It’s a good thing Jun, Kevin and Marina took the liberty of setting up their packed suitcases by the front door or else they would have missed this bus. Leo sat in the middle of the bus at a window seat. Lyn sat across from him where the isle would be between them. She also had a window seat.
They were in one of those huge buses called grand coach. They rode for about 20 minutes before the bus stopped to pick up another person. He looked into the aisle to see who was coming on. It was none other then Ace Arclight. Leo’s known Ace for quite sometime now. He remembers the time they got lectured by the principle for switching the locks of a rival middle school sport team’s lockers. They had to travel home still wearing their net-ball sport gear. It was pretty funny. It wasn’t funny the next day when they stuck in the principle’s office all day.
Leo beckoned to him. He saw Leo and went to sit next to him. Leo got up so he could sit next to the isle and Ace would be next to the window.
“Where’s Lyn?” he asked. Leo leaned back so he could see her. He caught her attention. “Hello Ace.” She said.
“Sup, mama,” he replied. Lyn shook her head and continued reading her book. “You see that? She totally digs me.” He said with infinite confidence and nonchalance.
The last thing Leo remembered is the bus making yet another stop for another student. We’ll never get there at this rate, he thought quietly. An extended bus ride wouldn’t help calm his nerves. Then he dozed off. He then realized he was dreaming. He was alone. Naked is what he felt, and he couldn’t find himself able to look at anything else but at the vast, dead wasteland that lay before him. He turned around in circles trying to make sense of what he was looking at. He was strangely reminded of a time long ago when he had gotten separated from his family unit after attending a public district town hall meeting. He wailed for minutes that seemed like hours as the faces of strangers passed by the lost little boy. No one tried to help him as they may have thought he wasn’t a resident of Tallor and didn’t belong here. But nothing compared to the cold isolation he felt now. There was nothing but large brown rocky hills and harsh unfertile ground. No sign of life anywhere, accept this, ominous looking tree. It was completely white and had no leaves. Leo gazed at it, he could have sworn it wasn‘t there five seconds ago. He glanced skyward as a stirring had caught his attention. The sky itself glowed and eerie red with black clouds. The weight of his fear suddenly felt like it weighed a ton, and crashed on his very being.
‘Keep it together kid, it’s just a dream!’ he wanted to shout out, but no sound was heard. A dream it was, but Leo knew something strange was about it. He just didn’t know what.
Then from the ground, about 20 feet away, raised wisps and wisps of shadows and darkness. The wisps soon became as thick as fog and slowly began forming high in the air. A marvelous but eerie sight, indeed. Leo was suddenly welled up with fear. The clouds above formed an arc around this ever-growing fog. Then from out of the thick, black darkness, a HUGE curved blade shot out of it. Leo has seen different types of weapons in his studies about warfare in the times of Napoleon and the Chinese Dynasties, but none like this. Leo watched in horror as huge skeleton-like hands materialized from the fog to wield such an awesome weapon. A shock wave of dust and rock flew from the sheer power of this awesome monstrosity. He could feel blood trickling down from his nose and forehead. Then Leo knew. He knew what made this dream so strange. He can feel his bare feet on the rocks. He can feel the shock of stone and dust. In dreams, feeling physical events and occurrences shouldn’t normally happen, at least not so…vividly. It’s just the brain’s perception on how it will feel to have something happen to you. He could feel it all as if it were real. Even the persistent thumping in his chest.
‘No’ he wanted to say. ‘Don’t look this way.’ He couldn’t bring himself to form the words, as the monstrosity turned a sickly hand to beckon him.
Everything went black. Leo could hear his panicked friends calling his name and he could feel someone holding him. Leo! Leo! The voices were disembodied and anxious. His breathing was stiff and all he could see was white. Moments later he could vaguely see Lyn’s face looking down on him and the face of some other student that had gotten up from the seat in front of him to see what was the commotion. Ace had been holding him down into the seat by the shoulders.
“What the hell dude? You go ahead and have a seizure on me?” Ace yelled, barely able to shout between his panicked breaths. Leo’s head was still in the dream.
“What?” he said drunkenly, looking at him.
“Are you Ok, Leo?” He turned his head to the left toward the familiar voice. “You scared me to death.” Lyn said patting her chest. As Leo looked around he could see that he caught most of the bus’s attention. Nothing like this has ever happen to him before. He was more scared than embarrassed. “I’m alright” Leo replied.“Here, clean yourself up.” Ace said to him holding up a tissue. Leo looked at him confused. Ace pointed around his own upper lip. Leo used his arm to wipe his face on the place Ace indicated. Leo was surprised to see blood all over his sleeve. He had a bad nose bleed. Leo looked back up to Ace and smiled, ready to accept his napkin offer. “Some dream you had there.” As Leo reached for the napkin he caught a glimpse of the bus window behind Ace. His brain didn’t even get the chance to comprehend the 18-wheel Carbonaine vehicle that was speeding toward them.