"No," screamed Kyna. She ducked and covered her head with her arms. She felt the breeze of the blade as it swung and missed her head by centimeters. Oh hell no. That felt way too real to be just a dream.
"Girl, what's wrong with you," said Shandrea. Her mouth was open in shock as if a giant pimple monster had sprouted from Kyna's neck. Flailing its arms around and screamed look at me. "What you're doing down there?"
"Sorry," mumbled Kyna. Unawares, she scrunched down onto her haunches on the bus floor. She'd known she ducked in the dream but was completely unaware she did it in real life too. She picked herself up and tried not to notice the smirks and the WTF she smoking looks from the other passengers, as she sat back down into her seat. "Bad dream."
"You sure you alright." Shandrea leaned over and felt Kyna's forehead. "You looking kinda pale."
"Yeah," said Kyna. She gently pushed away Shandrea's hand. And checked under the seats and the aisle from the corner of her eye for anything too green and blade-y. "I'm fine. Just a crazy day dream."
But if felt so real. Too real.
A sense of foreboding settled in her chest, creeping around like feelers. She didn't know why but Kyna was suddenly afraid to fall asleep again.
Her pulse raced as she kept her head straight and gave her utmost concentration to Shandrea praising her newest hero Cookie. And their latest debate about what'll happen in next week's episode.
They were so deep in their conversation they never noticed that only Kyna hadn't joined in, pumping them for information like always. Because of her part-time job at night, she'd always missed it. But would catch up the next night she had off thanks to HULU anyways. She didn't mind getting spoiled.
As Kyna fell into step with her friends, she glanced at every lamp posts and in between parked cars for any speck of green from suspicious meadows, as they walked towards the entrance of Gerald Ford High School. Seven floors of slate gray concrete and windows, 108 classes and three thousand people worth of heaven and hell, including teachers and administrative staff, depending on which hierarchy you'd fall under. Think of it like a pyramid, with the losers and the loathsome at the very bottom, and the crème de la crème reigning supreme at the very top. Teachers, staff, security were at the bottom. Sports and academic stars at the apex. Goths and any other alt-conformists waffled in the middle. BO, pimply and quiet freaks- most likely to become serial killers- were second to bottom.
If she had to place where she and her friends would be placed, she'd say above the Goths and a few places below the jocks, brainiacs and popular kids.
The bodega straight ahead and across the street, called to her. She'd left school grounds to buy snacks or a hot ham-cheese sandwich hundreds of times. But she'd never once bought anything than what she planned to today.
She never had the need to. Now something whispered in her heart that she had to stay awake today. No matter what.
"You guys?" Her friends stopped at the threshold of school yard and street sidewalk. She pointed towards the store and said over her shoulder as she kept walking, "I'm going to buy something real quick."
Shandrea was the only one who followed, with an unabashedly relieved face from being the third wheel again, falling into step with her.
"Oh thank god." She brushed her fingers through her now blue hair and gave Kyna a side-long glance of mock loathing. "Being alone, twice in one day, with those two is torture. I still blame you, you know."
"Yeah, yeah." They crossed the street and Kyna pulled open the door. "I'll buy you something if you stop complaining."
"Make it two things and you've got a deal," bartered Shandrea before disappearing into aisle on her right.
Kyna headed to the register and rapped her knuckles on the plastic counter, ignoring all the chocolate wrapped goodies. A middle-aged man with coiled black hair spilling over his forehead, jauntily walked over from the back room, smiling way too cheerily for so early in the morning.
"Good morning miss."
"Yeah." Whatever thought Kyna as she looked top, right and left until she spotted the tiny red and yellow bottle. "How much for a 5-energy?"
"5 hour energy?" She nodded impatiently. That's what she said. "Two dollar."
"Get me two." Kyna reached into her front pocket for her wallet and gave him a starch crisp dollar bill when Shandrea dropped a bag of Doritos and Drake Devil Dogs. "these too."
He packed their items in a black plastic bag before she could tell him not pack away her stuff. She reached out her hand to tell him to take out her stuff and get her change but froze. The store, its owner and Shandrea had vanished.
She was back in the field again. But this time she watched as sword boy ran and disappeared into the trees. She heard the clanging of metal and guttural shouts and knew he was running towards it. She opened her mouth to yell after him no to. Despite his behavior last time, she didn't want the stupid idiot to actually run into danger. No matter how capable he looked with the sword, this was one battle he wouldn't win.
A sharp jab to her ribs brought her back and away from him before she could warn some sense into him. Back to a wide eyed and concerned Shandrea.
Damn her and her knobbly elbow. "What?"
"I asked you what you get. But you just stood there. Asleep." Shandrea touched her forehead to check her temperature.
"I was sleeping?" Kyna felt like she was there. That place, that guy, was real. Just as real as her friend and the store owner. Was she losing her mind?
"Yeah. While standing. Only seen stuff like that on the train or the bus. At least they had something holding them up. You look like you were about to keel over."
She'd fallen asleep in the middle of getting change?
"Sure you aight?"
Fuck that shit. She pocketed her change, took the bag and fished out both bottles, pocketing one.
"I'm fine." Or at least I will be thought Kyna as she wrenched off the cap and guzzled all 1.93 fluid ounces of hope.
YOU ARE READING
The Soul TravelerFantasy
Kyna Lynn James always dreamed of a better life for herself than the one she has. And she aims to make it a reality by working hard in school and applying to scholarships so she can get the hell out of the Bronx. But until then she deals by escaping...