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Chapter 1
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? She?s just dancing there,? he said.? Who is she? I want to talk to her but I am afraid. She is so beautiful and graceful.?
And so it was, a woman, young, dancing there in front of him, twirling and turning this way and that, to ghostly music, slow and eerie. What was he to do? He wanted desperately to talk to this woman, yet, she was so graceful and elegant; if she took one look at him, she?d probably scream and run in the totally opposite direction, laughing as well at his scruffiness. He sat up in his bed, his eyes reflecting ember at the warm colours of what he was seeing, and his face half hidden by the darkness of the rest of the room. She had not yet noticed him so he was free to watch her gracefulness. He got up out of bed and walked to the wall; placing his hands upon it as if to see if it was really in front of him, he felt that it was solid, and in fact, another world that he was staring into. Her robes of pale grey and blue danced about her as she twirled, and the leaves rippled about her feet like water disturbed by a sudden drop of rain. Her long, blond hair glistened in the sun?s rays, taking in every pixel of light, nourishing the colour.
Then, without warning, she gazed upon him, her blue eyes piercing into the very depths of his soul. He stumbled back slightly for she was looking right into his eyes, smiling, as if to say, ? it is all right, I will not hurt you; therefore you have nothing to fear.? And he blinked, slowly. She then turned and began to dance, almost as if in slow motion, down the broad path of leaves; brown and golden and orange they were, the colours of autumn, and he watched her. Through the screen in his wall, almost as if the image had been projected onto it, she disappeared towards the horizon. He could hear her speaking his name, calling femininely, ? Wake up, Wake up, for it is time, and you shall be late.?
He mused at her words, for she had spoken as if he were asleep. ? Wake up?, she called again and her face appeared right in front of him. He looked up at her and saw her mouth open, and once again she spoke, ` Wake up Dustin, You are being called upon.?
* * * * * * *
Dustin awoke unpleasantly, to find he was drenched in water. ? Wake up! Wake up sleepy head.? Dustin?s mother called, in her left hand she held a bucket with a few drops of water in the bottom. Dustin sat in his bed, shivering as his mother walked out. He then looked out the window and saw children playing on the lush, green fields below. They were playing with balls and hula-hoops.
? Can?t believe those things are still in fashion.? He said to himself and got out of bed. Over to the wardrobe he walked, dripping water from his shoulder length brown hair as he went, and opened the doors. His white shirt, now grey as it was drenched in water, he slipped off and let fall to the floor. He selected a light blue short-sleeved cotton shirt and slipped it on, just in time to hear his older brother, Bobby come trotting down the hall. He stopped and stared in at his younger brother. He was dressed in long denim jeans, baggy, a green satin shirt, complimented by a black leather jacket. He leaned on the frame of Dustin?s bedroom door and opened his mouth to speak. A sympathetic smile lay across his face. A white light gleamed in his dark blue eyes.
? Hey Bro.? He said,? I see she got you with the bucket too, huh??
? Yeah,? Dustin replied as he slipped on a grey jumper, rip curl printed across the back and a zip with a ring for a zip-holder in the front, stretching down to the middle of his chest.? Can?t escape the attack of the deadly mom and the killer bucket of ice-cold water in the morning.? Dustin laughed at that last remark for it sounded so stupid he had to laugh as the words left his mouth. His brother walked in and whacked his shoulder playfully, yet hard, and twice and was about to do it a third time as he turned, when their mother called.
? Bobby get your ass down here this minute.? She said.? Do NOT make me come up there and throw more water on you.?
Bobby clenched his teeth, smiled at his brother and walked out. Dustin smiled and slipped off his shorts and slipped on a pair of black cotton pants, long. Looking at a photo of his dad that lay upon the small wooden bedside table, he turned left and walked out of his room. Down the long passage he walked, passing the bathroom to his left, as well as the study, his brother?s bedroom and library, also on the left, another bathroom on his right and his mother?s bedroom before coming to the twenty steps leading to the bottom floor of his house.
Downstairs, his mother, Judith was shouting to Bobby about something he did to the new Nissan Pulsar out the front. Dustin, trying hard to keep a smirk off his face that was fast approaching, walked up to them, his sneakers squeaking on the marble floor. Their mother was shouting, for her new car of six weeks, had a small dent on it just under the door handle of the driver side door.
? Come on mom, it was an accident.? Bobby said.? I, I didn?t even do it?personally.?
? Oh, oh real smart Bobby,? Judith replied. By this time, Dustin?s light, crystal blue eyes were moving back and forth. ? So what do you suppose, the local car-trasher just picked mine out of the many thousands of cars and whacked a dent into it, for fun using a bat or something??
The two brothers stared at each other in confusion. Their mother had not made sense at all, but at the same time she made some sort of sense. Bobby looked back at Judith.
? Something like that.? He said. At this, Judith fumed, and laughing, Bobby said: ? I?m joking, I?m joking? No what really happened is, I was slowing for a red light,?
? I should bloody well hope so,? Judith interrupted.
? And some guy was right up my ass and smashed into me.?
? Uh, huh?? the boys? mother remained silence for a few moments and broke the silence with:? Okay? go bundle yourselves into the car. I have that conference to get to.? She was dressed in a long skirt, just past the knee, navy blue accompanied by a white frilly blouse that complimented with a high shouldered navy blue overcoat. Her brown hair was tied back in a bun and she wore a light, red lipstick.
? Well don?t just stand there? get moving or I?ll use the water.? At that, Dustin and his brother, three years older than him, walked briskly to the car, their mother walking slowly, and smiling, behind them.
She got into the car, just as Dustin closed his door, a smile planted on his face, and looked at her sons in the rear view mirror. She smiled and spoke.
? Y?know what? ? She said. ? If you boys don?t get your acts together, I?ll end up paying thousands on those water bills.?
Bobby smiled slightly at that comment and Judith turned on the engine of the car. Dustin leaned forward and looked at his mother, whose face was in his as she turned to reverse out of the long paved driveway. She looked down at him and placed her foot slowly on the brake.
? Yes, honey?? She said.
? ? Nothing.? Dustin replied and sat back in his seat properly, placing his hand on the belt band and fastening it around his waste. Bobby smirked at him through his long light brown fringe and leaned back, his gaze now at the front. Judith backed out slowly, almost crashing into a blue Camry who came zooming past.
? Jesus,? she said quietly to herself and opened the window and shook her fist at the car. ? What the HELL is wrong with you? Where did you get your license you moronic demonic freako geeko??
Dustin and Bobby covered their faces with their hands.? Gees.? Dustin said.? One of these days she?s gonna get us all killed.?
? Yeah,? Said Bobby.? I agree with you on that one.?
As they spoke, Judith sped down the road and came to a screeching holt when the lollipop lady came strolling out, holding that nice lollipop with the "go" sign and the "stop" sign, one on each of its sides. Her face was wrinkled yet pretty and she looked of the nice and kind type, of person. Of course, it was the "stop" sign, in which she flashed at them. Judith slowed the car to a stop, and watched as a group of children, ten at most, carefully crossed the road, looking both ways.
? Mom,? Bobby began.? Can?t you just run them over? They are so slow and sitting here bores me.?
? Now Bobby you know very well I wouldn?t do that,? Judith replied.? They aren?t big enough and would pass under my wheels unharmed. Now that wouldn?t be fun, would it??
A silence grew over the company of two as they held in laughter. Dustin however, just sat in the right back seat, behind his mother with a horrified look on his face. Bobby looked at him and broke the silence as he laughed. ? Gees, chill lil? Bro.? He said.? We were only jokin?.?
Judith swivelled in her chair and looked at the boys seriously. ? Yeah?Well half joking.? Then she laughed. Dustin only found this a little amusing, and soon got over it as they were on the road again; singing to " I?m on The Road Again" Which was playing on the radio. Over one highway they passed and under a few million bridges, as it seemed to Dustin, and they finally came to a large fifty story building. Judith parked the car in the underground parking and while placing the lock over the steering wheel, the boys got out and began to walk upwards. Bobby had his arms crossed and Dustin, as always, had his hands in his pockets and stared at the ground. Judith soon after came power walking after them and placed her hand on Dustin?s chin and lifted it.
? Now Dustin,? She said as he stared at her green eyes with his blue ones.? You know full well that staring at the ground and slouching over all the time will make you shorter than a dwarf when you?re older.?
Dustin stared up at his mother, who was unusually tall, standing at five feet and eleven inches, then at his brother who was also that height. Dustin himself, only, at Fifteen years of age, stood at five foot and nine inches. He still had about three years left to grow. He then drew his attention back to the ground, trying to keep his head at an upward angle so was to please his mother. They finally came to the big building that they had seen and walked up to the double sliding doors. Dustin stopped as the others walked on. Bobby stopped and looked back at his little bro. Which got their mother?s attention and she too stopped.
? What is it Dustin?? He said as he walked up to Dustin.
? I still don?t understand why I had to come, or you for that matter.? He said. Bobby slapped his brother hard on the back, yet playfully and shoved him forward.
? That?s a mom for you, lil? bro.? He said.? Now move forward, soldier.?
Soldier. Dustin thought. That is what his dad would call him every time they did something together and he would fall behind. He was killed in a motorbike accident when Dustin was three, and although he didn?t know his dad all too well, he still missed him. Judith remarried of course, to someone her sons didn?t like at all, especially Dustin, and he never said why, But his mother was happy, and that made the boys happy. She broke up with the man fours years after their marriage; Dustin was eight years old, his big brother Bobby eleven. Anyway, who wants to dwell on the past, right?
Dustin?s train of thought was disturbed when a tall, strange looking man bumped into him, knocking him to the ground. He looked up and gasped for air, for he had been winded, and looked around for Bobby and his mother, yet they were already up the escalator. He stood up, picked up the papers in which the man had spilled and handed them to him.
? Oh, thank you young man.? The man said slowly in a sly tone.? I am sorry that I?? The man looked Dustin up and down and Dustin shivered and stepped back, ? I am sorry I knocked you over.? then straightening his glasses and smoothing the creases out of his suit, the man made for the doors. Dustin looked back at him and ran to the escalator. When he got to the top, he found himself staring into the eyes of his brother.
Where the heck did you get to?? he said and grabbed Dustin?s arm.? Mom?s been worried sick.?
Dustin looked up.? I was gone less than two minutes.? He said. ? There is no way she could be rationally worried.?
? Yeah well, you know moms, they worry within the first second they notice their child missing, well, ours anyway.?
When Bobby had lead Dustin back to their mother, as worried sick as she was, she hugged her son and squeezed his cheek, as she always does when re-united with him.
? Mother please.? Dustin said. ? That kinda hurts.?
? Awe honey, I thought some tall weird looking man in a greyish suit had kidnapped my baby and I worried sick.?
Nearby, some teenage girls were walking passed and laughed at Dustin for to them it seemed he was a mommy?s boy. Dustin rolled his eyes back and shrugged his mother off him. He and Bobby walked behind her as she carried on down the corridors of the huge hall and make her way up in one elevator and into a room that says, " PLEASE BE SEATED AND WE SHALL HAVE SOMEONE COME OUT FOR YOU IN A SHORT MOMENT. THANK YOU!"
? Now boys....? Judith said sternly. ? I do NOT want you running around causing havoc and crashing into people all right??
? Yea, Sure...? said Bobby. ? No sweat. Besides, we already had Dustin do that for us.?
? ... Yea I guess.? Replied Dustin ignoring Bobby?s words as he seated himself on a chair that was covered in orange material with green and yellow flowers over it.
? I will be back in an hour if all goes well, all right? Ok, cya guys.? With that, Judith turned and walked up the long corridor, passing people who had files and endless amounts of paper in their arms, and walked into the room at the end. Bobby sat down next to his brother and crossed his arms and slid down the chair until his legs were half sticking in the pathway. Dustin looked at him then did the same thing. How bored they were, they could not even try to say to each other. Bobby stood up and looked down at his younger brother.
? I?m gonna get some coffee, or somethin?.? He said. ? D?you want anything??
Dustin looked up; his blue eyes reflected the light that hung above the two boys. ? Yeah...No, I am fine thanks.? He replied finally.
? Ok,? Bobby said ruffling Dustin?s hair. ? I?ll be back soon, ?k little buddy? Do not go anywhere? Then he walked to the opposite end of the hallway that his mother had gone down, and out of the door, a strange looking man came in passed him. He sat down seven seats away from Dustin, and stared at the boy through his messy black fringe with his dark green eyes. Dustin glanced at the man and noticed that he had walked into this man before, at the bottom of the escalators. He shivered and felt his eyes roll back involuntarily. He frowned as a feeling so cold it burned him, ran through his body from his neck to his shoulders. This was intense, what was he going to do? Obviously, that man was doing this to him.
When he opened his eyes, he saw that the man had disappeared and he had just caught a glimpse of his dark green jacket, caught, and slipping through between the door and its frame. He quickly ran and followed the man, right out into the open and saw that the man had disappeared as if into thin air. He sighed and shrugged his shoulders. Standing there for a while, his blue eyes searching the many faces hair and clothes of the passing people, he was pulled back by a rough hand back into the room. He was shoved into a chair roughly and the smell of coffee lingered through his nostrils. He coughed and looked up to see his brother, a stern expression on his face.
? What the hell is wrong with you? I and Mom told you not to move...? Bobby whispered as he sat next to his little brother, his widely built body casting a shadow on Dustin?s medium built one.
? Correction... She told US not to move.? Dustin said.
? I?m gonna have to tell her.?
Dustin crossed his arms and looked sad and scared as his brother sipped the hot coffee, black with no sugars.
Two hours passed and Dustin had fallen asleep, his head on his brother?s right shoulder when their mother finally came out. Bobby perked up and moved his brother gently so it was that he lay across two chairs. He stood up and hugged Judith as she came up to him. She looked over his shoulder at Dustin. He was so cute there, sleeping on the chairs, his beautiful blue eyes covered by his long lashes and eyelids as he slumbered. Judith walked over to the Fifteen-year-old and shook his shoulders softly. He didn?t wake. Bobby came over and began to call his brother?s name, and still Dustin did not wake. Bobby looked at his mother who had a concerned look on her face.
? Maybe he is just tired.? He said and gathered his brother up into his arms. His head lay upon Bobby?s Right shoulder and his body in his arms. Bobby walked out followed closely by his mother who was watching his brother closely. Then she gasped as she saw a thin blue stream peer from under his eyelids.
? Ah, he is awake.? Bobby said as he manoeuvred his brother in such a way that he could peer into his face. Dustin Yawned and rubbed his eyes.
? Mom? You are finished with the conference.? He said and yawned again.
? Gees bro. You have been asleep for less than two hours and, your breath really smells.? Bobby said.
Dustin frowned and hopped out of Bobby?s arms. ? How was it?? he asked looking up at his mother.
" It was fine... I got the job.? Judith replied. Bobby stopped as did Dustin and he jumped into the air.
? That is FANTASTIC.? Dustin shouted. ? You are the boss of that new law firm??
? Uh-huh, it?s called "The Family Fraud and Harassment Lawyers", or the " FFHL" for short... Cool huh??
? Yeah that?s fantastic.? Bobby said and hugged his mother again. ?Really great.?
They went down in the elevator then down the escalator and came to the underground parking. It was cold and damp; the sides of the roads were covered in a white foamy substance. Dustin shivered and his brother placed his huge black jacket on him, which, to his mother?s despair, made him slouch.
? Thanks.? He said.
? Hey it wasn?t for you. I didn?t want to get into trouble. Besides, mom would have bothered me about it eventually. So I thought save the hassle of hearing her shrill voice.? Bobby smirked and his mother shoved him slightly away from her, smiling. They came to the car and Judith unlocked all the doors by placing the key in the drivers? side and activating the central locking. They all bundled in, Bobby in the front seat, next to his mother, of course, and Dustin lying across the back and closing his eyes.
? Why is it so cold?? He said, snuggled up in Bobby?s jacket.? It?s a thing called Winter Dustin.... The snow is setting in.? Said Bobby as their mother pulled out of the Underground parking, skidding slightly as she dodged a car that was swerving her way.
? Gees I swear, the people in this world are so stupid, speeding on slippery roads. Makes me sick to think they are humans.? She said.
? Maybe...They aren?t.? Dustin said slurring in speech. Bobby laughed loudly then stopped abruptly as if to say " Ha, Ha very not funny." For two long hours the boys and their mother drove, again under millions of bridges and across railway tracks. On the ten-minute home stretch, Judith found herself at the end of a long traffic jam. Bobby looked out ahead and cursed silently, for there were at least two hundred cars in front of them. Judith placed her foot slowly on the brake, looked ahead and sighed.
? Well boys, it looks like we will be here for at least four hours, unless the pace picks up a bit.? She said and placed her hands lazily upon the top of the steering wheel.
Two hours past and they were out of the traffic jam. Well they weren?t actually out of it but the cars were moving at a more reasonable pace. If they kept it up, Judith and the boys would be at their, double story, two bedroom, three bathroom, two kitchen home in Beverly Hills, California within half and hour. And this, the cars did. They moved at sixty miles per hour, although in a seventy zone, when Bobby cried out and pointed out through his mother?s window. She looked over and gasped, covering her mouth with her right hand.
? Oh, My God.? She said through it. Dustin was asleep on the back seat and didn?t hear the entire goings on. Instead, he dreamt.
? My god, what happened?? Judith asked as she stared down the road at a seven-car pile up.
? I don?t know, mom. Gees how am I supposed to know I wasn?t there you know.? Said Bobby as a Police Officer came walking up to them.
? I know honey. And thank god.?
? Excuse me ma?am, but you are gonna have to keep going.? He said, his green eyes watery with small tears. ? You cannot be holdin? up traffic.? He had a southern accent, similar to that of a Texas resident. He motioned his hands in front of Judith and she, unaware that she had stopped, began to move again. She watched in the rear view mirror, as the Officer grew smaller and disappeared as they drove down the road. Judith and Bobby were quiet to each other for the rest of the way home, and Dustin woke up.
? Hey, Bro.? Bobby said looking back. ? You missed the drive home, and the traffic jam and the crash! How was your sleep??
? Crash?? Dustin said quietly to himself. ? Yeah, it was ok... I feel much more awake then I was earlier.?
? That?s good to hear son.? Said Judith as she pulled the car into the driveway and pushed the red button upon her ring of keys, which opened the double spaced garage. They sat there for a while as the garage began to slowly open, and when it did, Judith drove in and parked the car. Dustin got out first and made his way to the front door.
? Dustin, why not come through this door?? His mother asked as she pointed to the brown single door that stood near where she had parked. Dustin shrugged and continued to walk. He reached the Front door and placed his hand on the knob. He then turned around and saw a man, tall and dark, a big build, standing at the foot of his driveway. He was so strange this man, Dustin thought, just standing there for no comprehensible reason, staring at him. He was about to tell his mother when Bobby opened the door, startling him.
? What?s the matter Dust? Can?t you open doors anymore?? He said.
Dustin looked up at him threateningly. ? Of course I can.? He said and turned to see the man that was at the foot of his driveway, was there no more. He frowned and walked in, Bobby closing the door shortly after.
That night they had a roast chicken for dinner. Roast chicken, crunchy and brown accompanied by carrots, (baby) peas, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, corn kernels and a lot of rice. Dustin was only half way through his meal when he began to feel full. Bobby as always finished his meal and his mother gave the rest of her dinner to their German shepherd, Fox. He was three years old, and loved the boys. He loved Judith as well but loved Dustin and Bobby more.
After dinner, Dustin went to his room and sat on his bed, sketching shapes and messing them up when his dog joined him.
? Oh, Fox...? He cried. ? You made me stuff up. Settle down and then, maybe you can stay.? He then shoved the dog to the end of the bed and continued to sketch. ?Two days,? he thought, ?and I would be returning to crappy college. Facing those assholes Grunt and Stone...? His thoughts were disturbed when he saw his dog was licking him on the mouth. He shoved the dog away and jumped up off the bed.
? Eugh, That?s gross Fox, get lost.? He shouted and ran to the bathroom. The dog just sat there on his bed waiting for his master to come back, tongue dangling out and dripping with drool. Dustin stayed in the bathroom for at least three minutes, washing the drool off his mouth and face, with hot water then cold.
? God Damn it.? He cursed to himself. ? That dog is a trouble... But I love him.?
When he stood up straight, he looked in the mirror at his face. How scruffy and messy he thought himself to be...He then turned and dried his face and hands on the Towel that hung upon the towel rack. It was blue with faded grey knives for the pattern. He then looked up into the mirror again, screamed and fell back startled and pinned himself against the wall. Bobby and Judith came rushing up the stairs, thudding along the way. Bobby was first to the bathroom, and he bashed on the door, but it wouldn?t move.
? Dustin, Dustin? Are you all right little buddy?? He cried, as he rattled the doorknob from the outside, vigorously.
? Dustin, are you all right Honey?? Judith shouted.? What?s wrong, baby??
Dustin lay on the floor, covering his head and screaming in pain. He rolled from left to right in the far right corner from the doorway. Five minutes later, Bobby was able to bash the door open and ran to his little brother that was now unconscious. Then his mother came up and placed her hands on either sides of his face.
? Dustin, Honey?? She cried. ? What?s wrong with him??
? I Don?t know,? Said Bobby. ? Wait, I think he?s comin? round.?
Indeed, he was waking up. His eyes slowly opened and Bobby and Judith could see the blue colour of his irises. He coughed and sat up, breathing heavily and staring at the mirror. Judith turned his head so was to face him to her. He didn?t look at her. Instead, he stood up, with the help of Bobby, walked to the mirror, and peered through it. He couldn?t see anything and didn?t hear when his brother was calling him. Their mother walked up to him and slashed water from the tap below, in his face. He then snapped out of the daze he was in and looked at his mother, then Bobby.
? Hey, Dustin, what up?? Bobby said, his left hand, on Dustin?s shoulder.
? My head hurts.? Dustin replied and his mother grabbed his hand and walked out of the bathroom, followed by Bobby.
Downstairs, two hours later, Judith had given Dustin an aspirin and she and Bobby watched him closely as he sat in front of the window staring out into the darkness of night that had now crept over Beverly Hills. He gave a big sigh and turned to notice his family, as well as his dog, Fox, staring at him with interest.
?...What?? He asked, a tinge of annoyance in his voice. Fox walked up to him; his tail curled between his legs and he sat upon Dustin?s feet. Dustin tightened his lips as if to hold in a sympathetic sob, and scratched Fox?s head. Looking up at Bobby and then to Judith, he sighed again.
? I?m sorry guys.? He said. ? I didn't mean to yell at you all. It?s just that you keep staring at me, since I came out of the bathroom.?
? Oh Honey, ? Said Judith, a slight quiver in her voice. ? We didn't mean to crowd you, we are just concerned that's all.?
? Yea, I mean, you were screaming? first and then when we bashed the door down, you were unconscious.? Bobby interjected. Judith remained pacing in front of the fireplace. She then stopped, stooped and lit a match and threw it onto the wood and coal. The fire came to life almost immediately, lighting the room with golden ember colours.
? There is nothing wrong with me y?know. It was probably just a headache thing. No, No in fact, it was a headache thing!? Dustin crossed his arms and sunk deeper into the dark green armchair.
? Either way, I think I will take you to the doctor tomorrow.? Judith said.
? Yea, it could be a tumour.? Bobby said foolishly.
? It?s not a tumour you stupid boy.? Judith cried.
? Sorry, sorry. I was just tryin? to make him feel better.?
? Oh yeah, thanks it worked a whole lot.? Said Dustin in reply as Judith began to rub his forehead as if smoothing cream across it.
? Mother,? he said.
? Yes honey?? Judith replied as she smiled and looked down into his eyes.
? What the heck are you doing??
? I am soothing you.?
? I don?t need soothing.? Dustin cried and shoved Judith away.
? Hey look... I have had enough of your crap... all I have been trying to do is help you all right? So don?t give me crap, god, damn it!? Judith shouted so loud that it even scared Bobby... only slightly though.
?...? Dustin was speechless and watched as tears fell from his mother?s eyes. He then stood up and swallowed a guilty lump in his throat then hugged her.
? I?m sorry mom,? He said. ? But I just don?t need it.?
? Yea, you do Dust.? Said Bobby, ? We found you unconscious in the bathroom... I mean that?s extreme, man.?
Dustin looked at his brother and stood. ? I am tired.? He said. ? I think I am gonna retire.? With that, he turned and walked up the stairs to his room, soon followed by Bobby who walked to his. Their mother remained downstairs cleaning and stressing over the health of her youngest son, as a mother would do.
Dustin climbed into bed and stared at the ceiling thoughtfully. Tomorrow, Wednesday, he would go to the doctor, find out nothing was wrong with him and return to school, which incidentally started the next day as well. He then jumped in fright as his dog Fox jumped up onto his bed and curled by his feet. The dog rested its head upon her left leg as it rested upon the right one, and she stared at Dustin lovingly. He sat up, kissed Fox?s head and then lay down, and went to sleep.
? Good night girl,? he whispered.
* * * * * * *
? She?s here again. Only this time, we are not in my room.? He whispered to himself. ? Where are we, then??
? We are in the Caribbean, my child.? The woman said as she suddenly walked in front of Dustin, startling him. He watched as she danced and twirled her way over a large mound of green lush grass overlooking the sea and tall ocean resorts. Dustin moved over to where she stood and peered over the edge. He saw that they were high on a cliff, perhaps the highest he had ever seen, and he soon stepped back. The woman looked at him with a soft smile. ? What is the matter?? She asked slowly. It sounded as if she was speaking in a large valley, for an echo followed her words long after they had left her lips. Dustin stepped slightly back and watched as a dark figure rose in front of the Woman, casting a large shadow over her and blocking the sun from reflecting off her white skin and blonde hair. The dark figure then reached into his jacket and pulled out something slowly, held in both of his hands. Dustin gasped as he saw a samurai sword in both hands of the dark figure, and he lunged forward and grabbed at the woman?s hand. He pulled her away just as the dark figure slashed at her and he fell back.
Then, as he stood up, Dustin felt a dark shadow over him and turned to see another figure as it lunged at him. He dove to the side as the dark figure?s sword plunged into the ground. He then kicked it in the face and was taken by the hand by the woman as she gracefully floated above the ground. He saw that her feet weren?t touching the ground and blinked hard to see whether his mind was playing tricks on him. Then he looked back as the dark figures stood tall and chased after them. He cried out in fear as another grabbed his ankle and pulled him hard into the ground. His grip upon the woman?s hand was released as he fell, and the woman disappeared, leaving him to fend against the strong tall dark figures on his own. He turned and rolled onto his back as the dark figure that had pulled him down, rose through the ground and began to slash at him with its fingers. He punched it in the nose and it returned the blow with a punch to Dustin?s stomach, then his face. He cried in pain as the dark figure pinned him to the ground and began to rip his clothes. Then he could see, standing tall above the first dark figure, the other figures. Their swords were pointed at the sky and held at chest height.
They wore long dark green coats with hoods. They also wore, on their faces, masks of a lighter green, yet still dark. Their eyes were black with red cat shaped pupils and they hissed with every intake of air. Dustin tried to kick the dark figure off of him as it stared at the others, and he punched it in the stomach. It screeched ear-piercingly high and loud and through itself off of Dustin. He then looked at it shocked, for he had not punched it that hard, and then he realised his life was in danger and scrambled to his feet and ran down the hill and passed trees of unimaginable height and lush greenness. He jumped over large roots and ducked under vines that hung low from tree to tree as he ran through a jungle of all colours. The leaves were shaded in greens, yellows oranges, browns and blacks even, and the tree trunks were of blues reds and browns. Dustin stared at them in awe as he ran passed. Then he glanced behind his shoulder for a second as he heard screeching the screeching of those creatures that tried to seize him earlier and almost did. He turned and faced ahead again, then blinked and shut his eyes hard for a light so blinding had flashed into the corner of his left eye.
He looked to his left to see that the woman was floating beside him, floating at his speed, as the evil dark figures grew closer. He looked back as one threw its sword at him. He ducked and the sword missed, yet another was aimed at him and this time, it pierced his back, forcing its way through and out the other side as if forced through by magic. He screamed in pain and fell to the ground. The woman floated ahead before she had noticed that Dustin was next to her no longer. She stopped and turned a look of sadness and worry on her face. She moved as if in slow motion as her whole body turned, as she ran to where Dustin had fallen and as an arrow whistled past her. She glanced for a moment at where the arrow had been shot from and saw a young man, in his early twenties maybe. He was holding a bow of silver and had arrows of gold. His long blonde hair blew to the right in the breeze and glistened in the sun that shone through the trees, casting spots of light upon the fallen autumn leaves that lay on the ground. The woman continued to run her breathing loud and in short breaths and she stopped; she could see Dustin, lying amongst the golden brown leaves, a sword at his side. His hands were clasped over his stomach, and he glanced up at her as she ran to kneel by his side. A tear, heavy of emotion fell from her left eye and hit the ground, moistening it and turning the leaves to colours of green and red, spreading over them with a ripple effect. She stared down at Dustin who had an expression of pain on his face as she gathered him into her arms. She cradled him for a while, and did not move as the dark figures closed in, whispering into Dustin?s ear.
? W, What?? Dustin asked, a hint of croak in his throat as he looked up at her.
? Live on, my young one. Live so that others may live. Live to save what is your Destiny to save... Live for the....?
* * * * * * *
Dustin felt cold, fast winds move about him, and the woman disappeared. He woke to find himself lying in his bed, at his home of thirty-eight Collins Drive, Beverly Hills, California. He blinked hard at the ceiling as sound came back to his ears. He then winced in pain and lifted up his shirt. He looked down at his stomach and saw that there was no wound.
? Was it all a dream?? he asked himself. ? Was that merely one of the many others I have had and am surely yet to have?? he was speaking quietly, and coughed as he sat up. He was startled when his mother, Judith jumped out from behind the passage walls with a bucket of water in her hands. Dustin could tell it was water in the bucket for Judith was spilling it everywhere; and because it was the bucket that she used whenever he or his brother would not get up after her calling them a million times. She walked in, put the bucket down by the wardrobe, and sat on Dustin?s bed beside him.
? Ah,? she breathed. ? I am glad to announce, walls and bed sheets of Dustin?s room, that I shall not be pouring my water bill onto him today, for he is awake... how are you baby?? she asked as Dustin gave a look of concern at his mother. ? What??
? Mom,? Dustin began as he rubbed his head. ? If you are expecting a reply from... My sheets and walls, you ain?t gonna get it.? Judith gave out a friendly laugh and ruffled Dustin?s hair.
? Come on lazy.? She said. ? We have to get you to the doctor, then to school.?
? School?? Dustin gulped.
? Yea sweetie.? Replied Judith. There was a long pause. ? The place where children five to eighteen go to learn stuff... maths, science, English.?
? Gees mom I know.? Dustin smiled at his mother as she gave his forehead a kiss and walked toward the door. She turned as Dustin called her.
? Yea honey?? She said.
? I am fine. We don?t need to go to the doctor.?
? Dust, don?t you think we should for a check up? I mean you have not had one in four years. My mother says to have your...?
?... Have your kids checked every two years, I know.? Dustin interjected.
? That?s right.? Judith answered as Dustin crawled out of bed.
? Are you all right sweetie?? She asked concerned as Dustin?s face was slightly tightened, as if in pain. He quickly straightened and gave off an expression of comfort at his mother?s words.
? Yea, sure... fine. Hey mom,? Dustin said. ? Why should I go to some quack when I should be at school? Why not go to the quack when I am finished? I mean, missing the first minutes, maybe even hours of school, isn?t good, especially for the first day back, y?know??
Judith looked around Dustin?s room and noticed that it was tidy, and he had taken a liking to school. ? You know honey,? she began. ? I...? she was interrupted when Bobby called her from downstairs.
? Hang on I?ll be down in a sec.? She shouted.
? Now, mom.? The distant voice of Dustin?s brother could be heard. ? I need help with this god damn it.?
Judith sighed, smiled at Dustin and walked out, stomping down the stairs and her voice could be heard as she replied to Bobby, their shouting conversation vibrating the walls. Dustin smirked and walked to his wardrobe. Today he picked a light grey shirt that had a low neck a black stripe at the bottom and was unusually big and black cotton pants. He wore over his shirt, a large dark blue jacket with the words, ?Dead? printed in white across the front and ?or Alive? printed in white across the back. He packed his bag and ran down the steps to meet his brother and Judith in the kitchen.
Bobby was sitting at the head of the six-person table, eating toast with thickly spread cheese and butter, as well as peanut butter, and a fried egg and a slice of thick ham.
? Recipe for the good diet.? Dustin called out sarcastically as he sat down at the other end of the table. He had a look of disgust on his face as his brother bit into his fourth slice of fatty toast. Judith walked up to Dustin and placed in front of him a slice of toast with avocado pair and tomatoes, and next to that, a tall glass of carrot, apple and pineapple juice, all in one. He winced at that and bit happily into the toast, every now and then glancing shortly at the concoction to his left.
? Don?t forget to drink that juice boys.? Judith said as she placed the same juice to Bobby?s left. Both boys stared at their drinks, then at each other after they had finished eating, and stood up quietly. Then, much to their surprise, Judith turned from washing dishes and looked at the boys. They glanced at each other as she noticed they had guilty smiles on their faces. They then looked at their mother and Bobby, followed closely by Dustin, ran like the wind through the house, closely pursued by their mother. She screamed and laughed after them as they ran up the steps. Bobby turned to the left and whispered to Dustin to go right and so he did.
Bobby ran to the left of the staircase on the second floor, passed the miniature library, passed a bathroom, and came to his brother?s room. He hid there as he could here his mother?s calls. She slowly walked up the steps, her stance as if she was some kind of predator, and she turned to the right.
Dustin was hiding in Judith?s room and stared around at the large room, ducking under the bed as she walked in. She slowly and lightly placed one foot in front of the other and giggled like a little girl.
? Boys.? She said slowly. ? Oh boys?? She echoed, this time a little louder. Dustin struggled to hold in a laugh as his mother walked closer to the bed. ? I can?t believe we are playing hid and seek with our mom.? He thought to himself.
Judith stooped and placed her hand at the bed covers and slowly began to lift them up. Just as she was about to peer underneath, Bobby shouted out to her from Dustin?s room, saving Dustin from being found out by his mother.
? Mom.? He shouted. ? Come here for a sec.?
Judith stood erect and walked at normal pace out of her room and into Dustin?s where she found Bobby. Dustin sighed in a playful relief and appeared from underneath Judith?s bed as she disappeared into his room. He frowned and mused at what they were both looking at in there, and began to walk to his room.
Inside his room, Judith and Bobby?s backs were facing him and they held something. Bobby turned and was startled when he saw Dustin at the door.
? What is so interesting that you have to turn your backs to the door? And that you have to be startled by my unexpected appearance?? Dustin asked them. Judith turned at the sound of her youngest son?s voice and smiled sweetly.
? Hey bro.? Bobby said. ? I knew you could draw great, but this picture is extra special.?
Dustin snatched the drawing from his brother?s hands, folded it, took it downstairs, and thrust it into his bag. ? Why were you snooping through my stuff?? he asked calmly.
? We weren?t snooping.? Bobby replied. ? I simply found it on the floor by the window. I picked it up and looked at it for a while, that?s all.?
? Yea, but it?s private.?
? Awe honey,? Judith said with a sympathetic smile as she walked down the stairs, her left hand upon the brass railings. ?.... She really is beautiful.?
Dustin looked at his mother. ? ... You really think so??
? Hey yea bro. She?s a babe.? Bobby interjected. ? Where?d you see her? From TV or somethin???
? No actually she was in a dream I had last night.? Dustin replied with. Judith looked at the clock and noticed the time was four minutes to nine.
? Ah my god, quick boys. Bundle yourselves into the car.? She screamed. ? Dustin school starts in five minutes, four minutes sorry.?
? What? Well where is Bobby going?? Dustin asked as he ran to the Pulsar, closely followed by Judith.
When they got to the car, Dustin noticed that Bobby was already in the front seat tightening his belt. Dustin shuffled into the back seat and clipped in the belt as Judith climbed into the car and put the key in the ignition.
? Well?? Dustin asked again.
? Well, what honey??
? Where is Bobby ... Bobby where are you going this morning?? Dustin asked his big brother.
? Oh I am gonna see a movie with my friends, Donna and Mark.? Bobby replied. ? I?d take you little bro. But you got school remember??
Dustin sighed and sat back in his chair.
? What shall you be doing after school Dusty?? Judith asked.
? Oh I am gonna go to the Diner with Kristen and Darren.? Dustin replied.
? Ah yes. That Kristen really is a pretty girl.?
? Ma, don?t even say it. She is my friend.? Dustin rolled his eyes back and smiled.
? Just you watch, boy.? Judith added.
? Yea,? Bobby interjected. ? You and her will be swappin? spit in no time.?
? Gees, Bobby.? Dustin sank in his chair, red with embarrassment.
? What? It happened with Donna and I.?
? You never told me you and Donna were an item.? Judith remarked as she backed out of the driveway and turned left, drove down the rode and turned into another driveway, the driveway of the school.
? That?s ?cause I never wanted to.?
? Never mind. Gees talk about this when I am gone.? Dustin interjected. ? Fine, fine ... Welcome back to Marlburry Heights College, my son.? She said to Dustin as he got out of the car with his Nike bag.
? Thanks mom,? Dustin said, ? but once again, I coulda just walked.?
? I know.? Judith replied and kissed Dustin on his left cheek and drove out of the driveway. Dustin waved to Bobby and his mother as they drove off.
Here he was, back at the crummy school, or so he thought of it as crummy, and back to the bitchy teachers and bullies that just conveniently were bigger than him. Grunt and Stone, two losers and their gang, all though they hadn?t hung around their gang, the last week of last year. The only good thing about returning to school was definitely returning to see Kristen and Darren, his best friends since grade one.


The following comments are for "Dustin"
by Yuna Chamberlin

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