EARTHBOUND – 1 – A HERO CHOSEN
CHAPTER 01 – NIGHT N DAY
Onett, a small town in Eagleland…
The world was shaking. I tried to keep my eyes shut. I rolled over, doing my best to go back to sleep. The world was still shaking. I must have had too much soda to drink the night before. I squeezed my eyes harder, but the world continued to shake.
An explosion rocked the night and suddenly light was everywhere. My eyes were still closed but I could still see. The brightness was absolutely unreal.
“Holy crap, what was that!?” I whispered to myself, the night having gone silent.
I sat straight up and looked at my alarm clock. The orange numbers flashed 12:00am, the power must have gone out at some point. Was it past midnight, I wondered. It didn’t feel like it was morning, but outside the world was as bright as midday. I rolled out of bed and nearly fell to the floor but grabbed the bedpost steadying myself. I won’t lie. I was scared crapless and I couldn’t deny it. Something freaky was going on. The light faded back to darkness and once again it was night.
“What just happened?” I whispered, my heart pounding in my chest.
An earthquake maybe? No, that was stupid, earthquakes didn’t shine like the sun. Still half-asleep, my mind couldn't process what was happening.
Mom and Tracy, I suddenly realized I needed to make sure they were safe. And where was that darn dog? King was probably on his back snoring when he should at least have been barking his head off.
I fumbled through my dark room. I stepped on more than one sharp object. I bit my lip resisting the urge to cry out in pain and anger. I had probably just broken some of my action figures.
I opened my bedroom door and stepped into the hall. Testing the light switch, I flipped it up. Warm yellow light bathed the corridor but flickered every few seconds. The power was back on it seemed. The strobe effect stung my eyes, so I rubbed them as I walked down the hall. When I came to Tracy’s door I reached up to knock but stopped to listen. I could hear her whimpering.
“Trace?” I asked, “You okay in there?”
The door opened wide and Tracy stood there in her long pink nightshirt and bunny slippers. Her blonde hair hung down to her shoulders and was in tangles which meant she had been fast asleep moments before.
“I’m fine, big bro,” Tracy said, “But what about you?”
I poked my nose in and looked around the room half-expecting to see some sort of boogeyman jump out of the closet or grab my sister and pull her under the bed. It was a crazy thought though, such things didn’t exist and I had stopped believing in them when I was younger than Tracy. Satisfied it was safe, I replied, “I’m fine.”
Tracy was safe. That was good enough for me.
“The sound, it woke you up too, didn’t it?” Tracy asked.
I nodded and ran my hand through my bed-head hair.
“I wonder what it was?” I said, “It lit up the night like no other.”
“I don’t know bro, but did it freak you out?” she asked, “It did,” I admitted.
“Yeah, scary huh?”
She clasped her hands together and smiled, trying to look sweet, “Are you planning on checking it out, brave big brother of mine?”
I sighed. She was serious. There was no way I had planned on leaving to check anything out. Especially when something crazy could be going on outside. Sometimes I was too nice for my own good. I was never able to resist a girl’s smile.
“I at least want to look outside.” I told her, although not being entirely honest.
“Okay!” She cheered, “Here, take my baseball bat! It’s got a crack in it, but you can fight off any aliens that attack you!”
“Tracey,” I rolled my eyes, “There aren’t any aliens. It was probably just a transformer blowing up.”
“A transformer? You’re right! It blew up because of the aliens! The plot thickens!” She breathed then wrung her hands together like only a mad scientist would.
I shut her door behind me and sighed. Her and her crazy conspiracy theories. The child watched way too much television, which made me wonder if it was rotting her brain. Even if aliens existed, which I doubted they did, they weren’t walking around Onett at night blowing things up. They’d probably attack a bigger city, like Fourside.
I stopped and leaned against the wall. The bat she’d just given me had a nice-sized crack in the tip of it. I wondered how she managed to damage it so easily. I had just given it to her for her tenth birthday a few weeks ago. Six years younger than me, she was far more haphazard than I was at that age. I respected baseball bats. I had made the team every year since middle school and was one of the best batters. I sighed again and walked downstairs. I took the first stair and my sock got caught on something. I spun around and slammed into the wall, grabbing the railing just in time. I clutched my chest and caught my breath. My near-fall scared the crap out me. I looked at the top stair and saw the head of a nail sticking out. If Dad were around he would have fixed it. Instead he was off on one of his long business trips, making money by the thousands. At least we didn’t live in poverty thanks to him. If only he wasn’t so generous we could’ve probably left Onett all together.
“Ness?” Mom called up the stairs, “Was that you? I heard a thud!”