The group considered each other for a moment in the wake of the prophecy, not quite sure what to make of this random assortment of people. A chilly breeze blew in from the west and silence fell.
“I don’t like the feel of that,” Myrah said. “I think we should leave.”
The group nodded in silent agreement. The ominous feel of the wind sent a chill up everyone’s spines. They headed for the east, walking into the sun across the grassy plain.
“Can you walk alright?” Raven asked Prodigy, who hung back a bit.
“Of course I can walk,” Prodigy replied snappily. She took a step and winced. Raven raised a brow. “I’m fine,” Prodigy assured her with a scowl. She changed the subject quickly. “What do you think is waiting for us?”
“You mean because of the prophecy?” Raven asked.
Prodigy shrugged. “Well, yeah. I mean, there’s got to be something around here somewhere. If it’s all just grass, that’ll be boring. Something dangerous must be out here since one of us won’t come back.”
A sudden silence fell over the group as everyone looked around, wondering who would be the one to go.
“Whatever it is, I better get to burn it,” Rod piped up, breaking the tension.
“Nah, I want to blow it up,” Raven replied.
“After I burn it.”
“But if you burn it, there won’t be anything left to blow up!” Raven protested.
“But if you blow it up, there won’t be anything left for me to burn,” Rod countered. “I call burning it first.”
“That’s not fair!”
Rod scowled. “Tough, RavelephOoGY. Deal with it.”
Raven’s face reddened. She didn’t take well to not getting her way, especially when it came to explosions. “NO! Who died and made you leader?”
Rod clicked his fingers and they sparked. “I’M THE FISH GOD - THE MOST AWESOME PERSON HERE OR ANYWHERE ON THIS EARTH. YOU MORTALS SHOULD BE BOWING BEFORE ME. THEY CALL ME PSYGOD. I’LL BURN IT AND IF YOU’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT, I’LL BURN YOU!”
Raven blinked in stunned silence. Then, she recovered herself. “I won’t bow before you- I’M DIVERGENT AND I CANNOT BE CONTROLLED!” she yelled and then jumped out of a conveniently placed window that suddenly materialized out of nowhere for the sole purpose of her jumping out of it only to land exactly where she started and then wonder if the whole jumping out of a window thing was perhaps in her head and she was just as crazy as all the doctors said she was. [Phew]
Jess glanced over at the pair of them. “Aw, you two are cute when you want to kill each other.”
“Killing? Did someone say killing? Can I kill you?” a bright girl’s voice asked from their left. Everyone spun. The newcomer grinned and extended her hand. “Hi! I’m Pocky. Who are you?” Jess was about to answer when Pocky cut her off. “Wait, let me guess...” she turned to Rod. “You’re Bob, right?”
“No, I’m Rod, the Psygod, king-”
“Can I call you Bob anyway?” Pocky asked.
Jess stepped up. “You’re the eighth from the prophecy, aren’t you? Here, I’ll introduce you.” She named everyone around the circle. “And I’m Jess.”
“Awesome,” Pocky said brightly. “So what are we doing here?”
The breeze blew again, pushing them eastward. Chloe looked apprehensive. “Come on, I’ll fill you in as we walk,” she offered.
And so they walked along, Chloe explaining some of the prophecy. Raven was still in shock, staring at Jess. Eventually, she noticed.
“What are you looking at me like that for?”
“‘You two are cute when you want to kill each other’?” Raven quoted furiously.
Jess shrugged. She gave a half grin. “Hey, just calling it like I see it. I do it to everyone, don’t worry.”
“Hey, guys. What’s that?” Tia asked, pointing towards the horizon.
Everyone squinted at the building that loomed in the distance. Or was it a building? As they got closer, they realized, that it was, indeed a building. It was actually a large and rather nice building with a huge neon sign that flashed, “Get your gifs here!”.
“What’s that say?” Myrah asked, squinting.
“Get your gifs here,” Prodigy replied. She pronounced it as “jifs”.
“Get your what?”
“You’re saying it wrong,” Myrah said. “It’s gifs. With a ‘g’. Like ‘gifts’ without the ‘t’.”
“You’re saying it wrong,” Prodigy replied stubbornly. “It’s spelled with a ‘g’ but pronounced like a ‘j’.”
Myrah frowned, her face crinkling up. "That doesn't make any sense. It's spelt with a 'g' for a reason. If it was meant to be pronounced like a 'j' it would be spelt with a 'j'!"
Rod looked at Prodigy like she was some type of deformed sea creature which he longed to cast back into the ocean. “I’m with Myrah on this one.”
“So am I,” Chloe and Tia seconded.
Jess just shrugged apologetically.
“Raven?” Prodigy asked hopefully.
“Um...” She looked around shiftily.
Prodigy rolled her eyes. “UGH, I hate you all.”
“Aw, we hate you too, Prodigy,” Raven said with a cheeky grin.
Prodigy glared at her. Prodigy does a lot of glaring in this story. Hopefully Prodigy’s mood will improve soon.
"Anyway," said Myrah. "We all know I'm right, so no one needs to argue. Unless arguing is your idea of fun, or something..."
Prodigy scowled. "I happen to quite enjoy arguing, actually."
Myrah blinked. "Sorry?"
"Arguing. I like it. It fills in the time pretty nicely."
Myrah raised an eyebrow, studying Prodigy critically. Then she sighed. "Okay, whatever. But what I'm trying to say is -"
"Hey, look over there!" Chloe yelled, pointing in wonder at the house. The rest of the group spun round in confusion, until Rod screamed in delight, waving his arms around excitedly.
"Oh my choogy, it's a FLYING FISH BLOB!"
And indeed it was. A stragely blob-like fish with little, blobby sort of wings was lounging on the steps leading up to the house, occasionally yawning and exposing teeth like needles. While the rest of the group were staring at it in slight distaste before forgetting about it as it wasn't very interesting really, Rod was picking his way towards the house, muttering dramatically to himself as he did so.
"That's a very endangered kind of fish. I don't even know its name, which makes it super duper rare. Maybe there are more in the house. Maybe they're being kept a prisoner, and dying at the hands of an evil tyrant! Maybe I've been chosen by the fish God who's even more powerful than me to save them!"
The muttering went on in this manner, until Rod drew nearer to the steps of the house. They were large, stone, and, on closer inspection covered in thousands of tiny moving pictures. Gifs. Rod stretched out his hand tentatively to stroke the Flying Fish Blob. Just as he was about to touch it, it flopped on its belly towards the house, vanishing with a barely audible pop as it reached the door.
Naturally, Rod dashed straight after it, disappearing with a screech of triumph as he neared the door.
From inside, an ominous laughing could be heard.
A few feet away, the rest of the group had just noticed that Rod had gone.
"Where's Rod gone?" asked Raven, a hint of worry seeping into her voice.
"Wait, who's Rod?" replied Pocky, scratching her head. She looked around at the group. "Anyone care to help?"
Tia exhaled. "Rod's that random dude who called himself the 'Fish God'.
"Oh," Pocky replied. "I thought his name was Bob. Is he the one I wanted to kill?"
"Er.. Yeah," Tia answered. "And he's also missing. I think he went off in that direction," she said, pointing vaguely towards the house.
"Good," said Prodigy. "He's annoying."
Raven whirled to face her, her mouth hanging open. "Good? Good? Anything could happen to him! He could be dead for all we know!" She looked at Tia, stabbing her finger at her accusingly. "And you. Why didn't you say something if you saw him going over there?"
Tia shrugged. "Why do you care so much, anyway?"
Jess grinned, her eyes lighting up. "Is it because you're in luuuurrrrrrrvvvveeee with him?"
Raven blushed crimson, her face twisting into a scowl. "Am not."
"SHUDDUP!" shouted Myrah, breaking into their fight. "Now. What I've been trying to tell you for the last TEN MINUTES is -"
"You know, it's actually been more like five," said Chloe. Seeing Myrah's expression she backed away hastily. Myrah looked like she was going to throw something at her and hard, if she didn't stop talking. Not that there was anything around to throw but grass and weeds, but still.
"Okay," said Myrah, straightening out her expression. "Okay," she repeated again, her features morphing into a look of utter annoyance. Then she groaned, throwing her hands up. "Oh my God...I've forgotten what I wanted to say!"
"Can't have been that important then," said Prodigy, her voice scathing.
Myrah gave Prodigy a death stare in return. "No, it honestly was important. Swear on my life. I- I remembered something..."
"Something from before we came here. Something important."
She opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by an over-excited Raven.
Myrah's face morphed into that of a ridiculously stormy expression, and she clenched her fists tightly. Raven was bouncing up and down in . . . excitement? She appeared to be fangirling. Over a number.
"FOUR!" she yelled. "FOUR!" she pointed at the building. "Look. LOOK- LOOK!"
"What?" asked Tia, squinting to get a better view.
Myrah shrugged. "No idea- all I see are gifs."
Prodigy huffed, muttering something about British accents under her breath. "They're pronounced 'jifs', with a 'j'." the others pretended not to hear.
"Four?" asked Chloe, "As in, the number?"
Raven shook her head in frustration, "No, look!" she pointed again to the building. Chloe looked.
"All I see is a great big neon sign," she said. "No Four."
Raven sighed. "He's gone now. Anyway, he might be inside the building . . . and we also need to find Rod."
Jess laughed. "Aw, Raven's worried about poor Roddy," she mused.
The two resumed their fight. Raven was now blushing even more, ferociously denying the fact that she loved Rod.
". . . you need a name," said Jess.
Raven blinked. "Excuse me?"
"You know, a ship name." Jess replied, grinning. "For you and Rod." she added.
Before Raven could protest, Jess began to merge their names together. "Roven? Radrigo? Ravrigo?" The shipping appeared to spark an interest in the others, and they too joined in.
"Can I kill you?"
Everyone stopped dead in their words. They turned to the source of the interruption.
Pocky stood several feet away from them, grinning. "Can I?" she asked. "Can I?"
Chloe shook her head. "Erm, not right now." she said, "We're a little occupied."
"With what?" questioned Pocky, "Thinking of ship names? How about Rod, and the gif- I know, Prodigy, you pronounce it with a 'j'- store?"
The others looked shifty.
"Oh, for goodness' sake!" continued Pocky, "How about Rad?"
"Rad?" asked Tia, confused. But Jess had already caught on.
"I like it," she laughed, her face stretching into a grin. "Rad."
Prodigy also seemed fairly amused by the ship- she would have plenty of fun teasing Raven now. "Rad." she said. "Rad. Rad. Rad. Wow, this is so Rad."
Raven covered her ears, running from the group, consumed by frustration. She was most certainly not in love with Rod . . .
. . . or was she?
It took the rest of the group at least two minutes to realise that Raven had disappeared. Myrah turned around, just in time to see the back of her head duck into the building.
The others had noticed too.
"We'd better follow her," muttered Tia.
And so they did.