I wanted to talk a bit about determination while I was at the Garfield Conservatory. This is part of my ‘become the main character of your life’ series. If you want see the the blog post that goes along with it, here it is: https://wp.me/p5y43M-yl
Hey guys! I wanted to give you my favorite resources for defining a personality type. These are great to go through if you are confused about what you want to do with your life or if you want to express why you are different from other people.
Let’s start off with the Myers Briggs types. Now I’m sure you’ve heard of this before but I wanted to give you other options than taking they very long test. This first video by psych2go breaks down what each letter stands for. The video right after that has each of the 16 types listed out and the traits of each. Even if you aren’t trying to write a character it’s a very useful video.
Sokanu Career Test is an absolutely brilliant test that looks at what kind of job would be best for you based on your values, personality and preferences. In the first third of the quiz they already had identified the three main jobs I was interested in. By the end of it, they had a very interesting mix of jobs I had and hadn’t seen before. I fully recommend this tool!6 Fascinating Character Types is a VERY short article that talks about a few different characters types you see in writing. If you’ve seen my post on the six types of main characters you’ll notice some differences. I focus on the character pre-flaw whereas this posthas much more human characteristics.
I hope you found this helpful! What other ways do you know of categorizing personality traits?
There are many types of main characters across all types of media. As humans, we love to connect and empathize with our main characters so they need to be as deep and complex as we are. But when you look at all characters more generally I believe you can break them down into five different classes based on how they act consistently through the whole story. I call these
The Five Types of Badass
These hold true for any type of media from video games to TV, from anime to film. But if you come up with anyone who doesn’t fit the mold please let me know in the comments section below! I’d also love to hear about characters from other cultures around the world.
These are the most common ones in American media. In most Hollywood movies, shounen anime, and almost all video games, the main character is a boss, a badass who can take on just about anything. He rarely fails and is looked up to and admired by the other characters in the film. They strive to win, not just play the game.
Jason Bourne, 007, Saitama (one punch man), Goku and many others fall into this category.
For those who motivation comes from wanting to help others and whose first thought is of what others will think, the try-hard friend is the right fit. These people want to be loved more than anything and get their strength by protecting others. When not in danger, they only want to be hanging out with the people who make them happy. Either introverts or extroverts, they are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. And they are totally badass! They are and an absolute angel to everyone who knows them and saves other constantly even just emotionally.
Harry Potter, Forrest Gump, Sheriff Woody (toy story), and other sweethearts make up this section.
He walks into a room and all eyes on him. He can make anyone fall in love with him. With a simple confidence about him and a lot of charm, the suave romantic is always adored. Woman too can be the romantic type and fit into this category, but if they are a hopeless romantic or embarrassed by love they are bumped into the try-hard character category. The thing that makes them so badass is all of their charisma points that the use to take over the world.
Tamaki (Ouran high school host club), Jack Dawson (Titanic) Romeo, and you could probably even put Snape on this list in some twisted way.
Fun Loving Adventurer
The point of life is to have fun! Those people who want to go on an adventure for the sake of going on an adventure are the main part of this group. They are the type of person to go with the flow. With luck on their side, they often have a very positive outlook on life and everything just seems to work out for them.
Rin Okumura (Blue Exorcist) Captin Jack Sparrow, Ace Ventura, Moana
They can solve anything, make anything, do anything with enough thought. These characters can outsmart anyone and most machines. Some of these people are tech nerds, some are social manipulators, all of them are confident in their abilities and ready to play the game. They are often natural leaders and others look to them for advice.
Batman, Lelouch Vi Britannia (Code Geass), L (death note) Iron Man, and Indiana Jones, Shawn Spencer (psych) are some of the geniuses who fit best.
You are full of hidden potential. Secret weapons know a lot, they can do a lot of different things but don’t let on to others that they are so capable. They pretend to be a side character but are actually essential to the plot. They might not know their own strength but are very capable. If you don’t know what your talents are or are very split about who you think you are then this is the section for you. Living your life on slow and enjoying the times is fine but every once in a while you have to show your true colors.
Yuri (Yuri on Ice), Marty Mcfly (back to the future), Jake Sully (Avatar), Charlie Bucket (willy wonka) and many others fit here perfectly.
You might not fit into just one category! But when you’re just starting to change your life, I find it helps to pick just one to start with and then add on the others later. Take this quiz to see which one I sort you into and tell me if you think I’m right!
And don’t forget to get the checklist to become the main character of YOUR life!
I started saying “Everything always works out for me” when I was in middle school. I realized that no matter what I did time would keep on passing. And because I was still alive everything must be working out for me. I wasn’t paralyzed, I was recovering from my dyslexia, I had a wonderful family and even if I was stressed over a test or being popular, time would keep passing and that would no longer be a problem, eventually.
This doesn’t make sense to everyone but I adopted it as my catchphrase for many years. It motivated me to get through hard times and my family would repeat it back to me when I was upset. It kept me going through rough times.
So how do you create a personal mantra?
Get inspiration by going on Pinterest. There are lots of board of motivational sayings. Including my small one. These are good starting places. If one envokes a very strong feeling in you it might be a keeper.
Keep it short
When choosing a saying make sure it’s something that’s short and easy to say. You want this to be something that is memorable and easy for others to get with a lot of explanation.
There are tons of affirmations out there for you to choose from. I’d suggest picking just one thing you want to work on. This should be something you return to whenever you are having a hard time. You want to pick something that will make you happy or remind you of your goal.
Try saying it loud.
Does it make you feel confident? You can’t have a catchphrase unless you’re willing to say it at least once a week. Don’t be afraid to say it to others at let them know what you stand for. Make sure it represents who you are and who you want to become. Mine was confident, carefree and youthful, what are to components of yours?
Every main character is different. Some are strong, some are funny, some are lovable. But there is one trait all main characters have:
Some are determined to stop Voldemort
Some are determined to find love
Every single one wants something. Whether or not he wants to go on the quest he does desire something that can be achieved by going or else he would have stayed home and
But the thing that separates main characters from the supporting cast is not that they achieve their goal, plenty of characters fail over and over, but they keep on trying.
It is their determination to get the thing they want that allows them to rise above the rest and be the main character.
So it’s not enough to just kinda want to become the main character of your life, you must be determined to be better, determined to be the very best like no one ever was.
The easiest way to develop determination is to define what success is so you aren’t aiming for an impossible goal. To help you define what type of character you want to be and take steps to become this person move into the next part of the series!
You’ll never quite know how valuable a life is until you take one for yourself. It’s sudden, when a life drains from the life of your opponent. But you know it’s a necessary evil. The monsters drop one by one, they’ve never seen a gun before.
The first one you’ll kill will be the toughest. A triceratops. A baby. When it falls it will leave a heavy weight on your shoulders. You’ll bury it under a thin layer of dirt. Next time you’ll bring a shovel.
It won’t be long before you go after another one. It will be bigger, a Titanosaur. Your father taught you that. You bury this one deeper, preserve it better.
Interest builds when they dig up your Pachycephalosaurus. You realise this is going to be happening much more often. Marking your location gets harder as your dad gets much more famous. They say your intuition is spot on. You don’t know what it means but that’s ok.
The money lets daddy get a bigger house. He’s nearly famous and your house nearly a museum. You start feeling like taking lives is worth it. The maid replaces your mom. The raptors die. Your dad is more busy with the more kills you make. The butler takes over his house work. You don’t have to go to school. You know more about the dinosaurs than the professionals; you’ve seen them.
You’re older now, used to you job. The killing is easier, cleaner. You aren’t as worried about showing off the time stone, it fits comfortably in your hand. Dad was supposed to be home but there are two black cars outside. You come in quietly. He’s on the floor in the living room, agents are standing over him, questioning him. You hide the stone but it’s not good enough.
You’re questioned and they take it from you. You don’t say what it’s really for. Silence is the key, you speak as little as possible. They don’t know how you kill them. They need to talk to your dad more. To bad he doesn’t know anything.
They put you on a plane. The ride takes hours. Your cousin was raised in Japan with your aunt and uncle. You speak little Japanese but they’re the only family you’ve got. They put you in the attic. It’s small and cold, nothing like the mansion in the hilltop. They put you in school with him. It doesn’t help you’re a couple grade levels ahead of him.
You stay quiet in class. Keep your head down. Be respectful. You’re worried about your dad. You’re worried your brain will cave in. You’re worried about wording to much. Hikaru says you can’t worry yourself too much. Hikaru has bad grades. He likes to try speaking English at the dinner table. He doesn’t understand.
The adults grieve for you. They worry about you. You are cold to them because you have to much on your mind. Hikaru is worried about you too. He says to make friends.
Yuki tried to talk to you in class. You didn’t understand what he said. There was something about a club. You act shy but know you’re a killer. He’s cute, sweet even. He sits by you in class and keeps you from being picked on.
You’ve gotten pretty good at Japanese by the time Shion sits across the table from you. You know he’s been teasing you. Ignoring him is the only thing that shuts him up. He comes over to the house, one of Hikaru’s friends. You lock yourself in the attic.
Hikaru tells you to meet him in a different room after class. You get lost but find it and open the door. It smells of roses and sunshine pours in through the windows onto the huge open room. The tables are glass and sparkling and the room chatters happily. You tug the door closed but there he is, holding the door open. Sora’s eyes shine like the sky. He brings you into the room, flirtatious as always. Yuki and Shion are there. They are treating some girls to a tray of sweets. Hikaru is nowhere in sight.
Sora can speak English better than anyone. He’s move to Japan when he was 12. He started the club where they treat girls right. He calls it a host club, and gives me some tea. He asks about Hikaru and then runs me down on the rules. No touching only treating the girls like princess.
Hikaru is late. He comes in with his satule open and papers flying everywhere. Others find him attractive. He’s indoctrinated me into the club. I’m supposed to be the shy guy. I guess I was popular.
The first girl was Ame. It looked like she had silky hair. She liked to talk and wouldn’t mind if I didn’t say a word. I liked to listen to her stories, they taught me more Japanese.
Next was Toru. She came from another boy who graduated. She was a sad girl. I tried to care for her. Sora said I did well. I trust him.
The others wanted to hang out. They would skate board over to the house and we’d all go down town. Ikuto was there. He was a pushover but I liked him. Sora made eye contact with me a lot. He said a lot to me. I didn’t like to respond but he kept talking.
Things were easy. We had fun. Then one day it changed. It was near the end of the year. No one wanted to say good bye. The host club took the girls out to the museum of natural history. The boys didn’t know anything. I taught them all about each skeleton. I had brought down some of these beasts. I didn’t tell them that. The girls swooned. Sora was impressed. I liked the way he smiled at me.
Some creep showed up. He hung around the back of the girls. I could tell the club was watching him. We were all worried. He grabbed a girl’s butt. I stepped right up to him and grabbed his arm. He was plastered against the wall, quaking under my shouts. When I left him to help the girls they all clumped around me. I was much more popular then. There was a glittery stone on display that I wanted. No one noticed when the clumsy guy knocked the display over. The security guard didn’t know anything was missing.
That night Hikaru told me I could go back home for summer. I wasn’t as happy as I thought. He told the club too. I went out into the woods that night with the stone. When I hunted my pray I was grinning. I found it by the sea shore and slaughtered it with a box cutter and too much dry air. I buried it and said a prayer.
I surprised the guys with tickets to England by the end of the week. They were all thrilled. The plane ride was much less boring. I was happy to drive the up to the house on the hill. They were very impressed. I introduced the maid and butler. They had taken very good care of the house while I was gone.
The next morning I came down for breakfast in a sundress. Everyone was dead silent and stared at me. I got worried. Sora was the last to speak but the first one I understood. ‘Boku’. I had been referring to myself as male like my dad had. They thought I was a boy. They all seemed confused. I understood. But Sora was different. He seemed more relaxed around me, more joking.
I set up a dance at my place. I wished my dad had been there. The long red and gold dress I had on made the boys blush. I set them up one by one with my old friends. Sora seemed pissed by the time I had finished setting up the others. He asked the me where his wife was. That wasn’t something he would normally say. I said on the deck and he walked outside.
I followed him out and closed the door. He was dense at first so I just kissed him. He turned into an emotional mess after that. He danced well though. Sora treated me like a princess long after we finished dating. My dad was back in time to see our wedding.
This is the start of a short story…
The rope burned against my wrists. My skin was rubbed raw I tried to wriggle free of it again. I bit my lip, the blindfold falling further over my eyes. The room was so loud I couldn’t make out what anyone was saying. Chatter was ramped. Lots of were people walking around me, laughing and yelling. I was stuck to a rough wooden pole. I jerked away from it again, my vest jingling slightly. Then I felt another hand grab my chin and turn my head up and away from my shoulder. It had been useless to fight against this tug before so this time I went along with it. I grimaced at the long cold fingers that grabbed me.
My heart pounded in my throat. I was usually able to keep my cool but not today, not here. Struggling against the ropes again, I heard a shout in my direction. I went limp and pulled my head away from the stranger’s hands. The fingers left me and I heard him walk away. There were people all around me. I knew it would be impossible to escape but I couldn’t just give up. Another hand found me, but this one didn’t go right to grab my head, it was on my shoulder. This grip was softer but with a large hand. He nudged me back against the post. More loud talking, right in front of me. Then the hand left me.
The blindfold was tugged off my face. Right in front of me were bright gray eyes that studied me. He smiled at me as I blinked and tried to focus on him so close to me. The man, just a little older than me, maybe 25, pulled away from me and turned say something to the person beside him. I still didn’t understand what he said. I looked around him. Other kids, gaged, blindfolded and attached to pillars stretched the length of the room.
Walking up and down the line of children were men in large dark clothes right out of the gothic era. They were all talking loudly as some crowded around kids and looked at them. The young man looked back at me, and this time when he grinned I could see his fangs. It had been just what I feared, a vampire den. The man brushed whips of hair out of my face. He leaned forward, getting closer and closer to me. His eyes drifted to my neck and I went stiff. I tried to burrow my head into my shoulders. The vampire pulled back slightly and looked at me.
His hand found the side of my face. He studied me.
“The more you relax, the less this will hurt.” His English was smothered with a thick vamprish accent.
I had never heard a vampire speak English. He was going to suck my blood, whether I let him or not. Every inch of my skin crawled. I wanted him away from me, dead in a ditch so he couldn’t devour any more of my friends. But here I was, stuck in front of him at his mercy. I closed my eyes. I would die with honor, not fear.
Straightening my head and relaxing my shoulders, I kept my eyes closed. He gently brushed more hair out of the way. I could feel him get close to me and his teeth brushed up against my neck. My whole body got tense and my hands immediately turned to fists. Something of a fine point, like that of a nail or a needle, broke my skin near my jaw. Then, before his other fang even touched me, he pulled away.
“What am I thinking.” He laughed and looked at the seller. “Were you just going to let me eat him and not pay for him first?”
A wave of conversation washed over me. I could suddenly understand everyone. The vampire before me, in a vest with a black button down, took out a wallet and handed over some cash money to the person beside me. Then he looked back at me, looking up and down my body.
“What’s all this you have on you?” He asked.
I looked down at myself, the guns and knives and crosses that were supposed to be tucked away in my pockets were now hanging by their chains. My bag of garlic was missing as were the wooden stake crosses I should have had strapped to my back.
“Go ahead, speak.” He said.
I opened my mouth but my body was still in shock from being bitten. My vocal chords won’t work, not to mention I didn’t speak any of the vampiric languages.
“You’re a hunter, aren’t you?” He spoke coldly. “Can I play a game with you? Since you can’t speak just listen. I’ll cut your rope and you can do one of two things. One: you may run. The exit is just down this far hall and you take a left at the fork. Or two: you can submit to me by falling to your knees and not get up.” I glared at him as he smiled. “Do you think you can get past all these vampires unscathed? Let’s begin.”
He took the knife that was dangling from my side and slashed the rope behind my back. I lost my balance with the sudden release of strain on my hands. On my knees, I slowly raised my head and looked at him. Taking a deep breath, I shut my eyes. Then I stood up and bolted straight down the hall, past him and all the other vampires. I broke my hands out of the last of the rope and shook them. Rubbing the trickle of blood off my neck, I looked at my hand and smirked.
All my good weapons were gone. I pulled the gun from my waist and held it tightly by me. I snatched that hat off of someone I passed. Putting it on my head I realized It was not a good enough disguise. I could see heads turning as I rushed by. Up ahead I could see a dead end. Breathing as carefully as possible while running for my life, I saw a door off to the side. I threw it open and ran inside. The first vampire on the other side of the door got smacked over the head with my gun. He stumbled back and stared at me.
I felt a cold hand wrap around my wrist. It was pulling my inside where kids lay dead all around my feet. I jerked away from it and tried to get myself back out into the hall. Someone tripped me and grabbed my arms to pull me into a group of three hungry jaws. I could see fangs closing in on me from all angles. My gun dryfired, they had taken all the bullets too. Accepting the last moment of my life, I was calmed by the thought that I had fought up to the very end. The gang hopefully would find resolve in knowing, or at least believe that.
Then I felt a tug on my neck. I fell out of the grasps of the three men who had surrounded me. A gentle arm was placed around my collarbone. The vampire with gray eyes bent down beside my head. I felt a cloth wrap it’s way around my neck.
“Sorry boys, this one’s taken.” He said and kissed my hairline.
He finished wrapping my neck with the transparent cloth and a light glowed from my neck for an instant. I could see, in the reflection of a large button on the cloak of the man in front of me that a black symbol somewhat like the outline of a forest had appeared right over the wound on my neck. The vampire then turned me around by using his arm as leverage and started walking me back the way we came.
I pulled away from him, ducking out from under his arm. As I tried to run, my head whipped back. The vampire was holding my hood and he was pulling me down the dark hall. His glowing eyes cast a gaze at me that I could only read as ‘where do you think you’re going?’ And I turned around to walk beside him. His instructions to get to the exit had been accurate and it occurred to me that if I had done what he said I might have been able to escape.
He shoved the door open and we were out of the auction room and in the cold night air. I looked up at the sky. There was still a lot of black smoke in the air, blocking out the sun. It couldn’t have been very long since I was kidnapped. The darkness the vampire’s polluted the sky with only lasted 13 days. I had been kidnapped on the fourth day of darkness.
“Have you found your voice yet?” He asked as we stood just outside of the building.
I shook my head no, not even wanting to try.
“That on your neck will keep any other vampire from snacking on you.” He said and then reached down and put a leather bracelet on my wrist. “This will force you to obey me. No, you can not take it off.”
I jerked my hand away and tried to find the clip but it had disappeared. In its place was the same tree outline thing that was on my neck. He watched me studying it. Then, before I was done trying to figure out what it was, his hand touched my chin. I looked up at him quickly.
“You’re very cute.” He said.
I pulled away from him, blushing slightly.
“What is your name?”
I kept my eyes off him and looked at the cracked cement. He knew I couldn’t answer but still he looked at me.
“Did they bite you, the others? Is that why your voice is still gone?”
I turned over my wrist to show him a long bloody gash. He made a face and grabbed my hand. I watched with wide eyes as he dropped to one knee and kissed the blood on my hand. Jerking my hand away, I watched him lick his lips and stand up. He took a small bandage from his pocket and held it out to me. I gently took it and wrapped my wound. My stomach was turning over and I felt cold.
“You look quite pale.” He said and placed his hand on top of my head. “You’re taking to this badly.”
I looked to him, my knees shaking beneath me. The world was fuzzy and I felt like I could have fallen over at any moment. The vampire turned his back to me and knelt down.
“I’ll carry you home.” He said and looked back at me. “Some kids just don’t take well to being bitten.”
I gently reached out and touched his back, if only to stabilize myself. Then I felt myself give out and I fell into him. I couldn’t even keep my head up as he lifted me up onto his back. Resting my head on my arm, I couldn’t see where he was taking me. I tried to hold on, afraid he would drop me if I didn’t. But my mind slipped into black.
I work up in bed and sat straight up. It was still dark out. My heart was racing. I grabbed my shirt and held it just to make sure I was really awake. As I looked around I quickly realized I was not in my room. I got up and went to the door immediately. It was unlocked. I started into a hallway and up some stairs, as quiet as I could. At the top I could see a living room and a big door. I knew that was the front door, and it was right there, no more that ten feet away from me.
The vampire was sitting on the couch with his back to the door. It looked like he was reading a newspaper or something. All I had to do was walk silently behind him to the door and then run for my life and there would be no way he could find me. I started creeping across the carpet, my eyes glued to him.
He didn’t move a muscle but said. “Good morning.”
I stood there praying that someone else would answer. He could have been on the phone or maybe there was someone I couldn’t see in the room or some pet. No one else said anything but I didn’t dare to move.
“Don’t make me chase you down and kill you.” He said and then set down the newspaper and looked over his shoulder at me. “Come over here and sit down.”
I looked at the door and then slowly walked over to the couch and sat on the ottoman. He smiled at me and nodded. My heart was not pounding as quickly now but I was still staring down the door.
“The primary reason I got you was to snack on you.”
My eyes snapped back to him. “I-”
I had nothing to hold over him, no bargaining cards, nothing to offer him or take away from him. Taking a deep breath I looked right into his cold gray eyes.
“I have a request. Please kill me. I couldn’t stand eating other humans so please don’t turn me.”
His face twisted into a smile. He laughed quietly.
“Don’t worry, you won’t be dead for a long time.” He stood up and walked over to the window to look out over the black town. “I’ll just drink a little from you every now and again. That’s the way it used to be, harvesting blood from a few humans instead of culling hundreds.”
“So-” I looked at him standing there. “So I’m going to be a cow? A sheep? A tortured soul who you torment for years?”
“I sure hope not.” He turned around and smiled at me. “I’d like it if you willingly let me drink from you. And I’ll try to keep you happy.”
I shook my head and took a step back. A loud bang came from outside and I jolted looking out the window by the door.
“It’s just some kids playing with there food.” He said. “You know how they’ll eat just about anything they can catch.”
Thank you for reading! If this post gets 15 likes I’ll post part 2!
This short story is finished! If you’d like to read the rest please leave a like!
I was hoping someone might come by to see me as I rolled over on the shrine’s roof. Little did I know the person to appear would change my whole life. The sun glinted through the branches of the overgrown trees that fluttered in the breeze. The metal tiles under me were getting hot in the sun’s rays. I let out a breath, bored as fuck. The sky was its same water blue and the roofing tiles were still just as uncomfortable as every day before.
The breeze rusted the bells so they rang softly and with that, the girl appeared. I tipped my head back off the edge of the roof and watched as she bowed at the Torii. As she lifted her head and her vibrant eyes locked on me I fell right off the roof and onto the moss-covered stones below.
Scrambling to my feet, I ran behind the shrine and grabbed my face. I studied my hand to make sure my nose wasn’t bleeding. Then I leaned back and peeked around the edge of the building. She was standing at the water place, though I swear it had been dry for years.
She passed the scoop between her hands as if there were water there to purify her. I jerked back behind the building as she turned to face the shrine again. On my tippy toes, I crept around the shrine to the other side as she walked up the stone steps and inside the shrine.
I poked my head around the corner just enough to see her place a coin in the offering box. She bowed deeply twice and I could feel my heart pick up. I walked into the room as quietly as I could and despite the creaky floorboards, didn’t make a sound. Standing a few feet to one side of her, I bowed my head and placed the palms of my hands together.
“Dear god whose name has been lost to time, I seek your blessing to repair your shine. My deepest apologies for leaving your temple unkempt.” She thought and then clapped twice. I didn’t move as she bowed again but I could hear her jump when she saw me standing there.
I clapped my hands twice and bowed, keeping my eyes closed. She stood still until I stood up straight and looked at her. Her hair was tied back into a bun with a flower pen holding it in place. It matched her purple skirt with flowers splashed on one side. And on her face, she wore the most stunning look of contempt.
“Were you the one who fell off the roof earlier?” She asked with arms crossed.
I winced slightly at her words but a small smile crept on my face. “I didn’t fall, I just wasn’t graceful as a flew.”
She shook her head at me. “This shrine is under enough stress, it can’t handle some jokester wearing out its beams.”
I shrugged and leaned back against a support pillar. One of the panels fell out of the ceiling and hit my head. She shook her head at me again and started towards the door where she had left her shoes.
“Can you tell me where the nearest spring is?” She asked over her shoulder.
I furrowed my brow slightly and walked towards her. She turned to look at me.
“I’m sure you must come by here often if you knew the bell rope was broken.” Her eyes were narrowed slightly as she looked back at me, “Unless you just didn’t care to summon the god who resides here before praying.”
I grinned and sat down on the mat with my legs crossed. “It’s nearby, you can hear it just to the east.”
The look in her eyes shifted and she nodded her thanks to me before leaving. I leaned back against the beam and looked out of the hole up at the roof. I let a burst of air out of my lips. I knew she wouldn’t come back to clean the shrine, no one had bothered with it for years.
I was still staring up at the few flickers of light that shone down through the hole when the girl returned. She had a bucket of water in one hand and an old cloth in the other. She jumped when she saw me, nearly dropping her water. I laughed at her, making her glare at me.
“Why are you still here?” She set the bucket down and glared at me.
“I stay here until my prayer has been fulfilled.” I stood up and walked to the top of the steps.
She did her best to ignore me and scratched the moss off the steps with her rag.
“You’re cleaning up this dump?” I leaned against the door and heard something snap behind me.
She rolled her eyes. “A shrine is a shrine and it must be taken care of.”
I laughed at her and lay down at the top of the steps. Biting the inside of my cheek, I watched her scrub. She ignored me for a while, which was quite alright because I knew she’d come around.
“Are you just going to lay there and watch me?” she hissed.
“Yes, if it’s quite alright with you.”
“Well, it’s not. Hit the road.”
I looked up at the graying sky. “I told you, I’m not leaving until my prayer is fulfilled.”
She stood up and stormed off with the bucket in hand. I happily waited for her to return with clean water. She worked hard on those steps until they seemed to glow with her pride.
“All done?” I asked as she whipped her brow.
“And what will you do tomorrow?”
“I’ll move debris from the grounds.”
“Well I hope you sleep well, then, that will be hard work.”
She nodded and turned to leave. I watched her walk out as the sun started to set. I rolled my eyes and walked back to the shrine.
Against my every prediction, the pissy little girl showed up again the next day just after lunch. I was asleep on the roof when the prayer bell rattled loudly. Jolting up, I lost my balance and tumbled feet first off the shrine. I looked up at her from the well-shined steps, rubbing the back of my head. She was standing on a block, tieing a new rope to the frayed end of the last one.
“You know they say the god who lives here is evil. That’s why they cut the rope; so no one could ever call him again.” I said.
“Well what do you know, you’re still here.” Her voice was dull.
I couldn’t help but assume she tied the rope on first in order to wake me up. Standing up, I dusted off my stained white and red yukata. She stepped down and walked past me into the garden. She picked up a fallen branch and started pulling it away. Her eyes latched on me standing there, watching her.
“You could help me you know.” She tugged the branch and a piece of hair fell in front of her face.
I tipped my head to the side and grinned. “Only God can help you.”
She snorted and kept about her business. She pulled up weeds and swept the ground and took the leaves off the roof. I watched as she went about her busy work.
“Come sit with me,” I called from the steps of the shrine.
“I have to finish the garden before nightfall.” She said softly back.
“It’ll all still be here tomorrow.” I put my hands behind my head and leaned back into them, “Myself included.”
“I have to finish it.”
I looked around. “Does that include trimming the bushes and trees?”
“And washing the stones?”
“And rebuilding the sei-chu? And making the shimenawa, cleaning the lion dogs, and planting a new sacred tree?”
She yelled something indistinct and then looked at me. “I have to get it done!”
“Alright,” I said and watched her work.
The birds chattering stopped at nightfall and in the last light of the day, the girl was still working. The plants had all been restored to their proper size but little more than that had been done.
“Will you be okay? Walking back in the dark that is?” I said in the doorway of the shrine.
“I don’t know.” She said softly and picked up another few trimmings, “there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in these woods so I should be fine.”
“You won’t trip?”
She dumped the scraps and then walked over to the shrine where I stood. Sitting down, she looked at the garden in the last rays.
“I didn’t get enough done.”
I looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “I suppose you will need to get here earlier tomorrow.”
Crickets rubbed their wings together in the absence of our talking.
“Go home,” I said after a moment and then turned to go inside.
“You too.” She said and stood up.
“I’d love too.”
I could feel her eyes on me as I watched the light fade from the offering box.
This short story is finished! If I get 10 likes I’ll publish the second have and don’t forget to subscribe you so can read it! Thank you for reading!
This is the start of a longer work of fiction!
I was young, bored and alone when I decided to break into area 51. The middle of the night was too obvious and they would be on guard. Mid-afternoon, I climbed in the back of a truck as the guard checked his ID. I was driven straight to the main building and after the garage was empty, I climbed out into the dark room. Sneaking into places was a waiting game. I stood behind each locked door until someone came through the other side of it. Then I just slipped behind them and didn’t touch the door until after it was closed. Lucky for me, a lot of people were swarming around the building.
I was 15 at the time, young enough to be spotted in a crowd of scientists and old enough to think that I wouldn’t be. Everyone seemed to be gathering on one end of the laboratory to watch some kind of test so I went the other way. I ended up in a room with no lights on but something red and glowing at the other end of it. That’s what I wanted to see. I was careful not to make any noise, getting caught at this point would be traumatizing to me. The closer I got the more and more hot the air felt around me. Six eggs sat in an incubator. Not just any eggs either, tire size, glinting gold and brown eggs.
Something thumped inside the glass and I peered around the side. One egg had broken open. Yellow slime was cast over the shells. My eyes got wider and wider as I saw more of the creature. First I saw its tail. Almost a foot long and dark purple with little fins at the end. Then I saw its feet and claws. They scratched against the tub, black as a void. I walked fully round to see it. Sharp teeth, glistening golden eyes, and two wings folded on its back.
The dragon let out a little fireball blast and the goo caught on fire. It wallowed down into the flames, toasting its new found body. Then little eyes looked up to meet mine. A crackling hiss met my ears and it scurried back to hid in the parts of its shell that wasn’t broken to bits. I clicked at it, and put my hand on the glass, the way you do at a pet store when trying to get the attention of a puppy. The little dragon marched right up to the side of the tank and lifted its head to the lid, both of its front paws pressed against the glass.
I pulled down my sleeve, over my hand, and lifted the lid. Three feet long, it slithered out of the few inches I had opened the tank. It sniffed my hand through the cloth and then I felt its tiny talons tearing up my arm as it climbed to perch on my shoulder. Grinning, I gently pushed him into the hood of my sweatshirt and pulled the fabric over him. Then I started on my escape. I knew the route, all I needed to do was not get caught or have the dragon burn me.
I slipped through each door as quickly as I could. When I had gotten into the garage, I looked at the hundreds of truck and realized I had no idea which one would leave first. I went to the person-sized door and pushed it open, hoping I’d be able to sneak past the cameras on foot. The alarm rang out and I got stiff. I spun around to already hear guards rushing my way. To my surprise, the first person to show up was around my age. I guess he was 18 because otherwise he couldn’t work there but my point still stands.
He had a white lab coat and a clipboard. Our eyes locked. The guards flooded in around him.
“Good grief,” He ran a hand through his black hair, “how did you guys even let him get this far? Get him out. Now.” He shook his head and looked at his clipboard and muttered, “on hatching day too, how awful.”
I was taken out beyond the gates and given a stern warning. No one really checked me because they must have thought I hadn’t gotten in very far. I’m sure if I had been older there would have been worse consequences. As soon as they were far enough away, I started running. The dragon hissed as my hood bounced up and down. Little claws tugged at the cloth on my shoulder. He peeked over my shoulder at where we were going. I wasn’t old enough to drive but I had a wicked awesome moped that got me back home.
I shut all the windows and doors and dumped the baby onto my bed. He rolled over and looked up at me. I ran off and got a heating pad and a fish from the fridge. It had started getting dark out. I didn’t live near area 51 so it took me quite a while to get back. The dragon gulped down the fish, bones and all, then let his eyes drift back up to me. It was a good thing I liked fishing. When I went to bed he curled up on my chest, apparently the warmest place in the house. I didn’t fall asleep for a while, I was trying to think of what to call him.
By the next afternoon, he had eaten all the fish I had caught for me to eat, and I still didn’t have a name for him. I tucked him inside of my jacket and walked him through town to the hills where I went fishing. For a dragon, he was pretty passive, letting me move him around wherever I liked. Once we were in the mountains though, he was jumping after every little lizard and bird. By the time I had my rod in the water, he had already figured out how to swim. His thin little body wriggled back and forth like a snake, and he could just barely keep his head out of the water.
Then I saw him dip under and up he came with a fish. It was funny how he would smile when bringing it to shore. Then he would nip the head off and down the whole thing. He was very good at swimming, so naturally, I named him Fish. He and I could only go to the river in my hoodie for so many days. Fish ate more than three times his body weight a day and was quick to rip the seams of everything I wore.
Smuggling a dragon past your neighbors is a tricky thing to do without looking like you gained 25 pounds overnight, that’s why we started practicing flying. I bought a dog harness at the store and some thin but sturdy rope and then strapped him up like a kite. He didn’t get the idea at first, but after running around with my arms like an airplane, he started to get the picture.
By the time I was 16 he could fly like a pro and would meet me at the river. He grew considerably during that first year. When he slept on my chest at night, I could hardly breathe. Fish was about six feet from nose to tail, I tad bit taller than me. When I was 17 we had to start going to a lake because the government set up a fish rehabilitation program for our river. I couldn’t have him sleep on my chest anymore. He was about eight feet then. When I was 18 was when the adventure really started. He was ten and a half feet, taking up a majority of the bed, but instead of his tail tickling me awake, there was a knock at the door.
This was particularly odd. No one ever came to see me because I was the weird one. I stayed inside, went fishing every day, never got a job, stopped going to school. As far as everyone else was concerned, I was a recluse who would have a new burn mark every time I stepped into the sun. You could say fireball training wasn’t going too well.
I yawned and answered the door. Two men stood at my door. They both wore uniforms but I couldn’t tell what they were for. These men were not officers but they didn’t have ties and wore mostly black.
“Hello, there sir. We have received some odd complaints about this residents. Do you mind if we talk to your parents?” one said.
I looked at their car and saw one more man step out of it. He held a clipboard and was reading some papers on it. He let out a breath and pulled a hand through his black hair. I got stiff, recognizing him instantly.
“Sure, they aren’t home right now. If you go to the graveyard they are four rows down and two columns over.” I smiled falsely and tried to close the door.
The scientist kid walked up to the door and studied me. “Well I would hate to bother them, may we come in?”
I nodded and opened the door wide, hoping I wouldn’t seem suspicious. The two guards stepped inside and were followed by the scientist.
“I’m sorry,” I smiled, “who are you?”
His hand darted out as though he were going to stab me with it. “Dougless Freit.”
“Nice to meet you.” I gently shook his hand.
He turned my hand over and looked at the burn mark on it. “You have quite a lot of burns.”
One on my hand, one on my shoulder, two on my back one on my front and two for each leg.
“Yeah, I’m really bad about watching the grill.”
His eyes looked into mine with a ferocity that I hadn’t even seen in Fish’s. A large thump came from my bedroom, pulling Dougless’s eyes away from me.
“That’s just my puppy.” I smiled and went to my door, “He’s probably excited to see you. But you know, now that I think about it, he hasn’t been on his morning walk.” I put my shoes on and grabbed the rope, “You know how puppies are, I better take him out.”
I slipped into the room and closed the door. Fish lifted his head and unfolded part of his wings before tucking them back in place. I tried to think of what dog people say.
“Hey Fish, Hey. You want to go for a walk? Huh? Want to go to the lake?”
Fish knew the word ‘lake’ and wiggled his body slightly to say yes. I opened the window and slipped the rope around his neck.
“Come on buddy, let’s go!”
I jumped out the window and looked up at Fish. He got his head through the hole and then looked at me. If the men had any doubts about whether or not I had a dragon, they weren’t about to.
“Fish.” I looked at where he was trying to get his paws through the little window, “breath.”
The wall was on fire in an instant. Fish pushed through the wall, making a cracking sound fly through the air. I jumped up on his back. Never before had I tried to ride him.
“Up. Up.” I said, holding onto his neck for dear life.
And up we went. His wings spread open wide, his feet tucked up under him and we were above the clouds like a bullet. It was partially cloudy so I could see my house catch fire. Three people ran out of it as a fire truck howled in the distance. Dougless pointed up at me and raced back to his car, and then he was a speck.
I had never been up that high. The houses shrunk and the cars turned to toys. We went over the mountains which were more like hills from this height. It was hard to breathe so I held myself close to Fish as we swam through the air. His powerful wings beat on either side of me. From time to time he would look back to make sure I was ok. I politely asked him to keep flying for hours and I didn’t underestimate him, what I did was underestimate the government.
We were over the Midwest when the first helicopter appeared. Five or six more followed shortly after. Where there were roads there were black cars streaming along beneath us. We were encircled, I couldn’t live if we went up any higher and there was nowhere to hide. I looked at Fish and pet his head gently.
He turned his head to look at me. I nodded and pet his cone ears that were tucked back against his neck. He groaned slightly, baring his teeth and then dropped like a stone. If I hadn’t been holding onto one of his horns, I would have flown off. I fell off into the grass and the quickly stood up to defend Fish from all the weapons pointed at us. Fish bared his fangs and hissed at the black vehicle around us.
“Fish, it’s ok,” I rubbed my hand along his neck as he folded up his wings.
Dougless, held out a hand to keep everyone from moving or shooting. Then he clicked open a pen and started scribbling on his clipboard. When he had finished, Dougless walked up to Fish and me.
“You must have been the one who broke into 51 all those years ago.” He said not looking at me but Fish.
He moved away slightly when Fish snarled. I nudged my friend and Dougless noticed.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t eaten you, but it does seem to regard you as it’s mother.” His eyes flicked to me.
Gaze washing over me, I shivered at his dull eyes.
“Having a dragon in the city is terribly dangerous. We will be taking him back immediately.” He raised a hand up and all the men readied their guns. “It’s just a tranquilizer, don’t worry. Come stand over here.”
Such reassuring words from a glare so cold. I shook my head and placed a hand on Fish, his heart was racing, knowing something was wrong with me. Fish understood the look in my eyes. He made himself as small as possible and nuzzled his head into my chest. Dougless’s eyes got large. He lowered his hand slowly. I looked over at him in his lab coat.
“Can you make him do anything you want?” He asked me.
He looked off into the crowd and then back to me. “Bring him over him over here and get him in the truck.”
I clicked to Fish and watched his ears perk up. I followed Dougless and Fish trotted after me. Something like a large horse trailer was parked in the center of all the helicopters that had landed. They knew what they were doing, it was just big enough for Fish to lay in comfortably. I looked to Dougless and then walked to the back of the of the trailer and clapped my hands. Fish trotted in and when I sat down, dropped his head into my lap.
Dougless climbed into the trailer behind us and the door shut. Fish got tense when he stepped over his tail. I stroked Fish’s head as the car started up. Dougless set down a gun beside him when he sat down cross-legged and leaned against the side of the truck. His pencil was gliding across the page before the truck had even started moving.
“What are you going to do to him?”
Dougless shrugged, not looking up from his page. “Basic tests.”
That made my stomach roll. “I-is he going to-” I looked down into his gleaming eyes. “Are-Are you guy’s going to-” Fish nudged my face.
“No, he’ll live out a full lifespan if we can help it.”
The only sounds were me exhaling, pencil on paper, and the bumps on the road. Dougless got out a tape measure and started walking around. He looked at the length of the claws, legs, horns and then he came over right in front of me to get the teeth. While writing down the recorded length he put on a slight grin.
My laughter caught in my throat and I ended up signing instead. Dougless looked up at me.
“What do you call him?”
I was surprised a scientist would ask such a question. “Fish.”
He nodded and wrote on the page; 17831 – Fish.
If you would like to read the rest make sure to like and comment so I know this is the type of short story YOU like. And if you’d like to read the start of other fiction I’ve written take a look at The Business of Kidnapping. Have a sparkling day!
This is the start of a longer work of fiction!
The light turned red and the NJL terrorists were live. My father gripped my shoulder and I could feel his gold rings digging into my skin.
“Hello there, everyone. I am here to announce the creation of something beautiful.”
He pulled a photo out of the breast pocket of his suit and held it up to the camera. My body was cold and I was stiff, standing there.
“This is the Mg1 bomb. It’s big enough to blow up the castle and everything around it, even into the sea. And we are fully willing to kill everything corrupted in the king’s wake but I do have another option for you.” He pulled me closer to him and smiled a grin that still made my skin crawl. “This is my son and I want him to be your king. Marry him to whoever you want and ensure him the right to the throne and then, of course, there would be no reason for me to blow the whole country to smithereens.” He laughed heartily and I looked up, past his broad shoulders to see that terrible grin. “Please respond to me by these same public pathways and broadcast it to the whole world on your PSA screens. We’ll be waiting to see your pick.”
The red light went off. I let out a breath and felt the suit crumple around me. My father reached down and grabbed my chin. He turned me fully towards him and studied my face.
“Why aren’t you smiling? We won.” His black hair was all combed back, probably similar to mine.
“Because tough guys don’t show emotion.” I looked away from him but didn’t dare pull out of his grip.
“The only one we show is pride.”
I licked my lips. “I’m fifteen, can you really blame me for not being happy about my batroval?”
“You should be happy for the clan.” All eyes were on him, like always.
“Can I go hang out with my friends now? We wanted to rob Harrison’s tonight.”
His hand fell away from me and he made a gruff noise.
“Well at least change out of that suit. And be careful, I can’t have my crown prince getting caught.”
I backed away and grinned. “You worry too much.”
Turning my back to him, I ran off the set and down the tunnel. Running my hands through my hair to mess it back up and let the black fly up unlike how my father ever wore his. I climbed up the little rocky ledge the led to my room and threw the door open. Tossing the suit jacket on my bed, I picked up my radio from its charging station on my side table.
“You guys still in?” I plopped down on my bed and pulled off the fancy shoes.
“Thought I’d never hear from you!” Milby yelled.
“Yeah, aren’t you ready?” Thilo was very loud too.
“Give me a sec to change and then I’ll meet you in the commons,” I said unbuttoning my unstained shirt.
Sliding open the mirrored door of my closet, I looked around realizing it was too dark to see clearly. I flicked on a light and the rock walls absorbed the fluorescent glow. The huge scar that was torn up my torso stood out against my otherwise tan skin. I took out my leather jacket and it’s soft white undershirt. Changing into black jeans and combat boots, I whistled quietly to myself. As I walked out of the room, I grabbed my hat and pulled it down over my head.
The common room was bustling with energy. The guys were all laughing and yelling in the torchlight under my father’s throne. He was busy chatting with the others in suits while the rest of the gang was all hanging out around me. My friends were standing by the gate, also dressed up in their leather. I strode over waving to the guys and nodding at the gals.
Thilo already had his gloves on and he was tugging at them compulsively. On the other hand, Milby was fiddling with a couple strips of cloth. His blind eyes darted over to my shoes as I approached.
“Finally!” he called over his shoulder.
Thilo looked up at smiled at me. I put my hands in my pockets and pulled out my own gloves.
“Harrison’s, Right?” I asked, pulling on the long black gloves.
“Yeah, they close in 30, let’s get a move on.” Milby shoved open the gate.
I walked out the door first and looked over my shoulder. Milby brushed by me, pulling up the blindfold over his eyes and tying it tight behind his head. Thilo stood a few steps behind me and was adjusting settings on his headphones. Grinning, I lead the two down the road.
“You gotta put those on as soon as you hear sirens this time,” I said, nodding to the headphones.
Milby snickered. “Yeah, we can’t have you flipping out and running from the crime scene again.”
“That was one time!”
“Or passing out,” I smirked.
“Or whining and pleading with the police.”
“Oh shut up!” He punched Milby in the arm but his weak fist bounced off of rock-hard muscle. “If we’re getting after people’s flaws let’s talk about Raver’s big mouth.”
I grinned. “What about it?”
“You almost blew our cover last time.” Thilo pushed ahead of me.
“And the time before that too.” Milby held out the other piece of cloth. “You just don’t know when to shut the hell up.”
I tied the fabric around my wrist. “We’re here.”
Milby pulled his gun and blade from his pockets. “Ready.”
“Set.” Thilo adjusted one more knob and I could hear the police reports quietly from his headphones.
I forced open the door and we rushed in. Milby fired once in the air and Thilo dashed ahead and stuck his arm under the window before they could hit the buzzer. I forced open an employee only door and started towards the back. The guys covered me as we started back to the safe. Milby held someone by their throat and was pointing the gun at their head. He pulled them along the ground, yelling threats into all the rooms we passed.
If Milby was good for anything it was his lack of empathy. He blindly held the man as if he were only a sack of money.
“On the ground. No one move.” He tilted the gun back and forth.
Thilo had pulled up some kind of map on his phone and was moving us into the vault. “Get the code.”
Then Milby yelled louder. “What’s the code?”
He repeated it again and again until someone responded. Then a beep, and over the radio headset, the call was made.
“We have a hold up at Harrison’s national bank on Mitchell drive, dispatching units…”
Thilo reached up and clicked the headphones one notch. Then he looked me in the eyes. His gray eyes peeking out over glasses brims. He pulled the headphones up over his ears and tapped the mic.
“You guys are my ears now, let’s take this ship to port.”
I laughed at his goofy metaphor before turning on my radio. “Copy that.”
“Put on your goddamn gag.” Milby didn’t turn towards me as we stepped into the vault room.
I tied on my gag as Thilo started cracking safes. Collecting the money into little bags, I watched the room carefully. Milby was controlling the people and Thilo was taking out the cash, now it was my turn. I took a few bags, whatever I could carry to the front of the bank. Throwing open a side door, I started setting the sacks along the wall. Then I could hear sirens pick up in the distance.
Milby radioed. “Pack it up.”
I put the bags in their safe spot and rushed inside to get more. The others were loaded up and I took the rest. Thilo’s eyes got wide as we started passing by the front. There were lots of officers outside.
“This is Amity from the MPD, we would like to know your demands.”
I gestured for the guys to keep on their path. Milby tossed me his gun. We agreed to only have one with us per job. Thilo was already looking pail. He hurried out the back with Milby on his tail. I grabbed the first civilian to my left and hoisted her up. Holding the gun to her head and her body against mine as a shield, I walked up towards the window.
My job was the misdirection. Like any good magic trick, you set up the story, have everything in place beforehand and then just distract the audience. Of course, my role was the most dangerous. I reached up with one finger and pulled the gag from my mouth. Then reached into my back pocket and pulled out a nearly full water bottle.
“Good evening Amity.”
“Raver, put your damn gag back on,” Milby said.
“Do you see this bottle? It’s filled with a lovely substance I call glycal. I’m sure you know it. It blows shit sky high. So please take a moment to consider your options.” I called through the open doors where people had fled.
I held my human shield up in front of me and pointed the gun at the plastic bottle.
“For your safety, I suggest one of two things. One, run. Two, beg.”
I started backing up into the bank. There was another door on the other side.
A whisper entered the one earbud I wore. “Milby, where are you?”
“How the hell should I know.”
My heart sunk. They had gotten separated. That meant many more cops that I had anticipated.
“Is there a third option?” Amity called over the megaphone.
I was back by the other door now. Slowly, I lifted my hands up from around the girl and kept the gun on the bottle.
“Sure. Just try to catch me.”
I bolted out the door and the opposite way of the guys. My footsteps seemed louder than before as I raced away from danger.
“Are you guys safe?” Thilo asked.
I couldn’t reply. Too much noise and they would find me. I tried to zigzag through the alleys.
“Guys?” Thilo’s voice sounded weak. “I have the bags. I’m at the station but I’m kinda stuck. Guys?”
Milby wasn’t replying and he was quick to words. That was worrisome. He easily could have gotten lost or might not know who’s around him. I resolved to get up on the rooftops to track him down. At the next dumpster bin, I jumped up and climbed atop. It made a much louder sound that I was hoping. Gripping the brick, I looked up at where I needed to jump. If I missed the empty trash bin would be too loud to hide me.
“Guys? I have to take off my headphones. I need to see how far I am from the sirens.”
Bad idea. Bad idea. I wanted to tell him the station was fine even though it wasn’t. But I could hear radios beeping down the alley. Still no reply from Milby. I leaped up. My hand caught the gutter. Pulling myself up, I heard the gutter creek. I looked at the loose screws. There was no place for me to hide if this thing broke. It creaked again. I heard footsteps running towards me.
Scrambling to grab onto something else, I heard the footsteps stop. Then the click of a gun being taken off safety. It firered. The bullet rattled against the metal sending the whole gutter falling off onto the ground. I hit the dumpster and fell off into the corner. The sky was hazy with a distant fire and the gutter was on top of me.
A young lady with blond hair pulled back was standing a few feet from me. I lifted up my gag and bit it to keep from yelling and giving away my position. My other hand still gripped the bottle.
“Ah it’s speak no evil.” She said and started walking closer. “Put that damn thing down, I know it’s only water.”
My body screeched in pain but I could only recede further into the corner. She put her gun back in her holster. My breaths were heavy as she inspected me. I watcher her hand go for her radio.
“Don’t make me call back up on you. Stand up, hands behind your back.” She was smiling like I did when I won.
My gun was sitting by her feet and she knew it. I looked up at the roof, no way I could make it without the gutter.
“Raver? We’re at the station.” Milby said. “You leading them away?” He paused. “We got it all. Heading back to your place.”
I looked to the girl, my arm on fire.
Thilby’s voice came over the earbud. “Please be ok. Please oh please be ok.”
I pushed myself up with one hand but it gave out. Leaning against the wall, I grabbed it and grimaced.