Urban Fantasy

It was Friday, and I sunbathed next to the pool, where Maria and Chloe were splashing around.

"Come join us!" Chloe calls, then spits a stream of water into the air. "You've tanned enough. Come on!"

I groan and drag myself out of the chair. I carefully dip my feet into the chilly water and almost immediately pull them back.

"Too cold."

Before I can go back to sunbathing, Eva runs up to me, pushing me into the water, giggling the whole time.

The icy water shocks me, but I manage to doggy paddle to the ladder.

"Not funny guys."

When no one responds, I turn around.


They're not moving. So is everyone else at the pool.

I glance up and freeze. What I see defies everything I ever knew. It's snowing. Three weeks into July, and it's snowing. I look at my friends again. They're not moving. They are always moving.

I wade to them, the chilly water swishing around my thighs. They're frozen. Like, completely frozen. Their eyes are open, glassy, and not seeing, except for Eva, whose eyes are frozen closed, halfway through blinking. Maria's hand is frozen, halfway to the water, water droplets glittering around her hand like she was bringing her hand up from the water when everything got frozen.

Except me. I can move. I look back at the sky. A short stocky figure, wearing metal wings, and goggles is gliding down, slowly but surely. I scramble out of the pool, grabbing my hotel card, and swiping it through the doors. Nothing happens. It doesn't even turn red.

I frantically swipe it a few more times. Nothing. I shiver. The air is starting to become very cold. I shiver. The glider is closer now, only about 10 feet over my head, and rapidly heading toward the ground. I inch toward the wall, my eyes staying on the glider.

Finally, the glider lands on the ground and the wings retract.

"Gotta work on the stabilizer," the glider mutters to himself. Or herself. I don't know.

Then he sees me, and his eyes light up. Taking off his gloves, he strides over to me. I shrink, but all he does is shake my hand.

"I'm Ashon. Seventh born son of the Asafa dynasty. A pleasure to meet you, Julia."

"Who-who are y-you."

"I'm Ashon. From the Asafa dynasty."

"Wha-what are y-you?"

"I'm a dwarf from Omashu, of course. I was at Ibor when Rashad asked me to find you so you can help Chandra, the moon goddess."

"Ummm. . ."

"Look, just follow me. We're gonna meet Afanasiia in Disa, then we'll go to Bujey and help Chandra."

"W-where is D-disa and B-b-bujey?"

"In the Odesi, of course."

"A-and how do we get there?"

"Odesi Traveling, of course. We'll probably take Habib."

"But what if-" my voice breaks. "What if I don't want to go."

"Then I'll do this."

Ashon fumbles in his backpack for a second, before pulling out a leather pouch with white powder. He carefully takes a pinch of powder, and I start to run away, but the powder hits me.

Everything goes black, then I am blinded by bright light, the brightest I have ever seen. A headache starts up in my head. At least it's not too hot. It's warm enough for me to feel nice, but not enough so I am too hot. I am draped on a smooth stone, next to a small stream. Next to me, Ashon eats a sandwich.

He glances over and finding me awake hands me a sandwich. It's a cheese sandwich.

"We're in Disa. Afanasiia should be here soon."

I munch on the sandwich, edging away from Ashon.

"If your thinking about leaving, you have no way to get back to Earth."

Ashon goes back to eating his sandwich.

Soon, a thin woman slips through the trees, and into the clearing. She has pointy ears, and a bow and arrow slung across her back.

"Y-your an e-elf!"

The elf rolls her eyes.

"Jeez. Couldn't Rashad have picked someone who's actually done this before? Like Lottie, or Alfredo, or Lothario, or Geltrude?"

"Because this is easy and we need more."

"Fiiiiiiine," Afanasiia groans. "But don't say 'Why aren't you green?' that's stereotyping. Raha was the only green elf to ever walk this planet."

I blink and decide not to tell her that I did think that elves were green.

"Whatever. I'll make the Divide. Habib is horrible."

Afanasiia unsheathes a long sword. In one smooth move, Afanasiia cuts the air with her blade. Like paper, the air where the sword cut disappears, and a golden light emits from the Divide.

"Come on," Ashon says, hopping into the Divide. Afanasiia goes next, striding into the golden light, sheathing her sword as she goes.

I creep up to the Divide and test it with my foot. It feels solid, so I step inside.

Well, what do you know, it's not solid! I fall, screaming my head off the whole way. Finally, I hit what feels like the bottom.

I peek open one eye and take in my surroundings. We're in a white room, with crimson armchairs, a coffee table covered in magazines, a TV, and a fireplace. Wood shelves line one side, filled with books, and the occasional plant. On the other side is a basket filled with board games next to a folding table, where a coffee maker, tea bags and mugs sit.

The two crimson armchairs are taken up by Ashon and Afanasiia, so I sit on the folding chair, next to the coffee maker.

Then we wait. We wait for a long time. A looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. There's no clock, but I can tell we've been here for a long time. I shuffle through the board games, before finding a single-player game called Usuta.

The goal of Usuta is to get your players from one side to another without being hit by unpredictable mechanical metal rods that swing from side to side, trying to knock your pieces off the board.

It's fun for a while, but then it gets boring, and I search for a new game. All while Ashon and Afanasiia sit in their armchairs.

Finally a door appears on the blank wall, and I rush forward. In the doorway stand a man, with greasy black hair, and a purple t-shirt with Khaki shorts. He holds a clipboard in one hand, and a pen in the other.

"Hmmm." He consults his clipboard. "Ah yes, Chandra would like to see you." He steps out of the doorway. "Ashon Asafa, Afanasiia Shanti, and Juila Scott."

When he calls Ash and Afan's names (yeah, I gave them nicknames), they stand up and walk through the doorway. When it's my turn, I stand up, stretching my back, and walk through the doorway.

Before I can go in, the man stops me. "I am Aaron. The keeper of the gates. The messenger of the gods. You do not belong here. But I am not in charge of this decision. No, I am not. But if it were up to me, you would already be gone, then he pushes me roughly through the doorway, making me stumble.

What I see amazes me.

I stand in front of a magnificent. . .I don't know what to call it. It's circular, with a marble floor and quartz columns that hold up a marble roof. There's a throne made of white agate and the throne, is what I assume is Chandra.

Her skin is milky white, her hair midnight black, and flowing in waves over her shoulders. She wears a flowing white dress, that skims the floor. She wears a moonstone necklace that makes me wish I had it, and a gold thread, that weaves into her hair, carrying moonstone as well.

The background is also spectacular, though it is night. Behind Chandra is a lake, calm and peaceful, yet you can see and hear the waterfall and its white foam. There's a full moon, which reflects on the lake, casting its glow throughout the palace.

"I am Chandra." Her voice echoes. "The goddess of the Moon. Can you help me, or can you not."

"Rashad sent us, my lady." Ash pipes up.

"Let me do the talking," Afan hisses at Ash.

"Sorry," Ash whispers.

"Anyway, my lady, Rashad sent us. He has chosen a new Guardian, and this shall be her test. If she fails, we shall send your favorite, Sadow Miyako, the Night Child."

"Hmmm. I agree with this. The quest is to find my net. If I cannot find it, Surendra will get angry that my brother cannot wake. You have 1 hour. Please start."

I immedietly dive into the lake, my eyes closed, my hands searching. After a few seconds, I burst to the surface of the lake, gasping for air, before pushing myself down again, searching with my hands. After eighteen tries, the nineteenth, I feel something. I dive down again and grab it pulling it up with all my strength, kicking m legs seriously. Soon, I have to breathe again, and I watch what looks like a net drift back down to the bottom. I dive right back in. Soon, I'm dragging the silvery thin net onto the beach.

I look at every one. "Found it."

Ash, Afan, and Chandra look at me in horror.

"You did not ask permission." Chandra's voice sounds angry. "I hereby ban you."

In a flash of blinding light, I'm in the waiting room. I sit down, but as soon as I do, I'm pulled back, into nothingness, finally emerging in a dank, dark cavern. Water drips on my face, and footsteps echo.

Ash suddenly appears above me, and I almost yelp.

"I'm really sorry, but this won't hurt a bit." He looks a little sad. "Bye, Julia."

He sprinkles red powder on m face, and everything goes dark.


I shriek and splash around. "Too cold!"

"Julia, look. OMG, I have to take a photo. I am so posting this." Eva screeches.

I peer at the sky.

"Oh my freakin god, what is that."

"It's snow," Maria whispers.


Snowflakes drift around us, freezing the pool.

"Someone call 9-1-1!" someone shouts.

The pool freezes around me, and I can't move. A moment later everything goes back to normal. The pool thaws, the snow stops, and the cold goes back to hot.

 Soon, the police come, and no one belives us.

"It was snowing!"

"The literally froze, and I couldn't move!"

"I was shivering, and its the summer!"

Of course us, of course.

"Calm down," one of the police says. "This is a bad joke, and we are not buying."

Soon, they leave. Of course, none of the people during the winter in summer ever came to that pool again. Part of the reason that convinced me was also that I found my key card where I didn't remember putting it. And I didn't remember why I was soaking, while only being in the pool for a second, and not even fully submerged.

And I didn't remember Ash, and Afan, and Chandra, and Aaron.

But I knew it was a freaky Friday.

January 18, 2021 21:38

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