He walked over and took a look outside. It looked like it had just started to snow as it was perfectly white and there were no footprints or tire marks anywhere. Seeing the snow, Lumen realized he was cold. He turned back to the room and walked over to the fire. He sat in front of it and warmed his hands as it was beginning to smolder and go out. He tried to remember what had just happened.
Blake came into the bathroom with his friends, they had a fire extinguisher and feathers, they were opening all the stalls to find me, they reached my stall, and . . .
Lumen was having a hard time remembering what happened after that.
“Did I die? Is this like the waiting room for heaven, or hel ?
You can tell me, I think I get it . . .” Nobody answered him.
Lumen pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.
“Ow. . .Wel , I’m not dreaming. I think. . .Maybe a coma. .
He looked up at the wal s and noticed some more drawings, many of which included the large black cat. There was a painting of what appeared to be just fire. There was a painting of a forest, one of what seemed to be an island floating in midair, and one of an old man with a green trench coat on. He also had goggles on his head.
“Wait a minute, I’ve seen this guy before . . .”
Lumen remembered the drawing that he had found on his desk. It was the same man and cat.
He then remembered a hand had grabbed him right before Blake had kicked open the door. It came from the lights.
“Oh no, have I completely gone insane . . .”
At that moment, Lumen noticed that there were lights all over this place, realizing they had been present all over the cabin.
“Yep, I lost it.” Lumen didn’t know how to snap himself out of it. He thought to himself how he should have taken his medicine. He would have much rather gotten beat up by Blake than go insane. If he ever came back to reality, he decided he would never lie again about taking his pil s.
Suddenly, a small bunch of blue lights appeared over by the coffee table. The lights came together and pulsated, just as they were in his room a few nights ago.
A taller man stepped through the lights. He had long grayish hair, a large nose, goggles on top of his head and wore a trench coat. Lumen recognized him from the drawings.
The man carried a pile of wood. Upon entering the room, he immediately went over to the fire and threw in a few logs.
He blew firmly, yet effortlessly, on the flames to try and get them going, and the fire kicked back up almost immediately.
The man turned toward Lumen.
“Sorry about that, Lumen. I wanted to give you a few moments; I went to get some firewood. Fire is always better when it is made naturally. Those Liros always give me a hard time about taking wood. I understand where they are coming from but sheesh, it’s just some wood; they can make some more if they really wanted. Great people but can be real sticklers for their stuff. I guess everyone is simply watching out for themselves. I can’t blame them. We all need our resources.
Anywho . . .” the man trailed off as he poked the fire.
The man clapped his hands together and looked at Lumen, who sat there dumbfounded. His mouth was stuck slightly open. He didn’t say anything.
“Oh right, where are my manners? I am Al ister Alvetande.
You can call me Al, A-A, or simply Al ister. They all work for me. Good thing we got you out of there, right? It looked like Blake and his buddies had quite the plan for you. I wanted you to figure this out on your own, but I couldn’t bear to watch any more of the bul ying. There are more important things you should be worried about. Quite honestly, I am surprised you didn’t figure it out earlier. You’re a smart young man. I’ve seen 48
those puzzles you do and your ability to ace your classes with ease. It is quite impressive what you have accomplished all while believing you were sick. Quite impressive indeed,”
Al ister said in a seemingly friendly manner.
Lumen stil didn’t know what to say. He and Allister stared at each other for another moment.
Lumen cleared his throat and finally spoke.
“Did you say we?” Lumen asked. It was the only question he could think to ask at the moment.
“Yes, yes. My partner and I were arguing on what was best for you. He final y convinced me it was time to stop the nonsense. You should thank him when he gets here. You would be covered in feathers at this very moment if it weren’t for him,” Al ister stated.
Suddenly, another cluster of lights appeared and oscil ated for a moment when a black cat stepped through the lights. He wore a red vest with goggles on top of his head as wel . He was walking on his two hind legs. Lumen noticed he was wearing fingerless gloves and carried what appeared to be a loaf of bread and a slab of meat. The little gloves fit perfectly around the cats claws and looked natural. He had never seen a cat walk on its hind legs like this one was. He was confused as to why Allister dressed the cat up.
“Ah, I was just talking about you, Janis. I was tel ing Lumen how you convinced me to get him out of there. Right, Lu?”
Al ister looked at Lumen for confirmation.
Lumen looked at the cat, and the cat looked back at him.
Lumen responded slowly.
“Thanks. . .”
“Oy, no problem mate. We should watch each other backs, especially in these times. No time for crock. We pul ed ya out of there. She’l be right, you know what I mean, mate?”
The cat seemed to be talking in an Australian accent.
Lumen deduced that he must be in Australia. Lumen said nothing.
“Excuse my friend, Lu. Since his transformation, he feels the need to speak in different accents. Where are my manners?
Lumen, this is Janis,” Al ister said as he pointed at the cat.
Janis looked at Al ister angrily for a moment before turning toward Lumen. Janis walked over to Lumen and stuck out his paw.
“Nice to final y meet ya, mate.” Janis smiled at Lumen.
Lumen thought it was very odd to see a cat smile. He slowly shook the cat’s paw with just his two fingers and a thumb. Janis was strangely able to grip Lumen’s hand.
“Transformation?” Lumen asked.
“I wasn't always a cat you see. That is a story for another time, another place. How are you feeling? We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Janis said with a grin.
Lumen had a hard time understanding the accent, let alone take in everything that was happening.
“Will you stop with the accent, Janis? The boy has been through enough tonight, don’t make it even more difficult by talking in your accents,” Al ister said calmly but sternly. Janis just looked at Lumen smiling. Lumen had a hard time keeping eye contact with the cat.
“Well then, are you hungry Lumen? We have some food prepared. It is on the coffee table. We have some wetchop meat, some bread and some pockets,” Al ister said as he set down a wooden plate of food. There was cooked meat sliced thinly, along with a muffin like bread that was steaming.
Lumen didn’t dare ask what wetchop was.
“What is a pocket?” Lumen said with a shaky voice.
“Oh, I think you’ll like those,” Al ister claimed.
Lumen sat down at the table. He was strangely hungry. He thought he had already lost touch with reality so he might as wel not starve.
Lumen took a bite. He was amazed at how great it tasted.
Everything on the plate was cooked to perfection. There was chicken-like meat, creamy sauce, and vegetables inside the muffin-like bread .
“This tastes like chicken pot pie! Only mini bite-size pies!”
Lumen was ecstatic and grabbed a few more.
Al ister smiled at Lumen and grabbed some wetchop and bread.
“We thought you would like it. Can I offer you anything to drink?”
Lumen’s mouth was ful but managed to spit out, “water.”
Al ister grabbed a few glasses, held them by the table, waved his hand, and ice cubes seemed to just fall from the air into the glasses. He waved his hand again, and all the glasses fil ed up with water. Al ister set them down. Lumen stopped chewing and stared at Al ister. He gulped all the food in his mouth.
“Okay, I have officially lost it, right? How do I get back to reality? Am I still in the bathroom, or did I lose it before that?
Was there even a dance? I thought I was getting worse but I didn’t think it was this bad. My mom is probably so worried . .
.” Lumen trailed off and just stared off into space.
Janis cut him off.
“Relax, mate. You’re not crazy. This is all real.”
Lumen began to laugh.
“Yeah, says the talking cat wearing goggles and some gloves,” Lumen sat back and started laughing even more.
Al ister got up and looked at Lumen with a very stern face.
Lumen looked at him and noticed the wrinkles on his forehead and cheeks.
“He is right, Lumen; this isn’t an il usion or a hallucination.
You’re not crazy, you never were. You are an extraordinary human. Very few humans have the power you have. There are some with the power you contain that have gone crazy because they didn’t know what they were seeing and it became too hard to handle. Others used their powers for the wrong reasons. You on the other hand, you are different. You are a bril iant young man. We have been watching you since you were just a boy and can see your potential. We have been waiting for the right time to introduce you to this world. We wanted you to get here on your own, but enough was enough.”
Lumen looked at Al ister very confused and began to laugh again. He laughed for a few moments and caught his breath to speak.
“Right, right. I’m special, yeah, yeah. Are you my doctor, and is this my nurse?” he pointed at Janis.
“Why would I be the nurse?” Janis responded.
“Look, I am aware that I am losing it, okay? I have accepted what my sickness can do to me. You two need to get out of my head so I can get help. I guess I have to try and get myself out of this hallucination or whatever this is.” Lumen closed his eyes shut really tight and seemed to be trying to do something challenging without actually moving.
He opened his eyes and nothing had changed. Al ister and Janis stared back at him. Al ister grabbed his glass and refilled the cup with ice and water, again he seemed to pul the ice and water out of midair. Lumen took notice of the ice. The blocks looked familiar.
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