3–The Vessel

[Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.]

            “Hey, buddy! You’re coming with me.” Was all I heard as the monster caused the world to lose all reason.

            Now, don’t worry, I am going to give some backstory…I just wanted to use that opening line to sound dramatic. Which, in all honesty, my story needs, because the backstory isn’t dramatic at all. It starts boring, then becomes confusing.

            It began on a Friday. I was on the school bus going home after a stressful day of questioning every choice I made on the several tests I took. Seriously, it was like the teachers of all the most difficult classes gathered to decide on a single date for them to hold their most strenuous tests, as if they had a grudge against us!

Anyway, it was on the bus that I received a boon of good fortune from the Heavens! My best friend, Sarah, had just texted me saying her parents agreed to let her play the most anticipated game that came out that year. When the game first came out I wasn’t all that excited because it’s a multiplayer game and I was 90% sure Sarah’s parents wouldn’t let her play it. Why? BECAUSE IT’S THE BLOODIEST GAME IN EXISTENCE! It’s not inappropriate in any other way, just really bloody. Despite that, her parents seemed to be adamant about not “tainting” their daughter by purchasing it for her (I often wonder how such a cool person came to be after being raised by them). Which is why the news that they changed their minds was enough to convert the doom and gloom in me to joy and…no synonym of joy rhymes with it. Oh well, I was very happy!

As if there wasn’t enough to be thankful for, Sarah and I could even begin our gaming session immediately after school! So there I was, running home from where my bus dropped me off, so quick that I was a blur in the eyes of anyone who looked! Or not. Truthfully, there was no one around to tell me if that was the case.

After arriving at my house I threw off my shoes and took off my coat, probably putting them where they belong? I don’t know, I was too excited to pay much attention to that. I raced up the stairs and entered my room, throwing my backpack into a corner before turning on my computer. However, being preoccupied with thoughts of gaming, I forgot that…my damn computer can run the heaviest of games on the highest quality, but it’s slower than a sick slug sleepy from…swimming? Can slugs swim? Doesn’t matter! My computer is slow to start up!

With time to kill, I took my phone out of my pocket and checked to see if any good channels uploaded anything on YouTube. Thankfully, one did! A beloved channel about cute animals put up a compilation of cats making fools of themselves. Oooooh the cuteness! Although, it is sad when a cat fails a jump, because the collision with the ground looks like it hurt…

            It was near the end of the video when my computer finally displayed the login window, and upon logging in, I saw that Sarah messaged me saying she was fully prepared and awaiting my call.

            “This marks the beginning of our adventure…” I whispered to myself, my mouse cursor hovering over the call option.

            Then, something strange happened. My body, almost all at once, began losing strength. My fingers could not hold onto the mouse, my eyes became unfocused, and I struggled to stay upright. Yet, I could barely notice all that because my senses went mad! I couldn’t tell if I was hearing electrical screams or silence, my nose transmitted several random smells at a time, and when I reached for my phone, my legs moved as if to stand up. I might have also released flatulence, but it was incredibly difficult to tell.

            Twas then when I felt the faint presence of something to my left, and through all the disorientation coursing through me, I flopped my head to the side, trying to see whatever was there.

            Thankfully, my body wasn’t under my control, because that glance would have caused me to s*** myself. Instead of the figure of a human, my eyes told me I saw a giant covered in fur.

            “Hey, buddy! You’re coming with me.” I then heard a voice say. Or rather, felt? I’m still not completely sure how to describe it because my senses were all loopy, yet I’d received the message so clearly that the words shocked me into forgetting that a possible monster stood beside me.

            “Whoops! I forgot to protect it from the spatial distortions…good thing no one saw that.” Was the second thing I “heard” before the disorientation suddenly disappeared. Having regained my bearings, I sent orders to my limbs, swiftly picking up my phone and moving to stand so that I could put my gaming chair between me and the large monster.

            But my plans were foiled.

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            Even faster than I could blink, I was suddenly not within my bedroom anymore. Instead, I fell on my bum in an unflattering position and scrambled to my feet, heart racing, eyes dashing back and forth to soak in the new environment and assess the situation. Fortunately, the monster was ever so kind enough to explain to me what was going on.

            “I’m a delivery man and have temporarily kidnapped you to prove someone wrong. Be a good mortal and stay put because you’re completely safe and I’ll return you to your home when I finish my deliveries.”

            Ever. So. Kind.

            Unsurprisingly, the monster’s words didn’t placate me any more than the words of a stranger who kidnapped me could be trusted. I backed up from the giant furred figure, preparing to dial 911 with one hand while searching my pockets for a weapon with the other. Though, it was only a few steps backward later that new sounds paralyzed me. In between deep, ragged breaths was a pattern of sounds that resembled speech, but of no language I’d ever heard.

            Though reluctant to turn my back on the furry monster standing near me, I spun on my heels to see…a beast! Within a red cage of some sort was a scaly beast larger than a fully grown tiger, covered in messy splotches of color and seemingly curled up in a ball. Just another form of danger to me, because despite being within a cage, the scaled beast was definitely not trapped! The bars which supported the roof of the red cage were spread far enough for even an African elephant to pass through!

            Knees shaking, I dropped to the hard ground beneath me, fingers still tightly wound around my phone as though the police could save me. What could they do? On one side of me was a tall, muscular monster covered in brown fur, and on the other, a scaled beast that looked like it ate rhinos for breakfast!

            While I hopelessly shook on the ground, the scaled beast and the furred giant seemed to hold a conversation in that strange language. I watched as the scaled beast grumbled and hissed something which caused the furred giant to pause, as if thinking over something. Then, the giant flicked his hand, making an object appear before tossing it through the bars of the red cage. Seemingly planned, the object landed on the beast’s snout, where it stayed for a few seconds before disappearing entirely. Just, poof. Gone.

            “Primitive language, but I suppose it works for your people.”

            For the umpteenth time in those few minutes, I was shaken.

            “Judging by your reaction to everything, you probably don’t understand anything of the situation. Do you?”

            Receiving nothing but distressed silence, the beast continued. “Look, that man over there wouldn’t sully his reputation by lying to a mortal. When he said that you’re safe, he meant it. Now, I don’t fully understand the situation either, but I know infinitely more than you. If you’ll calm down, maybe we’ll have a chat? That man isn’t much of a talker, so I’ve been pretty bored. Would you care to spend some time with me?”

            Understanding everything he said, I tried calming myself down by steadying my breathing and relaxing my shoulders, which I hadn’t noticed were taut. The unidentified creature seemed to be telling the truth…and there was probably nothing else I could do but listen to it.

            “T-thank you.” I stammered.

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            If I judged correctly, the beast then wore a pleased expression. “It is no problem at all, mortal.”

            Realizing there hadn’t been any introductions, I blurted out, “Uhh, hi! I’m Faebyen…”

            The scaled creature moved, startling me a bit and almost causing me to flee out of instinct, but it just repositioned itself. Instead of being curled up in a swirl, it then laid flat on its belly facing me.

            “Greetings, Faebyen. I’m called…” The creature paused for a good few seconds before continuing with, “My name is in a language likely difficult to pronounce for you, so I’ll ask, what creature do I most resemble from your homeworld?”

            Still too riled up to completely process all implications of the creature’s words, I did my best to answer its question. It had a long, scaled body with only two front limbs. Ridges and bumps were equally distributed along it, and its hands, or paws, had claws on the end of its digits. It was definitely not a creature of Earth, as far as I knew, but one could say it resembled a…

            “Dragon.” I replied. “You look kind of like a dragon.”

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