• Cryss
    BY Alex Brooks
    It was the first day of school, and I was walking home. My brother, Charlie, was beside me. “Hey, what do you think about the school so far?” Charlie said, with a joyous tone in his voice. “I-I…..I don’t want to talk about it,” I said, “It’s really hard to move from one school to another.” My dad is a businessman, and had just recently gotten a new job. They had moved his office from Georgia to Ireland, and we moved into a condo next to a river. My brother was a bit older than me, he was 15, and I was 11. He had some experience with moving from one school to another, as dad had moved around once or twice before I was born. “Ha, you think you have it tough?” said Charlie, “I’ve gone through 6 or so schools, and how many have you gone through? 2, maybe 3, right?” Charlie was a true pain in the neck when it came to moving, as he didn’t really have many friends to leave. He suspected that we would move, and chose not to make any social connections. He had a pen-pal from his elementary school, and barely ever talked to him. “Oh, we’re here.” I said.
    Our house was big, about 3 stories or so. When we opened the door, I saw 3 kids, 2 adults, and 300 or so papers scattered across the floor. My mother was a composer, and she played a lot of instruments. I tried to learn violin, but I found it hard to put perfect pressure and elevation on the bow. Charlie played alto saxophone, and was really good at it. He planned to become a jazz player, and planned to make a band. Mom was running around, trying to get a hold of my twin sisters, Jenna and Eliza, and my baby brother, Joey. Jenna was trying to open the cookie jar, and Eliza was running around the house with the dog, Waffles. We named him waffles because he was bright yellow, and loved syrup. Joey was just crying, and mom was running around trying to make them all calm (we had these episodes every day, and mom could never handle them, but we could). I quickly grabbed hold of Jenna, and pulled her up. I stared into her eyes, and she immediately stopped trying to open the cookie jar. I had a thing with making people stop by just staring at them. I always guessed I had a gift, but I thought it was just because of how serious I can look. Charlie swooped up his sax, and began playing a slow melody. Joey instantly fell asleep, but Eliza took awhile. She soon drifted off to sleep, along with Jenna, and we laid them in their rooms. “WHAT IS WITH YOU GUYS?! CAN YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN!?” said a loud, booming feminine voice. “Uh-oh,” I said, “she’s here!”
    There were a few loud steps down the staircase, and my oldest sister, Jenny, emerged, red in the face, and teeming with rage. I always thought there was a reason for her anger, but soon learned that it was just puberty and hormones. “KEEP IT DOWN NERD-BIRDS!” said my sister with a touch of a British accent. This was because my sister was adopted from an orphanage in the middle of Kensington. “You’re lucky mom is tired, and dad is at work. Now KEEP IT DOWN!!!” She stormed out of the room, and Charlie whispered into my ear, “I think she was on the phone with her ‘boyfriend’.” He said the last part rather loudly, in an Irish accent, because Jenny had an Irish boyfriend name Thomas. I once saw him, and he was one of those “rockstar-cutey boy-big shot-rich kid-redhead” types. I totally hated him; he was every aspect I wasn’t. I was long and gangly, with bones showing from my skinny figure. I had dark, brown hair, with glowing, bright blue eyes. I wore glasses, and had big, brown freckles on my pale, white skin. Charlie looked a bit like me, only tanner, and with more of a muscley figure.
    I went to my room, and dropped my backpack and notebook on my bed, and looked out the window to see the river, which was calm, blue, and completely destroyed. It was a landfill site, and trash had sunken into the lake, and washed away as a filthy load. The sun shined on the water like a lamp on a writer’s desk. I sank into bed, thinking about life, and started my homework. I was a rather smart kid, and I usually got top-scores on my tests. I finished my homework very easily, and started to play Cyrss on my laptop. It was an online game of fantasy, with dragons, golems, and magical creatures. I loved to play it, and wished I could be inside some adventure like that. I played and played till it was dinner time. Dad was home, and looked tired and happy. Mom was writing furiously, and Jenny was listening to music on her iPod rather than listening to the conversation at the table. “….and then the printer broke! Just like that! It started to smoke and we had to pour water on it before it exploded!” continued dad in his usual story. I wasn’t really listening, because the printer always did that. I was thinking about far off places, mysteries, and other things that captivated my mind. I was soon in my own world, and dad must’ve noticed, as he stopped his story and said, “Hey, Connor, you okay?” I awoke from my dream startled, and fell out of my chair. “Ha, once a nerd-bird always a nerd-bird” said Jenny, still listening to her iPod. I got up in my chair, my pride hurt more than my head. Our family was one of the weirdest in Ireland, we were the Riversbie family. Joey was playing away at his food, and dad just started talking again.
    We soon finished dinner, and I went up to bed. I laid down in the soft mattress, and thought of my day. I was thinking about my day dreaming, which had started to grow ever since we moved into Ireland. I sat in bed, and soon the sun set, and it was time for bed. I put my head on the pillow and tried to go to sleep. Then, everything went dark, and I was floating in a chasm of darkness. A deep, booming voice spoke with a deep, low tone saying, “The connection is almost finished.” I screamed, and found it was just a dream. Mom came in, and asked, “What’s wrong?! Are you hurt?” I was panting, and told her about my dream. She looked puzzled, and then just said “I think you should go back to sleep, maybe you just saw it in your Cryisst or something…” “It’s Cryss, mom.” I said with a smile. “Good night.”
    I woke up the next morning, and went to school. I got to school before the bell rang, and slinked into class unnoticed. My class is a link with 10th graders, so we have high school kids in here, because it’s a middle and high school. Most of the kids were just talking, and I was just studying. I started to day-dream, and more people came in. All of a sudden, the lights flashed off, and then came back on. There, standing in front of me was a man in a dark, black coat. He lifted up the coat, and his face showed, causing many people to gasp. He had a scar on his left eye, and his other eye was bright red. His hair was black and spiky, as though he had been struck by lightning. He held out his hand, and a crystal ball appeared. A hooded person was on the screen, and spoke to me in a deep, booming voice, just like from the dream, “YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN! Come to the land of Cryss! You will be our savior!”
    I took it all in, and a wide smile appeared on my face. “I ACCEPT!” said I. Everyone in the room was confused, scared and awestruck. Then a giant portal spinning and floating appeared out of nowhere, with gargoyles guarding it. Not those fake stone ones. REAL GARGOYLES. My brother rushed up and said “Hold on there, chap. What if this is a trick?” “Charlie….I can see the world of Cryss!” said I. There was a canvas of colors, giant flowing grass and flowers, talking trees, exotic plants, and explorers everywhere, using magic powers, heaving giant swords, and killing goblins and monsters. “Let me come with you then, I’ll watch after you.” The man in the coat held out his hand, stopping Charlie, and he flew backwards. “Charlie!” I shouted. The man in the hood said “He is our savior, not you. You may not come!”I stood at the gate, and said “Hey, Charlie. Tell mom and dad I’ll be gone for a while!” With those exact words, I stepped through the portal.
    When I went through the door, my glasses became fogged, I felt stronger, and I felt energy filled. I took off my glasses to clean them, but my eyesight was fine without them! It was like a dream come true! I started to run, but soon I ran into an armor clad warrior, with a huge sword and shield. “Hello,” said the mystery man, “who are you?” I stood myself up and said “Connor Riversbie, I’m from Ireland.” He looked puzzled, but then smiled and said “Oy! You’re the savior? Ha! You’re smaller than me! How can you save us?!” He laughed for a bit, until an old wizard came up behind him, and said “That’s where you come in, Archimedes.” He turned rather swiftly and saluted, “Lord Bearcharger! What are you doing in a boondocks training place like this?” The wizard appeared to be an elf, and he smiled at me. He said with a gruff voice, “You will train him in combat, and he shall become a paladin, such as you are.” Archimedes murmured some curses under his breath and said “Fine, have it your way, my lordship.” The wizard waved his hand and disappeared. Archimedes turned to me and said “Alright, whatever your name is….” “Connor, sir. Connor Riversbie.” I interrupted. “Alright Riversbie, let’s start. From now on you will refer to me as Archimedes Darkeyes, and I will be your instructor.” We started off with some basic exercises, and he gave me a wooden sword to practice with. He made me hit a tree 300 times correctly, and I wasn’t tired by the end, for some reason. He gave me a pat on the back and handed me a scroll. “Time for your first quest, go kill a goblin archer.” I knew what they looked like because it was in my game. I also knew where they lived, so it wasn’t a big deal. I finally got to the nesting ground and found one. He was sleeping, so it was a perfect opportunity to strike! I charged after him and slammed the sword one his head. He woke up immediately, and aimed his bow at me. I quickly struck his stomach with a mighty blow, and he was down. He dropped some money he had stolen, and also some leather. I went back to Archimedes, and told him I had done it, and showed him my spoils of battle. “Good job.” he said, with a surprised tone in his voice. “It took me at least four hours to do that when I was your age, and you did it in 10 minutes!” He gave me a short sword, and then Archimedes came up to me and taught me how to transform into a paladin, and I became a new hero. To this day I am the ultimate hero. They call me Cruil Spelloyal, the paladin.