It was an hour before I left the shambles of the trashed amusement park. The police officer had waved his gun up, wide eyed, motioning for me to stand. He told me to drop my weapon, but I think that was just out of nervousness because my sword, now back to its non-flaming form, was laying three feet to my left, splattered with mud, small ice fragments, and sparkly orange blood. He cuffed me in front of the watching field trippers. My only fan looked as though the officer had just arrested Mickey Mouse or something. It was a travesty.
I couldn't understand as I was sitting in the back of the police car, why I was being arrested. From what I could tell, I had just saved at least twenty bystanders from becoming monster chow. I was getting in trouble for doing a good deed? What's up with that?
Out of the backseat window of the cop car, I saw the officer skirt around metal poles, trying to collect any evidence he could. Every sign that may have confirmed the monsters' presence was gone, the ice shards melted and the orange blood seeped into the dirt. Nothing was left to show that they were ever here. Essence of me, however, could be found on just about everything. From burn marks on the ice cream stand, now smushed from a tail whip and lying in a heap, to the remnants of blue fur from the pompoms that had been dangling from my socks which blew away in the wind, I was everywhere. Funny, I don't remember even having blue pompoms on my socks. I glanced down at my feet. A rainbow of colored felt met my gaze. Did I really have that weird of fashion whoever I was? Honestly.
I thought for a moment, soaking in the heat from the car's vents above my head. Outside had been so cold, yet in here I was warm. It felt nice. I thought about what I had been doing before the monsters had attacked me. Or maybe I went looking for the monsters? Wait, so who attacked who? Everything was fuzzy up to when I opened my eyes to the mass of creatures and grabbed the sword off my belt. When I tried to think back before then, it felt like I was literally running into a brick wall. My head throbbed so bad, I almost collapsed. Barf danced around in my throat. I shook my head and thought of something else, puppies. The pain instantly went away. As if I had never felt it. In fact, I felt stronger when I didn't try to dig. I felt more with it, if that makes sense.
I had my eyes closed, letting the image of baby setters run through my mind, when there was a tap of the window. My head snapped around as my lids went up, yellow eyes taking in every detail of the officer's face as he glared at me from outside the car. My sword was in his hands. He shrugged his shoulders after a minute, before opening the driver's door and sliding onto the brown leather seat. The sword he wrapped in a Wal-Mart bag that was floating around on the floor and placed the bundle on the passenger's seat next to him. The key itself was an inch from the ignition when he turned around and studied me from the other side of the grate separating the back passengers from his front seat paradise. After a minute of silence, he spoke.
"What's your name, child?" he asked, his voice wise with an olden southern twang to it. I shrugged.
"I don't know," was my reply. Hey, I was telling the truth. The officer seemed unamused. My voice crackled like it was going to die completely, but I pushed it out stronger. I was determined to look as confident as possible.
"What were you doing back there?" His next question was asked with more curiosity behind it, for legal investigation or own personal interest, I couldn't tell.
"I was killing monsters." Another true statement. Not that he would ever believe me. The officer grew silent again before continuing.
"Where do you live?" he asked. His face was a blank mask, no emotion anywhere on it.
"Nowhere, I guess. I don't remember." I took a moment to study this guy closer. He had a round, fatherly face with a puffy brown caterpillar on his upper lip. It twitched as he breathed out hard. His skin was a fair tanned and his eyes sparkled greenish-blue. His comb must have been lost as the back of his head appeared to have been licked by a horse. Across his eyes sat another furry caterpillar of a unibrow. He was wearing the usual blue uniform with a comic book hero's utility belt around his waist, mace, gun, walkie talkie, cuffs, even a notepad and pen which stuck out of one of his many pockets. Armed for writing tickets, no doubt. I sat staring straight at him, waiting for another question. There came none. Instead, the officer turned and started the engine. It roared to life at his touch. The engine roared like one of the monsters I had just fought. At the sound, I unconsciously jumped in my seat.
"Well, Mrs. Amnesia, until those memories of yours start to reappear, and I advise you to make them soon, I'm gonna have to take you to Juvenile Hall 'till we can sort them things out," he said, pulling the car out of the dirty lot. A cleanup crew had already arrived and I watched as all the bystanders were evaluated by medics. They were the lucky ones, they got to go home. I don't even remember if I have a home to go back to.
The car zig-zagged through an empty parking lot, finally exiting the broken place and zooming out on to the highway. The land around us was barren with a few bushes dotting the pee yellow grasslands. I turned and saw a range of mountains far out to my left. Something told me that was west. The mountains continued, getting smaller and smaller in the distance. I would estimate we were about a good one to two hours drive from their base. I noticed a peak standing taller than the rest as if to watch over them. It watched over the land we drove through unendingly. Though it was summer, (or at least I think it's summer, the grass around here was awfully dry) there were still caps of snow on each mountain's tip. I looked to my other side. A few minor farm houses passed by, basically all the same though with puny differences. One had a shed behind it, another, a barn. One even had a grove of evergreen trees behind it, isolated in its own private forest. Other than that, the flat ground was empty and remained the same hazy brownish-yellowish, dead green color for miles around.
"Where are we?" I asked, never turning to look directly forward.
"Seriously Señorita? We were in a small park near Elizabeth, Colorado. There's the town there." He pointed out the windshield to a few buildings out a little right of where the car was heading. "But we're not going there. I'm taking you directly to the court official in Denver. It's that way." He moved his point off to the left to a cluster of lights, gleaming like fallen stars on the horizon. Denver must have been huge. You'd think I'd remember if I had ever been there. But the name didn't sound familiar.
We drove for what seemed like hours, but I saw on the dashboard clock it had only been twenty minutes. Not a word was spoken after that, only the fuzzy crackle over the police radio was heard. I tried to position myself comfortably, but that was pretty hard with my hands cuffed behind my back. On and on we drove until the car pulled to a slow stop at a traffic light. From the looks of it, we were maybe five miles from Denver. Already small stores and hotels were popping up out of the ground like daisies in cow manure, getting thicker and thicker, eventually leading into the city itself. The police car turned and we began heading down a poorly paved road. I figured I didn't have much for lunch that day as nothing bounced its way back up my throat. I glanced behind us. There were no other cars following us. I peeked around the driver's seat and looked at the stretch in front of us. No cars. We had the road completely to ourselves. I glanced down at my feet for a moment, wiggling my individually wrapped toes in my blue socks. Just about jumped out of my skin when the cop car skidded to a jolty stop.
"Damn!" the officer cried out as he slammed his foot down on the brake pedal. The front wheels froze and I found myself flying forward into the headrest. The leather tasted old and sun dried. Not good at all. I arched my back in an attempt to push myself back up without my hands. It semi-worked, but I had to lean up against the window for support.
"What the hell?" the officer mumbled as he unlocked his door and slid out. I inched my head around his seat to see two teen boys standing smack dab in the middle of the road.
They were tall built, taller than the cop by at least a foot, with curly red hair mirrored on both of them. They appeared to be twins. Each curve of their face was identical, each chiseled angle, each cylindrical line circling their eyes. The only difference was their eyes themselves, the boy in the left had grey eyes, while the one on the right had solid orange. Each was dressed in jeans and some sort of a Marlyn Manson tee-shirt with a pair of black sunglasses balanced perfectly on their rat's nest hair. They just stood there, in the middle of the road, unmoving. The officer walked up to them, but I was too far away to hear what was said. While my head was turned to the side, I heard a tapping on the glass opposite to me. My head swung around and I saw by far the most gorgeous face I had ever seen in my life.
Staring at me through the window was another teen boy, but he didn't look like the other two. He had more curvy lines on his face instead of angled and his hair, long brown, was curling around his pointed ears. I hardly noticed the ears though. I was too busy staring, (yes, I'm ashamed, I was staring) at his amazing face. His skin was a flawless tanned brown with a perfectly straight nose which separated two of the prettiest eyes ever. They were almond shaped and sea green, but as I watched, they shifted from the color of sea foam to the color of rose leaves, then to limes, then to something close to a green highlighter. He smiled at me when he noticed me watching. His smile was pure perfection too. I suddenly wished I had a comb.
He raised his hand in a quick wave before reaching into a back pocket and pulling out what looked like a switchblade. Sure enough, he flicked the black handle and out popped a knife blade. But this blade wasn't a silver, stainless steel kinda thing. This blade was pure gold. It reflected the light of the sun so it blinded me for a moment. I turned away, but not before I heard a crack in the metal behind me. I turned as the car door swung open and the angel looking boy stood in front of me, arm outstretched. He reached forward as far as he could and took his blade to my cuffs. They broke instantly. I still had a pair of clunky silver bracelets on, but at least now I could move my hands.
"Raven! Come on! What are you doing here? Where have you been?" His voice was hasty and I could tell he was out of breath. He pushed air out of his lungs like he was a dog panting. I scooted an inch closer to my door.
"Raven!" the boy said again, jolting his hand up and down in an attempt to get me to take it. I raised a finger and pointed to myself. He nodded, green eyes the size of quarters. I quickly glanced out the windshield one more time to see the officer still talking to the two boys in the street. Apparently they were stoned or something 'cause they kept jumping up and down so hyperly, much to the disdain of the cop who had one hand resting safely over his pepper spray. The orange eyed boy was saying something, his hands moving in a blur in front of him as he spoke. The cop was busy. For the moment.
I turned back to the boy beside me. He stared back at me earnestly, with something between fright and compassion shining in his eyes. I sighed, then reached out my hand and intertwined my fingers in his. He jolted me out of the cab so hard, the force of it popped my shoulder. I rubbed it in pain as he turned and ran away to a silver corvette parked a few feet up the road. Its engine was still running as it waited for its passengers. The boy took a few steps before realizing he wasn't being followed and turned to me.
"Raven, come on! Let's go home before the human comes back and finds you missing!" He waved his hand for me to come. My feet stayed rooted to the ground.
"I don't know you," I replied. As I said this, the boy's face turned from adrenaline to shock. I guess I offended him. He stood mouth agape for a few seconds before shaking himself.
"Yeah, okay Raven. That's funny. Right, this is payback for the mustard thing, isn't it? Yeah, well, let's continue this little joke at home, shall we?" His voice was still on edge, but he had a false smile plastered to his face. His teeth gleamed and I realized his canines were pointed and sharp. I shook my head even harder.
"I'm sorry. I think you're confused. I don't think I know you." The boy's face then turned to horror. His eyes looked as though my words had hit him like the blade of my flaming knife.
"You don't remember me? But Raven, it's me, Arrow. How could you....I mean....What?" His voice faltered as he took a several step towards me. His gaze was fixated on my face so I tried my hardest to keep the color out of my cheeks when he stood so close; his nose was three inches away from mine. His brow was knitted hard and he appeared to be studying me, probably making sure I really was this Raven girl. There was something in his eyes as I looked right into them that struck a chord or something in my brain and for a second, I actually think I remembered him. But it passed just as quick. He backed away, eyes still locked on mine.
"Memory spell, I'd know it anywhere. Come Raven, we need to get you home. I'm sure Dawn can fix up something to cure this." He gripped my hand harder than he should have and pulled me along. Fine, I'll go with him. Maybe I'll find out where those monsters came from. I shuffled forward a few steps before another thought hit me.
"Wait!" I said, ripping my hand free. I turned back and reached in to unlock the front passenger's door of the car. My hands found what they were looking for and I walked away with my sword in my grasp. Some feeling of importance floated around it and I was for sure not going to leave it behind. I didn't think it was even possible, but when I pulled it out, the boy's face looked even more shocked.
"Where did you get that?" he demanded. I opened my mouth to speak, but a yell cut me off. The police officer had spotted us and was sprinting this way, the two curly haired boys on his heels.
"Dude, run!" one of the twins yelled. The boy, Arrow, grabbed my wrist again and pulled me to the car. It was a convertible so he just jumped into the driver's seat. I cautiously opened the back seat, still contemplating actually getting in. I thought too long. A grip wrapped around my shoulder and I was thrust back. A cloud of dust flew into the air as both the police officer and I landed in the dirt. He groaned as my elbow accidentally (accidentally!) hit his groin as I pushed my way back onto my feet. I turned and got a face full of twin as one of the boys jumped right over the fallen officer and stopped, his face barely an inch away from mine.
"Sorry Raven!" he muttered, climbing around me and getting in the back seat of the corvette. His brother did the same, jumping basically over me and landing on the leather textile. I was about to squish myself in when the grip tugged me back down. The poor officer had mustered enough strength to squat on his knees and pull me into him. And when I mean mustered, I mean that man looked like he had just walked through hell. A gash about a foot long spread acrost his face, separating his mustache from his unibrow. One eye was black and puffy with one or two teeth missing as he grimaced at me. His hair was also a bit crisp, as if it had been burnt. When'd that happen?! He snarled at me, or at least I think it was an attempt at a snarl, it looked pretty painful.
My left hand was locked onto the front door handle, refusing to let go as the officer kept pulling. The car pulled forward a few feet, freeing me from my bonds. I took the moment to push myself into shotgun.
"Flint! Use the powder!" Arrow yelled to the backseat. The twin with the orange eyes fiddled around in a pack that hung across my headrest, out of which he produced a brown, drawstring pouch.
"Right, right!" he mumbled, dipping his hand into the pouch and pulling out a handful of coppery powder. We were driving about three miles an hour with the police officer hanging from the rear bumper, not fast enough to kill him, but we did go over a few bumps. Flint raised his fist and let the powder fly over the man's face. At once, his expression changed. From a hunting focus, it shifted to nothing, just a blank stare. He let go of the cool metal and slid down the ground, watching us as Arrow floored the gas and we zoomed off. My hand stayed at my side, where my fingers were curling around the sword's hilt. I only dared to speak when we had turned down another side street and the police car was out of sight.
"Will he die?" I asked, my voice no more than a whisper as I stared into the rear view mirror.
"No, he'll just think he was in a car crash," Arrow replied, never taking his eyes off the road in front of us. "Though I don't know where that burnt hair would have come from," he basically growled to the back seat.
"Sorry, I may have got a bit carried away," the grey eyed twin said, his gazed fixed on the floor mats.
"Yeah, way away!" his brother scolded. Grey eyes sunk lower in his chair.
"Not now, either of you! It's been too long of a day already. Let's just get home and figure out what in Luna's name has been happening." Arrow sounded like a natural born leader. I may have snuck a few peeks at him as he was driving, but I'll never admit that. But considering the really hot guy beside me and the really stupid sounding duplicates behind me, I wasn't worried about the fact that I had just hopped in a car with three complete strangers that obviously had no respect for law enforcement figures. I was worried about the poor policeman we had left in shambles behind us.
"Why will the cop think he crashed?" I asked, my gaze flitting to Arrow's perfect face. He answered without turning.
"That was Melicon Powder. It erases the memory of humans and fills their brain with memories of more logical explanations, like instead of seeing two dragons attack him and run off with his convict in a silver convertible, he'll see our car drive away and know we pulled him out of his car as he fell asleep at the wheel, bashing up his face pretty bad. We left him a good few feet from his car so he would wake up unharmed." Well that solution seems much more logical right?! Seriously?
"You don't know what it is? But girlie, you fixed up this batch yourself! I boiled the water for you!" Flint cried at me in disbelief. Wait, did our driver say dragons?
"Crank it down, dude. She's been struck by a memory spell. She doesn't remember anything," Arrow shot back. Both twins gasped.
"Wait, so dragons?" I asked, my voice crackling with uncertainty. I guess it couldn't have been weirder than the monsters I was fighting back at the park. Part of my head was unsurprised, but the other half was screaming, 'WTF?!'. Arrow sighed.
"Settle in, it's a long story and this is a long drive. We'll have you remembering things again by the time we get home!" Though his voice did not sound hopeful.