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MARILYN FONE: An Unexpected Adventure By Lilah Lichtman, Age 10 10/1/2013

Cover illustration by Lilah Lichtman

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MARILYN FONE: An Unexpected Adventure (DRAFT) Chapter 1

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It’s Not Even the Beginning It is all in how you look at things. Depends on what perspective you look from. See, to an ant, a table would seem like a skyscraper. If you were a human, it would be a place your family gathers to eat a meal. But to King Kong it would be a meal. Or for kids it is a fun thing you can jump on. You could look from a parent’s perspective and say school is great because kids learn a lot and is perfect practice for college. Or you could look from a whiny kid’s view and scream “I hate school! It has too much homework and everything is boring!” Why am I going over this? Our hero, Marilyn, will need this information very soon. If you happened to be there on that sunny, April morning, you would have seen about a hundred kids rushing toward two blue, heavy metal doors. You might have wondered why those doors were so big and ugly. But if you were Marilyn Fone, you would have just sulked your way over with everyone pushing you. Your age would be 10 and you would live in an orphanage called “Baby Boo’s!” and in the suburbs of New York. You would have had the lightest color yellow ever, almost white, colored hair that reached your hip, a tooth3


pick for a body- everything about you would be flimsy, except your eyes. They were beautiful eyes, you would have had. Dark, dark, dark blue. Fierce as a hurricane. Magical eyes- if you were Marilyn Fone. Thankfully you are not. Marilyn sat at her desk waiting for the Monday Quiz to start. Suddenly she sneezed. Everyone laughed. But then something creepy happened. Her eye twitched and her body shivered. It was not cold at all in the classroom but then Marilyn felt as if she had been poked with a million ice daggers. But this is more scary and thrilling than you might think. This has happened to her before. The first time, she was 6. It was late at night and Marilyn couldn’t see. She tumbled down 2 flights of stairs. The second time she was falsely accused of murder. Marilyn had to sit through a 7 hour trial and then go to jail for 4 days. But she wondered, why did she get that feeling if it was only a Quiz? Her teacher passed out the papers. The first question was: “ Who is the 14th president of the united states?” Easy! “ Franklin Pierce was the 14th president of the united states. “ Marilyn wrote. “ What is the capital of Brazil? “ “ Brasilia is the capital of Brazil.” She felt her heart thumping in her chest. A good idea is to put this book down right now, save yourself and go on with your happy, giddy life. Only few have been able to bear the evilness and trickery. Marilyn waited, and waited and, it seemed like hundreds of years, but finally the end of the day came and she ran as fast as she 4


could into a field and just breathed a huge sigh. It wasn’t a sigh of relief at all. She was really sad and scared. Wait, why was she like this? Something bad might happen, but so deal with it! Suddenly anger, fear, confusion, anxiety, and a hint of terror washed over her. It was nighttime and the hoot of an owl really helped calm her. “Wait, these aren’t my own emotions!” Marilyn thought. “But if they aren’t mine, whose are they?” As Marilyn stood frozen in the field, well, this is your last chance- I strongly advise you to read something less scary. The Hungry Caterpillar, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Winnie The Pooh… just to name a few. Of course, you can guess, that something bad is going to happen. It is called foreshadowing. It is not just making boring predictions, but thinking a bit and having the idea with proof from the text of a boring book. Now I bet no one had guessed Marilyn’s eyes rolled back into her head, everything went black and she felt as if she was twisting, turning, falling, falling, falling… She screamed but nothing came out. Only silence. Nothing but creepy silence in the dark nothingness. It was pure terror. Marilyn thought she was dying. She screamed again but the same results came. And to add to her fear, whispers suddenly surrounded Marilyn. Whispers, whispers, so many whispers. They were oddly speaking in English. “Death, death, death, dark, twisted, gnarled evil lies just behind,” Some of the shadows said “this portal “ , others said “ this barrier “ but one whispered in a very low voice, “the gateway to your fate” Right after the whispers chanted, immediately, Marilyn saw a 5


rusted gate. It stood about 35 feet tall and it was leaning so much, she was sure it would collapse any moment, but it stood its ground. Marilyn glanced around and saw the scariest background ever. There wasn’t any ground, it was just black mist, curling up to the blood red sky. “Then how can I stand?” she wondered. There wasn’t anything in sight except the darkness and the gate. She began to feel the emotions that she got in the field, anger, fear, confusion, anxiety and a hint of terror. But the emotions began to grow. “Well I can either stay out here, wherever here is, or go through the gate.“ Marilyn thought. “Since it is so creepy, I’m going for it!“ she announced heroically as she dashed for the barrier. The gate wasn’t closed, thankfully, so she wouldn’t have to pry open and touch the yucky muck. But as Marilyn hit the barrier, the air turned to butter and time slowed way, way down until it stopped altogether. Again, the darkness swept over her. Only one whisper came this time. “Welcome to RRASPP. I am the gatekeeper.” it said in a raspy voice, ironic. “Ask me any question.” “I wonder what RRASPP stands for.” Marilyn wondered. “Repulsive Revenge, Agony,” there was a pause “I can’t translate in your language any more, there are no words that have a certain meaning, your language is far too mild. Any other questions?” Because of the tone of the gatekeeper, Marilyn was sure she could trust it. Marilyn took a deep breath and asked, “How did I get here and where am I going?” “You have been transported by,” there was a slight pause again “transporter unknown. Please have a nice stay at RRASPP, we hope 6


you improve on your demon or wraith hunting skills!” “Demon? I’m not a demon or wraith! I’m a human!” Marilyn cried out as the darkness started slipping away. “What?” the darkness stopped, but the tone of the gatekeeper’s voice was very serious. “You’re a human? Have a nice stay at RRASPP!” the voice cackled darkly. She couldn’t trust the gatekeeper! “Wait, stop!” she screamed. No luck. Marilyn found herself in almost the exact place as she had been before- except worse. There was nothing in sight, absolutely nothing. She seconded herself. “I might actually be in a different place that looks the same. And I don’t think I’m alone.” she thought. Marilyn could sense evil, pure evil in her presence. It was probably 38 degrees out, well, it felt like that. Suddenly Marilyn froze. A huge wave of terror came over her, it was so much that she gasped out loud and almost fainted. A powerful demon must have gone by. She knew she had been noticed. The black mist immediately evolved into a snake. Don’t picture a itty-bitty, 20 feet reptile. This wraith or demon was almost the height of a skyscraper. The snake’s body was straight as a ruler, until its head curled around, ready to strike. It wasn’t lying down, standing straight up, as if it was a human. Marilyn screamed and finally she heard the sound of her voice. More creatures began to form, too dreadful to describe. As the demons came closer, she was encased in golden light. It was a cube of pure light, a beautiful sight. Warmth started spreading everywhere, as if someone had told a funny gossip and the phrase was fluttering around town.

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Marilyn started hearing singing, maybe the voice of an angel. “I must be in heaven!” she thought. Instantly, a figure of light gracefully pranced over to her and swept the words “be in heaven” out of her mouth. The words evolved into the outline of a drink, honey. Marilyn could smell the sweet, sweet aroma. It suddenly vanished and the mist, the same, sour, awful, dark mist that was on RRASPP replaced it. Too late, she was already reminded of the frightful place and what had happened there and what she might have to face in the future. Elegantly, she was placed in a room with an immense amount of light. She had already forgot about RRASPP this place was so nice! Marilyn was still nervous even though she knew she was pretty safe. She started to hear laughter and more singing. “Hello!” a voice said cheerfully. “We must talk quick, there isn’t much time. I know that you may not trust me, but I suggest you do because together, we might be the universes’ only hope.”

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Chapter 2

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The First Obstacle And The Mysterious Light

“Universes’ only hope? There’s only one universe.” said Marilyn. “No, there are more universes than specks of dust on Earth. Right now you are in the 5642E17A1GHNSK # 29 trillion, 42 billion, 57 million, 78 thousand, 13 hundred, and 89th universe, the Riundu spiral galaxy, the Ziaphara 2 trillionth dimension and the 3,400,576,823rd planet.” “Heh?” asked Marilyn with her jaws dropped. “The quest is to defeat,” the voice and the light faltered “the Demon King. Don’t ever, ever, ever, say the real name of the Demon King, it is too powerful.” “How do I defeat it?” she questioned. “I don’t know. But this might help. Think of your favorite quote. Good luck!” “Good bye” Marilyn said sadly. She knew that she might not see the warm, welcoming light ever again. What was her favorite quote? “Wait, I remember now!” she murmured. “It’s, ‘don’t worry, the train ride ends soon!’” she exclaimed. “What does that have to do with this situation though?” Marilyn had analyzed the quote and it could mean that your life ends soon, or the responsibilities that you have would be completed. “So I’m either gonna die or complete the quest. I’m 99% sure the universes won’t be there by the time I’m done.” Marilyn said to herself. 9


By the time she had thought all that out, she was back on RRASPP. “You must pass through many places no living thing, or dead, or undead has ever completed.” The voice in her head had to be that possible ally, the Light. The Light never sounded like a boy or girl, it sounded like light should, sweet, bright, and hopeful. “What is the real name of the Demon King?” Marilyn couldn’t help being curious. “First tell me you will never speak the name unless you are about to fail, while you keep walking, there isn’t much time.” She solemnly swore as she started walking through the darkness. “Gorgwrath, is the name of the Demon King.” The voice said slowly. It seemed as if the whole world had plunged into darkness, even more than it was already in. Now, hearing Gorgwrath isn’t so scary when you think about it. But hearing it on a planet where wraiths and demons surround you, hearing the name full of hatred and disgust, despair and helplessness, darkness and terror, and pure evil, is, a bit scary. Oh, and did I mention that our hero was greeted by her first obstacle, the place where no living thing, or dead, or undead has ever passed through? I know I told you that I wouldn’t warn you again, but I might have to. I’m warning you. For the last time, why don’t you go watch Elmo? It seemed like a coincidence, like if you say, “Monster.” and out of your closet comes a green, blobby thing. But, it wasn’t a coincidence. There was a reason. The name Gorgwrath. Now you know just how powerful that name is. And of course, it startles you, just like Marilyn. In front of her, was a lava pit, a huge one. The pit was the size of about 3 and a half football fields. It was 10


impossible for the pit to be regular volcanic acid. It was crackling, boiling, and the flame was licking the stone that enclosed it. So, it had to be at least 2,500 degrees fahrenheit. There was only one way to cross. The same, old, rickety bridge that is in every fairytale. Except, it would have to hold out for a very long time. “Great!” Marilyn whimpered as she looked at the boiling, steaming hot lava. The smoke was curling up, just like the mist. She took a deep breath and put one foot on the bridge. It was only one foot, but it was all the weight. The moment she put it on, the whole, entire bridge collapsed. Every single thing that was on the bridge fell, including Marilyn, into the steaming hot, boiling lava. … Smokey air rushed past her like a freight train. She tried to scream, but the air was too dirty and she was going too fast. Before Marilyn could do anything, she felt intense pain in her neck. The horrible pain spread across her whole body as fast as a bolt of lightning. “Mmmmm!” she grunted. “It should be burning more, I should be dead by now.” she thought. A strong current of lava sent Marilyn tumbling. “Mmmmm.” She opened her eyes, maybe there would be an exit. Searing pain shot through her. “Mmmmaaaaaahhhhh!” she gurgled. Suddenly, a tunnel appeared. The dazed girl slowly made her way to the tunnel and swam through it. The pain was still there, but she pushed on. See, most people, would give up. It’s like climbing through ovens and melted peanut butter. And everyone, but maybe not you, would give up when the tunnel got wider and out comes a huge monster. 11


Remember when we were talking about perspective? Well, here is a vital piece of information. It is not about if you fight like Hercules, it’s about whether you give up easily or not. As if she had enough to worry about, a huge monster appeared right in her path. It was the size of a car, had a murderous look in its eyes, and looked just like a really evil shark. It swerved around to her and Marilyn did the only thing she had in her mind at the time, she punched the shark. It recoiled and dove again, hoping for a delicious meal. She kicked it. She punched it. She kicked it again. The fight went on only for a minute, then, the creature didn’t move. She was successful! That is when she remembered that she was running out of air. The pain was raging now. She quickly swam through the tunnel. The passage started to curve slightly skywards until it was slanted up. Her lungs were on fire! “Mmmmmm!” Marilyn whined. She swam for a few seconds, and then she burst out of the muck. Slowly the girl climbed out of the lava and back onto RRASPP. I am not saying that you will survive swimming through lava, it was magical. That sounds a little weird, but it’s true. It is only there for people who are meant to go in it. It is a warning to people who go lurking around places they should not be. It was her fate, so she survived. “Ouch.” Her skin was still sore, but fine. “Don’t worry, you’re not safe and sound yet.” a cold voice suddenly said. She whipped around to face her opponent. The mist had took the shape of one of Marilyn’s biggest fears, The Bullets. The Bullets were the bullies at her orphanage, “Baby Boos!”. I didn’t tell you much about “Baby Boos!” because, well, don’t you want sad stuff at the end? “Baby Boos!” wasn’t “Baby Boos!”. It 12


was more like “Full Grown Pro Wrestlers Buy Big Guns Here!”. Except the wrestlers would be mean, nasty, teenagers who drove motorcycles and snuck away from the orphanage at night. The regular meal would be one dry, rock hard, moldy piece of bread. They slept on the hard, creaky, wooden floor and were woken up at 5:00 AM. Daily schedule. Sad huh? Our hero, you’re realizing, has a pretty tough life. See, people aren’t just heroes if they have 10 story mansion. But they could be heroes if they donated to charity, for example. The mist then morphed into the snake she saw before. It hissed but it seemed more like it was screaming at her. “Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!” Marilyn screamed. She started to run toward the lava pit, but it had disappeared. She weighed her options. Option #1 could be to run in the other direction and scream at the top her lungs; option #2 is to fight the snake; option #3 is to keep thinking about what she should do and die. Marilyn dodged the tail of the demon and missed it by inches. It flicked its tongue and the tongue grew about 20 miles, long enough to reach her. The snake was about to touch her when Marilyn stood up. “C’mon! Go ahead! Kill me! I don’t care!” she challenged. “In fact, why don’t you just go away?” The demon shook its head in disgust and then winced in pain as if there was someone poking it with a sharp spear.The demon vanished into thin air, she had won! “Poof!” was the sound effect of the death of the serpent. The Light suddenly said “I’m sorry I couldn’t hold that off. I’m trying my best to hold off the others. I’m glad you defeated it.” The voice was weaker than before. 13


“Thanks. You know, I don’t know really who you are. Who exactly are you?” Marilyn asked curiously. The Light was silent for a few moments. “That is a secret left best unknown.” it said gravely. “Why don’t you keep walking.” the Light suggested “The second obstacle is very close. In fact, I should tell you something about it. Do you know what Eternal Pain is?” “No, I don’t.” Marilyn admitted. “It is pain beyond your comprehension, at first. But that pain starts to grow, quickly, until you cannot bear it. That happens in a matter of seconds.” the Light said. “Not meaning to frighten you but you never die. The growing pain gnaws at you for eternity.” Now, eternity is a dark, evil word. If you are doing anything, ( even your favorite thing ) if you do it for eternity, you will find yourself tearing out your hair before you know it. The next part of the story relates to perspective. “Well, it’s not everyday that I get to save universes. Well, I’m off to save the universe la la la la la la la la, I’m off to save the universe on a very distant planet!” she sang, far from the right tune. Moments later, a gate that looked similar to the one that greeted her when she arrived at RRASPP appeared in front of her. That, was the gateway to the second obstacle.

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Chapter 3

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Illusions, Trickery, and Evil

Well! Haven’t I warned you to go away and stop reading something so dreadful? And look where you are now! You are still reading the same book and you aren’t watching Elmo. Sheesh! Right after our hero’s ally spoke the word eternity, the Light’s voice disappeared and she was alone again. As Marilyn trudged toward the gate, the mist got deeper and darker, and when she arrived at the gate, it was almost pitch black. Moments later when she was under the gate, everything began to swirl together as if there was a twister. Suddenly, sleepiness hit her like a train on a track and she felt as if she were in a dream. Darkness began to overwhelm her and everything began to turn and twist as if she were on a rickety boat at sea. A strong force began to pull Marilyn. Suddenly she was at a deep, dark, huge pit. A mysterious force was pulling her, fiercely. She could hear millions, billions, even trillions of ghouls, demons, wraiths, witches, beasts and things that are so nightmarish that I won’t describe them, beckoning for her to fall into the pit. “There is no way I can get around this thing.” Marilyn thought. “It’s huge.” The darkness gave a final tug, but Marilyn leaped across the hole. As I have already noted, she felt as if she were drunk. That was caused by the evil and horror that lay in the depths below.

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She could feel the demons barely grasping her feet, the rings of darkness. Marilyn was pulled down quickly, she had failed. I don’t exactly know what happened next, neither did she, because of the demon’s magic. But from the clues I have wrote, it appears the girl somehow grabbed the mist and hoisted herself out of the hole, even though she was competing against much force. Marilyn sluggishly made her way to, well, forward. Suddenly she snapped out of the “dream” mode and the headache was gone. Again, she was triumphant! The Light’s voice clicked on. “I can’t believe you passed. Nothing has passed the 2nd obstacle in eons!” It was kind of scary. The Light’s voice sounded as if 60 years had gone by since they last spoke. It’s voice was hoarse and scratchy. But it still sounded golden. “Why is your voice like that?” Marilyn asked nervously. “It is sad, but our kind don’t live forever. In fact, we’re endangered. I am one of about 6,000 beings left in the universe. I fear, I am aging much too quickly.” “Why are you endangered?” questioned Marilyn. “There is far too much evil in the world.” the Light replied sadly. A sound rustled behind them. “You should go. I’m not sure I can hold that monster off.” said the Light. “Good luck!” At the beginning of this horrible tale, I told you that it was good that you weren’t Marilyn. Well, if you were, the universe, right now, would be in a million shards. You wouldn’t be reading this. You would be dead right now. Being tortured by one of the afterlife demons. Unless you didn’t give up. She took off in a bolt, not wanting to face another monster. Soon Marilyn could see something in the distance, but it was not visible yet. 16


It grew, and grew, and grew, and grew, until a huge tunnel leading down into the ground loomed over her. A growl from behind made a little voice in Marilyn’s head say “Now or never!”. She took off, with her heart pounding, and quickly raced into the tunnel. She took a sharp turn and muttered under her breath “I guess I am supposed to go through this thing.” Inside the tunnel was dark, musty, and damp. There was a smell of sulfur ( which as you know, smells horribly disgusting ) and patches of mildew covered the walls. Bones littered the floor. It was like she was trapped in some old, twisted porta potty. Marilyn heard grunts and pants from behind. Little did she know that she was actually running toward the real monster. ... All the noises faded so Marilyn slowed her pace. She looked up at the dirt ceiling and wondered what would happen to her. One moment she was in the stinky orphanage, the next she was in another galaxy. Time moves quickly. Suddenly her face slammed into a wall. “Why can’t I ever focus?” she groaned. The hero let the information settle. A dead end? Well then how was she going to go through? Marilyn patted the wall to make sure there weren’t any openings or any hollow places. Nothing. Marilyn, confused, turned and walked back. Creepy, another dead end. Turns out she jumped from the frying pan and into the fire. As she walked back, she scanned the walls for anything, but no surprises. Fortunately, this time, instead of an end, there was a long mirror. She touched it. Her hand sent a ripple through it. Must be magic. The touch made an electric shock go through her. Marilyn danced around the room, dazed. It felt as if she were walking around in a world that kept turning. As she tried to get her balance back, she tripped and fell. 17


Dumb luck. The girl fell into a hole that had sharp spires at the bottom. Marilyn jolted up from a bed. Wait, a bed? It was all a dream! None of that happened! She didn’t have to save the universe! A smile started spreading over her face, and then it quickly disappeared. A dream? But what about her life? She got out of the bed, ran to the bathroom, and looked in the mirror. Who was she? The question pounded in her head. Where was her family? What was her life? What time was it? All throughout the adventure Marilyn lost track of time. Day or night, she didn’t know. “What the....” she gasped. The face in the mirror, her face, morphed into a hideous monster. It had huge nostrils, scales covered it’s body and had blood red eyes. Everything fell apart. The house, the mirror, everything just melted away. Marilyn stumbled against a dirt wall, similar to the one she saw before. But the beast just said “Choose your weapon.” Three items appeared on the wall. One was a jackhammer, one was a spear, one was a pencil. She figured that the jackhammer would be too heavy and why would anyone choose the pencil? “I choose the spear.” “Alright.” said the monster “Your weapon is the pencil.” She didn’t have time to say anything because the beast lunged at her. Its fangs nearly missed her. A light bulb suddenly drifted over to Marilyn’s head. She climbed up its tail, raced along its body, and heroically stabbed the monster in the eye. The beast performed a deafening roar. Blood started spurting everywhere, it was gross. After the creature died, 12 passageways appeared. Everything seemed to be an illusion! Marilyn chose one to her left. 18


She kept walking and walking and walking and walking... The passage way seemed to go on forever. Right when she said “This stupid tunnel isn’t gonna end!” sure enough there was english writing engraved on her right wall. Marilyn stopped and bent down for a peek. There, written in scraggly writing, was two words that changed the hero’s life. Those two words were very simple. They were: Sorry for the cliffhanger, but you sure you want to read this? Don’t blame me if you can’t sleep at night. Words, like in this book, are not scary at all to read. But if you are on an alien planet, and the words you are reading are in a dark, dim lit cave and at any moment the universe might blow up and oh, did I mention that the words started floating around? It seemed like she was watching a 3D movie without glasses. But I’ll tell you what the words are, so you don’t have to go on with the nail-biting suspense. Those two words, floating around, were “TURN BACK”.

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Chapter 4

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A Mysterious Mistake

Her lips were squeezed into a tight line. She stood there for a few minutes deciding which way to go. It didn’t help that if her choice was wrong, she would die. Suddenly, Marilyn started to tremble. The wind began to moan and race furiously. Mist started to creep in and for the spooky effect, swirled and growled. She had to make a decision, quick. She took a deep breath and turned back. She expected for it to be a long time, but just a few seconds after she turned, there was a wall approaching. There was a knob in the middle and on it, the knob said “Left”, in english. “If I turn it the wrong way, boulders will probably drop down.” Marilyn assumed. She turned the knob slowly to the right. A crank suddenly burst out of the ground. She screamed but then calmed down. The girl pulled it and winced. It was stuck. She tried pulling it to the right. Nothing happened. Marilyn endured a long, painful and hefty sigh. Our hero turned the knob left. In the center of the wall, a crack began to form. It snaked its way down and soon there were two doors. The second they opened, mist crept stealthily into the tunnel. In a matter of moments Marilyn was engulfed in the hideous muck. The tendrils wrapped themselves around her legs and started to drag her. It was surprising how fast they were. The ground flew by and before she knew it, she saw sneakers. Sneakers. On an alien planet. 20


In another galaxy, another dimension. Sneakers? Something wasn’t right. How could another human being be on RRASPP at the same time as her? A queasy feeling began to build. The mist stopped abruptly. Her stomach lurched. Something evil was going on, but she didn’t know what. Another force began to pull her. It was like she was being magnetized. She wanted to scream! Something was definitely wrong. Marilyn looked behind and gasped, there was nothing. The person walked over and the mist let go of her. The tendrils curled up in disgust at Marilyn. She stood up, cleaned the dirt off of her jeans, and looked at the human. What she saw was a boy that was probably a bit older than her. His clothes were torn and his hair was matted. His face was bright red and there was a thin layer of blood trickling down from his lower lip. “Um...Hello.” she finally said. “Hi.” The boy looked at her quizzically. “What are you doing here?” “What are you doing?” said Marilyn. The boy answered ,“I just saved the universe from destruction by defeating The Demon King. I’m supposed to go home now, I don’t know why I’m not. But,” the boy shook his head. “but you’re not supposed to be here. People only come here for a reason, unless there was a mistake...” His voice started to trail off. “Wait a second, what’s going on?” “Well,” he began, “I just defeated, you know, The Demon King, and you come along. Why are you here?” Marilyn thought for a moment. “I don’t know.” she said simply. “But what’s your name? Mine is Marilyn.” The boy broke out into laughter. 21


“You must be kidding! That’s such a funny name!” He looked at her stern glare. “It’s uh, different! In a good way! My name is,” he paused. “Quil!” “Quil?” she asked. “Yes- wait a second, you’re an earthling! She gaped at him. “Oh.” she finally said. The boy continued, “So, Quil is a very special name. When I was born, I was chosen to be the hero of my planet. Quil is hero in my language. So, I’ve been defending my planet since I was born.” Quil explained. “But why do you look like a human and speak English?” Marilyn asked. “Any alien,” Quil continued, “ would look, talk, and sound the same as you. For instance, you look like the people on my planet, and right now, I am speaking in a language you would never recognize.” “So,” she said slowly, “what are we going to do now? I mean, out here, demons could kill us at any moment.” There was deathly silence as the two looked around worriedly. The boy announced they were going to Pity Peak.“Pity Peak?” Marilyn questioned. “Yeah!” he said, looking at her like she was dumb. “Ya know, overlooking The Sea of Sadness?” Quil saw her puzzled face, and she looked as if he was speaking another language. ( Which apparently he was ) “I’ve been here many times, so I know my way-” To their left they heard something scamper. Now when I say scamper I don’t mean like a squirrel crawls, but a kind of scamper that sounds like a twig snapping. 22


Except there was just the muggy, damp mist that covered the ground. The wind started to howl. The children let out a gasp and shouted in unison, “RUN!” They were in a team now and it was 2 humans against 1 monster, but it didn’t seem bothered. It was clearly chasing them. The scamper soon turned into a more ferocious howling of the wind. “Try not to look back!” Quil managed to say. “Their power is always your weakness.” he panted. A shadow loomed over them. Even though she could see her new friend right in front of her, there was a scream awfully like his. Marilyn whipped around to find, darkness. It must have tricked her. Everything went dark. I don’t mean like before, calm and quiet, but monstrous and evil. It seemed as if everything were screaming at her, needles were stabbed into her, and a herd of elephants were stampeding on her back. But then she noticed, those were the beast’s eyes. The last thing Marilyn remembered was feeling a huge wave of nausea and hitting her head against something sharp. But then a high pitched scream filled the air. It might have been her own scream, but she was too late, she had already been knocked unconscious.

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Chapter 5

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Title to come

Usually Marilyn woke up either to the sound of children groaning, or the Bullets barking commands. Occasionally, she woke up with a sore back and to the honking sound of cars when she slept outside to get some peace and quiet. But it had always been light enough to see. It was almost pitch black, barely lit by the pulsing sky. Marilyn groggily sat up and noticed there was a huge gash the size of her hand planted on her knee. The girl sighed. Her head was dented a bit and dried blood splattered every inch of it. “Well I’m pretty today.” “Hmmmm?” Quil had woken up. He rose. “Are you feeling good?” he asked. “Reasonably. Um, hey, what happened back there?” “Well,” Quil grimaced. “I saw you were hypnotized by the beast and I wielded The Sword of Destiny. I know it sounds kinda weird, but it has a lot of power. You get 3 Immortals to slay and then it vanishes from your sight. It has tons of magic in it and if you’re not smart enough, it can trick you.” “Ooookay,” Marilyn said in her head. “A magic sword that tricks you. Just great.” “Um,” she said. “What’s an Immortal?” “They are the demons and wraiths and so on. They usually feed on the weaker beings,” he gestured to both of them. “But of course you can’t conquer the King.” 24


“What makes him so powerful?” “In a few hours the world could be plunged into darkness and in a matter of moments after that, we could all be sitting in quicksand listening to opera music, it’s a way of torture.” he explained. There was something in the air that made Marilyn feel uncomfortable. It made her think that whatever she was facing was bigger than she thought. Her gut was telling her something was wrong. And her gut was never wrong. “Well we’re not gonna get anything accomplished if we sit around. Let’s go kill that monster.” ... The two trudged through RRASPP until the ground turned to a marshy texture. The girl stopped when she saw squiggly dark linesno they looked more like crooked, spindly hands. She gasped, those were trees. That meant she was hundreds of feet in the sky. The air was so soupy it felt solid. Despite the fact that it was below freezing, beads of sweat started to form. Marilyn started to feel dizzy and for the second time on the adventure fell tumbling almost onto the ground. She skidded to a stop in mid air, swerved to the left, and plopped onto the squishy ground. “Um, did I just- fly?” she asked to nothing in particular. “Yes.” Quil said flatly. “Don’t ask, I don’t know how, but that isn’t a good sign. I think something has gone wrong but I can’t put my finger on it.” Marilyn stood there dumbfounded. She still couldn’t believe she was here. This was Superman’s job, not hers! She wanted to curl up in a deep hole in the ground and never come out. Marilyn noticed she 25


was staring mindlessly at the forest. “So when are we gonna go in?” he interrupted her thoughts. “Sorry just- thinking.” And with that they crept into the dark forest. ... The sound of a motorcycle awoke Roger with a start. He was in “Baby Boos!”, a horrible orphanage that should probably be sued for child abuse, but hey, who said you had to listen to gruff lady at the front desk? Roger crept silently out the front door. His buddy Chuck pulled up. “Look Roger! I got us and the Bullets some beer!” “Great. But did you see? Chad graffitied the local school!” They laughed obnoxiously. Thankfully the police were on their trail. After dozens of crimes, they would probably go to juvenile. In the morning Roger woke up and made sure all the kids were following his rules. He heard a racket from downstairs. “Strange.” he thought. It was too early for breakfast.The Bullet curiously snuck downstairs. He saw a stranger talking with the lady at the front desk, Rivka who was an old yiddish woman. The stranger had jet black hair and was super tall. She had sunglasses too. “I’m looking for Marilyn Fone.” “She’s dead.” said Rivka without looking up from her newspaper. That’s when Roger came in. “No! No! You don’t want her! She’s an- alcoholic!” The lady took off her glasses and her eyes glowed golden. More to come in Chapter 5 26


Chapter 6

S

I Have No Idea

At first it was just plain creepy. The trees would have towered over skyscrapers. The limbs branched out in awkward directions and seemed to make shapes. The ground was so squelched that it would be passable to call liquid. But the thing that was so unearthly was that the forest caved you in. Not only that, but when she touched a nearby tree, it was hot. Burning hot. Yes, this place was definitely creepy. “Just walk quickly and we can get out of here.” Marilyn muttered. “Wait- stop- quiet!” Quil whispered impatiently. They froze in place but there was still a tiny sound- breathing. A shadow emerged and slowly lumbered toward them. Then it picked up speed and lunged. What happened next was peculiar. As if on pause, the beast stopped mere inches away and sniffed. It puffed out its chest and said “Who are you and what is your name?” Before the girl could even process what was going on, Quil spoke: “I am Quil, uh, the warrior and this is, um, Marilyn.” he said meekly. “From what planet?” the beast challenged in a deep voice. “Planet Qloob, the Star Gazing galaxy.” It nodded in acknowledgement. Everyone turned to Marilyn. “Earth and the Milky Way galaxy.” She expected her voice to 27


barely be a whisper, but it was pretty loud. “On a quest?” it said. They both nodded. “I was sent by the Light.” she said. The beast had been squinting before, but then it opened its eyes in surprise and there were only sockets. Marilyn gasped and stumbled backwards. Its fur was ivory with brown streaks in it. It stood about 10 feet tall. “Those kinds of species are naturally blind.” Quil explained. “My name is Harold. Do you mind but, what is it like to see?” it asked. The two heros thought. The beasts question hung in the air. “Then you shouldn’t take things for granted. Well let me guess, are you going to the Demon Kings lair?” “Yup. Do you wanna come?” she asked. “Sure.” the beast said tentatively. “Good. I’m getting bored. Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Marilyn glanced at Quil, “I can fly. ... Soon they all were approaching a cave. It was pretty small, but to their left and right, there were rusty 100 foot tall gates. Monsters clawed at it, but escape was impossible. She couldn’t imagine the horrors in there. “Lets go save the universe!” the girl said cheerfully. “And die.” the animal pointed out. Without saying anything else, the threesome marched into the most dangerous place in the universe. Inside the cave, (of course) it was dark and gloomy. It smelled like rotten cheese and just felt sad. Wispy shadows covered the floor and a few were curling up onto walls. That’s when Marilyn saw a shadow emerge. She tapped the others. Once their eyes had adjusted 28


enough, they could make out the details. Its head looked like a magnified raisin complete with twisted, morphed features. Its clothes seemed to be made out of the dark mist. “Well hello.” said the creature in a chilling voice. It was so cold out you could see its breath. Instead of being booming and deep, it had a soft, metallic voice and each syllable was slurred. It seemed to make a buzzing sound. “You can probably guess who I am. I cannot believe you thought you defeated me Quil! As you know, I’m immortal!” said the Demon King. He took a step closer. “What do you think will happen in a few moments?” “We’ll kick your butt!’ Marilyn shouted enthusiastically. “Hmm. Interesting idea!” “Come on! Quit stalling and try to kill us already!” Quil said. “Oh no! I wouldn’t dare!” it purred. “I have something much more terrible planned for you!” Harold growled. “Do you you think you can hide something from me? I know it already. You were sent by the Light.” it said disgustingly. “Well, since I have all eternity to torture you, I may as well explain.” it snapped its fingers, and suddenly neither of the three could move or talk. “I came from a planet that had chosen me to be their hero.” he gestured to Quil. “At the time I wasn’t evil, but I had pure hatred inside of me. I came to this planet to defeat the old Demon King, what a weakling, and took a wrong turn into the Forest of Dread. I met intelligent creatures there,” it paused to shoot a disgusting look at Harold, “unlike you.” “They taught me how stupid I was, what great accomplishments I 29


could make if I stopped caring about others. Instead of defeating the Demon King I helped him. That is until a useless rat came along. Her name was Marilyn. She heartlessly killed it.” “Do you know why you can fly? If you have an accomplishment, you get rewarded. Do you all get it? This has happened before. Instead of me turned into a dark creature, and you,” it pointed a crooked finger at Marilyn, “turned into a being of light, you are working TOGETHER!” it roared. “Marilyn! Didn’t you feel that force tugging at you? That was fate. You weren’t supposed to meet each other there. You strayed from the path. And now you will be punished.” it snapped its fingers once more, and darkness engulfed them. Again, that creepy chilling darkness. Suddenly Marilyn saw a red jagged streak. It seemed to be pulsing. “Nothing makes sense here.” she muttered, or at least tried to. She still couldn’t move. The blood red slash moved closer. “You will be kept here until I decide what to do with you.” It was the Demon King. “You will only receive minor torture.You are in an alternate, leftover dimension.” It seemed somehow like a TV commercial, bleary eyed people reciting short phrases, just waiting to get paid. “Poof!” the mist had curled around her wrists, like handcuffs. She noticed how tired she was, who knew what time it was on Earth? She tried to sit down. But the cuffs were a length too short to sit. If she tried to, she would rip her arms out of the sockets. Marilyn groaned. It seemed like hours before she fell asleep. ... She awoke to a bloody fight. Quil was thrusting a spear while 30


Harold was pawing the Demon King. But they were held back by an invisible force, magic, that was erupting from the King’s fingertips. The 2 heros were covered in cuts which blood and pus was leaking. They probably couldn’t stand much longer. Marilyn reluctantly stood up and Quil and Harold got zapped by electricity. “Well! Look who’s awake! While you were sleeping, your friends were fighting to save your life, only to have you fail in the end. I have gotten impatient and decided to bring you back. I have to kill trillions!” “Enough chatter.” Marilyn said bravely. “Let’s fight.” The Demon King waved his hand and she got blasted backwards. She was pinned to the ground. If a sumo wrestler jumped on you with all his or her strength, you would know what Marilyn felt like. The Demon King sauntered up to her. “Any last words?” Marilyn thought furiously. How could she get out? Thanks for reading my story. MORE TO COME, STAY TUNED....

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Marilyn Fone Draft