Gem Of Fire By Akira Hagiwara I still remember the man and women in their early forties crying. The two were…I think crying for their lost child. “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, why did this have to happen. Especially on your birthday?” the two said repeatedly. They were crying for a child, with the same name as me. It seems darker than yesterday. I snuck through the neighborhood of a small town called Middleswood in upstate New York. I’ve been sneaking through woods, towns, cities and neighborhoods, after running away from my dreaded home on 9/11. I keep my eyes peeled for police cars and search parties and I listen for police sirens out of my ears that looked like cabbage--too many pinches from my father. I knew my rich family sends out the search parties and police. Then, each time there are no police cars or search parties, I look down at my bruised and scruffy body. Dried up blood dyes the bottom of my pant leg, my shin, full of bruises, and my arms, covered with lumps and purple spots. I had been running away for months now. I thought back to when my dad whipped and yelled at me. September 11th, 2001 was the day I ran away from my home; a big, tall, castle like home. The day the terrorists flew the jets through the twin tower. It has been exactly three months since that day.
CHAPTER ONE Saved I hid in an alleyway in downtown Manhattan between a line of shops. I had been running to avoid the police car that had chased me for almost an hour. Then, something big bumped into me. Knocking me to the ground in between two little shops allowing the police car to zoom past us, thinking we were still
ahead of it. However, like always, there was no driver in the car. We were hiding in an alcove in between a ladies’ body wear shop and a fruit shop. A banana peel and a women’s bra fell on my head. Then, a few seconds later, I noticed that the other boy was gone. I walked the way the police car had gone, and I notice a big shape in front of me; it was the boy who had saved me. I dashed towards him to thank him, but the look he gave me, was like a nightmare. His eyes glowed blood red, and his hair swayed darkly as if a storm wind hit his face.
CHAPTER TWO GLOWING EYES The next morning at 5 am, I walk in an alleyway pushed into yesterday. There, the boy slept on a bench, but when I approach, his eyes flash brilliant red and stares right at me. “They are near,” he growls, as if he was being controlled. Then, he bonked his head on the bench…a few seconds later; he suddenly woke up as if nothing happened. What did he mean by them? “Why have you been following me,” he asked, but I was barely paying attention. I was still caught up of how his eyes turned green. How he had said them, as if he was expecting him to know what he was talking about. “What is your name? Why were you running away from the police car?” he abruptly asked, waking me up from daydreaming. Those questions shot at me like darts. “I am Joseph, and I have been running away from home, from the day, 9/11” I told him my story. When I was finished he started to talk, “I am also Joseph…anyways, I was walking to school so happily, because it was my birthday. When I was just about to get to school, two jets flew at the twin tower…and it all blew up and collapsed. I dashed to school where the teachers prepared us to go for such emergencies. The teachers informed us that we would soon reunite with our parents.” His eyes began to tear up, but he kept on talking, “Everyone was relieved to reunite with their parents. Everyone except me. It was a
substitute teacher that day, so she didn’t know our names, and she couldn’t keep track of who was already reunited, my parents did not come! Only my parents didn’t come!” I felt so bad for him, but I really wanted to know what his parents looked like, so I asked him, “Do you have a picture of your parents by any chance?” He got it out, and my mind went all black. Suddenly, a ghostly green lady shimmered in front of me. It was as if I could see through this lady. She was attractive, and I recognized her. Still, I got closer and closer to her sweet smell, but she abruptly swiped me away. Her eyes flashed green, just like what had happened to my new partner, Joseph’s eyes. “I had kept you alive for months now, but you and your friend, Joseph will die, if you do not complete this quest…in fact, all living things in the world will die out.” She was hurrying to say all of her words. “It is all on you. You are to find the Gem Of Fire, which is located on the other side of the U.S, in Oregon. You two are the only people in the whole world that can see this gem. You two have the one of the bravest hearts in the world.” Then she put on a very serious, but sorrowful face. “ I am so sorry that we-“ She gulped, “we abused you. We had to do that…we had to make you tough. Tough enough to face anything. We are so sorry…I am in heaven right now, with your dad and your partner’s parents…protecting you, and also making you tougher, by sending out empty police cars and search parties. I am so sorry we are saying everything right now, but you have exactly 1 week to finish this quest…” Her voice started to fade away just like her image. When I woke up, I looked back at Joseph, my new companion. I looked into his eyes, and we shared glances. We both knew what we both meant. We had both seen the same image…
CHAPTER 3 GIFTS FROM MY PARENTS
There were brand new clothes, which my parents had magically laid out for me. Sporty sweat pants, and an under armor, and sweat jersey. Perfect clothes to die with. There was also a backpack full of supplies; my bad, a duffel bag full of supplies. There was a note stuck on the duffel bag. It said: This duffel bag is one of the gifts from your mom and dad. The duffel bag can magically follow where you go. From Mom and Dad. At first, it looked like a normal duffel bag. There was lots of food and drinks, clothes, Band-Aids, a map and stuff like that. However, something else caught my eye. In the bottom of my bag, was a glowing red light. It was as if a fire had started in my bag. I reached out to the bottom of my bag, and grabbed a long, sharp object. When I pulled it out, it started to glow even brighter. There was another note stuck on it. This is our most special gift for you. This is a sword that was formed millennia ago, in an ancient volcano. The volcano is the same one that formed the gem of fire. This sword is the only weapon that can break the gem of fire. You should start your quest today. The gem is giving out power to the evil forces, every second, and it will blow up on the 7th day, so hurry. From Mom and Dad
CHAPTER 4 A BAD START I thought we were just supposed to trot all the way to Oregon with a little help from my mother. I was wrong. My mom forgot to tell me about evil forces blocking our way there. Joseph and I marched south, to