I’m walking to school. A million thoughts are on my mind right now. I try to block them out, but it is impossible, and I end up forgetting my plan. I remember it quickly again though, no cow on the ice. Argh! Stressed, stress is the feeling I am experiencing right now. I have my ice phoenix in the tiny bag under my hoodie. The hoodie is too big for anyone to notice the bag, so it’ll do just fine.
I’m sitting on my chair in class. 4th period just ended, and we’re having break. Everyone are preparing for their presentations. Matt and Tim are already done with their preparations, so they are sitting and talking. About me. The other me of course, I don’t even need to say, do I?
“I’m looking forward to the game today! I am sooo gonna watch it live!” says Tim with his creaky voice.
“will you watch it while the others are doing their presentations? Genius! I’ll do that too”.
I ignore them as good as I can. I just hope they don-
“hey, Meeeril, are you gonna watch it too? You are, right? You can’t say you won’t, cause’ you’ll be in the class with us the whole time!” Matt asks. Tim nods in agreement. I’m doomed.
“s-sure, you guys, that’s, just, great!...” I say with a shaky voice. This is bad. Really bad. I just hope they fall for the trick I planned.
The lesson starts, and the teacher asks who wants to go first. I immediately raise my hand. The teacher seems surprised, the other students too, while I go to the blackboard. I swiftly check if the bag is on place, and it seems so. I keep looking at the watch through my whole presentation. Towards the end, I start coughing discretely. I hope it looks real. It is 12:20 now. I stop talking and pick up on the coughing. The teacher looks a bit concerned, but keeps quiet. Damn, I have to take action myself.
“Erm, I am not feeling so good. Could I go to the nurses office?” I say in a weak voice. Hope it works.
“Sure you can, just go” I leave the room and runs for the bathroom. Girls… boys! I hurry inside and lock the door on the booth I have chosen. I grab under my hoody and drag out the teleporter. I tap the coordinates to the arena, and press the button. A flash comes, and the next thing I know I am there, in the changing room. I make sure the door is locked this time. There are no windows in here, obviously that would be stupid. I take off my hoody and the tiny shoulder bag. I put the bag on the shelve after taking out my character. I have to hurry, only five minutes to entrance. I hold the plushy close to my chest. It is my most precious possession. I can’t really explain the transformation. I just imagine that I am going to become Phoenix, and it happens.
After a quick change I teleport through the door. I fly down the corridor to the main entrance for the battleground. Cami is standing there already.
“Dude, where were you? It’s time!”
“Sorry, I kinda got something to tangle myself out of” my voice is lower pitched than when I am myself. The door goes up in front of us, and we go out. The blues starts roaring for us. Across the arena, the yellows emerge. Our opponents for this match. Their fans starts roaring and cheering for them too. It is not nearly as loud as our fan-roar, and I feel somewhat proud.
I can see what their characters look like from here. Another of my abilities, one of Cami’s too.
One of them looks like some samurai, nothing special, the other one is clearer. Its Poseidon, god of the seas. I chuckle a little. Never underestimate your opponent, they say, so I try to keep it under control. But seriously, sending water against cold, that’s just stupid. Whenever he attacks, I can simply freeze the water and boom! No obstacles. I look for the boss that will be guarding the key. It is not to be seen. Where is it? I think to myself. I don’t do a lot of thinking before the bell rings. The match has begun! I set off the ground and fly to the top of the arena. I’m trying to find the boss, but I still can’t see it. I can hear the commentators getting aroused though:
“And will you look at that, Phoenix has already set off to find the boss while Cami is taking down the opponent. But what’s that? It looks like Cami will need a little bit of help!”
I look down. Cami is trapped in a bubble of water. He is struggling but none of his abilities can be used. I can’t just freeze him in, I got to think of something else…
A glimpse catches my eye. Poseidon’s scepter! Every bit of his almighty power lies within it. The samurai is guarding his right side though, but that isn’t a problem.
I make a sharp dive from my position over the samurai and blasts him. He evades it, but just barely. I strike again, but this time I seek to hit the scepter. The samurai, however, strikes at me with a fireball.
“look at that! Can this match possibly end with the team blue loosing? It looks like Phoenix is going down, and fast! His companion Cami can’t do anything either! What tension!”
The fireball misses me, but just barely. Seems I did underestimate him a bit. But it is not going to stop me from winning. Winning this is the only thing I have ever accomplished. In my normal life I am a nerdy looser, at home I am nothing but a wall-flower, the same thing goes for parties… or is it the other way around? I don’t care about any of it while I am playing, and that is why I mustn’t loose, not ever do I want to go back to only being me!
I return upwards filled with new energy. I feel everybody’s eyes following me, waiting as I. as in slow motion I turn around, charging all my energy in one single blast that will not miss. I feel everyone holding their breaths.
Now! I speed up to, I don’t know, 200 miles per hour or more, while I dive for the scepter. I scream while I fire an enormous ice-ray at my opponents. The fire-samurai tries to burn it, but there is too much and he ends up extinguishing himself when melting the massive ice. There is complete silence for a moment. I fly around the glacier I just made, to find that Poseidon and the samurai are trapped inside. I barely avoided hitting Cami, but he seems all right.
Then the silence breaks. The commentators are trying to say something but the huge roar that rises amongst the blues outmatches them. Even the yellows join in. Everyone is screaming my name:
“PHOENIX! PHOENIX! PHOENIX!” well, my real name, anyway. It is the most amazing feeling ever, having everyone thinking of me that way, thinking I am useful, great and powerful. I help Cami free of the ice.
“Nice job, you really got them” I don’t know if he is referring to the yellows or the audience. I think both, maybe.
We have won the match, since the other team can’t play anymore. If they can’t play there is no point in trying to get the key, right? But I wonder where that damn boss is… I don’t have to wonder for long, because the boss suddenly springs out of the ground. Well, that explains why I did not see it before. They should turn it off soon.
The boss moves closer. It is some kind of earth golem with huge hammer-like hands and moss all over. I turn away from it and try to wave at the audience with my wings. I’ll revert soon, better get going. I take a step towards the entrance when I hear Cami.
“Erm, I think something is wrong with the boss, Phoenix” I turn around. It hasn’t been turned off yet. Why? We don’t have a lot of time to get to the changing rooms, but we can’t leave it here like this. I know there is a rule that states, that if a team is sent out and the other team can't get the key they lose, but there is a sub rule that states, that if the time is near ending the match is won anyway.
“I will take the top, you get it from its feet” I say to Cami. He nods and then we’re off. The commentators receives the news soon after I leave the ground:
“we have a bit of a situation here folks! The boss has apparently been shut off from the control system and it cannot be shut down! But do not fear, it seems team blue has taken the challenge upon themselves…” I try to ignore him. Annoying commentators, as if people couldn’t experience the match without them commenting on everything.
I fly up over the boss. I can see Cami already got its legs stuck, so all I have to do is take the key. Then it will automatically shut down. I fly closely by its flank to get the key from the hole in its chest. I reach out with a claw, but I get hit by one of its hammers. It sends me flying across the arena. I can feel the character reverting. I feel how the wings get smaller, how my legs become longer and more humanlike.
“oh! Will you look at that! That must have hurt a lot! But, what is this? Phoenix is reverting to his human form!” everyone gasps in unity. I panic a bit, but I try to get it under control. It almost happened one time before, but no one saw it then. If I can just reverse the reverting…
I focus as hard as I can. Then I get a new strange feeling. I am not exactly reverting, but neither am I transforming back. My wings moves to my back and I spawn two more arms. My head is more humanlike than before, but still with a beak and feathers all over. I still have a long tail and claws, but my legs stay humanlike but with feathers. I feel like a monstrosity.
“I think Phoenix has another form that we have never seen before! It is some sort of Phoenix-knight!”
Knight my ass; I am more like an ugly angel or something like a demon. Well, I think, guess I’ll try it out at least. I try to set off the ground, but my wingspan is not as great as it was before. I dump to the ground while the crowd follows my every movement.
Damn! This is just not working out, is it? I go for the run next.
There have been an improvement in my running skill from none to actually pretty fast. Someone in the crowd starts cheering for the new me, but only that one person.
I gain in on the golem. Cami still manages to hold its feet while I jump onto its back. My jumping has improved too. I am almost like Cami, except he had time to master his skill. I grab onto its shoulder while it is trying to shake me off. I begin to feel sick.
“ohoho, will you look at that! Phoenix has made a comeback from his reverting, and is now battling the boss again!”
I would go up there and stuff some socks in his mouth if I could. That dumb commentator.
While I am distracted mentally dissing the commentator the golem lands a hit on Cami and sends him flying.
“CAMI!” I shout. My voice is more like my own than before, and I try to lower it.
“CAMI! Are you all right? Cami!” he is not responding at all. I crawl over the golems head in a try to get to its chest. This is difficult, how do Cami do it all the time?
The golem raises its hammerhand to smash me. I try to block with my arms, but I don’t even get hit. I have closed my eyes, but when I open them I am somewhere dark. I look around. There is a tiny opening in one of the walls. I can see… I can see Cami through it! I am inside the golem! So I can still teleport.
“Good to know” I hiss while I snatch the key from its place and teleport out of the golem again. The crowd is now cheering for me. The old me, the new me, but not me. I feel the reverting start again and hurry out of the arena. When I reach the changing room, I have already reverted. I stand with the plushy in my hands. I grab the handle to open the door.
It’s still locked! I swear out loud. I try to get in again, but it is safely secured. I hear footsteps at the end of the hall. No, no no no no no! Not now, worst timing EVER! I run to the nearest staff bathroom and lock the door as soon as I am inside. The footsteps follow me out there.
Now, now, Meril, nothing to fear, it’s probably just someone who needs to pee or something else. I drag my feet up under me so no one can see them from outside the booth. Luckily, this is a quality bathroom, which means the booths have walls all the way up to the ceiling, and the door only has about one cm. air under it. Whoever is out there can’t see me in here. As I haven’t heard from them in a while, I begin to think he or she is gone. I sigh of relief, but a minute to early.
“I know you are in there, Phoenix”