“Wake up,” He says and get up. As the Heart, I can’t deny the Key. I don’t ask him why until we’re on the car.
“To the first battle,”
The rest of the trip is in silence. Somehow Mrs. Clara’s words are still ringing in my head. They pound a war cry slow but rhythmic, with it’s falls and rises, stable continuous like time.
“As the Heart, you hold immeasurable power- your heart is a gift from the gods, only you can protect Earth,”
Earth’s better off dead. We’re all aliens after all. To ourselves, to the billions of ‘yet to be answered’ questions that we never begin to answer, to the concept of life, to the concept of emotions. Aren’t aliens nasty and strange? Aren’t we?
They don’t believe so.
“However, you are nothing without the Key, do you understand?”
“Yes, Mrs. Clara,”
“Then whatever the Key wants, you will comply. We don’t believe this will be a problem because the Heart and Key end up loving each other,”
“Alright Mrs. Clara,”
He’s a monster. The Key’s a monster. Angel in the day, but he’s a sadistic monster in the night.
I can’t love him.
I love someone else.
Can’t this time be different?
“No, he’s the Key, we’re sure. Give it time,”
I wonder how much that I have left.
“We’re going to fight in your hometown, you’ll be famous after this,” He whispering in my ear.
I keep my head at the window. “Alright,” I say, but my lips tighten.
“We’re there. According to our resources the attack should be here. Best of luck,” The minute we get out, it’s a storm of people. Clearing the area, evacuating citizens, I wonder why. Won’t they just move to a different location. It’s too obvious what’s going on.
In the end, I say nothing and wait.
Wait out in this barren field of sand, dust, and weed. Wait. I think of Sage while I wait. I want to see him again. I smile when I think of him. A real smile I have smiled for quite awhile.
“Clear out, they’re coming! Repeat! They’re coming!”
They come from the sky descending in ships from our imagination and land softly onto the ground.
“Earth is ours!” One declares as he comes into view. Lizards in an almost human shape, tails and claws from scales. It’s hard to sniffle a laugh, but I do it anyway. It’s probably not polite to laugh in front of aliens.
“We are a vast empire, if you wish to fight-“ He beckons with his claws and a dark snicker on his face, “By all means, come at us,”
“It would be our pleasure,” The Key speaks, and the words that come, are just as confident, “To wipe that smile off your face,” He pulls me in and plants his lips on mine.
His kiss tastes of rotten perfume, the kind of thing that tasted too sweet before, but it’s so sour now. “Go get them,” He whispers and pushes me toward them.
“The Heart?” The Lizard laughs, “Such an old trick,”
I don’t feel immense power coursing through my body, nothing like that. I just feel scared. Standing a good ten feet away I raise up a barrier. I’m not fighting with an open view. I look at him one last time, and he’s enraged. A smile creeps on my face and I can’t stop it.
I’m finally alone, and they can’t see the tear that’s about to leak. Nobody does, nobody can because of the black rose that blooms from my eye.
“Damn it,” my sister whines, “We can’t see anything through that big shield! I really wanted to see her fight. It would’ve been so cool!”
I look at the screen. I see Rose talking to the Lizard-like people. I can imagine the puns she and I could’ve thought of. I can see the round barrier, but it’s light. A light purple, like the kinds people see on TV.
“What do you mean?” I ask, “She right there, talking to them,”
“Liar,” My sister turns around, “You know the dude who’s the key?”
“He said she was beating them to a crisp,”
“Not yet,” I say, “She not going to do that yet,” My vision goes black around the edges. Something tells me, this isn’t it.
There’s more. There are billions and trillions of more coming to Earth. “I’m going,” I tell her, but she’s watching the TV. I run outside and climb onto my bike. Checking the maps on my phone, it’s going to be thirty minutes until I reach that park.
I’m too late by the time I get there. The sky’s black with ships as far as the eye could see. I push towards the front. “Sorry kid, but you can’t get closer than this,” I can’t see who it is, other than its uniform. Its a police officer.
“Move!” I scream, it’s hard to hear anything above this roaring wind. I run, as fast as I can. Faster, faster. Faster than that track meet, faster than the wind that swirls around her, faster than the shits that streak the sand.
Rose can’t hear me- she somewhere far. Far from this wretched place, so my eyes stray to the Key.
“Get her away!” I scream at him. He glares back mad. “Who the heck are you,” He asks and I don’t bother answering. My thoughts are driving me insane. I can’t see straight. But I can see Rose. She going to die.
“Rose is going to die if she keeps this up,” I say, but They all look at me as if I’m crazy. I’m not crazy, they’re just drunk. Drunk on her power, to drunk to see the truth.
She’s going to die.
“She’s not going to die,” A woman puts her hand on me that I shake away, “The Key knows her status and she fine,”
“Exactly fanboy,” He snickers, “Get lost,”
“This,” He continues, “Is the power of the Heart when the Key and the Heart are in love. Its beautiful, isn’t it,”
“No,” I say, my head throbbing, “This isn’t the power of the Heart being in love, this is the power when the Heart is scared,”
“I am the Key, I know-”
“Your not,” I take a breath, but head hurts, but my eye hurts the most, “Not. The. Key!” I scream, and everything dies down. The wind, my heart with its thumps, my lungs gasping and heaving, its quiet. I turn to Rose, she’s still fighting. I can see the wind moving, its gone slow, so slow. Everythings slow, until I get thrown back into reality.
I am the Key.
And I will not let her die, because-
Because I love her.
What was he doing here?
I want to talk to him-its been forever. I can’t focus on anything. Not the wind, not ships- nothing.
It’s a gentle quiet that comes in the rage of a storm. I like this quiet.
It’s Sage. He’s calling for me. I glad, but that this point- I’m really tired. I want to go to sleep and rest.
43% alien forces remaining.
There’s still so much to do. So little time.
“Get down from there! It’s going to be okay!”
But its not. It’s not going to be okay. I’m going to die. I can’t do all of this alone. But I want to talk to him. Everything goes black.
“It sure is quiet in here,” I say and he spins around. I finally see him face to face. “Its been a while- hasn’t it,”
“Where are we,”
“If my assumption is correct, we’re most likely in my head,”
“Its black,” he says and I giggle, “What’s so funny,”
“It’s not black with you here,” I smile. He grins and sits down right beside me.
“You’re not going to make it,”
“There’s no then, Sage. I’m going to die, but I don’t regret it,” I smile my brightest. All I could do now was smile, “It’s been an honor protecting you,” He does say anything, and it’s silent for a while.
“I’m going to miss our chats,”
“Me too,” I say and the outside doesn’t look too good. I watch the forces go down slowly- too slowly.
Last Attack- 1000 Nights
“Hey Sage,” I say and he turns, “Can you promise me something?”
“Anything,” He whispers, outside- reality- everyone finally realizes it. You only use this kind of attack when you know you’re going to die.
“You’re going to live, and live on,” I whisper,
“1000 nights and 1000 nights more,”
“You’re going to find friends learn to get some of them go,”
“You’re going make many, many memories,”
“Can you-“ I look at him one last him. I try to remember each of him. The sad one, the happy one, the angry one, “Promise me that,”
“Yeah, don’t worry,” He says and this one-
Its him that’s going to live 1000 nights more.
Because he promised.