Genre: Young Adult
Sequel to Fire Saviors
Word Count: 76,000
This sample chapter is a break from the main storyline. It is also a break for the main character–Xavier. While imagining a world filled with spirits, I developed several concepts that I love. Club Chaos is one of my favorites. The word count for this chapter is 3,100.
Chapter Four: Club Chaos
The greeting room for club chaos stood directly below the club itself. The large circular room had a few dozen people in it. There were seats scattered about and a desk in the center that three lovely ladies managed. What instantly caught your attention, however, was when you looked up. The club itself hung in midair about twenty feet below the greeting room. It too was circular and had orange lights circling around it at a dizzying speed. If I hadn’t known what it was, I would have suspected that an alien craft was trying to land.
“How do we get up there?” Charlotte just laughed at me and grabbed by hand as it swung by hers. Again, the tinge of excitement and remorse rushed through me. It was wrong of me to even think about anyone other than Juliet. It was also wrong to lead on a girl when my only motivation is that she reminds me of Juliet. Despite how wrong it felt, I couldn’t pull away. My mind flashed back to the night at the park once again. As I walked Juliet back to her house, I remembered holding her hand and never wanting to let go.
I remembered the cool wind from that night. It blew Juliet’s hair into her face several times. She hated it and would always use it as an excuse for wanting to cut her hair. I had to tell her that she was the cutest when a strand made its way across her face. It touched her cheek softly, the way I always wanted to cradle her.
“Xavier?” I needed to stop phasing out before Charlotte got the impression that I had some kind of mental problem. I doubt I would have been able to prove her wrong. She had let us to the center counter. One of the ladies greeted us. She was decked out in orange—from the pants hugging her waste to the boa around her neck. Her short, orange hair curled around her face—accenting her overly cheerful disposition.
“Welcome to Club Chaos. How may I help you today?”
“We have a newbie here.” Charlotte, leaning over the counter, pointed back at me. “I’m going to need a bonding so we doesn’t freak out on me.” The both smiled evilly as they looked over at me. It was then that I realized that I had gotten myself into a bit of a situation.
“What do you mean by bonding? What is this place?” Charlotte, once again, just smiled at me. She wasn’t going to answer any of my questions. For a moment I felt as if I should ask her to take me back to the party. I hesitated long enough to realize why I left in the first place. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be here. Where did I belong? I chuckled under my breath when I realized the answer.
“Put your hand on the counter,” said the orange lady. I complied. Charlotte instantly put her hand on top of mine. For a moment, I considered pulling away. It was one thing to act the way we did incognito, but what if the woman in orange recognized me? What would people think about me? As I thought about it, I realized something. I honestly didn’t care what they thought about me. Juliet was my girl, hands down. If anybody else believed otherwise, I honestly didn’t care.
The lady in orange wrapped our hands together in a metallic looking sheet—like tin foil but stronger. When she covered our hands completely, she let go and grabbed for something else under the counter. When she came back up, I took a step back. It looked like she was holding a taser. She turned the handheld device one and sparks came out of the far end of it. My God, it is a taser. I took a couple more steps back. Charlotte grabbed my hand from under the sheet and gave me a look I wouldn’t soon forget. Without saying a single thing, I could hear the words that she wanted to say to me.
“Don’t be a baby.” I took a couple steps back to the couple—cautiously. The lady behind the counter was looking at me suspiciously. Charlotte grabbed my hand and put it back on the counter. Under the sheet of metal, I could feel her forefinger stroking my palm. I felt like I was going to be sick.
“Are you ready?” The orange girl asked us—mainly me actually.
“I guess so,” I said quietly. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be preparing for, so I honestly didn’t know if I was ready or not. The girl in orange turned the voltage on the taser up. Small sparks flew out the end of it. I tensed up. Charlotte tried to grab my hand to calm me down. I was too focused on the taser to tell her that she was only making me tenser. The lady in orange lowered the taser down until it connected with the metal sheet that surrounded our hands, and…
It took me a moment before I realize I was cringing and looking away. Charlotte had stopped stroking my hand. I relaxed my expression and looked from my hand to Charlotte to the lady in orange. I gave them a what happened? expression. Charlotte smiled widely and started to laugh a bit.
“I told you there was nothing to be scared of.” She turned to the lady in orange. “I’m afraid he’s a bit new at this.” The lady in orange barely smiled at this remark. She probably got people like me all the time. She undid the metal wrapping from our hands. When I looked back down at our hands, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at. Where both our hands use to be, now only one hand remained. The single hand had two wrists emerging from it—one leading up Charlotte’s arm and one leading up mine.
“Wha—?” I lifted my hand—our hand actually—to examine it. The callus in my hand and the softness in her hand appeared to average out into a unisex hand that we were now sharing. The lady in the orange grabbed our hand and looked it over. She smiled to herself—it must have passed inspection. She dropped the hand and look up at me.
“Can I assume that you don’t know about Club Chaos?”
“Of course you can. She won’t tell me what it’s about.” I tried to raise my hand to point at her. That’s when I realized I now had two left hands and wasn’t use to controlling my fingers in reverse order quite yet. Charlotte giggled and put our hand back to our sides.
“Club chaos is the most unique experience that you’ll likely have within the walls of Spirit City.” I held back a smile. She was spouting of a speech that she likely said several times each day. I was someone surprised that she didn’t recognize me—though I was happy about that. If she had, she probably would have realized that the uniqueness of this place was nothing compared to what I’ve been through. She continued with her speech. She was looking at me, but I was quite positive that she didn’t see me.
“Club Chaos is covered with a unique force field. Once you pass through the force field, you will lose control of you state of being.” I gave her a perplexed look. Once again, she didn’t notice. “You have been bound to a veteran for this very reason. As you go through the random transformations, the experience can be dizzying and terrifying. Once you learn to relax and go with the chaos, you will realize the true meaning of exhilaration.”
Before I could make any sense of what the lady in orange was saying, she had strayed away to help another person who had been waiting. I felt a tug on my arm. Now Charlotte didn’t even need to ask for my permission in order to take me wherever she wanted. She brought me to the edge of the greeting room and asked if I was ready.
“Under I get a firm answer, I have no idea if I’m ready or not.” She scoffed at me and pulled me close. She put my free hand around her waist and her own hand around my shoulder. With our other hands connected, it looked as if we were getting ready to dance to a slow song. “Remember, physics not longer applies when you technically don’t exist. Now close your eyes.” I got ready to tell her there was no way I was doing that, but she stopped me before I got a sound out. I faked and angry look then closed my eyes.
It was there that I found Juliet. She was standing far away, but I could tell that she was sad. The look on her face made me feel so angry. I wanted to hurt anyone who made her so sad. When I realized it was me, the anger drifted into guilt. I tried to run towards her but I couldn’t get any closer than I already was. I could run all I wanted but she was still so far away. I tried telling her that it wasn’t as it looked. I wanted to tell her that Charlotte was nobody. I told her she was the only one who knew how to make me happy. I told her I loved her. She didn’t respond to any of it. I couldn’t even tell if she heard me.
It wasn’t until I heard Charlotte’s voice that I realized I had been sucked up into Juliet’s dream world. Spirit City was so far away from any living population that Juliet was the only one that I could feel. It took me a few seconds to shake myself away from Juliet. It was hard to leave her side. “Open your eyes.” I saw Juliet mouth the words but I knew the voice belonged to Charlotte. I mouthed I love you and see you soon to Juliet then opened my eyes.
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
I grabbed on tightly to Charlotte. Although she was shocked at first by my reaction, she started to giggle. We were some fifteen feet off the ground. I saw the greeting room from an entirely different angle. I looked up to see an entrance on the side of the floating UFO that was Club Chaos Charlotte put her lips to my ear. I felt her breathe as she spoke softly into my ear. The guilt that welled up in me then would not leave me the rest of the evening.
“Remember, when you don’t exist, gravity no longer matters.” Together we floated up the final few feet. I loosened my grip on her once I realized I wasn’t going fall back down to the ground. I let go over her completely (aside from our joint hand) once we reached the landing. The doorway into Club Chaos wasn’t lit at all. It was a doorway into the darkness. As she led me into the darkness, I began to hear the thump thump thump of the music inside.
We passed through the dark doorway together. I almost stumbled forward on the first step—not realizing it was there. Luckily, Charlotte was prepared and helped me regain my balance by holding our hand up high as a counterbalance. I looked up and realized I could see the rest of the stairwell. There were only about four stairs. At the top was a thick translucent goo that I could only assume was the force field the lady in orange was talking about. Beyond it, the dark room was full for brightly colored lights flashing randomly and quickly.
I took a couple steps forward—keeping my eyes glued to the dance floor above me. I stopped in my tracks when I saw something cross in front of the doorway. By the time I realized what I saw and tried to look back to confirm, it had gone. Charlotte pulled on our hand trying to urge me forward.
“I think I just saw a…” Penguin. I didn’t want to say it out loud. Saying would make it too real and I was already on the verge of insanity. Charlotte, still smiling widely, pulled me forward. I tried to hold back a laugh when I looked at her. The lights from above were dancing off her head. I let her pull me forward a couple steps before I stopped again—right before she reached the barrier.
“Just tell me what it does,” I asked. I couldn’t tell if the fear or curiosity I felt was stronger.
“Just go with it, Xavier. What do you have to lose?” And with that, she when past the translucent barrier. I wouldn’t be able to explain why, but I took a deep breath before she pulled me through the barrier behind her. When I emerged on the other side, I allowed myself to relax. The hard part was over…hopefully.
On the other side of the barrier, the music pounded to life. It reminded me of a techno dance club. There were no lights aside from the crazy lights that the DJ had going. The music was less about the lyrics and more about moving to the beat. The one thing I couldn’t figure out was where everybody was. This was supposed to be a hopping club and there was nobody here aside from the DJ, Charlotte, and me. The DJ looked over in our direction. He looked down at our connected hand gave off a hugged smile. He leaned into his microphone.
“Alllllrrrrrgiht…Looks like we’re all having a good time. But look who just walked in the door.” He must have recognized me. I pulled Charlotte, wanted to leave. She wouldn’t budge. “That’s rrrright. Looks like be gots ourselves a newbie to play with. Let’s say we step it up a notch.” I had no idea who he was talking too. From all across the room, however, came cheers of excitement. I looked around, trying to figure out where they were coming from. I didn’t understand. There was nobody in the room aside from the three of us.
“Who is he talking—” Before I could finish my though, the DJ hit a button on his turntable. Out of the dark air above us, nearly two hundred people emerged from nowhere. Many of them landed on the ground around us—making it instantly crowded. Some, however, stayed in the air, dancing with their partner in all three dimensions. I decided not to ask any more questions.
I wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.
Charlotte grabbed onto my waste and made me move with her. She moved to the beat of the faced paced song. My nerves were still too high to keep the beat. I tried to copy her moves. I found I was only successful when she moved her right arms considering I had to move with her when she did. Before the song could wind to a close, the DJ’s mellow voice filled the room.
“Be careful now. We’re entering to allllllllll possobilitttttties.” Before I could prepare myself, the DJ pressed another button on his turntable. Instantly, I felt two feet shorter. Not sure what had happened, I looked over at Charlotte. She had turned into a giant rubber-ducky. Trying not to overreact, I followed her arm to where it turned into my arm. It was yellow as well. Despite the strange occurrence, Charlotte continued to groove next to me.
My first freak out occurred when the giant ducky next to me turned its head to me and asked, “How are you liking it?” I tried to scramble away from it but there was no way to break the bond between us. All my freak out managed was to get me too look elsewhere. Next to me, a grizzly bear was shaking his but as the raspberry bush next to it moved its branches as one. I looked up to see a rain cloud swirling around a samurai sword.
I stopped freaking out when I decided I was crazy.
The rubber-ducky next to me let off the creepiest smile that I could imagine and began floating upward. I decided not to protest this time. I floated up next to her. As we floated up into the air of Club Chaos, we began to dance.
“It looks like out newwwwbie is getting the hang of it. Let’s see how he does on his next one.” The DJ bushed a button. I felt a change but couldn’t understand it immediately. I pulled away from Charlotte to see what we had changed into. All I saw next to me was a pink kid’s bicycle with training wheels. I shook my head—nope, my handles. The pink streamers swung in front of my eyes—or whatever I was using to see with.
The bicycle next to me rang its bell. Trying to relax one again, I tried to ring mine. After realizing I didn’t have any arms to work with, I just tried to s=think about ringing the bell. Sure enough, it rang. Charlotte’s voice chimed up—though I couldn’t say from where. I wasn’t even sure how I was hearing it without any ears.
“It looks like you getting the hang of it.” I could barely hear her voice over the pounding music. I was finally able to dance to the rhythm. I couldn’t imagine what it looked like, but it felt right. Two bikes, connected at the peddle, were floating along and dancing to the music. Yes, Charlotte, this is most definitely the other side of Spirit City.
“Ooooooooooooooooh yeah. He’s got the hang of it. How’s about we return to light speed?” The DJ’s voice hung in the air, followed by a collective, “Hell yeah!” from all of the…dancers. I took deep breath—which for some reason rang my bell again—and tried to prepare myself for whatever was about to happen. One last time, the DJ pushed a button.
The club disappeared in a flash.
After a few dizzying seconds, I looked around me. The darkness had been replaced by a strange, impenetrable whiteness. The world around me blurred as I watched colors bounce around at incredible speeds inside this strange place—unaware that I was doing the same. It wasn’t till I looked to my left that I understood what was going on. Right next to me, a beautiful red beam of light followed me as I bounced around.
“Remember, Xavier,” the light said. “Anything is possible here.”