Deshawn Dale and the Hidden World

by

Ben Arisson

3 - An appointment to kick my butt. No reschedules or cancellations allowed!

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A note from Ben Arisson

So, as it turns out, I have absolutely no sense of self-control and I am super excited about this story so yeah...sorry for the surprise early chapter. 

Anyway here is DD Chapter 3 - An appointment to kick my butt. No reschedules or cancellations allowed!

Hope you all enjoy XD

 

The entire drive home my mind raced. I tried to make sense of the mask, of the note, of everything.

Damn that Quincy, he could be so self-centered at times. What the hell was he thinking? If he was in town he should have just come home. I'm sure mom would have been pleasantly surprised to see him. But no, Quincy had to try and act all cool & mysterious.

This had to be him. First, the note was written in his handwriting.

Believe it or not, Penmanship was the only place I surpassed him. A hollow victory I know, but when your older brother is Quincy Dale you take what you can get. I've always dreaded the day his handwriting would suddenly improve and my one thing would be taken away, so trust me when I say I knew my big brother's handwriting very well.

Second, the note and the mask had appeared in the back seat of my locked car and had addressed me, D, specifically. I had thought that maybe Quincy made an extra key to my car and that's how he put it in there. It also crossed my mind that perhaps something supernatural was going on.

Another ridiculous thought, I know. The stupid mask hadn't even done anything exciting, back then.

I left my brother a message and told him to text mom and let her know that he was safe. Yep, despite all his amazingness, Quincy was really self-centered.

At some point, I fell asleep while wearing the mask. I was incredibly tired. I guess I did go all out in gym class - I even busted out a few extra push-ups.

As I slept, I had the oddest dream. It was of Quincy.

In my dream, he and a strange guy stood at the entrance to a dark cave. Quincy looked like he always did, his tall and muscular frame dominating the entrance to the cave. Aside from his face you probably couldn't tell that he was just 18 - well 19 now. His dreadlocks caked in dirt and dust was tied into a long ponytail with a few loose braids draping over his shoulders. He wore a faded black Chicago Bulls cap, a gift from our uncle from long ago.

Although his face was covered in mud and he looked ragged, his eyes glinted with the fire they got when he was about to solve an exceptionally complex problem. Admittedly, he also got that look whenever he was about to win. I didn't know which case this was.

The person next to him was also tall and muscular - although he had a lighter, leaner frame. He had a short curly afro, much shorter than mine, that ended in a low fade. If not for two irregularities he looked like your everyday black guy in his early 20s.

Irregularity 1) his hair was grey, almost white - the type a man in his late 60s or 70s would have. I wasn't sure if he dyed it, but I thought it looked cool. It made him look wise, like some sort of master sage.

Irregularity 2) the man with Quincy was wearing a golden mask that resembled a lion, and his eyes from behind the mask were shining with a golden light.

Ok, I guess that's not an irregularity - it's straight up not normal.

The man reminded me of a character from an obscure comic Quincy, Heather and I were obsessed with back in middle school - the Epic of the Atlas Dawn. His glowing eyes really reminded me of Captain Davos Teare, the leader of the Halo Herald. Davos' eyes also glowed bright yellow with power whenever he got serious.

Wait, was this guy Davos? You might be asking. And to that my answer is no way – not even a little.

First of all, Davos' hair was black, not grey. Secondly, he had died in the comic.

Whoops, I guess I should have said spoiler alert.

And third, - this is a big one - Davos was a fictional character like Luke Skywalker, Naruto, or Batman. As awesome as it would have been if he was Davos it simply wasn't possible. That'll be like Quincy exploring a cave with Batman – extremely cool, but impossible.

Quincy and Pseudo Davos entered the dark cave. Pseudo Davos held up his hand and an orb of golden fire floated up from his palm, basking the cave in a warm yellow glow.

Yeah, Davos definitely couldn't do that.

As two of them ventured further into the darkness, the cavern began to quake violently. Then I heard a voice say, "it is not yet time for me to be uncovered. But now that I am, how may I be of service master?"

I was jolted awake.

My phone was ringing, buzzing loudly on my bedside table. The number was Quincy's.

"Hey Doofus," I said as I set the phone on speaker and placed it on my chest. Staring up at the ceiling, I tried to will the sleepiness out of my voice. "What's with the mask and that super mysterious note? I mean, it's one heck of a souvenir but why all the mystery."

Quincy didn't answer.

"Hey, unless you're planning some big surprise for mom you better tell her that you're in town."

Again, no answer.

"Dude. What the hell? I know you're busy with your cave exploring or whatever, but Mom's been worried sick about you. She hasn't heard anything from you in 2 months, so the least you could do is call or text her and let her know that you're in town and more importantly that you're ok."

Still, Quincy didn't reply. Ok, I was beginning to get creeped out.

"Q? Are you ok bro?" I asked. "Uh, cough once for yes and twice for no," I said, laughing nervously.

Suddenly, I heard music coming from a car radio. A voice in the background said, "Hello and welcome to Wendy's sir, are you ready to order?"

The call ended.

Brother of the fucking year everyone.

So, instead of a simple text to let us know he's back. He breaks into my car, leaves a mask with a cryptic note, and then goes out for a cheeseburger. What the actual hell?

I was going to call him back but thought better of it. He probably won't pick up my call since his cover's been blown. Instead, I decided to text mom. Whatever Quincy's trying to do I officially was not having a part in it anymore.

'Hey Mom. Quincy's back in town but he's being super weird about it. Give him a call whenever you're free."

She didn't respond. College recruitment season was coming up, so she was probably wrapped up in a bunch of paperwork. I knew she would respond as soon as she saw it.

Looking through my notifications, I saw I had another missed call and a text. My heart skipped a beat when I saw who they were from. Heather, about 30mins ago. It surprised me that she still had my number.

The text read: 'This is a reminder for your Smash Bros butt-kicking appointment today at 7 pm, CT. No cancellation or rescheduling permitted. Please be sure to arrive at least 5 minutes before your appointed time. Thank you.' She had sent another text with her address.

Damn, I'm definitely in love with this girl.

"Crap!" I cursed as I noticed the time. It was now 6:30. I was going to be late for my butt-kicking appointment, and we couldn't have that; there were no cancellations or reschedules permitted.

It took me 10 mins to shower and get dressed. I had already showered in gym class, but I wasn't taking any chances. I threw on a pair of black jeans, a white tee, and my blue hoodie. As I looked myself over in the mirror, I smiled.

Not bad, I thought.

I may not be as buff as Quincy nor was I as good-looking as Matias or Derek, but I didn't think I looked that bad.

I picked at my half-fro which was almost where I needed it to be. I wanted to get cornrows, but mom said not until I graduated, so I guess that was the plan.

I shot Heather a quick text to let her know I was on my way. I'd wanted to take the mask I got from Quincy too, thinking it'd be a cool thing to show Heather. Ultimately, I decided against it. It'll give me a good excuse to hang out with her again in the future. I left it sitting in its box on my bed.

I walked downstairs, hopped in my car, and headed over to Greenhill Hollows.

-----------------

You know those fancy neighborhoods you see on TV and think to yourself 'who the hell can afford to live here?' Well, that was Greenhill Hollows.

Behind the large metal gates with the initials G.H. lay 12.4 acres of pure, prime real estate. The neighborhood or 'curated living experience' even had its own lake and golf course. No doubt, the average price of a house here is easily in the upper six figures. Each house looked like a mansion nestled on gentle rolling hills. And yes, the hills were green.

As I drove up, I passed by the Greenhill lake where some ducks swam lazily as the sun set over the horizon. A woman jogged by and an old man and his wife strolled along the banks of the lake.

It was all very peaceful, almost too peaceful. I didn't like it - it all seemed very artificial. But hey, I'm not a multimillionaire so I guess my tastes are a little different.

I made a right turn into Heather's massive driveway and parked behind her car.

I had only been here once before, a month after Heather and her family moved in. It had been cool to see all the fancy stuff, but I couldn't help but feel out of place. I thought Heather did too, but I guess she got used to it by the end of summer.

As I said earlier, Heather and I used to be best friends. She and her family lived in our apartment complex before her dad's business took off.

Back then we would always hang out after school, only after I finished my homework of course - mom's rules. On non-school nights Heather, Quincy, and I would play video games and watch movies until the sun came up or until none of us could keep our eyes open any longer, whichever came first really. There wasn't a time that she and I weren't together but sadly all that ended at the start of our eighth-grade summer when she moved to the Hollows.

The day she moved out I had planned to tell her that I liked her, that I like liked her, but I couldn't work up the courage to do it. She left and I was left devastated. We planned to keep hanging out over the summer and we did once or twice but eventually, we stopped.

To her credit, Heather did try to treat me as if nothing had changed when school started up again. For the first few weeks of Freshman year, we walked to class together, ate lunch together and she even gave me a ride home in the brand-new Mercedes her Dad bought her for her 16th birthday that summer. It really did feel like old times, almost like nothing had changed. But alas, that was not true. Things had changed. Over the summer my best friend had gone from Heather to H.O.T. She had new Greenway friends, was suddenly super fashionable, and even had a new boyfriend Derek Peters - that last part is what really sealed the deal. She didn't need me anymore. So, I started to avoid her.

I made excuses to get out of eating lunch together. I'd take the long way around, so I didn't have to walk with her to class. I even chose to stay after school and 'study' so that I could go home with my mom instead of having Heather give me a ride. Soon, she stopped offering, and slowly our interactions dwindled. Halfway through freshman year, we'd devolved to friendly waves and passing smiles. You know, the type you give an acquaintance, not someone you used to be best friends with. She went her way; I went mine and that was fine with me. By the end of freshman year, our social circles were firmly established.

As I walked up to the door, I began suddenly sweating. My heart wouldn't stop pounding against my thin chest. I passed by a shadow cast by one of the cars in the driveway and a piercing ring cut through my head. For a split second, I had the strong urge to turn around and escape.

In hindsight, that sharp ring was a warning, one telling me to turn around and walk away. Unfortunately for me, I didn't listen to it. If only I had, then who knows, maybe what happened next could have all been avoided. Ha, if only.

Before I could do anything else the door flew open.

There stood Heather, smiling at me.

She had on a warm orange hoodie and jeans. She was wearing her glasses and her hair was a giant poofy blob. She looked like she did back in middle school and in my eyes she looked amazing.

"DD," Heather said she wrapped me up in a hug.

"Hi Heather. Sorry, I'm a little late."

"No. You made it right on time."

With a thud, the door slammed shut and Heather dragged me inside.

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A note from Ben Arisson

Up Next - Chapter 4: "After Smash Bros, a Love Confession in the Moonlight...Maybe?" (February 13 @ 12 pm CT)...who am I kidding. It'll probably be out this weekend, lol.


About the author

Ben Arisson

Bio: Hi, my name is Ben,

I'm an anime and manga fan and a lover of good storytelling through and through. With the stories I tell, my aim is to inspire and entertain my readers as much as possible. I hope that you guys enjoy the ride cause I have big things in store.

Follow me on Instagram for cool artwork on my series. https://www.instagram.com/b._.arisson/

Thanks :)

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