I fell into the white void and continued to fall. Nothing but white as far as I could see to the sides of me or above me. The small hole above me to the destroyed city quickly grew smaller and smaller until I couldn’t see the way I had come. I looked down below me. It seemed to me that the white cylinder continued on forever downwards. Falling right below me was R’s lifeless body. His black armor was stained with dark, red blood, but none of it seemed to come off the body.
Eventually our falling seemed to slow down and both of landed on a solid surface. We touched down without any damage and it kind of felt like we landed on a trampoline or white Jello. The room wobbled a little bit and then eventually became solid. It was just a large white room with dimensions that seemed to be constantly shifting. The edges were blurred and it made it look like the room just extending forever in every direction.
I took a step forward and I produced black ripples like a pebble entering water. It rippled out and then faded back into whiteness.
“Hello?” I called out.
My voice echoed as it filled the white room.
I took another step forward and more ripples spread out from my footsteps.
I knelt over R’s body and placed my hands on his armor. The bleeding had seemed to stop and was no longer pooling underneath him.
I placed my hands on each side of his helmet.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” A new voice emerged.
I turned my head and Red stood there. She was wearing her red shirt and black pants that she was wearing when we were on the rooftop.
“Red,” I said standing up.
“Hello Allen,” Red said with a smile.
I looked around the room. There didn’t seem to be a door or window or any way in or out besides up.
“How did you get here? Actually where is here?” I asked.
“That’s kind of hard to explain. This is the end of the story. And the Writer has brought me here,” Red said.
“Wait what?” I said taking a few steps towards her.
“This. All of this,” Red said gesturing to the room around us. “This is just the end of a story. A white page. You and me. We’re just characters in a story.”
I stared at her really confused.
“I…I…don’t get it. Is this some kind of joke?” I asked.
“No. No joke, Allen. I know that it kind of ended in a hurry. Just one stab and it’s over. But the Writer is a little immature. He doesn’t really the craft down,” Red said.
“Ummmm…this is even stranger than the storybook forest. What happened with you on the roof?” I asked.
“Oh. Well that wasn’t really me, Allen. That was technically Red. A character that was killed off by the Writer. He then created a through line with the other parts of the story which included a female character all resembling one another. There was Red, then May, then Ella, then Alexis, and now me. I may look like Red to you, but that’s just because The Writer wanted you to feel comfortable.”
“So who are you then?”
“I don’t know. I’m just some female character who is pretty one dimensional. I probably have a name like Diana or something. But I just represent the inner doubt of The Writer as he writes. So I guess you can call me Diana or Doubt. Your choice.”
“I’m just going to call you Diana,” I said.
“Fine. Whatever,” Diana said.
“So what is this place?” I asked looking around the white room.
“It’s the end of the story. It’s the blank page before a new thing is written. We’re just kind of stuck here until something new starts. It won’t really be us either. New characters. New plot. Maybe something more interesting and less choppy,” Diana said.
I grabbed my head. None of this made any sense. At least I could understand the fairy tale wars or being in a Fantasy city plagued by a Green Dragon. But this? This was way too confusing.
“I don’t get it. You’re saying I’m a character in a story. That none of that was real. But I was sitting there typing on my laptop and – ”
“Just a backstory. A pretty weak one to. This whole basing a character on yourself is really pretentious and it kind of isolates some of the audience. I mean The Writer doesn’t even have that big of a following and he throws himself into a story. That’s you,” Diana said.
“So I’m a character based on the Writer?” I asked.
“Yeah a whole ‘made in his self-image’ type of thing,” Diana said.
“I guess I’m starting to get it, but I’m not sure you understand that this is a life-shattering thing for me.”
“No I totally get it, but I just don’t really care. I’m just here to guide you so you can accept this. The faster you learn to accept it, the faster we can move on. Audiences don’t really like this whole beginning where you don’t understand the world you are thrust into it, but eventually accept it. People want action, not boring conversations about the world and how you feel isolated in it.”
I stared blankly at Diana.
“You know what. I’m sure The Writer can whip something more comfortable for you. This blank page does make it seem odd,” Diana said.
Diana took a few step forwards and started yelling out into the void.
“Writer! We need a scene change!” Diana yelled.
The white room seemed to shift and become hazy. Then the white room was replaced by an outdoor courtyard area. A large stone fountain was in the center and water spilled over the sides into a large stone basin. The air smelled of salt water.
“Hmmm…some kind of Mediterranean courtyard. Maybe The Writer was reading something about Greek Mythology or something. I’m pretty sure he likes that kind of stuff,” Diana said.
“I like Greek Mythology,” I said.
“See what I mean? Made in his image,” Diana said.
I looked around the courtyard and R’s body laid on a stone bench nearby.
“What about him?” I pointed towards R.
“Well I guess you can remove his helmet now. Just to let you know, The Writer was going with a whole “you are your own worst enemy thing” which didn’t really work out. So yeah pull off the helmet and you’ll see someone who looks just like you,” Diana said.
“Wait what?” I said turning back to Diana.
“Kind of an evil twin thing. Maybe a darkest timeline thing or maybe you ended up splitting yourself into a good identity and an evil identity due to the amount of jumping around you are doing. Kind of a loose end that never got tied up. More lazy writing if you ask me,” Diana said.
She sighed and then sat down on one of the stone benches.
I looked back at R. I walked over to his body. I placed my hands on each side of his helmet and lifted it off him. Laying there was a person who looked identical to me except with a scar across his left eye and black hair. It did kind of look like a dark, mirror image of me.
“See. It was kind of like a Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker thing or maybe a Flash/Reverse Flash thing. You’re even wearing a Flash shirt right now,” Diana said.
I placed my hand on R’s throat and felt for a pulse. His body was cold and I didn’t feel any heartbeat.
I stood back up and looked at Diana.
“So what now?” I asked her.
“What do you mean?” Diana asked.
“Fine I’m just a book character. I’m in a virtual reality simulator or the Matrix or whatever. What’s the point?”
“I’m still not really following. The point was that you plunged your sword into R’s body and you killed him. Good defeats evil. Yeah you didn’t get home or save the girl, but that’s not really your fault. The Writer just didn’t nail the ending,” Diana said.
“No that’s not the point. I’m still here. Things aren’t done. I can save them. I can save all those people. I can convince him to change everything back,” I said.
Diana let out a laugh. “You’re plan is to talk to the Writer and get him to change what he has written?”
“Yeah I guess.”
“That’s hilarious. He’s not going to change anything. It’s written. It’s published. Maybe he’ll do a rewrite in a couple years or something, but until then. That’s how everything is going to end,” Diana said.
“No. I don’t believe that. I can’t just stand by and let those people die,” I said.
“They aren’t real. Their imaginary. Just words on a paper,” Diana said.
“They’re real to me! They are as real as I am. You are just as real or imaginary as them!”
Diana laid down on the bench and her hair spilled over the side of the stone.
“You’re not real. I’m not real. So what’s the point? We’ll just wait her in our Greek paradise until the world ends,” Diana said.
“No. You’re going to take me to him,” I said.
“Why do you think I have that ability?” Diana asked.
“You got him to change the scenery. You made him take us here. So get him to take us to him,” I said.
“I don’t make him do anything. I just wait until he tells me to do something. I’m just a puppet,” Diana said raising her arms like they had strings attached to them.
I crossed my arms.
“Come on Diana, this is your chance to be a hero. You can save the entire world.”
“And why would I want to do that?”
“You were the one complaining that you’re just a one-dimensional character meant to be a critic that breaks the fourth wall. Now you can be a sarcastic hero. Maybe you can even have a turn at the end where you shed your criticism and become someone new,” I explained.
“So you’re trying to convince me to go against my internal programing and help you reach The Writer?” Diana asked.
“I just need to get to The Writer, are you going to help me?” I asked.
Diana let out a deep sigh.
“Fine, Allen. If you want to go find The Writer, I will take him to you. Just to let you know this is only happening because he is making it happen. It is not my choice,” Diana said.
“I don’t care why we’re getting there as long as we’re actually going,” I said.
Diana sat up and let out another sigh.
“Fine let’s go,” Diana said getting up from the bench.
“What about R?” I asked.
“He’s dead. Leave him,” Diana said. “You can bring him back to life if you want to.”
“I think I’ll pass,” I said.
Diana and I started to stroll down a stone pathway that led away from the outdoor courtyard. We were climbing down stone stairs on the edge of a cliff face. I could see the waves crashing on the shore below. The air was full of salt and little bits of salt water clung to my clothes.
“Where are we going?” I asked Diana.
“To see The Writer,” Diana said. “That’s what you wanted to do.”
“Yeah but where are we going literally?”
“Well right now we’re heading to the ocean. The Writer likes dramatic entrances and exits so to the ocean we go,” Diana said.
“So that’s how we get to The Writer?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Diana said.
We made our way down to the beach. The water splashed up showering us with ocean mist. I shivered a little bit even though the air was hot and humid around us.
“So how do we get to him?” I asked.
“Just step out into the ocean. You’ll get there eventually,” Diana explained.
I looked over at her like it was a joke, but she had a very serious expression on her face.
“Ok fine, I’ll just walk out into the ocean now,” I said.
I started to walk out into the water. At first it was only up to my ankles, then my knees.
“This far enough?” I yelled back to Diana.
“Keep going!” Diana yelled back.
“You coming with me?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there!”
I turned around and wadded out into water further. The water came up to my waist. I turned around to look back at Diana. But no one was there.
“Diana? Diana?” I looked around, but everywhere I looked there was only water.
Suddenly there was no beach or cliffs. No stone stairs or stone courtyard. Just an ocean of water.
I felt the land give out from under me and I fell. The water swelled up around me and I was pulled down. I kicked out my legs and I lashed out with my arms, but my swimming ability failed me. I was dragged down further and further underwater as the surface above me disappeared from view. The water around me got darker and darker until I could no longer see my hands in front of me. There was nothing but darkness. I tried to breathe, but all the air left my lungs. It burned as the water filled my lungs and I slowly felt still. Panic subsided as my body shut down. My eyes began to close. I was consumed in darkness.
“So what do you think?” Diana said.
My eyes sprang open and I looked around. I took a deep breath and the air filled my lungs. I laid there on some kind of rug. My body and clothes were not soaked like I expected them to.
“What was that?” I asked.
“I told you that he likes the dramatic. No one thought that you’d die by drowning a third of way through your final arc, but he decided to throw it in there anyway,” Diana said.
I stood up and looked around this new space. I was still breathing hard, but my body felt fine.
It looked like I was in some kind of library. There were large bookshelves in all directions full of books of all different sizes and thickness. I heard the sound of rainfall and thunder in the distance.
“Come on, he’s probably upstairs watching the rain,” Diana said.
Diana led as we walked through the library. The shelves never diminished and I wondered if all these books were actually full or if they were just for show. It sounded to me like The Writer was someone who liked presentation more than content. But maybe that was just Diana’s criticism influencing my opinion of him.
The library surely felt real. The hard marble floor below me felt real. The sound of rain felt real. The slight smell of new books felt real. All of this felt real. But so did the robots in the forest, and the Pokémon battles in Ilex Forest, and fighting the Green Dragon alongside of Ella at Raven’s Crest. The town being destroyed as Alexis and I ran for our lives. All of that felt so real, but it was only a story. Somebody else’s words being written and I was only a character. That was so much harder for me to believe.
Eventually Diana and I came to a break in all the bookshelves to a little lounge area. There were couches to sit or lay on and desks to study at.
“This way,” Diana said tapping me on the shoulder.
We turned left and went down a small hallway. There nestled into the wall were two metallic doors. Diana pushed the up button and we waited. It was only a few seconds and the doors opened with a small ding. We both stepped in. Diana then pushed the R button.
I looked over at her.
“It stands for Roof,” Diana said flatly.
I stood there not saying anything.
The elevator lurched a bit and then eventually we began moving upwards. The thing sounded old and dangerous, but Diana didn’t look worried.
It came to a stop with another lurch and then the doors opened. Diana and I stepped out onto the roof of the building. The entire thing was under a glass dome kind of like a greenhouse. This glass dome let us see out in all directions.
Apparently this library was in a large city because I saw skyscrapers and other office buildings off in the distance. Up above me I saw the dark, rain clouds and the rain falling down onto the glass roof with small ticks. The sound was relaxing to me.
“You going to stare at the rain all day?” Diana said.
“Oh. I guess not,” I said.
“We’re here, Writer!” Diana yelled.
I looked out and there was a lone desk on the rooftop. At that desk sat a man typing away on his laptop. He had headphones covering his ears. He looked almost like Alexis the day when the raven feather infiltrated her room and I climbed in through the window.
“Hold on,” Diana said and walked over to the desk.
She pulled off the headphones and the man jumped a bit.
“Woah. Diana. Don’t scare me like that. I was in the middle of something,” The Man said.
“One of your characters is here to voice a complaint so I brought him to you,” Diana said.
The Man turned around and looked at me.
“Oh. It’s me. Or Allen. Technically the same,” The Man stood up and he and Diana walked over.
“You’re the Writer?” I said looking at a mirror image of me. These people really needed to get their own look.
“I told you he put himself in the story,” Diana said.
The Man turned to Diana, “Yeah well I was going for a very Meta narrative. Kind of a summary of all the writings I had already done. It was like I was visiting the world’s I had been writing in.”
“Yeah super unique idea you have there,” Diana said rolling her eyes.
“I don’t remember inviting you here,” The Man said.
“I’m always here, you can’t escape me,” Diana said with a sly smile.
“Excuse me,” I interrupted. “You are the Writer right?”
The Man turned to me.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! Yes I’m Allen_The_Writer, nice to meet you. Well I’ve already met you but this is the first time that you met me,” The Writer said.
“What’s with the underscores? Someone already take AllenTheWriter on Twitter?” Diana asked.
“So what can I do for you, Allen?” The Writer asked ignoring Diana.
“Well first I’m just going to call you The Writer,” I said.
“Fair enough,” The Writer said.
“Second I need you to change everything and bring everyone back to life,” I said.
The Writer glanced over to Diana who just shrugged her shoulders.
“I don’t understand. Diana did explain to you that you’re a character in a story right?” The Writer asked.
“Yes she told me that and even though I find that hard to believe, I am willing to accept that you should be able to bring everybody back since you’re the reason they were destroyed.”
The Writer let out a sigh.
“Look Allen, I wrote what I think is a pretty compelling story. Sometimes for plots to move forward, people have to die. A world where no one dies has no real stakes and that is a boring world to write in. I just can’t go back and change things,” The Writer said.
“But the story is already written, right? That happened and now this can happen,” I said.
“That’s an interesting way to think about things, Allen. But that’s now how it works.”
“Please Writer, those are people I care about.”
The Writer smiled.
“I’m glad that the bonds you formed with them felt real,” He said. “I was afraid that it would seem very situational and lacking depth, but if you felt it, I’m sure the reader felt it as well.”
I frowned. This guy was impossible to get through.
“I just want them back,” I said. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“Hmmm…that would probably be a better ending,” The Writer said tapping his chin. “What do you think, Diana?”
“I think people are probably fed up with all this Meta,” Diana said.
“You’re really not a help,” The Writer frowned.
“I’m confused. So are you going to help me?” I asked.
“I will,” The Writer said. “Just know that this time it is for real. You won’t find yourself back here with Diana. When the story ends, it ends. Ok?”
“If it means I get to see those people again, then I accept,” I said.
The Writer nodded and walked back to his laptop. He clicked on a few things and then looked at me. “I’m about to send you back. This time make it count. Good luck.”
“Thank you Writer, I really –”
Before I could finish my thought. Blue energy seemed to radiate from my body and circle me. The world began spinning once again. I couldn’t hear the rain tapping on the glass or see Diana or The Writer. I just saw blue. Blue.
Then in a flash I was standing in a circle of green fire.
“Now hand over the feather,” R said.
I looked around and I was back in the moment before I killed R. There over his right shoulder was Alexis being held by two Nihilego. The Bookmark was in my hands. It shifted from the raven’s feather to the ancient relic I first saw it as in the glass case.
“Or whatever it decides to be,” R said with a slight frown.
“R! This needs to stop. This ends badly for both of us. Neither of us get what we want. You kill Alexis and I kill you. That’s now what I want,” I yelled.
“Allen, run!” Alexis yelled.
R looked me up and down.
“What a pessimistic view of this situation,” R said. “My thought is that I kill you both and take the relic for myself,” R said.
“No, R. That’s not just a theory. That’s a fact. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. I’ve been sent back to change this moment,” I said.
R let out a laugh. “I’m supposed to believe that you’re from the future.”
“I can prove it,” I said. “You are me. You exactly like me. You have black hair and a scar over your eye, but we’re the same. We look the same.”
R stalled a little bit. I couldn’t read his expression through the helmet, but my guess he was stunned.
“So what. You could have figured that out somehow. Or maybe it was just some educated guess,” R said.
He lifted up his hands and green fire clung to them.
“No!” I yelled out and swung the Bookmark.
It had taken shape of a sword as I thrust it forward. Before R could vaporize anyone with the fire, I stabbed and made contact with his gut. I plunged it deeper into him and blood began to spill from his gut. The green fire he had in his hands went out and he fell to the ground with a thud.
“Allen,” Alexis said struggling to get free.
I turned to her and pulled the sword from R’s gut. He laid there coughing, dying but not dead.
I willed the Bookmark to change forms and it shifted into the scepter.
“Get away from her,” I yelled at the Nihilego.
I don’t know if they understood English or if they got a sense that things had turned. The Bookmark pulsed as I walked closer. The Nihilego apparently decided it wasn’t worth it.
They dropped Alexis and both of them took to the air. The Green flames that were encircling us had diminished until it eventually went out.
“You did it!” Alexis said. She ran up and threw her arms around me. I returned the hug still holding the scepter in one had.
“Yeah it only took me two times,” I said.
Alexis pulled back from me.
“What you said about being from the future, is that true?” Alexis asked.
“Yeah that’s true. I was sent back to change things,” I said.
“What are we going to do with him?” Alexis pointed out towards R.
I looked over to him and he was laying there not moving. I walked over to him with Alexis in tow and knelt down next to his body. A deep red, pool of blood was forming around him. I touched the side of his neck. No pulse.
“He’s dead,” I said.
“Are we going to do something with his body?”
“We just leave him here,” I said standing up.
“What about everything else?” Alexis asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said.
The world around us did seem a little calmer. I looked around and there was no signs of Dragons flying in the sky or robots on the ground. All the Nihilego were nowhere to be found.
“Maybe when I killed R, all this power diminished and all the creatures left,” I said.
“I sure hope so,” Alexis said.
The Bookmark started shaking and the blue glow started becoming a white glow. It started to vibrate even harder than usual.
“What’s going on?” Alexis asked.
“I think my time here is growing short,” I said. “It’s time to return home.”
“You’re just leaving?” Alexis asked.
“I’m afraid so,” I said. “There’s a few stops I have to make and I don’t want to run out of time.”
“What about all of this?” Alexis said glancing to the burning city around us.
“I’m not sure. You need to head home and try to put all of this behind you,” I said.
“You mean I’m just supposed to forget about Dragons. Literal Dragons. And giant Robots and strange, Alien Jellyfish. I’m supposed to forget about…you?” Alexis said.
Her eyes began filling with tears.
“No. I didn’t say forget. I will never forget about you, Alexis. I hope you won’t ever forget about me,” I said.
The white light grew brighter and brighter until it almost consumed all of me.
“I’ll never forget about you Allen!” Alexis yelled as I vanished from her world leaving her alone.
My eyes opened and I was standing in a decimated forest. Trees were knocked over and the ground was black. I looked about and realized I was back in Raven’s Crest. This is where I fell to a Green Dragon. However there was no sign of the Dragon.
“Ella! Ella!” I yelled out looking around me.
She had to be close.
“Ella!” I yelled out again.
It took me a moment, but eventually I saw Ella laying underneath a large log about 30 yards from me.
I ran over to her. She laid there motionless. I was able to push the log off her like a mother lifting a car off their child. Adrenaline was coursing through my veins.
“Come on, be ok,” I said.
I felt for a pulse but there was nothing there. Ella laid dead next to me.
“No. No. This can’t be,” I said.
I looked up to the sky and yelled. “You told me I would see them again! This isn’t fair!”
I heard a soft whisper coming from all around me. It was a woman’s voice.
“Life and death are not always fair.”
I turned and saw a woman cloaked in black, raven feathers and a white mask.
“The Raven Queen,” I said.
“It looks like you have returned to us,” The Raven Queen said.
“I’ve came back to save her and you can help me,” I said.
“What makes you think that I could bring her back?”
“You’re the Raven Queen. You’re a goddess. You rule over death,” I said.
“I am only dominion over the moments between life and death. The transition,” The Raven Queen said.
“I know you can bring her back. There has to be something I can do,” I said.
The Raven Queen stood there over us. I couldn’t make out any expression because of her mask.
“She is almost to Pelor’s domain. But I believe I can bring her back. But on one condition,” She said.
“You must leave here and never return.”
I was taken back, “What?”
“You must leave here and return to your world. It is obvious you have some kind of power that does not belong here in this world and it is better if it would never return. You must go with it,” The Raven Queen said. “That is my deal.”
I nodded. “I want to make sure she’s ok, first.”
“Then I accept your deal,” I said.
The Raven Queen gave a slight nod and then she vanished in a cloud of black smoke.
At the same time I heard a gasp from behind me followed by a series of coughs.
I turned and saw Ella laying there. Breath returned to her lungs and her eyes opened.
“Ella!” I ran over to her side and helped her sit up. She was badly bruised all over her body and her armor still smelt like acid.
She was in obvious pain as I helped her lay against a tree.
“What happened?” Ella asked.
“Here, drink this,” I said. I reached into the bag and pulled out the largest of the three potions. I uncorked the bottle and helped her drink it.
Her body seemed to heal and she looked in a little better condition.
“That better?” I asked her.
“Yeah I feel a little bit better and I can acutely see out of my left eye, but what happened? Where is the dragon?”
“The dragon has been vanquished,” I said.
“You killed the dragon?” Ella asked.
“No. It was a bit of divine intervention. The Raven Queen took care of it for me,” I said.
“The Raven Queen? She was here?”
I nodded. “Yes, but she will not be returning. I did a favor for her so she took care of the dragon.”
“What…what did you do?” Ella asked.
“It does not matter. I just wanted to make sure that you were safe,” I said.
“Well…thanks… I guess these healing potions did come in handy,” Ella said with a slight laugh.
I laughed a little, “Yeah I guess they did.”
“Where is your magic amulet?” Ella asked.
I looked around. All I could see was fallen trees, dead grass, and several large craters. No sign of Kiki the nature elemental fighting.
“I’m not sure. Maybe it was only a one-time thing,” I said.
“I guess so,” Ella said.
The sword next to me began to glow a bright, white light.
“What is going on now?” Ella asked.
I hung my head.
“That means I have to go,” I said.
“What do you mean? Where are you going?” Ella asked.
“I must return home. That was the deal that I struck with The Raven Queen. I would take the sword and leave and in return, you would return here.”
“Here as in the forest.”
I couldn’t make eye contact with her.
“Here as in alive.”
Ella was taken back.
“I…I…was dead. I was dead. And you brought me back.”
“Technically the Raven Queen did,” I said.
“I…I owe you my life, Allen,” Ella said.
She tried to stand using the tree as a crutch but she was still too weak.
“Stay down. I don’t want you to reinjure yourself. The army should be here any minute. They can bring you back to the town to heal up,” I said.
“Thank you, Allen,” Ella said.
“You’re welcome, Ella,” I said.
I stood up grasping the sword as it continued to vibrate. The world began to spin and the white light consumed me.
“May Pelor bless you, Allen!” Ella yelled with all her strength.
Again I was whisked away to a new location. I looked around me and I was standing in Ilex Forest. It was quiet and no one seemed to be around.
The night sky was above me and I could see some stars through the tops of the forest.
There was a small flash of green light and Celebi was there floating there in front of me.
“Celebi, there you are,” I said. “Where is Gold? Where is May?”
Celebi kind of tilted its head.
“I need you to take me to May and Blaziken, can you do that?” I asked it.
It gave a nod and there was another flash of green energy. Celebi and I were no longer in Ilex Forest. We were on some kind of beach. I could smell the familiar scent of the ocean water. I wondered if this water would take to the library.
Celebi zoomed around me and then hovered in front of me.
“Very good, Celebi!”
“Who’s there?” A voice called out.
There was a thud as Blaziken landed right in front of me and I stumbled backwards.
‘It’s a friend! It’s a friend. It’s just me. It’s Allen,” I yelled.
May ran up to Blaziken and I and Blaziken’s flames lit up her face.
“Stand down, Blaziken. Allen is a friend, remember?” She said.
Blaziken gave a nod and extinguished its flames on its wrists. May helped me get to my feet and I brushed off the sand. Celebi landed on May’s shoulder and she started to pet Celebi.
“So I see Celebi brought you back here. I figured after a few weeks I had seen the last of you and that Nurse,” May said.
“Wait. How long have I been gone?” I asked.
“Ummm… a few weeks. Maybe a month,” May said.
“What about Gold, is he ok?” I asked.
“Yeah as far as I know, he’s ok. I haven’t spoken to him,” May said.
“I have to talk to him and make sure he’s ok,” I said.
“Allen,” May placed a hand on my shoulder. “He doesn’t remember you.”
“What? What do you mean?” I asked her.
“In Ilex Forest. When I had Celebi whisk him away. I made sure he didn’t remember you. I thought it would be best. It’s strange that he has met someone from another world. I didn’t think he should remember me either, but at least I’m from a world where Pokémon exist. You don’t. Please don’t tell him,” May said.
I let out a sigh. “I still need to see him.”
“If you think that is best, I will not stop you,” May said.
“Thank you May, for all your help,” I sad.
May smiled. “No problem, Allen. I’m sure you would have done the same for me. Good luck on your journey.”
“Celebi, I need you to get me to New Bark town. Then you can go home,” I said.
Celebi gave a little nod and then flew over from May’s shoulder to mine.
I gave May a wave as Celebi teleported me to New Bark town. There was a flash of green light and suddenly I was in the middle of town.
Celebi was nowhere to be found, but that was expected. It had done enough for me in one day. I honestly should have been more in shock that a legendary Pokémon was teleporting me around the Johto region, but I had a mission. I had to see Gold.
I strolled over to the front door of Gold’s house. I gave a loud knock.
At first there was no response, so I knocked again. Eventually the door opened. Standing in the doorway was Gold’s mother wearing her pajamas.
“Hello?” She said in a groggy state.
“Hello is Gold here?” I asked.
“Do you have any idea what time it is?” Gold’s Mom asked.
“Ummm…sorry. But I really need to speak to Gold,” I said.
“Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but he is not here. He hasn’t been back for a few weeks. He said something about looking for three legendary beasts or something. I’ve spoken to him over the phone, but he has not returned home.”
“Oh. I didn’t know that.”
“If you want I can call him once it is a more reasonable hour or I can pass along a message to him,” She said.
“No that’s ok, I guess it’s not that important,” I said.
“You knock on my door at 4 AM and wake me up because you have to see Gold and now that he is not here, it is not important,” She said.
“You’re right. Can you just tell him that Allen stopped bye. I met him on the road and we had an impressive battle. Just tell him that I wanted to congratulate him on his Pokémon League victory and that I hope that we see each other again.”
“I can do that for you,” Gold’s Mom said with a yawn. “Goodnight Allen.”
“Goodnight,” I said.
Gold’s Mom closed the door and I was left standing out there by myself.
I looked down at the Scepter in my hands and it was beginning to glow. I guess it knew when I needed to head to the next world. There was one last place I needed to go and one last person I needed to see.
The Scepter began glowing brighter and brighter until I was engulfed in its light. When the white light stopped spinning, I was standing on the rooftop. There stood Red looking around in confusion.
“Red!” I yelled.
“Allen? How did you? Where is R?” Red asked.
“I know this is all super confusing, but here,” I handed Red the Bookmark now in its original form.
“No, this is for you,” Red said trying to hand it back.
“I’ve used it plenty. I’ve traveled to different worlds and used it over and over again. Now I’m done with it,” I said.
“I don’t understand. You were just standing there and R was here too,” Red said
“A lot has happened since then. I killed R. He is dead,” I explained.
There was commotion from the stairwell and people started to emerge from it onto the roof. Robin was leading the charge.
He saw Red and me standing there.
“Are you two ok?” Robin asked.
“Yeah we’re fine,” Red said. “What about you?”
“The robots just deactivated. All at once. We thought it might have been something you did,” Robin said.
Red looked at me.
“I…I killed R and it must have been the reason that the robots shut down,” I said.
“You killed him,” Robin said looking around the roof.
“Yeah he’s gone,” I said.
“And you used that?” Robin said pointing to the Bookmark which was in Red’s hands.
I nodded again. “Yeah I was able to unlock its power I guess and defeat R. He shouldn’t be bothering anyone ever again.”
Red and Robin looked at each other.
“That is wonderful,” Robin said with a giant smile.
He grabbed both Red and me and pulled us into a big, bear hug.
He then turned to all the soldiers behind him.
“It’s over men! It’s over! The evil dictator has been struck down. We are all free once again!” Robin yelled.
There was an uproar of cheers and chants.
Robin shook my hand. “I guess I was wrong about you. You are the chosen one.”
I shook my head. “No I’m not. Just because I got lucky, does not make me the chosen one. I relied heavily on the people around me including you and Red. Without you two, I would have died in the forest.”
Robin gave a nod.
“Well I’m glad Red took a chance on you when I would not.”
“Me too,” I said with a smile.
Robin turned back to the soldiers. “Ok men! Let’s go prepare a glorious feast. And then we will start reprogramming the robots. We have a lot of work still, but let’s feast first.”
The soldiers started to go back down the stairs. The Helicopter was shut down and the pilots joined the other soldiers.
“You two coming?” Robin asked.
“Just give us a minute,” I said.
Robin looked at Red and then back to me.
“We’ll be right there,” Red said.
Robin gave a nod and followed the others back into the base.
I looked at Red.
“How did you do it?” Red asked.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“How did you activate the Bookmark?” Red asked.
“To be honest, I’m not really sure. Maybe I just go lucky or maybe someone just made it sure it happened.”
I looked up at the sky wondering if the Writer was looking down at me.
“Are you going to stay for the feast? I’m sure that the soldiers would like to talk to you. You’re pretty much the savior of the world,” Red said.
“I don’t need that kind of press,” I said with a laugh. “Plus you and Robin have done way more for this world then me. I just go lucky. Seriously.”
Red didn’t look convinced, but she decided to drop it.
“Now what are you going to do?” Red asked.
“Well I’ve been traveling way too much lately. Too many high-strung adventures where my life was on the line. I just need to get home where I can go back to my boring life. Take a nice, long nap in my bed and just relax for a bit,” I said.
Red nodded with a smile.
“Thank you again, Allen. I’m not sure how you did it but you freed our world from that evil,” Red said.
“Yeah I guess I did,” I said.
Red gave me a kiss on the cheek.
“Do you know how you’re going to get home?” She asked me.
“I think I need to head back to the forest. I’m hoping that’s how I get home,” I said.
“Let me fly you,” Red said.
“Yeah jump in the helicopter. It will be fast,” She said.
“You can fly that thing?”
“I’m full of surprises,” She said with a smile.
Red climbed into the pilot’s seat while I sat in the co-pilot’s seat. She placed the Bookmark in my hands so she could drive. It was a little bit rockier than the last time I was riding in one of the helicopters, but Red seemed to be decent at flying the helicopter. It made me wonder how many times she had to fly it in the past and what the death of R really meant for these people. They had been fighting this horrible war for years and years. Whole kingdoms had fallen and people were massacred. All in the pursuit of me and the Bookmark.
But there was a whole new layer to it now. Now that I met The Writer, I knew none of this was real. This wasn’t fairytale characters brought to real life. This was fairytale characters revised into a darker, grittier version still fighting the war between good and bad. I was just a character and so was Red. So was Robin. So what R. All characters in a story.
I shook that thought out of my head. It didn’t matter if any of this was real to The Wrier. It was real to me. This was real life to me and I had saved all of these people. Alexis, Ella, and Red. All three of them were alive because of what I did. Nothing Diana or The Writer could say, would change that for me. I knew that was true.
The helicopter eventually touched down in a destroyed part of the forest. It was a bit of a bumpy landing, but we made it one piece.
“Tah-duh!” Red said with a laugh.
“Nice flying, Red,” I said with a tip of my imaginary cap.
Red rolled her eyes.
We got unbuckled from our seats and hopped out of the helicopter. I looked around at the forest.
“So what’s next for you guys?” I asked.
“We start rebuilding. There are a lot of resistance factions out there waiting for a day like this. Now we will have the ability to bring them all together. I’m sure there will be some power struggles, but hopefully a new world can rise from this one,” Red said.
“Sounds really complicated,” I said.
“Yeah a little bit, but Robin is a strong leader. If anyone can unite the world together, it is him,” Red said.
“I think you could do it too,” I said.
Red blushed a little bit, “Yeah sure, whatever. Are you going to leave now?”
“Yeah I guess I should,” I said.
We strolled through the forest a little bit and we eventually found the spot where Red had first summoned me to this world. Trees laid destroyed and some still smoldered. The Bookmark began pulsing with the same white light I had become used to.
“I guess it’s time for me to say goodbye,” I said.
Red gave a nod, “I’m so glad I met you, Allen. And thank you again for everything you’ve done for us.”
“Don’t sweat it, Red,” I said.
“Goodbye Allen,” Red said.
Tears welled up in her eyes and she quickly wiped them away.
“Goodbye Red,” I said. Tears ran down my face and I just let it happen.
There was a flash of white light and the Bookmark fell to the ground with a thump as I disappeared. Red remained standing in the forest, but I was nowhere to be found.
“Allen! You awake. It’s almost time for work,” My father yelled from downstairs.
I sat there finishing the last few sentences of the story. I wanted it to end all nice and neat, but I also felt like I was rambling. I was so close to being finished. Just a last few thoughts.
Goodbye Allen, I typed.
Goodbye Red, I typed.
That’s pretty good, I thought. Allen gets to see everyone once last time. The Bookmark whisks him away and it is presumed he makes it back to his world. He gets to save the day and save all the people along the way. Well I guess there were some soldiers who died and people in the city. But the main characters are all safe.
I hit the save button and then hit Control A. Control C.
I opened up my WordPress page. I then went over to a new piece. Typed the Title, “A Story is Written Part 5.”
“And let’s make sure that this publishes at 3 PM. And done,” I said and berthed a sigh of relief. I got it done. It was long and tiring, but I finally finished my 100th published piece to the website. Now it was time to get ready for work.