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BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 08/03/21)

Magic

Pinpricks of luminescence as sharp as razors descended up her; a shapeless form of radiating pursued her. The memory scraped against her thoughts like a scalpel as she somersaulted into another universe. Reality no longer felt solid and unyielding: Reality was malleable. She tried to connect the words to form a coherent idea. Instead, the concept was two goalposts separated by a field spanning galaxies. She was both the midpoint, the untouched ball, and the two opposing teams. But, without an endpoint, she was marinating in a cesspool of endless directions. 

Reality was malleable. There was no altering the fact. There was no changing another fact: Someone — or something — was hunting her. She escaped once, the fear of death a tornado unspooling inside her stomach. She had weighed her options in the chase. Prey versus predator: Who would prevail? Losing her father was inevitable, but she did not want to lose herself. Circumnavigating her own death helped her cling to an idea of escape from this threat. Then, she cannonballed toward another plane on the innumerable spectrum of realities. Sapphire steaks of light rained down from the stars. Comets, she gaped, before the cosmos swept her away and, she too, fell. 

Emilia: There’s magic here…I can sense it. 

Magic #5 (Written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Ig Guara, colored by Arianna Consonni, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

She found her journal — her minute version of salvation. Writing in the notebook may have been a command from a silent entity before, but she had always loved the written word. The journal was a lifeline, a secure container to process her thoughts about worlds and people she had purposefully avoided before.

Emilia’s Journal: I see a woman with a dark complexion walking alone. Pillars with ancient symbols bisect the green earth. Everything here feels like a relic, but the woman seems unafraid of trespassing on its path. It’s even more important to stay hidden since something is trying to catch me. If I had built up any courage to possibly interact with another person for the first time…the strange light pursuing me has doused that flame. 

A fair-skinned man wrapped in crackling, lightning bolts of water materialized next to the woman. No less than a breath later, a green-tinged woman taking on the striking appearance of a Gorgon takes her place beside the duo. 

Emilia’s Journal: I have to be in a mystical realm. These three beings pulse with energy, magic suffusing their skin. I hear them address one another as Kaya, Ral, and Vraska. They know each other well and converse about separate adventures. It seems Ral traveled to an inn and blew up…werewolves? I must be inside a fantasy novel. This is why I prefer poetry. Reality over fiction. But this journey has made me question…what do I even know about reality? Have I been living in fear of other people, of the outside, of all these factors that make up human existence when reality is just a facade? 

Each planeswalker spoke of their search for knowledge across multitudinous dimensions. Success in obtaining information was vital, for the planeswalkers lacked evidence. A man, Jace Beleren, went missing after a near-death psychic overdose. Targeted attacks in the resplendent realm of Ravnica mounted, endangering lives on every plane. A cult put plans in motion to summon an evil apparition — a god of old. So, the planeswalkers split. Locating an elder planeswalker woman possessing fire-casting abilities and counsel became pertinent. The trios’ individual might and resilience promised results — but they returned to one another near empty-handed.

Emilia’s Journal: Ral tells the group about Innistrad, a plane overrun by werewolves with an appetite for flesh. A full moon turned men into wolves during a nighttime sea voyage. Summoning a storm, Ral escaped without a scratch but no word on this mysterious fire-woman. Vraska, the gorgon-woman, sailed the high seas as well. Gossip from her former crew revealed nothing. She frightens me, but she speaks with a quick wit and amicable nature. Her power emanates from her alluring eyes. Their glow reminds me of that light…and now I am questioning my safety once again.

Magic #5 (Written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Ig Guara, colored by Arianna Consonni, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Kaya, an assassin who can pass over into the ghost realm, reported no confirmation of the elder planeswalker during her search in Amonkhet. Sand and death, skeletons and creatures trapped in a cyclical loop of misery, impeded Kaya. The hiding woman listened in astonishment. Kaya’s feats were extraordinary. As someone plagued with grief and death’s bondage herself, the woman pondered communication with the afterlife.

Emilia’s Journal: They walked for what felt like an eternity. Eternity — the concept no longer holds weight. Is my dead dad living in an eternal version of heaven somewhere? If these infinitesimal universes exist, maybe I’ll find him…I wish I could stay here. Magic feels safer than reality’s confines now. I would like to learn to harness magic to learn my purpose and defend myself from my haunting pursuant. These planeswalkers could teach me to live again. 

She stopped writing when the trio found who they were searching for. Standing defiant in the rubble of cracked stones, a woman in a red cloak turned toward them. Lines ran like rivers across her face, giving the impression of a woman as old as the sediment beneath their feet. Jaya Ballard’s mouth dropped open when the planeswalkers uttered a name. The name, Marit Lage, belonged to a Kraken-like demigod — a primordial evil capable of sowing irreparable damage. 

Emilia: I’m not safe here after all if a simple name can scare these magic wielders…I’m not safe from anything in any reality.

Devastated, she tried to throw the journal. Sadly, the unkind darkness came for her, as usual.

Basilisk

Martin bolted upright, looking around. He was sitting at a picnic table near a short, small, secluded building. He could hear cars rushing by; they must be near a highway. Then this was some sort of rest stop. He pulled out his notebook.

Martin’s journal: Didn’t think I’d get away. But I did, and I’m somewhere else. Somewhere that’s… hopefully… safer. Wish I had more goals beyond survival, but I can’t afford that. Not when I don’t know where I am, or where I’m going next. So I’ll keep running, and escaping when I need to. At least this time it’s somewhere with a working restroom.

Stretching, he got up and headed into the rest area for a much-needed bathroom break. After washing his hands, he made his way out of the restroom and headed for the door outside. But then… he froze. There was a ball of light waiting outside, similar to the one that had chased him previously. As a family made their way into the rest stop, unaware, the ball entered the rest stop with them. Panicking, he scrambled back into the rest stop, heading towards the entrance on the opposite side of the building. But he stumbled as he noticed something else, the light glinting off a familiar pair of sunglasses.

Basilisk #3 (Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, colored by Alex Guimarães, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Veering off to the side, he made his way into a shop selling some t-shirts, some books, and a few other souvenirs. He pulled out his journal.

Martin’s journal: I can’t do this, I can’t face them again. The ones who almost killed me at that diner are back, them and the ball of light, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to avoid both. How did they both find me here? What even is this rest stop? I’m not sure, but I need to get out of here as quickly as I can.

Finding a changing room in the back of the store, he headed in and closed the door behind him.

Martin’s journal: Alright. I think I’m safe here. Now how long do I have to wait before it’s safe? How will I know when they’ve gone? I just want to actually find some time to figure things out. Like, who actually am I? And how do I get home?

Martin took a deep breath, closing his eyes. As he opened them, he heard police sirens.

Martin’s journal: I can’t face this. I’m staying here. Nobody’s going to look here. I’ll be safe. I have to believe that. After all, nothing all that bad has happened so far, right? Other than being chased by people who want to kill me and something that could want to do worse, as far as I know.

Basilisk #3 (Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, colored by Alex Guimarães, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

He stayed huddled in the changing room. He heard the whirr of a helicopter, then screams. More pointless death, he would’ve predicted that’s what those serial killers would end up doing. He hoped they’d end up in jail or dead, but with how the police were faring against them, that wasn’t likely. Then the ground shook with a deafening noise.

Martin’s journal: Maybe that’s the helicopter down, I’m not sure. Either way… I think everyone here’s dying again. And if I survive, I still have to escape that light ball too. It’s too much. Another day, another high likelihood of death.

Maybe when I die, I’ll wake up at home.

Eyes squeezed shut, he huddled on the floor, scared but exhausted. Slowly, softly, he fell asleep again.

Wynd

They felt the cold and humid floor on their back, and their mind drove to late nights when they fell out of their bed and stayed asleep on the ground. The memories made them even more tired, and their mind struggled to reconcile the necessity to open their eyes for any dangers that awaited them in whatever place they found themselves in.

Aimée: This looks like the faerie castle. I never thought I’d see the same places more than once. Does this mean instead of infinite universes there are like four? I guess scientists missed the fucking mark on that one, huh. 

Their black boots slid against the ground as they raised their knees to stand up. Taking the journal out of their old green jacket, they started writing and giving nonchalant steps guided to the room’s window. Nearby enough to hear the conversation, Aimée witnessed Wynd and his sister talking. It started fairly simple, but each word flowing out of their mouths felt more upset than the last one. Wynd wants to stay and help with the war, but his sister wants to go somewhere safe for both. 

Aimée’s journal: I don’t think either is wrong; they’re both just scared in their own way. It’ll be easier if he just flew away…Is it a good idea to leave alone like that? They were being chased by Vampyres. 

Wynd #9 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Michael Dyalinas, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

In the structure front of where they were, Aimée distinguished something moving. It was a light, just like the one who chased them before. Somehow, they (or it?) knew Aimée was here. They dropped to the ground with their back to the wall, pressing the journal onto their chest. 

Aimée’s journal: The shitty lights are looking for me again. Why in the world am I their objective? I can’t just wait around for them to catch me, and I have things to do (I guess?).

Wandering through the room, trying to avoid the lights and anyone else who may see them, they reached a room with one of Wynd’s friends on a table and unconscious. It startled them for a moment, but he was there just to be taken care of his wounds. Before they could move, the sound of Wynd and the faerie who helped them before entered Aimée’s ears; they were about to enter the room. They hid behind the door as rapidly and subtly as possible.

Aimée’s journal: Wynd seems awfully concerned about his friend, and I can’t blame him. Although he seems better, fortunately. He started telling the faerie Thorn is so important to him because he couldn’t go outside in the city, so he often climbed up a high point and watched people live their lives to feel less lonely. I kinda know how he feels. Despite all, this is a beautiful place. It saddens me that some people cannot even experience it, and then there’s the war too…

The lights vanished in a heartbeat, followed by distant, crumbling sounds. The floor shook, taking everyone out of equilibrium. If it wasn’t for all the noise rumbling at the same time, they would’ve noticed Aimée. They heard the words coming out of the faerie, ‘’The tree’s coming down!’’. It felt like a hit to the nose that stopped time for a second, and before being able to move or attach to anything, they were already in the air. Fleeting images raced against her eyes as their body hit everything in proximity without control as time was somehow slower and faster than usual. They questioned if they may have been dead when everything stopped but were gladly (And painfully) surprised to know that wasn’t the case. There was a piece of wood just on top of their ribs, but between grunts, Aimée was able to lift it. 

Their hands were trembling too much because of the fall; they weren’t going to be able to write anything for some time. But they could try and watch, if barely. Standing up with help from the wreckage, they could discern Wynd, the prince, and the faerie, but…Thorn was below so much debris, and there was so much blood. The three weren’t even able to cry for their friend, as they were attacked by the Vampyres, who immobilize the faerie, captured the prince, and stabbed Wynd. They weren’t interested in anyone else; if the case were any other, Aimée would’ve been dead already. 

Wynd #9 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Michael Dyalinas, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée: I have to…Do something. I have to help…

It only took a few steps for their body to waste the little energy it had, and like a puppet whose puppeteer suddenly dropped, Aimée fell to the ground unconscious. 

Categories
Comics

BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 07/07/2021)

On July 7th, a mother woke up as the sunlight entered boldly through the window, kissed her wife on the forehead, and went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. She had finished all her paperwork from the insurance company she worked at to spend the day properly with her family. She called their teenage son to come downstairs, telling him that she made his favorite; PB&J sandwiches with hot chocolate milk. She had to call again and again, each time with a little more annoyance in her tone, until she screamed, and thought how such a nice morning had already been ruined.

On July 7th, a young man was dreaming. He was inside a house of mirrors on a circus, but none of the reflections were his. He woke up with cold sweat and a little saliva falling from the side of his lip. He tried to reach his partner, but the only thing there were the sheets where they fell asleep the night before. 

That day, there was a sudden rise in missing persons all around the world. There were no letters left, no goodbyes said, and no clues as to what might have happened to them. They vanished overnight without a single warning and no trace to follow, almost as if they never even existed. 

A quiet sound, that’s not quite a sound, resonates, saying ”Mamo”.

White turned to black. The sterile environment the young woman meticulously maintained vanished as ripples appeared in front of her face. Swaths of green painted themselves on the walls as the room fades. Terrified, the woman clasped her hands over her eyes and held her breath when scents of pine overtook her nostrils. The humidified air that had filled her lungs inside the house she had not left in years transformed. Suddenly, she was outside, planted on a hill in the verdant countryside. Her eyelids fought to open, but she could see enough to know that she was no longer safe inside. The infinite openness stretched on for miles.

Emilia: No! I can’t be outside! Oh god, the bugs. They’ll crawl into my mouth when I sleep. And the birds. Diseases everywhere! Where am I? I haven’t left my house in three years, two hours, and . . . clocks. Where are the clocks? I need to know the time! My sanctuary is gone! Where am I going to find filtered water with the correct pH balance out here in the . . . woods? It’s bright! The sun is so bright! Somebody help me!

A feeling like dew sprinkling the morning grass clouded itself in her mind. She could hardly see or stand, frozen in place when voices rised out across the rolling hills.

Emilia: There are other people here too? Should I ask them for . . . no, I can’t go near them. Look at them, the germs on that girls’ bike. And oh — the other one has a cat! Who lets a cat roam around outside like this? Who knows how many germs are sticking to its paws right now?

A noise tinkling softly behind the woman momentarily distracted her from her panic. Her head darted toward the sound, but her weak limbs felt as if she was trodding through brambles. In front of her lay a journal, petite and bound with brown leather. A pen rolled toward her. Trembling, she tenderly reached toward the book, hoping for a lifeline out of her nightmare. Only two words were inscribed on the first page: “Write everything.” There was no obvious escape. One option remained: Comply and pray for rescue.

Emilia’s Journal: I am lost, outside during daylight hours, but I am not alone. I can hear them. Voices of people. I have had so little contact with people, but they may hold clues that will give me a gateway out of . . . wherever here is. The young woman on the bike is begging for help while the hat-wearing lady appears disinterested. She’s reading a book instead. I wonder if she reads poetry. What I’d give to be back in bed, an Emily Dickinson collection of poems in my hands. Wait! She’s a witch! The blond cat lady is a witch! Where the hell am I? They’re arguing about the girl — I think her name is Jo — Jo’s town. Jo needs the witch’s help because . . . magic is running amok in a town called Haresden? Magic! If magic exists here, I can surely use it to my advantage. All the fantasy novels I’ve read show magic has a price, but I’ll pay any price to return to the confines of my sweet, clean home. Oh no, Jo said her mother is cursed with an ailment, an infestation, in her body. I think I’m going to be sick.

While she wrote, Jo started heading south with the witch and her black cat along the vast plains of the hills. Rays from the sun felt unfamiliar, searing her flesh like pinpricks from glass shards. She decided to covertly follow the two women. Unable to write and run at the same time, she commited the unimaginable events occurring to memory. Later, she received a moment to rest in a shaded area by Jo’s house front.

Emilia’s Journal: Write everything. Okay. I’m about to write everything. Apparently, the witch, Orla, had a grandmother — Mamo — who died recently. Magic is out of control, moving borders and causing sea turbulence because Mamo governed the nebulous relationship between the townsfolk and beings called the “fae.” I almost cried as I stalked Jo and Orla through the forest. Branches and god-knows-what poisonous leaves skimmed my skin on the way. I’m quite certain I won’t make it out of here alive. I almost gave away my position when Jo nearly fell victim to a faery trap. She thought a silver spoon lodged in the forest floor was the same spoon that belonged to her mother. Thank goodness Orla intervened and recognized the magic. Why anyone would pick up a disgusting item off the ground is beyond me. Orla has already proven herself as more knowledgeable than Jo. She’s the one I could ask for help if I had to. But I do empathize with Jo. Her mother is sick and possibly dying inside. If Orla can save Jo’s mother, I know she can save me.

Flashes of darkness billowed around the attic window from Jo’s house. The woman realized she was developing heightened senses and witnessed writhing shadows of a Mamo apparition contracting around Orla’s body.

Emilia’s Journal: I thought Orla said Mamo was dead. What is that Mamo ghost, and why is it trying to strangle her granddaughter? Orla’s magic powers have manifested now; yellow sparks flash from her fingers in concentric patterns. No! Orla can’t break that shadow demons’ grip! If only I could touch the doorknob and walk into the house. Wait! Jo managed to release the grip the creature had on Orla’s body. Magic shimmers in the air, casting the inky blackness in all directions. Why can I see this so far away? I’m so tired. Are these powers of my own? I want to sleep, but there’s so much dirt everywhere. Perhaps I’ll just lay down for a second. I haven’t died yet.

The sound that could be heard only by a few changed, and now it said ”Basilisk”.

A young man with tousled, dark blond hair sat slumped in a diner booth with his eyes closed. He sniffed the air; the smell of freshly grilled burgers stirred his sinuses. He opened his eyes, blinking.

Martin: Wh-what’s going on?

He looked down at the table in front of him. No food, no drink, just a small notepad, with a pen tucked into the rings. Picking it up, he flipped through it. Empty, except for a note on the first page.

Martin: Write everything, huh…

He was startled out of his reverie by the ding of the door opening up. A tall man with a thick beard came in. The man walked up to the table behind Martin. He stopped and started to talk. Martin flipped over the page of the notebook, took the cap off the pen. Somehow, he knew this conversation was worth recording.

Martin’s journal: These people seem to be part of some society. Three people total, now that the new man’s joined them. And they’re talking about… someone’s been captured. One of their friends, their partners. Someone named Regan. Even though they’ve tried to rescue her, it hasn’t been working. But, wait… Regan’s eyes killed her rescuers? How can you kill someone with your eyes? Either way, it seems like this Regan isn’t really cooperating with her friends. And they agree. One of them’s getting up, leaving. Saying something about being recognized. And wait…

Martin heard a sound from further behind him. Casting his eyes around the diner, he started to see everyone overcome with a form of madness. Some were choking up blood, while others had what appeared to be vines growing out of their nose. Everyone seemed to be overcome by violence, hurting themselves and those around them. Martin slides under the seat, breathing heavily, praying that he will be spared. He continues to write.

Martin’s journal: Everyone’s gone crazy, everyone except me. I don’t know why I’ve been spared. I don’t even know why I’m here in the first place. But everyone’s talking about… smells. And tastes. Maybe this has something to do with the senses? Is that it? Do they control the senses? That must be it. And they’re hurting everyone so that they can’t, well… do this. Tell anyone else what’s been going on.

Martin shrunk further into the seats, staying as quiet as possible.

Martin’s journal: I hope they don’t hear me, don’t notice me. I’m scared to even write, in case they hear the pen. That’s silly, though. It’s too loud here for them to hear it.

Martin winced at the chaos, the violence; though it was petering out, getting quieter.

Martin’s journal: It’s almost over, now, though. I’m not sure whether to be relieved… or horrified. Because that means almost everyone’s dead. I don’t want to breathe. They’re still there, right behind me. And I don’t know why they’re here, or I’m here, but I was put here with this notebook, and if they find it, destroy it, then I know I’ve screwed up. I think that’s it. They’re leaving now.

The bell dinged again, as the three people who had been talking in the seat behind Martin walked out of the diner. Martin extricated himself from under the booth, his legs shaky. He walked around the diner, taking notes as he went.

Martin’s journal: This has been hard to see, to look at. But I have to record the crimes. Everyone’s dead; Someone has a fork stuck up their nose. The fry cook dunked his face into the oil. It was still sizzling; I had to turn it off myself. I can’t believe these people, their cruelty, their callousness. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t look at this. I should go, in case the police or someone else comes.

Ducking out the back door of the kitchen, Martin stumbled into the woods, where he found a soft tree trunk. He sat down to keep writing.

Martin’s journal: I can’t get it out of my head. The deaths… I don’t think I’ve seen anyone die before. I don’t know, though. I don’t remember. I should get some rest. Maybe that’ll help.

Sighing, Martin laid himself down on the mossy forest floor and closed his eyes. He dreamt of burgers, of fries… and of eyes that killed.

The sound was no longer just not a sound, now it was also not colors. Non-colors that talked, and said ”New Day.

A feeling of dark emptiness mixed with an unnerving sense of displacement and confusion crept into every fiber of her being. Suddenly, a warm light fell upon her. She thought to herself, “Am I dead?” When she seemed to have some semblance of consciousness, her first thought was simple: write everything down. When she comes to her senses in the void, she seemed to have found a single writing utensil, and a notepad seemed to be lovingly placed near her. What was it even placed on? There were no objects aside from these. They seemed to be onto something, but there was no discernable surface to be found in this void. Suddenly, something akin to a large viewscreen, almost like an IMAX theater screen, appeared before her.

Three men appeared before her in bright, almost fluorescent clothing. The shortest one was holding a trombone. She focused on the instrument and looked at it, puzzled. She then had a moment of clarity. “Is that…me…?”

Francesca did not seem to have a body, but she did feel as though she was a presence. A concept? Something unknown, but definitely…alive? Conscious? Not sure. She started writing, not sure how she was doing that as she didn’t see or feel any limbs per se. The view screen continued to roll footage of the three men.

Francesca watched the screen to see what felt like a familiar sight. Gazing upon these technicolor men in spandex brought a warm, calming sensation to Francesca. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods + Francesca) were fighting in a Tag Team match against The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins). They turned to what looked to be the beginning of an origin story. Francesca looked with confusion. “Where is this going, and where do I fit in?”

We saw a young Kofi Kingston watching wrestling with his friends. Francesca didn’t specifically recognize the teenager in front of her, but seeing him brought a sense of comfort that she couldn’t quite place. He delivered a heartfelt speech about how seeing a Black wrestler inspires him. It seemed as though at this moment, Kingston had decided his path in life led to professional wrestling. He waited outside of the venue to meet his idol, Faarooq, after a show. He offered to introduce the teen to a friend if he was serious about training and becoming a professional wrestler. 

The screen quickly switched to a different view. Francesca was confused but delighted to see another face that felt oddly reassuring. Young Xavier Woods sat in front of a tv screen with a friend, choosing a video game character to play. Woods and the friend had a heated discussion on individual character stats. She was shown Woods excelling in all of his teenage pursuits: school, band, and high school wrestling. Francesca excitedly leaned closer to get a better look at the quick view of Woods’ trombone. “Is that me?” Francesca then deflated: it was not her, she surmised.

Just as quickly as it came, it was gone in a flash, and Francesca felt as though she recognized yet another young face: that of Big E. She didn’t understand why this young man’s visage made her happy and excited, so she stayed glued to the view of him. Another boy was being bullied only to have Big E come into the picture and help the bullied boy repel his harassers. It turned out that despite Big E’s large size, he opted to use his words to jab at the bullies, lest he was the one to receive punishment at the hands of the school administration. Big E ran into the bullies again outside of a barbershop and had a physical altercation with them. He won, but barely. The boys brought weapons like game consoles and books with them. The barber inside came out after he talked to a man on the phone during the duration of the fight. He mentioned to Big E that he has a friend, Joe, that could help train him to become a capable fighter.

The screen went blank for a moment, and Francesca got anxious. Just as she started to get seriously concerned, the screen showed a new scene. It moved forward quite a bit in time. Francesca was still mildly anxious but started to feel calm again once she saw Kofi Kingston’s face. She was then shown what seemed like a highlight reel of Kingston’s early career and struggles to find an identity, his gimmick. Kingston was a beloved figure in his wrestling scene, but he wanted more. Once WWE approached and signed Kingston, there was another leap forward in time. 


Kofi Kingston was talking to Hunter Helmsley, otherwise known as the wrestler Triple H. Kingston feared he would be pushed into a stereotypical, humiliating gimmick. Francesca felt Kingston’s anxiety with him. “Where is this going?” she wondered. That meeting was the catalyst for The New Day. Kingston got paired with Big E, and they became a tag team. The pair tried to find their footing but seemed to be missing something. An X factor, perhaps?

Xavier Woods approached Big E and Kofi Kingston in an over-the-top clandestine meeting. He posited that the missing piece of their puzzle was simple: they needed him on their team. Kingston and Big E seemed apprehensive but agreed with Woods’ proposal. In their first fight as a trio, they felt more like themselves than ever before. Somehow, someway, that oddball formula clicked on that night. Francesca waited with anticipation to see where the story went from there but decided to rest before everything continued.

And the sound and the colors that were neither of those things now turned into something not quite like a shape, and it expressed the words ”Wynd”.

The howling of the wind intertwined with that of the owls during late-night, as a young person laid in the middle of a spacious room, with a tender but intimidating atmosphere, and started regaining consciousness while their eyes remained closed.

Aimée: What happened to me? My head is killing me, and my body feels like I’ve been underwater for a week. Did I get drunk?

They opened their eyes with fatigue like their eyelids were almost too heavy to control and continued to sit on the immaculate floor. The room gave a sense of clarity and calmness that contrasted with the feeling of their knees, which felt like rusty screws trying to function after years of abandonment.

Aimée: Wait, what kind of room is this? What am I doing here? It looks like a fucking castle, a very weird castle, and I don’t think I belong in a weird-looking castle. I must be dreaming or hallucinating or something.

While they talked, the invasive noise of a conversation slowly penetrated the room; strangers were about to enter, they needed a place to hide. For some reason, even though the circumstances were abysmally different, running away from people didn’t feel uncommon. Hiding was an instinct, a necessity. When they started running off, the sound of something hitting the ground broke the silence even more than the still distant conversation did. Aimée turned around, and there was a journal with a pen that had fallen from their jacket. They grabbed it and hid behind a kind of bed that looked like no other bed they could recognize. They proceeded to open the journal and realized it just had a note on the first page that said ‘’Write everything’’. They thought, if it was a dangerous situation, maybe writing everything was a good idea.

Aimée’s journal: I don’t know where I am, I only know it’s some kind of castle, but it doesn’t look normal. Someone’s coming, so I’m hiding under the bed. It feels like my insides are trying to escape my body through my throat, and even the floor feels like it’s a hundred feet away from me.

As they tried to keep their breathing as quiet as possible, four beings entered the room; two humanoid figures with bug-like features, carrying an unconscious winged kid, as a girl similar to the other two accompanied them. The kid was left to rest on another bed across the room and then got out of the room. With all of this on sight, Aimée’s breathing, just for a moment, became almost too heavy. Not much time passed until the winged kid woke up, disoriented but comfortable enough to talk with the girl.

Aimée’s journal: This cannot be real. She’s not human! She’s green, with pink eyes and wings. They both have wings, but different, and the boy looks more like a human. Is this even my world? I can’t even be sure of that right now, nothing’s making any sense. The boy’s name is Wynd, and his friends are being brought here by other guards, like the ones that brought him. It seems they don’t know each other, but they’re friendly, the girl is going to tell him a story! Maybe they’re not so bad, but I can’t take any chances. What should I even do if I asked for their help? Tell them I’m dreaming and need their help to wake up? Maybe I fell into another world? They’d think I’m crazy! Maybe I am.

As the girl told the story, Aimée wrote every single detail down. It was an old tale that belonged to their culture; the fairies. It explained how old gods called the Winds created everything present in the universe. Every flower, animal, river. They also created people, winged people, that walked the earth with them as their children. But two sisters escaped the paradise their people chose to live in, to explore the lands. They went in different directions, and thirty years later, when a reunion came to be, one was turned into the first Fairie, and the other one, the eldest, into the first Vampyre. The Vampyre wanted power and ignited a war that broke every good concept the Winds built for them. Disappointed, the Winds disappeared along with the winged people and were never seen again.

Aimée’s journal: There are vampyres, fucking vampyres. And apparently, they’re following Wynd and his friends? This couldn’t go any worse. I just want to be back to whatever house I live in, wake up in a comfortable bed. My world may be fucked up, but at least I’m used to that kind of fucked up.

After the story ended, a bell rang, catching Wynd off guard, and Aimée even more; for a moment, they thought that they were found, and the alert was because of them. The fear felt like they suddenly submerged in the coldest water imaginable. But it turned out it was just a sign that the boy’s friends had arrived.

Aimée’s journal: That was too close, I almost moved. I have to be more careful. They’re both leaving now, finally. But the girl looks worried, she says she’s going to have a meeting with something called the Council of the Elders to explain and get help. Sounds serious. But it doesn’t matter anymore, they’re gone. I’m safe.

As Aimée wrote that last word, they stood still for a moment, with the pen in their hand. The silence and sudden desertedness were calming, but it also made the fear more real. The inertia was gone. Now all that was left to focus on, was the fear of not understanding anything, not knowing what to do. It almost made them cry, but they decided to hold it back. Maybe it was all just a dream, and all they had to do was go to sleep. Even with all the fear, the limited space, and the cold, they managed to do it, and dreamed of infinite nothingness, with millions of colors they couldn’t even recognize.