Kingdom of Thorn and Sands

Lane, Camping Trip

I was lied to! THIS…IS…NOT…CAMPING. Angela said it would be a camping trip, but when I got out of the car there must have been over 3,000 people milling about the area. I set up my tent as fast as I could, at least inside my tent I had a sort of barrier between me and the giant crowd outside, and although I could hear them I couldn’t see them anymore, which helped. I’m never trusting Angela again! And I am really starting to have doubts about this school.
If it hadn’t been for my laptop and my satellite connection I would have been bored to tears just sitting inside my tent the entire time, but it was better than going outside. I don’t care if this is supposed to be a school outing, and the teachers can try to talk me into it all they want, there isn’t a damn thing out there that I am interested in enough to merit me braving all those people.
Later I heard Chrys talking outside the tent about some band named War Pigs that was going to play later this evening, asking who was planning on going. I’d seen her putting up posters for the band around campus before, and the way she talked about them you could tell she was a big fan.
Being that this would probably be my only opportunity to get in good with Chrys, I looked up everything I could on the War Pigs, and then told Chrys I was interested in going with her to see the band play. I would have to endure the crowd, but Chrys was smart and very cute, and so far showed no indications that she disliked me, so despite what I said earlier about there being nothing here that could interest me enough to leave my tent, the idea of having a girlfriend, especially if it was Chrys, made it worth it…hormones suck especially when you get them at a younger than average age.
I didn’t really care for the music, and I’d never heard most of the songs before, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I knew the drummer from somewhere, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t remember where I knew him from. I’ve never forgot something like this before, in fact I simply don’t forget things, I have Eidetic Memory, or what is more commonly called photographic memory.
Something had to be wrong, I don’t forget things. I drifted away from the concert, more concerned now about my memory than trying to impress Chrys. I figured if I thought about it long enough I would remember, and if not it was probably time to go see the doctor (not the school nurse, she is a hack). Walking around and thinking heavily actually uses up a lot more calories than most people think, especially in my case and after walking around trying to remember where I knew the drummer from, I leaned up against the side of a truck to rest for a moment. When my hand touched the side of the truck I immediately noticed that it felt weird to the touch. It should have felt solid, since what I was touching was metal, but instead it felt spongy. A moment later it felt like metal again; maybe I was thinking too hard, and I just imagined it. Someone had also drawn a large chalk circle on the side of the moving truck, which also seemed odd.
I started walking again, trying to figure out where I knew that damned drummer from. After a while I noticed Njall and John standing by a tent, both starring at it rather intently, so I decided to see what they were up to. Njall said that she saw someone walk out of the tent, phased right through the material, and that later she saw Angela walk up and phase right through the tent material. Ok that isn’t what Njall actually said, but that is what she meant. She also said that the tent felt spongy when she touched. This immediately caught my attention, since I had the same experience with the truck, and hadn’t told anyone about it yet, so there was no way Njall was playing a trick on me.
The night had already gotten rather strange, with me not being able to remember where I had met the drummer before, and both Njall and I having the same sponge experience, so sitting down and waiting to see if someone walked in or out of the tent like she described didn’t seem too out there to me. Worst case scenario I get to use the time to think about where I knew the drummer from and no one walks in or out of the tent.
It wasn’t too long before I saw the drummer heading in our direction, making for the side of the tent. I decided that I would wait to see if he actually did what Njall said Angela had done, this might also have something to do with why I can’t remember who he is. If he really phased through the tent I’d need to catch him in the act but before he was all the way through. The drummer walked up to the tent, and started phasing his hand through it, just as Njall had said. When he was about up to his elbow I looked right up at him and said “I see you”. He must not have expected me to be able to see him because when I said that he stopped completely in his tracks, turned his head to face me, and was promptly tackled by Njall through the tent. I should have known to tell Njall not to do anything brash, but I really didn’t expect to see someone actually phase through the tent. Before I could do anything John ran up to the tent and followed Njall and the drummer right through. I had no idea what was on the other side, but I was going to be damned before I let this kind of opportunity pass me by, so I walked up to the tent, and proceeded to “push” through it.
It felt like trying to walk through Jell-O, which is something I’ve never tried before, so my description may not be entirely accurate. It took me a bit to get all the way through, and when I got to the other side I saw another familiar person, dressed like a cowboy, except he looked more like an Orc from Lord of the Rings than a man, who I couldn’t completely remember, grappling with Njall and John, and from the looks of it doing a poor job; he probably doesn’t have much experience wrestling with children.
It took a moment but the man was able to get Njall and John mostly under control, mostly through mismanaged brute force and trying to explain to them that he wasn’t going to hurt them, and was actually trying to help. Apparently I wasn’t the only one having memory issues, because he said we looked familiar to him, but that he couldn’t remember who we were, and then it hit me. This was Gunderson, only the last time I saw him his face was obscured by his hat, which made it hard to make out his face, but his voice and the rest of his features were spot on.
“I borrowed money from you; you’re Gunderson, you’re also the drummer for War Pigs!” I told him. It took a moment, but eventually the light in Gunderson’s attic went on. “That was twelve years ago, how is this possible?” I’m pretty sure the light in Gunderson’s attic burnt out as fast as it went on, because Gunderson looked very, very confused, despite now knowing where he knew us from. “I need to take you to someone, they will know what to do”, he said. Being that Gunderson didn’t kill me the last time I saw him, and actually lent me money, I figured I could trust him for now, plus the expression on his face told me he was telling the truth.
We walked a ways and came over a hill where I saw Doriak, the man that looked like he was made out of liquid metal, sitting by a campfire. Doriak skipped the not knowing who we were phase that Gunderson experienced, and looked almost as surprised to see us as Gunderson was when he realized who we were. Gunderson explained to Doriak to the best of his ability who we were and what was going on, afterwards ending up almost as clueless as Gunderson was. I told Doriak about how Njall said she saw Angela, our school teacher, come through the tent the same way that Gunderson did, minus being tackled by Njall. He said he needed to check with some people about this, and asked us to promise not to talk about this to anyone until he could contact us tomorrow because it could be dangerous; he didn’t know who Angela truly was, and what her intentions with us were and if she found out we knew that she wasn’t human it could put us in danger. I thought keeping our mouth shut until we knew more was a good idea, I was beginning to not trust the faculty at MAESA at all, but John wouldn’t have any of it. He said he wouldn’t agree to keep quiet, and took off running when Gunderson tried to stop him, and then simply disappeared. Doriak said John was back in the real world, and told us to keep our eye on him, and then showed us the way out of wherever it was that we were and back to the fairgrounds.
Upon stepping “out” of the tent I was immediately reminded of the 3,000 plus people that I had forgotten about. Luckily I had something more important to worry about than them and was able to push their existence out of my mind. John was nowhere to be seen, so we headed back to the campsite. When we got back I saw John walking off away from the campsite with his backpack slung over shoulder. I tried to get him to stop and listen, or at least slow down so I could talk to him, but apparently he was too freaked out to listen to anything I had to say and he just kept on walking. At this point all I could do was call the police and let them know about John in hopes that they may pick him up and at least take him to his parents. Njall didn’t even bother with John; she just went to her tent and went to sleep. It had been a long night, and after calling the police I took Njall’s hint and headed to my tent for some much needed rest, besides, we couldn’t do anything about it until tomorrow anyhow.

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Yatsko Asmordikai

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