Chapter 1 Part B
Alex, the Skull Kid
By Alexander Holsey
Check the Part A… to read the beginning
Anthony could see that the sky was full of exploding blues, greens, and purples which formed together to say:
The mansion was even more immense than those they'd seen on the way. It looked like an enormous dark green dragon. Its shingles looked like scales, the windows, eyes that stared firmly; the door opened up, its mouth, and out came a large purple tongue of carpet, which lowered itself on the stairs with ebony banisters. Outside you could observe people that, due to the darkness, Anthony could not distinguish, but just when Jake and he had gotten out of the car, one of the figures ran and threw himself on him.
"I'm so happy that you're here, Anthony!" exclaimed the figure, hugging him. It smelled—he knew it sounded strange—but it smelled like night.
"Oh, yes, me too, I'm very happy to be here," said Anthony, confused.
After finally letting him go, he could see that it was a girl, more or less the same age and height as Jake. She had beautiful, lustrous black, straight hair that just reached below the length of her chin. She had features that were a mixture of Asian and occidental, with spellbinding jade green eyes. She wore a short purple dress with long sleeves and brown boots. She was, most definitely, the most beautiful girl that Anthony had ever seen in his life although, now that he thought about it, the only girl that he had known was the secretary of the director, and she probably didn't count.
"You are so sweet and handsome, with your black clothes, your wristbands…," said the girl, looking at him.
"I'd like to introduce you to my boss, Miss Gizel Holsey" Jake said, presenting the girl.
Before the introduction, Anthony had swore the extravagant girl was the daughter of Gizel or a relative of hers. He never imagined that she was Gizel, having assumed she'd be a lady, 40 years old or older.
The other figure that appeared was a man, about 70 years old. He had a hooked nose, hair as white as a sheet of paper, white skin, a little taller than Gizel. His eyes were strange. It was hard to tell if they were blue or green. He was dressed in a light blue shirt covered by a gray vest from which was hanging a thin silver chain. His pants were beige and he wore black dress shoes. He was a very elegant person.
When he saw Anthony, the man uttered a very sophisticated greeting, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Master Anthony, I'm Howl, one of the care keepers of the mansion. At whatever time you should need anything, just request it and I will do everything possible to please you…." But Anthony couldn't continue listening to Howl because Gizel took his arm, pulled it, and forced him to enter the door, running. They passed by a lobby that he hardly saw because of the rush, went up the stairs, and passed through a gigantic wooden door, they continued running down the hall, they made several laps, opened doors and went up and down scalar and came to a indigo door. Gizel looked at Anthony and gave him a silver key. "Let's go, open it."
Anthony did so and both entered the dark bedroom. Gizel turned on the light and Anthony could see what Gizel wanted to show him.
It was an indigo bedroom with: a dresser in the shape of a coffin, a shelf full of books, a lamp made of florescent blue paper, a purple carpet shaped like a cobweb, a dark ebony desk, a platinum purple laptop, a very old bed with a blue spread, an antique mirror, a black lamp, and what seemed to be some shopping bags.
Gizel smiled before saying, "Excuse me, I'm not very good at surprises, but I was so excited when I knew you were coming that I wanted to have a few gifts for you," Gizel was truly content that he had come to live here. Anthony felt rare, but he liked it.
"Oh, this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me," said Anthony, who for the first time in a long time was really happy, just looking at everything.
"I also have a present," said Jake, coming out of nowhere.
Jake gave him a box and Anthony opened it he saw two strange apparatuses: one in a long purple shape with blue, red, and green buttons with a square screen in the middle—the other, when unfolded, was celestial blue with green and yellow buttons on one side and a screen on the other.
"Oh…Thanks, they're the best….What are they?" asked Anthony, turning one of the apparatus over in his hand.
"Both are 'Bi Yei Do's'. They're used to make phone calls like a cellular, listen to music, play games, and view a map of Mystery Rock. Now you can't get lost, and you can store all kinds of information, take photos, record video or your voice. They were on sale, two for one, and sooner or later it will occur to you what to do with the extra." Jake was proud of his gifts.
Jake could see Anthony's face of confusion and said "Don't worry, they're not difficult to use, or at least I don't think so," he said, tossing them on the bed.
"Look, you can see all of Mystery Rock here," said Gizel, taking it toward the window.
They saw many things: a white marble building, a grand park, which could easily be mistaken for a forest in the middle of it all, a beach, houses of every color, shape, and form imaginable, and the mountains. It was as if he had taken a piece of every place in the world and put it here. But what really caught his attention was that all over the town you could see little tilting lines.
"What's that?" asked Anthony when we noticed that the lines also floated around the house. They were blue, green, orange-red, and yellow.
"They're lucerinas, a kind of ladybug with bio-luminosity. They're marvelous.," commented Gizel, looking at them.
"It's like magic," Anthony said as he thought to himself that everything seemed like a dream although he didn't want to be too hopeful.
Later they returned and made turns through the tangled labyrinth the house was. They arrived to a door three times taller than normal and very high. Upon entering, Anthony could see a grand salon with a light rose-colored marble floor and blue velvet walls, a chimney, a window that opened to a balcony from which you could see the garden. Up high, hung a grand chandelier which illuminated the entire salon. In the middle there was a very large table that was very wide with a wine-colored tablecloth with gold drawings on its borders. On the table was a smorgasbord of food: pizza, loco moco, hamburgers, spaghetti, lasagna, cheese naan, paella, tamales, fired rice, sushi, kibbeh exotic fruits, ice cream, Germknödel, soda, plain and chocolate milk, flavored water, a seven-floored cheesecake with strawberries, flan, pudding, and other things that Anthony didn't recognize but looked delicious.
"Don't try to eat everything, or otherwise you'll be rolling out of here. Since we didn't know what kind of food you liked, we asked Hope to prepare everything he could think of," explained Gizel, sweetly.
"Oh, my God, what an adorable child!" exclaimed a voice close to Anthony.
Anthony turned around and saw a lady between 60 and 70 years old, with brown skin, pink lips, brown eyes, a pointy nose, black, curly hair done up in a strange hairdo. She wore an apron over a large indigo blouse, with rings, gems, and earrings, She was just like the rest of the people he'd met this day: very peculiar.
"Come with me, give me a kiss, my love. I 'm Hope," Hope introduced herself after the obligatory kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, my God! What depressing black rags you were! This school of yours must be worse than I imagined," reproached Hope, looking at him.
"These clothes are mine," said Anthony, somewhat offended, but without taking it too seriously, as Gizel and Jake died laughing.
After serving themselves, everyone sat down at different extremes of the table and started to eat. During the dinner, Anthony learned many things: Hope and Howl were husband and wife and had been married for over 50 years—they were the only servants in the house, which was really rare since it had to be difficult considering how large the house was; Jake lived in both Mystery Rock and Dirall City. But what made Anthony almost choke was when Gizel said:
"Tomorrow you start classes in your new school."
Seeing Anthony's expression, Gizel added, "What? Aren't you excited? I was able to get you in, even though it's the middle of the year and this school is very exclusive," explained Gizel somewhat proudly, while she put a piece of sushi in her mouth.
"She made the director cry," whispered Jake in his ear, although Anthony didn't understand if it was a joke or not.
To be honest, Anthony was not even a little bit excited. He knew he'd have to return to school some day, but he didn't think it would be the next day. He felt a little dizzy after this, excused himself from everyone, and went to lie down. He had to ask himself if he'd be able to fit in because he'd never really belonged anywhere; it would be better, maybe, if he were careful, because he'd seen what happened to the new kids at school. He decided right then that the same thing would not happen to him and he would not trust anyone too much, and then he fell asleep, meanwhile his thoughts were swimming in his mind.
He dreamed that he was in a very cold place and saw a lake with black water. There was a pirate ship in the middle of the lake with a girl, dressed as a pirate, looking at him, but he was distracted by a boy riding a cloud, floating far away from there.
He woke up exactly at 6 o'clock sharp without needing an alarm clock, because he was quite accustomed to doing so at the boarding school. He got his things together and noticed on his bookshelf a stack of textbooks, notebooks, and writing instruments. He put everything in his evil-faced backpack, took a bath, and brushed his teeth. When Mr. Howl knocked on his door to wake him up, he was already ready and waiting, seated on his bed.
Howl led him to the salon. He saw Hope, who was moving around, carrying things, and Gizel, who carried a cup of tea and a slice of toast with jam.
"Did you sleep well?" asked Gizel, biting her toast.
"No," responded Anthony soberly.
"Aren't you going to eat breakfast?" asked Gizel, sipping her tea elegantly.
"No, I feel a little dizzy," responded Anthony, sadly.
"What do you mean you aren't going to eat breakfast?!" he heard the voice of Hope say from the kitchen.
"I'll give you advice from a mentor: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" screamed Gizel, getting up.
The two went running out the door toward the garden.
"I recommend you to always eat, even if it's just a little, because Hope has a mother's complex, something which is usually nice, but at other times…"
"You'll see when I catch you!" screamed Hope.
"OK, I'll keep that in mind," said Anthony as he and Gizel escaped.
"You're going to love your school—it's the best in the whole country," said Gizel as they walked.
"Cool," responded Anthony without caring much.
"You know? You remind me of someone that I met many years ago," mentioned Gizel as the doors of the wall opened on their own, just like the day before.
"Really? How was that person?" asked Anthony, interested.
"I forgot," responded Gizel, smiling.
"How can you know if you forgot?" asked Anthony, confused.
"I just know."
"You're very strange," Anthony commented, smiling.
"Normal people are boring, don't you think?" said Gizel, smiling again.
They chatted a while. Anthony discovered that Gizel was an interesting and eccentric person that always looked for thrilling things, just like those he'd read in books.
"OK, that's as far as I go," said Gizel, arriving to a smoky bricked construction. At the top there was a metal ark, pointed at the top, with 3 letters: IMR.
"Don't worry. Just walk to the statue and the receptionist will come for you. They know about you. Oh! And Jake said he's sorry for not saying goodbye, but he had something important to do. Take this for good luck—Gizel gave him a translucent blue pendant in the shape of a tear.
"Thanks a lot," said Anthony, looking at it.
"Never lose it and you'll always be safe," Gizel said, putting it around his neck.
Later an antique, elegant, black car arrived. Howl got out of it. "Shall I give you a ride, Miss?" he asked, bowing his head.
"You won't return walking?" asked Anthony.
"Why? I've already walked the path once, plus it's early and I want to sleep," responded Gizel, like normal.
"Remember to go to the statue and if you get lost when you return, use your Bi Yei Do. I could pick you up, but remember that gasoline is not free," said Gizel, getting into the car.
"My God, you are the most generous."
Anthony turned and left.
As the car was leaving, Gizel looked at Anthony and her sweet expression changed. "Be very careful, Alexander Holsey, because Mistery Rock is marvelous, but also dangerous."