mangled representation of it. I rose my hands above my head, gripping them in a combined fist, and waited patiently for the creature to draw near. When it did, I brought my hands down on its head, splitting open its skull, killing it instantly and putting it out of the pain it had undoubtedly been feeling. The creature floated to the top of the cavern, bouncing off of the ceiling once before resting there indefinitely, all the while oozing the same, thick, dark liquid. I floated up to it, examining up close how the creature functioned.

            Its frame was long, with fins protruding from either side of its body. A long razor like dorsal fin trailed all along the entire carapace of its back; then again, all of its fins were razor sharp. I could tell this thing was immensely strong by the complexities of its physique, but I couldn’t tell how it was capable of moving so quickly. Its red eyes were open; the cloak of death was unable to cover the fiery glow of their demonic presence. The creature itself was midnight black with a deep crimson stripe running down the center of its body, around the dorsal fin, and, finally, ending in a circular pattern around its tail fin. It lacked both arms and legs, possessing only fins, but it also lacked gills.

Did it need to breathe? I thought.

            A deep rumble echoed through the cavern, startling me. It seemed to be coming from the host of coves on the far wall. I rushed to one of the openings, examining it closely. There was a deep, jagged crack running straight down the middle. I could feel air being released from within as water rushed in, slowly widening the crack. I moved to the next cove to see if it held the same crack, and then to the next, and the next, but they were all identical. I could feel something hastening forward from within, shattering the thick wall of stone; I was just able to move out of the way as another one of the creatures rushed by, this one, unlike the one on the ceiling, was still living.

Similar sounds came from each of the other coves, and I was hit by a wave of scalding heat coming from the small cracks in the coves. Looking around, I could see that the coves were small, only able to fit creatures the size of the one I had killed, but there were also cracks forming all along the walls of the entire cavern, scarring it deeply. I came to the realization that this cavern was either one big nest, holding more than just the creatures in the coves, or was about to come down. On a worse note, all the creatures had succeeded in breaking free of their sealed coves, but thankfully none had yet to notice my presence; they were too focused on their release. It was clearly obvious that my presence in this cavern was a huge mistake. I should never have come.  

The situation continued to worsen as I realized fully that the cavern wasn’t only collapsing, because it couldn’t just be that simple, could it? An immense monolithic creature was breaking free from the ceiling, causing huge chunks of rock to fall around me in every direction. The cavern was quickly becoming a whirlpool as all of the creatures swam in a circular pattern, causing the ceiling to break faster as blasts of heated water crashed against it again and again. The water continued to spin more and more rapidly with each passing second.

The cavern had expanded exponentially now that the monolithic creature had been freed from its prison within the walls, even though it now seemed so small with all the creatures swirling around inside. The multitude of creatures was bringing the water to a boil and I knew I had to get out, not because the heat could harm me, but, because of how many creatures there were, there was the possibility of them being able to hurt me, and I was not really the biggest fan of pain.  

            I dashed to the exit with all the speed I could muster. Within moments I was back in the Spectral Cavern, it would have been even shorter if I hadn’t rammed into so many of the walls with my frantic movements, but, on the upside, I did cause a lot of cave-ins. I waited in cavern, listening again for the sounds of the creatures. They were following, all of them were. I hadn’t really been foolish enough to assume they wouldn’t, but I had hoped they wouldn’t nonetheless.

What did I just do? I thought to myself as the floor beneath me cracked and crumbled. I could see the creatures en masse moving in for what I knew they believed would be a kill. They must have assumed that I was confined to the oceans as they were. The creatures were predators, beings of prey, but they weren’t fast enough to catch me. I had exited the cavern and blasted off from the ocean floor to the surface and could be found hovering above the waves in a heartbeat. The waves writhed as if they were in pain, tumbling like they were in the midst of a hurricane, but no wind blew, no rain fell, no lightning struck, and no thunder roared. The sky was echoing with the malevolent crashing of the waves amidst a dark and deathly looking sky.

            I looked down upon the tumultuous waves; whirlpools began to form at random intervals, burrowing deep into the oceans depths. A noise like shattering glass sounded beneath me. One of the creatures was shooting into the sky in an attempt to intercept me in mid-air. My fist shot out manically, hitting the creature on the head, but not killing it. It caused my heart to jump and I panicked, rising higher. I stared down at the creature as it crashed back down into the roiling waves, propelled faster by the force of my punch.

Below I observed hundreds of spiny fins rising above the deafening waters. They could be seen separating into lethal packs and zipping across the expanses of the oceans, disappearing like ghosts into the dark depths of the vast expanse of water. I knew their strength. They would destroy everything they came in contact with. They were ready to leave their mark on the Earth, and they would torment the oceans until something stopped them, but what could possibly stop them? I flew higher, horrified by the sight of the few creatures that still circled far beneath me. Everything within me was calling for me to run, to try my luck with the unknown expanses of space, to abandon the planet that I had called home for so long, and I began to rise far beyond the heights I had dared to go before.

It seemed that my time on Earth had come to an end. I would find my own way; forge a path that no one could follow. This planet could protect itself. They had nukes and weapons that could do far better than I could against these creatures.

“This isn’t my battle,” I said to myself as I exited the atmosphere. “I have lived all I can here on this world.” A boom sounded as I broke through the sound barrier. When I exited the space of Earth’s gravity, my speed increased even further, faster than I had ever flown before in my life. It was freeing. I shot forward, increasing my speed to even greater limits and propelling myself further into space, past the sun, past all that I knew and held dear, the friends I had just come to cherish, my family, and the place that I called home. I wouldn’t come back. I couldn’t. I no longer had a place in the world.



© 2016 Andrew M. Davis


Author's Note

Andrew M. Davis
Hope you enjoy! This is the link to my wattpad account - If you get to this point, if you could, go here, create an account if you don't have one already and give me a few extra views and votes! It'll help me out a lot and I'll appreciate it so much! https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/75264681-genesis

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Added on June 23, 2016
Last Updated on July 12, 2016
Tags: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Magic, Power, Superheroes, Dark, Story, Teen, Young Adult, College


Author

Andrew M. Davis
Andrew M. Davis

Roseville, MN



About
My name is Andrew Davis. I am an avid writer who spends most of his time writing in the realm of Sci-fi/Fantasy. I have written two novels with the overarching title of Genesis. The first one is self-.. more..

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