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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Lane, The Dream that was not

I awoke in some sort of expanse, standing on a gray path, which continued behind and in front of me, further than I could see. Far off in the distance I could see what looked like a wall of some great height that ran in either direction for what appeared infinitely. I started following the path in the direction of the wall, and after a time I found that the path I was on had changed colors, and Njall was now standing behind me, where moments ago she was nowhere to be seen. Being a dream I decided that trying to talk to Njall would be as productive as talking to myself, which actually would be more productive than actually talking to Njall. The girl is nice, but not too bright. I continued down the path and one by one I ran into Dieg, and Linnea; why them I had no idea. They all tried to talk to me, but aside from mumbling that it would be useless to speak to them because they weren’t real I ignored them and kept walking. I eventually got to the wall, which turned out to be a massive hedge of brambles. I found a path and started through it. You aren’t supposed to feel pain in your dreams as I have read, but these brambles actually felt like they were hurting me; the pain must have been psychosomatic though, because there was no way this was real. Once through and on the other side the landscape changed completely and now I was standing on the edge of a vast desert, similar to that of Tucson, but more extreme. There was smoke off in the distance. I figured I might as well head towards that, better to keep moving and maybe have an interesting dream rather than stand around and be bored to death.
I was only a ways out when I walked by two figures riding on road runners, one dressed like a typical cowboy, only larger, and the other simply looked like a person…made of liquid metal. I tried to ignore them and walk by, but they decided not to ignore me. Their names were Doriak and Gunderson, and sparing the rest of the details of the conversation they were able to convince me to go along with the idea that this may not be a dream, and that this place was dangerous, especially for children. Doriak lent me his mount, and they took me towards the smoke.
Instead of the campsite I was expecting to see when we arrived at the smoke, I was surprised to find a tower. The place seemed to be some sort of establishment, like a saloon you would see in an old Wild West film, with some modifications here and there, like the fact that it was a tower…
I guess it was more like a club than a saloon, because you had to pay to get in and there was a bouncer at the door. The bouncer looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. I had to borrow some money from Gunderson; I think that is what it was, even though they looked like glass baubles, to get inside. Inside it looked more like a regular saloon. All around there were people, if you could call them that, since most of them looked like something out of a fairy tale, drinking, laughing, and gambling. I saw John standing by the bar so I walked over to him to say hi, but then remembered he might just be a dream and there was no point in talking to him, especially since he wasn’t as interesting as the other might be dreams Doriak and Gunderson. He said something about having been there two days, but I don’t really recall since I wasn’t paying much attention. Since I was good at numbers, and I owed Gunderson some money I figured I would try my hand at one of the games and see how I did. Gunderson was in the middle of explaining one of the games to me when I saw my other housemates come in. I explained to them that I planned to gamble, but that I didn’t have any money. Dieg had apparently acquired some money somehow and lent me enough to join the game, with the stipulation that I paid Dieg back, plus a bit of interest.
The game was called Three Dragon Ante, and as it turned out, I was very good at it. I spent the next few hours gambling, raking in what I thought was loads of money, but later when I compared it to the entry fee to get in and when I compared that to the average entry fee of a popular nightclub I estimated I had earned something in the area of seven dollars…not very impressive. This certainly wasn’t Vegas, not that I have ever been to Vegas.
My other housemates were either very tired or had had too much to drink, because Njall had fallen asleep under the table and Dieg looked like Dieg was going to nod off any second, and may have already done so once or twice, but I wasn’t the least bit tired and I was going to continue gambling through the night but my plans got cut short when someone/something out of a nightmare walked in the bar. His skin was dark and covered in black fur, he had cloven hooves, and coming out of his head were stag horns. He went up to the bar, ordered a drink that looked strong enough to fuel a semi, gave the bartender a wanted poster and then went into the back.
Shortly after that Doriak came to the table and said it was time to leave, because when that stag horned fellow comes back out we aren’t going to want to be here. I got his drift, and quickly exited the saloon, and then I woke up.

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Dieg's Recap 9.16

??? – OK, so the roadrunner guys weren’t so bad after all. Still don’t trust them. Had to give up my bike to get in a bar. Apparently, you can just think up money here. Pretty sweet. The bar let me order a drink and smokes. Played a game and made a little money… I think. Some freak scared the shit out of everyone and we had to leave. The Terminator (one of the roadrunner guys) warned us about something…

9/18 Holy shit I had an awesome dream. Made me miss Switch again though. Damn those were good times. Parent day again. Not sure why they have it, who the hell wants to see their parents?

9/20 My bastard grandpa couldn’t be bothered to show up to Aikido so I had to run it. Gotta whip these wimps into shape if I’m gonna trust them in a fight.

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Lane, First Day at Maesa

First day at Maesa.
I was expecting my father to stick around and attend the first day’s tour with me, but instead he dropped me off and left in a hurry, which is very unlike him. Something is bothering him; I can read it on his face.
I was a bit surprised when I got to the orientation. I’d heard that MAESA was a school for advanced academic development for the gifted, and surrounding me were other kids that I would call anything but. Despite their looks maybe they will surprise me, book, cover, you get the idea; though talking through metaphors some of these kids appear to have some pretty messed up covers.
The orientation itself enlightened me further as to how much I didn’t think I was going to enjoy my studies here. Apparently I have to be part of a “house” with other members of the student body, and we all have to agree on 5 classes which will be our course material for a semester. This was not explained to me prior to my enrollment, and to be candid I am perturbed at the idea of my academic studies being influenced by other members of the student body. I’d prefer that the choice of what classes I enroll in be left up to me.
Even more irksome were the students that were selected as the other members of my house. First there is “She of the most annoying and petulant affections”, a girl named Njall who can’t seem to stand still for more than a few moments and claims to be thirteen but cannot be more than 8 or must suffer from sort of severe form of ADHD, or possibly an early form of Histrionic personality disorder, or maybe a mild form of Autism. I hope she just leaves me to my own devices during the semester, especially while studying.
After Njall there is a gir…gu…er, a person name Dieg, who is a delinquent if I ever saw one. One look at…Dieg and I could tell that…”the use of the word “it” just doesn’t feel appropriate here. Despite Dieg’s lack of apparent sex I think it would be offensive to assign such a designation without consulting Dieg on the matter to see if Dieg defines Dieg as being sexually neutral or not” Dieg didn’t want to here at all, and was likely being forced into attending this school to avoid some other fate that was likely worse in Dieg’s eyes. I have the strong impression that Dieg’s personality and goals (if Dieg has any goals, at least those that are aligned with that of any student) are going to grate against mine and the other members of my house. If I am lucky Dieg won’t try to involve me in anything that I won’t already have to be involved because of school and will simply leave me alone. I will admit that Dieg, if a girl, is more than mildly attractive, and if a guy is, well, the same, though I doubt that most anyone my age would understand the ability to appreciate the attractiveness of a member of the same sex without actually being sexually attracted to such an individual and I would likely be branded inappropriately by other members of the student body. Also I can’t I am not at the very least curious to find out whether Dieg is male or female, and what sex, if any, Dieg identifies with.
Not all of them are disappointing selections mind you. Chrys Alias (a name I find amusing) for instance, seems to be an intelligent girl, who is also cute; two characteristics that don’t always seem to go together for some odd reason. I wonder who I am going to end up rooming with…whoever they are I hope they are quiet.
I suppose it goes without saying that things at Maesa are going to be “interesting”, but interesting to who I’m not sure about yet.

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Dieg's Recap 9.9

Sept 12: I am officially in Hell. This place is just like juvie, if juvie were run by hippies, which makes it worse than juvie. Of course I hate this place. Who the hell decided to put brains with delinquents anyway? Even I know that’s a bad idea.
I’d be perfectly happy if people would just leave me alone but a stupid sugar monkey keeps pestering me and there’s a creeper staring at everyone – judging them. Freak.
Damnit. My bastard grandpa just outed me to everyone. So yeah, I’m a bit pissy by the time I have to meet my roommates. We have to pick our own classes. I want to suggest 6 periods of punching and stabbing shit but at least we didn’t get a bunch of suckass classes.
I miss my Switch friends. They never thought of me as a girl and those that did I could set straight. But, fuck, I don’t wanna go back to juvie, so I’ll play their fuckin’ games. Even if it means making stupid ass agreements.

Sept 16: Most of the week was boring. No reason to write stupid shit. The pact we made was mostly about respect – I can get behind that. Best class so far is computers. Never thought I’d get to play games for school. That’s some sweet shit. They have a nice gym here. If I get strong enough, no one will call me a weak-ass girl anymore.
John was sick so I watched Kato. So did everyone else. I think that dog is more popular than anyone.
We played survival hide and seek. I shit you not. Then the school had a pack of coyotes. It was pretty sweet.

Sept 17: Parents didn’t show up. Fuck them.

??? – Having a weird dream. It sucks balls though. I don’t even have a motorcycle and the creeper and sugar monkey are in it. Least that one chick I room with is in it. We’re trying to find a zeppelin. Lamia? Lynn? I forget, but she seems smart – got common sense at least. Not like the creeper. Anyway, she thinks we’ll wake up from this stupid mess when we get to the zeppelin. Or the end of the road or something. I don’t think those roadrunner guys are friendly. Prolly going to fuck us over. That’s the way it always goes in my dreams.

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