Rumble Fighters – Prologue


Would you prefer to be alive or dead? It was a stupid question, but I answered it with my honest thoughts: “I prefer to be dead. The world is filled with nothing but conspirator and mindless idiots. How could I continue living as a black sheep? I would powder myself white, but other sheeps will tattle-tell like little kids. They are nothing but traitors. They’d make friends with you and then plunge a dagger right at your spine at your weakest moment. So, like I said, I’d prefer to be dead. Does that answer your question?”

Speechless, the fortune teller flipped the next tarot card. I sighed, a bit happy by the fact that I was able to blow off some steam. However, it was still infuriating the fact that I was forced here. Was the place so bad at business that they had to push an innocent passerby into their store? I supposed so. She was pretty bad at predicting people’s reaction. Even asking such a stupid question at that.

“It seems that your bleak future is heading for the worse…”

No shit, lady. Do you have any other bullshit to say? Jeez. How the hell do girls believe in this stuff? They say the most obvious things.

“This event will set off an inescapable destiny.”

Sweat slid down from my forehead and dripped from my chin. I blew out a quiet, slow breath just in case I ended up breathing onto her face. They could at least afford an air conditioner in this tiny room. Seriously, it had enough space for a mini table and two chairs. I felt so cramped up in here. I would be freaking out at this point if I had claustrophobia. Luckily, I didn’t. The room was covered with dingy window shades and it made this place extremely dark. There was a red table cover on the… obviously the table. Sitting on top was a crystal ball that was the only thing illuminating some kind of light. It was fascinating and hypnotizing to stare into the crystal ball.

The lady was wearing a violaceous robe that covered her from head to toe. She was always gazing at the cards, I guessed it was another way to avoid me seeing her face.

“Oh, really? Do you know when?” I asked sarcastically.

“Within six weeks, five days, seventeen hours, eleven—”

“That’s way too specific!” I shouted. “Ahem… sorry.”

Even if I didn’t believe in the art of scamming, I got to have manner. It would be rude to speak my mind freely. After all, humans were fragile creatures. Anyway, I sped up the process, not wanting to spend five hours in that place. Heh, you know how the lady says within six weeks? Well, it’s been six months and nothing’s changed. How inconvenient. I thought I at least would’ve had a good story to tell.


Valma – [1]

Standing on the debris of what was used to be the Tereme building, Eras stared at her clipboard as it popped up lists of the items that needed to be collected. She scoffed at the list. The owner left his company tower to fall and just about half of his workers dead, now he wanted the Retrievers to return his important data. If he wanted to save these so much, the man could’ve just taken them before he fled.

Eras kicked off some of the rocks and found a burnt body underneath. She cringed, but ordered her crew to dig up the place.

“It seems that the Valmas are gone. We don’t need to worry about anything.”

As they continued rummaging through the rubble, without the help of Eras since she was only acting as a search dog, they discovered half of the items on the list. Some of these Eras would keep in order to sell later. She wasn’t the cleanest person around here. She would be amazed at somebody working as a Retriever that had a clean record.

“Damn, they’ve really done damage in this city,” said Odin. “The VA usually keeps them at bay, but for the Valma to destroy half of the city. This is just crazy.”

“Yeah, and now people are getting mad and wondering ‘why aren’t the VAs protecting us’ and how ‘it is a waste of tax money on these people.’ Obviously, they don’t want the help, so why bother?”

He chuckled. “If our government had your mind set, I don’t know how we would survive.” Eras jabbed him in his side. “Ow! I’m just kidding!”

Odin was one of the new recruits. He was young and fresh out of college. It surprised Eras on why he joined to be a Retriever rather than becoming part of the Valma Annihilation team. If she could remember, it was a boy’s dream to join that or the military. It didn’t matter anyway, the pay for both jobs were somewhat equal.

He was around twenty-one years ago. He had unkempt crow-like hair that made Eras cringed every time she saw him. If only she had a hairbrush. Odin kept in touch with the latest technology and enjoyed spending his money on them. The new recruit was eccentric in his own little ways. He built a miniature robot from scraps left behind that followed him around. It didn’t do anything, but Odin enjoyed its presence. People often mistaken him as weak due to his soft nature and his malleable amber eyes. Though he had a wiry figure, he was the man who was put to work the most by Eras. Because of that, he wasn’t somebody to be underestimated when it came to sheer strength.

“Are you guys finished with the Tereme building?”

“We’re done ages ago.”

“Good, because that’s the last one for today.” She sighed. “This took longer than I expected. I wanted to go home before the sun sets.”

“The sun’s currently setting, if you hurry, you can go back before the moon reaches the sky.” He smiled.

“Right, my house is three hours away from this city.”

She finished off the list and handed it to Odin. He whined about always having to bring the work in, though he accepted it anyway. Eras walked out of the red zone, wired by yellow tapes that said, “Keep out.”

The tape was a bit old fashion, but the lasers weren’t going to be there any time soon. Plus, there was a school near the mess and the governor here had the balls to continue school days. Eras couldn’t  afford to have kids messing around her workplace. She ambled to her car, clicking her smart key to open the door. It was a black Yeol model car. It wasn’t a sports car and that currently made Eras sad. She needed a fast car to get home right about now. Her car was a hybrid and the security was good enough to not get it stolen, so it was okay for Eras.

Entering her car, her phone ticked on and blared a familiar ringtone. It was Bandaar who was calling her. She sighed, switching the call onto the speakers of her car. “What do you want, Bandaar?”

“Hey, Eras, just calling in. Where are you right now?”

“Revo.” She set to an automatic drive, setting the destination to her home.

“Ah, that’s the last attack of the Valmas…”

“So, tell me, what the hell has the VAs been doing? This is the first time half of a city has been obliterated. I thought you guys were supposed to be doing the annihilation, not them.”

“Well, that’s one reason why I called you. It seems that the Valma have finally deployed another their elite soldier. It hurts me to tell you this, but we did not kill the Valma.”


“I’m sending you the pictures.”

“Wait a minute. Did I hear you correctly? The Valma is still alive and out on Earth? And there was only one of them that caused this chaos?”

“That’s what I said.”

The uploads completed and the pictures popped up onto her screen. She examined it, scoffing. “I supposed even human technology can’t stop a rampaging mecha.”

The Valma had been playing with the humans for quite a long time. This was the first time they had ever gotten serious. Or at least that was Eras’ theory. She zoomed in on the picture, checking out all the weapons and mechanics it had. It was about seven feet tall and had a melancholy blue painted on. Bandaar sent her a footage of the mecha’s capacity. The machine was equipped with laser guided rockets, a material beam that required a lengthy charge up but it was probably the reason for most the damage, and a few automatic guns to eliminate the small fries. This wasn’t like the other mecha that she fought.

“I’m amazed that something this big hasn’t been discovered yet.”

“So do I. It escaped after it released this fog. I don’t know how it left within the small zone of the fog, but I believed that it went underground. Although we’ve checked every tunnel underneath Revo and yet still no sign of it.”

“You’d think the Valma got teleported back to their ship.”

“That’s my next guess.”

“Well, in any case, this ain’t my problem. I was only there to pick up the scraps.”

Bandaar frowned, oblivious to Eras, replying, “Our research about the Valmas has significantly decelerated ever since you left, Eras. You were the first person who captured one of these aliens alive.”

“Oh, thanks for reminding me. How is Geo? Is he dead yet?”

“No, he is not. We’re not that careless. Although he hasn’t answered any of our questions.”

“I’d expected the Valma Researching team to crack open his skull and find nothing useful with his brain.”

“You were the only person he’d talk to. If you hadn’t left, maybe we could’ve found out about who the Valmas are and maybe even their culture.”

“Yeah, waste my time doing that just so the VA can go and wipe them out.” Eras closed out the photos and footages, she was tired of them. “If you don’t have anything else to say to me, then I think we’re done here. I need a nap.”

“Well, there is another thing. My son’s seventeenth birthday is coming up.”

“And you want me to be there?”

“Roland respects you, and I also think he just wants to listen to more of your stories.”

“I’ll go if I have the time.”

“Thanks, Eras.”

“You got nothing else?”


“Then I’ll talk to you later.”

She ended the call, pushed down her seat, and slept through the three hour ride.

The car stopped abruptly, shaking Eras back to reality. She groaned, feeling a slight headache. She was home. The garage door was closing. The light turned on as she exited the car. Treading out of the garage and into her living room. She laid down on the couch. The woman was far too sleepy to squander her remaining energy. It was nighttime, she needed to go to sleep.

In Peril 1-2

“Edward, come in, this is Jody.”

No response.

The road to Arawak Base was a dangerous one, however, he had to rescue Edward. He was already out of the city and was in the agricultural part of Visalia. He traveled by the crops, wary of any oncoming hostile Indians or Temria. The terrible smell of cows snuck into his nose. He cringed, coughing, not used to the stench. He looked to his left, seeing the animal stuck in its cage. Some of them were dead. He was amazed they were able to survive this long without any caretaker. He felt kind of bad, thinking about letting them free after. The crops were good from the decent amount of rain, maybe the cows could be able to feed off of that rather than dirt.

Shaking his head, he carried on. Another five minutes or so passed with his travels. His mind was clogged with both saving Edward and Amelia. She hadn’t brought her communicator with her, and that was a problem. Towards the end of Ivanhoe Dr. was Cutler Park. The battleground was here, but deep inside the forest. He saw a few bullet holes in the trees, pulling out his gun and readying himself.

Once more, he took out his communicator and said, “Edward, come in. Can you hear me?”

Again, no response.

Traveling into Cutler Park, Jody hid behind trees, peeking out when necessary. The bodies were starting to appear, most of them from the Temria. This had to be a well planned out ambush for it to have this many casualties. There was a body near him, holding a different pistol than his. He slipped his gun back into his holster, and grabbed the dead man’s gun. A few clips were obtained from the man. Jody appreciated the ammunitions.

At the end of the forest toward the north was a building. It was decorated with blood splatter and bits of flesh, but nobody was alive. The gunfire was on the other side, east. The invasion at this spot was done. Though he checked for Edward inside the building. He found more corpses, in a total of eight around the building. If he added in the trails of bodies that led him here, it would come up to twelve. All of these bodies were from the Temria, not a single Indian killed. Jody was shocked at the results.

Exiting, he inspected the back, and nothing. Despite knowing of the outcome, he said through the walkie-talkie, “Edward, come in, do you hear me?”

“Jody?” said Edward, but it wasn’t through the communicator.

“Edward?” he called out.

Out of all the places he didn’t check was the bottom. It was slightly risen and big enough for Edward to hide. The front of the building was covered with planks, but the back had been broken. Inside was too dark for the human eye to see anything. Edward rolled out from under the building, covered in grime and mud. He sighed, and spoke, “It’s nice to see you, Jody.”

“Why did you come here?”

“It’s a newly established base. I thought I could sneak in and get some supplies.”

Jody sighed. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Wait, we need to get the supplies.”

“I checked, there isn’t anything inside.”

“Says you.”

He rushed inside the building, coming out with a backpack that Jody didn’t see before. “I got some before they attacked, it’s a good thing they didn’t find it.”

“Let’s go.”

They started running out of the park, still in hiding in case somebody saw them. Edward questioned, “Why are we rushing?”

“We gotta get out of here.” He pointed out the obvious first, and then added, “Amelia’s in trouble.”

He explained the situation as much as he could without running out of breath. They were running after all.

“And you left her?”

“She told me to get you first.”

They were out of Cutler Park in about a minute, and now they were back on the road. Sticking to the crops, Jody told his friend that he didn’t exactly know where Amelia might be. She had forgotten her communicator. After hearing the story, however, Edward reassured him that Amelia would be fine. “They’re just a bunch of high school kids, right? What are they going to do to her?”

“You don’t know what kids are capable of.”

“Eh. She’s been in situations worse than this.”

“I know that, but it’s hard knowing that I can’t help her.”

Their paces had slowed to a saunter when they were out of sight of Cutler Park. Jody saw the farms again, realizing his promised action. He told Edward to come, and walked to the fences. Edward wondered what he was doing, but shrugged, and followed. “Help me take down these fences,” Jody said.

He nodded, grabbing the other side of the wood, and pulled on Jody’s command. The fence was old and couldn’t handle much more resistant, so it broke easily. They did it for about three more. Jody sighed, entering the premise, and leading the cows outside to the crops.

“Phew,” he muttered.

Edward smiled. “You always gotta do a good deed every day, don’t you?”

“It keeps me focused.”

With that over, they continued on. Though there was a figure in their way. It was a girl, walking toward them, just right out of the city. She saw them, and waved. Edward grinned, pointing and nudging his friend. “I told you.”

She stopped in her tracks, and waited for the boys to come to her position. When they did, Jody had to ask, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” She shrugged it off.

He frowned at her words, noticing the bloodstain on the edge of her skirt. She stared at him, repeating, “I’m fine, Jody.”

He gave up for the moment, just wanting to get back home and discuss on what happened. He also wanted to see what was in Edward’s bag. Today was life threatening, but he was glad that it didn’t go beyond that.

In the city, the raiders were finished. People in hiding were revealing themselves, trying to pick up the pieces of shards and trash that was made. They watched the civilians returning to their normal life. They were doing the same thing too. Keeping out of the people’s way, they ambled back to their hideout. Jody watched them, feeling sympathetic. He wanted to help them out, though they rathered be independent.

The children still had the spirit, playing with whatever they could find. Jody remembered the days after March 31st, there were cries that wouldn’t stop. Most of them were from children who had lost their parents. They either roamed around town attempting to find their parents or stayed in their house and waited. Many tears were shed, but as time moved on, so did they. Adults and teenagers who remained after the incident took the children in. Thinking about it, Jody realized that most of the people who had disappeared were over the age of fifty. This boggled him on why it targeted the elderly.

There were no televisions in the new world, though the radio worked. The city would often be flooded by the music from the radios. Jody and his friends had been here for months, and yet they hadn’t met with the locals here. They didn’t have much time to greet them due to the occurring raids. It had ended for today. Some of the shops were up, heavily guarded, selling food and other items for survival.

When they got out of the core of the city, they neared a market. Amelia looked at it, and said, “Jody, do you think we’ll be needing more food?”

“Not at the moment, I think we have enough.”

Even with the attacks from the Temria, Amelia had most likely pillaged this city of food. They were currently overloaded with food, and Jody felt bad about it. However, they would need it for their next move. It wasn’t a good idea to stay here anymore. He was thinking about going east, perhaps getting out of California and into Nevada.

In Peril Chapter 1-1

Jody was picking off of the dead body scattered inside the bank. There was a robbery, everybody around the area had dispersed either in fear or currently busy raiding some other valuable places like the jewelry store. The vault was cleaned out, not even a single bill was left. They didn’t bother to check the people they murdered. Why were these people here in the first place? Was it for the same thing the robbers had?

Unfortunately, money was still important in this world even after March 31st. The people inside the bank had a healthy amount of money on them. That was what Jody was here for. He needed the money for ammos and other supplies. Currently, he was alone, separated from his two mates. They were off in other locations, and would be reunited to their current hideout. Today was very active, many stores being looted and broken down. Most of the cops were killed and the ones still alive had given up.

After finishing checking all of sixteen people, Jody had gathered up around three hundred bucks. He stuffed it in his back pocket. It wasn’t much; but he could buy a week’s worth of food cans with this much money. The prices for bullets had skyrocketed, so that was out of the option. There were some blank shells around the dead bodies.

The bank was big, probably could hold up to at least five hundred people if there was ever a rush. The ceilings were pushed up high, at least ten feet away from Jody. Fancy lights that were hanging about were broken, but the sun gave a fair amount of lighting. It was once a great place to be in. This place was magnificent to visit. Now it was broken down, bullet holes everywhere, blood splattered on the walls and floors.

Outside was the same. Car alarms were wailing mercilessly down the road, smokes rising from inside the hood, and some of the cars crashed into the streetlights. A few knocked the fire hydrant over and water burst out, making a short-live fountain.

With nothing else to do here, Jody slowly crept out of the bank. On the right side of his hip was the holster holding his pistol. He had his hands close beside his gun, crouching and peeking outside. Most of the raiders were off of this street and on to another. He should still be careful; it was dangerous to stay on the main road. After the incident of March 31st, the gang called Temria had taken over this state. They preyed on the weak and made them work as slaves. They had only made it here in the city of Visalia.

Jody found this to be disgusting, knowing that this country could be invaded at any moment, and yet the only thing in these people’s heads was to rape and pillage. And here were the Americans, calling other countries barbaric when they were committing the exact same barbaric crimes. The location Jody was in wasn’t exactly the greatest place to current be in.

California, with over fifty percent of the population gone, was a battlefield with the Temria gang and the Native Americans, and then soon to be the Mexicans. Before the 31st, Temria was a small time gang in north California. Almost all of their competitors had disappeared with the rest of the world. Somehow, none of their members were miraculously taken away. The rival gangs were either wiped out or merged with the Temria.

Here they were, the most powerful gang in California.

Jody supposed they would be of some use. They were holding back the Indians, and would be on the defense when the Mexicans arrived after they finish taking over Arizona and New Mexico. Currently, Mexico’s goal was to take back the states that used to be theirs. Though it wouldn’t be long until China joined in.

He made a sharp turn on the first alleyway he encountered. In this city, everything was connected with each other. After months, he had finally remembered this city like it was the back of his hand. It wasn’t a satellite picture like his mate; he had only remembered the signs and symbols. Jody wasn’t exactly good with street names.

The current hideout was at a closed convenience store fused with a gas station, enveloped by wooden fences. There wasn’t any scrap left to be ransacked from here, probably due to the fact that there wasn’t any from the start. It wasn’t of any interest to anybody, and the building was boarded up. The doors and windows were closed with planks. When they turned up at the gas station after their last hideout was found, they removed the planks from both outside and inside the back door.

He was three blocks away from the gas station. He remembered it being near a restaurant. There were three signs he had to look for in order to get back: A store made especially for babies, a bookstore, and the thrift store. It was an easy walk back, taking him about thirty minutes.

This ended his hunt for today. He had to regroup and figure out the next steps. He was worried that the Temria might find the hideout. Last night, his friend had spotted one of the members outside of the gas station and silenced him. They didn’t know if it was a scout or not, and they disposed of the body. He was afraid that they had to move yet again.

Looking around his vicinity, searching for any followers, Jody carefully entered the temporary hideout. Inside sat one of his mates, Amelia. She was on the floor, encircled by a bunch of supplies of different kinds. Mostly irrelevant things like makeup.

“Amelia, you’re back already?”

“I only wanted to get the makeups from the mall.”

Out of the trio, she was the best at scavenging for food. Every night she would set off and would come back with a bag full of food supplies. She took breaks when they had too much. Even with the world in peril, she was still worried about her looks. She had the time to put on her makeup, had showers from the hotels that were still working, and had an entire wardrobe of clothes to choose from. It was as if it was a normal day for her.

Her hair was curled the first time he met her. They were wavy after a few days without her being able to straighten it out, and she didn’t like the look of it so she cut her hair short. Apparently, there wasn’t enough time to curl hairs. She had tawny hair and cobalt eyes with an iris in the color of green. The way she dressed, people would think she was an idiot. High heels, a cerulean short skirt, a matching tank top under a transparent, indigo shirt that wrapped around her shoulders. A purse was behind her, against the wall. It was what she used to keep supplies. Jody swore there was a black hole in that purse.

“Jody, do you know where Eddy went? He left early in the morning.”

“He said he was going to scout out the Temria base,” he replied. “It’s a new base the Temria had set up here.”

“Is he planning on raiding it by himself?” she joked.

“I don’t think it’s a very good idea to fight against them.”

She raised her hand, counting the numbers of time they met up with the Temria members. “We’ve killed five of them at the supermarket, another two at Andy’s Clothing Store, and at least a dozen at Westminister Mall. Oh, and one more last night—”

“Okay,” he interposed, “I get it, but I don’t want to them to put our name on their death list. They don’t know if who we are yet.”

“I think we’re already on the list, even if they don’t know who we are.” She giggled.

Her mood was so mellow that it worried Jody, even when he had gotten used to her tone. “Yeah, I supposed.”

The back door led to the section where the workers were, behind the counter. Amelia had the consumer grade walkie-talkie on the counter, just in case he or Edward reported anything back. This one was her’s, he had one on the back of his belt. It buzzed with statics. It cleared up after a minute or so, revealing Edward’s distress call. “This is Edward, can you hear me?”

Jody reached for his communicator and responded, “This is Jody, is there a problem?”

“There is, actually.” A short scream came after, and it wasn’t from Edward. Gunshots were heard. “The Indians attacked the base and now I’m stuck here. It appears that I made a bad decision trying to take some of their reserves.”

It wouldn’t be a surprised if he blended in with the Temria. He had a tattoo on the right side of his face like most members of the gang. He was a Caucasian male with an arrogant look, like most Temrias. The last one was a life; the Temrias were mostly Mexican Americans. The leaders of the gang were usually Caucasian males.

Technically, it would matter if he blended in or not, they would still capture him. This was a problem for Jody because Edward was a long time friend. He couldn’t let him die like this.

“Stay hidden as long as you can. I’ll see what I can do to help. You’re at the Arawak Base, right?”

“Yeah, I am. Also, you should hurry.”

He strapped the walkie-talkie back to his belt, saying to Amelia, “Let’s go.”


Leaving their hideout, they marched onward to the Arawak Base. Though their safe journey was cut short. On the same road as the gas station was the restaurant Jody had mentioned of. He had no notice of the hooligans inside scouring the kitchen for food, while one of them was on scout duty. The watcher had spotted the two in a hurry, mostly the girl.

Calling out to his friends, and dashing out, all seven of them, they attacked the two. Circling them with knives and a single gun, Jody hastily pulled out his pistol while Amelia hid behind his back. She scanned the situation, whispering, “Your gun only holds eight bullets, unless you’re a really good shooter, it’s best to devise a distraction.”

The hooligans smirked, knowing of their advantage. One of them started, “Put down your gun, give us everything you have on you, and we won’t hurt you.”

He didn’t listen, his pistol pointing at the one holding the long-range weapon. “I can give you what I have, but I’m not putting down the gun.”

Jody told Amelia to grab the wad of cash out of his pocket and throw it to them. She did what he said. It landed on the ground, and they snatched it up. As he expected, they demanded more. “What have you got on you, girl?”

From their voices, they sound like high school kids. They weren’t part of the Temria, and Jody wasn’t surprised they had gone to this path after losing their parents. Most of the elderly had disappeared after March 31st, many adults, and barely any kids. It was terrible, to Jody, knowing that these kids were on their own. He kept his hands steady and at the boy with the gun, even with pity, he couldn’t let his guard down. The kids had hoodies on, their eyes on the prize. This wasn’t their first time.

Amelia had her purse with her, hoping to bring back a few things while saving Edward at the same time. There wasn’t anything inside. She held the purse upside down and shook it, showing that it was empty. “I got nothing.”

“If you don’t have anything to offer, then you’ll just have to pay with your body.”

Jody gulped, saying, “That three hundred bucks can feed all seven of you for a week. That’s enough. There’s a market nearby, the people inside are willing to give you food if you pay.”

The boy fired a bullet beside Jody’s foot. “The girl still has to pay up.”

She stared at these high school kids, sighing. Smiling, she parted from Jody. “You go ahead, Jody. I’ll stay behind for a bit. I’ll catch up with you later.”


“You heard the lady,” said the boy holding the pistol.

“You have to get to Eddy,” she whispered, “I can handle them.”

Amelia had a point, he couldn’t stay here and waste any more seconds. Arawak Base was located at Cutler Park, and that was half an hour away. She appeared to be confident that she could escape these hooligans, not a single of fear in her. He gulped again, having a hard time replying, “Alright…”

They let Jody slip through as he continued on to his destination without Amelia. He growled in bitterness, vowing to rescue her after he brought Edward to safety.

From Where We Started

This is a story I’ve thought up in seventh grade. I started writing it at ninth grade, then I stopped. I started again the next year, only to stop it again. Six months later, I rewrote it yet again, and then I put it on hiatus. Now, I rewrote the first chapter, changing many things around it. Once again, I’m putting it on hiatus.


This story isn’t fully developed, no matter how many years. I supposed it’s just a story I can’t write. That’s why I think I should find an artist and make it a graphic novel instead. It would be a lot better for me. I always dreamt of seeing this story in a graphic novel anyway. It’s just not the story that is good in literature. Maybe, if my writing skill ever get better, I’ll be able to write the the way I want it to be. Right now, my heart hurts when I see it in this form.


This is the story where I created Natasha, and I’m sad that I’m unable to bring her to life with my words. It really disappoints me that I’m just not that skilled of a writer yet. Maybe later in the future.


I’ll just stick to romance and fantasy for now.

The Tet Festival

            I passed by the entrance of the festival without a sound. I wasn’t ready to pay five dollars for the admission, so I used my short stature to blend in with the moving crowd. As supposed by the name of the festival, this was a day for the Vietnamese to come and celebrate. There were rides that are usually placed in festivals in Garden Grove.  And like always, there were those bracelets that let you have unlimited rides. Only twenty-five dollars. I bought that. Today was a day for me to spend all my money that I got in the morning. Lucky money for the win.

Before that, though, I ended up bumping into a girl that stood out from the rest of the black haired people. She was blond, blue eyes, long hair. She was about four feet taller than me, and I was about 5’2’’. She apologized, and mentioned that she was looking for her friends. The girl was lost. Being me, who was looking for entertainment, I decided to help her out.

“What do they look like?”

Her description of them made me chuckle a bit. She said, “About your height, black hair, brown eyes… um… they’re not wearing anything ridiculous. Sorry, I’m not very good at describing people.”

“I noticed,” I replied. “You’ve just described just about everybody here.”

She laughed, realizing that. That was when the firecrackers went off, signifying that it was 1:30 PM. I questioned, “Did you have a specific place that you were going to meet them?”

“Yeah, toward the booths.”

“Let’s go over there, then.”

At this point, I came to the understanding that she could’ve just called her friend. But technology would ruin my fun. When we reached the booths, there were more people who looked just like her friends. I chuckled by that thought. Heck, I could be one of her friends too. I had black hair and brown eyes. I never understood how people had fun on the same booth over and over in other festivals. I sighed, and pointed at the nearest gaming booth. “Since it looks like your friend isn’t here yet, you want to try that?”

“Sure.” She nodded.

The point of all these gaming booths were to steal your money (of course). If you were lucky or skilled enough (from playing), you could win a stuff animal. The prize they had was a giant polar bear. That caught me already. They were my favorite. Then the man behind the counter told me to cough up five dollars. My eyes twitched, and I began to wonder if this was worth it. I wasn’t going to get it in three darts. I knew that for sure. Then I intently stared at the bear, trying to fight back the temptation. Save your money on something else better, don’t waste your money now. I sighed.

“Do you want that?” she wondered, pointing at the polar bear.

I immediately nodded like a child, my eyes shinning (from what I assumed). She smiled, then placed down five dollars. The rules of this booth were that you had to hit three balloons in order to get the grand prize (which was the polar bear). In which she marked them perfectly. Within a minute, she handed me the grand prize. I was struck dumb by the fact that she was able to get this. It was as if she was God. Maybe she was! Or maybe I watched too much anime. I shouldn’t be overdramatizing this. It wasn’t anything special.

I hugged the teddy bear with all my might. I thanked her in a shivery, beggar’s voice. She giggled in response. We spent our time going through every other booth before we actually found her friends. They recently arrived, and looked at me, smirking. “Is she your new girlfriend?” they joked.

At this point, she and I were covered in face paint, more stuffed animals, and lollipops. We looked like children, currently on the effect of too-much-candy. So this didn’t cross my mind one bit, and I joked along with them. Somehow, this ended up with me holding the girl’s hand. We were never separated until it was time to go.

We attended the events like the Talent Search Competition and the Youth Night. The hours passed without me noticing. Most of the time I had to go into recovery after getting on a ride. The friends she was waiting for ended up going somewhere else since they said they didn’t want to bother us.

Toward the end of the festival, we finally settled down from all the excitement. It was nearly the firework show. Her smile was gone as we sat in the grass. I gawked at her, and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want this day to end.”

“I’m with you on that,” I said. “Then again, I don’t really want to continue holding all these.” I had bought a picnic blanket from one of the vendors (didn’t know why he was selling it) in order to lay down my prize. Our hands hadn’t separated yet. A minute later, the firework started. I never once looked at them with such amazement. They had never been so bright and beautiful in my life. Or was it because she was here?

When the fireworks were done, we stood up, and she hugged me tightly. Finally, we introduced each other. “I’m Fiona,” she said.

“People call me ‘Em. Emmy for short. I go to Rancho.”


“As expected,” I said, chuckling.

She released me, and did something I least expected… not exactly. She pressed her lips against mine, and this lasted for a minute. I counted. Time felt slow, and my body wouldn’t allow me to breathe. When we parted lips, she left without saying a single word. And I was standing there in a trance.

Mother Told me Otherwise…

He was the right man for me. Mother told me otherwise. That was why I put her in a box. She denied our love, it was a bond that could never be broken. Father was the same as mom. So I neatly put him in another box next to mom. This love had simply gotten me obsessed. I took pictures of his perfect face, his perfect figure. He was a talker, a charismatic man. We talked to each other many times, and even he had gotten the liking of me. Yet whenever I watched him go, it saddened me.

I wanted to be just like him.

My obsessive thoughts of him were written down into a plan, and this plan weaved into the fabric of reality. Here was the plan, I would find him at the bar where he usually went for a drink. I didn’t need to greet him like a stranger for we have talked many times. He smiled, and we began conversing. The topics ranged from the alcohol he was drinking to the girls that he liked. The last one had my fingers aching to hit something. When he finished… his seventieth shots of vodka, I offered him a ride home. He wouldn’t be able to get in his car anyway, it was supposed to be stolen by a gang of thugs.

He was laughing and telling me horrible jokes the entire way. I only laughed and kept him entertained for his own sake. Then, out of nowhere, he was regaining conscious. “Hey,” he slurred, “this isn’t where my house is.”

“We’re taking a shortcut,” I said.

“Oh,” and then he went back to telling me about the time he got fired from his last job.

When we were at my house, he turned to me and said, “This isn’t my house.”

He looked out the window like a little boy seeing snow for the first time. There was a claw hammer on the side of my seat, away from his view. I picked it up while he was distracted. I raised it as high as it could reach in the car and swung it down directly on the back of his head.


            He was unconscious. I exited the car and opened his door, I quickly picked him put so his blood wouldn’t cause a stain on my car. His crow hair brushed again my shirt. Dragging him into my house, and then my bedroom, I placed him on my bed. Heading to the bathroom, I grabbed my skinner’s knife out of my cabinet. I touched the tip of the blade, accidentally cutting myself with it. I grunted, licking my thumb. This wasn’t much. I walked back to my bedroom, seeing that he was still out of it.

His hair was ruined by the blood seeping out from his wound. His fingers twitched from time to time. I breathed in deep, and smiled. This obsessive thought had turned into reality. Just like him. I ended the pain by jabbing into his skull. He wouldn’t struggle if he was dead. This was where my work began. I cut through the skin, but not to the bones itself. I cut it gently and carefully, not to tear any part of the skin. I left the whole face in blood and muscles. I got out my stitching box and stitched the ends of the skins together.

Then it was finished. I checked if I had a bald cap anywhere in my room, in which there was. I put that on, and then the newly made mask. Heading to the bathroom once again, I looked at the mirror. What I didn’t see was me, but rather, the man that I loved. I smiled, saying, “Now you’ll be with me forever, just like the others.”