Memphis, Tennessee, 12 August 2085; R1
It’s been about four years, four years since you left me alone. You left me with your drunk and abusive husband, and the solidarity I thought I had with my brothers, is all but diminished. Is there more for me in this life? Mother, what am I to do?
I opened my eyes and say my mothers grave stone, it read “Adebola Pockets 11 July 2043 - 5 March 2081: Loving Mother, Wife, Daughter.”
I looked down with a heavy heart, this fucking sucks! I don’t want to go back to that place.
My phone started to rang, but at that same time I felt what I can only describe as eyes staring me down. I looked down at my phone, it was my father…
“Jamisha, where the fuck are you!?” my father’s voice blasted through the phone.
“I’m at Ma’s grave, don‘t you remember me telling you that I was visiting her today-“
”Don’t give me that goddamned attitude, raggedy ass lil’ girl. Remember, I can still beat yo’ ass since you still living in MY house,” my father scolded. His drinking increased rapidly after Ma died. He was already a very, liberal, drinker as is. I guess he’s grieving in his own way.
“Do you need something? I have to get to class before the lockdown.”
“It can wait until you get back,” his voice low and had a heavy slur. “Call me tomorrow afternoon when you get out… We need to talk.”
“Okay, I’ll talk to you later. I love you.”
“Bye,” he abruptly hung up the phone. That’s was weird, he normally tells me he loves me back.
Little did I know that there was way more to that phone call that what I initially thought.
I wasn’t too far from the college, I’d been studying Culinary Arts at Remington College for about a month now, and they had this “New Student Lockdown” tradition that is supposed to help the new students get to know the campus culture or something. I only agreed to go because I didn’t want to be at home.
On the way there, I felt those eyes on me again. They were heavy, and had a dark presence. It wasn’t malicious though, but I ultimately shrugged it off as a figment of my imagination.
Once I got to my classroom, I had that feeling again. Why? Because I was the only person in the room. What’s going on here? I could’ve sworn my admissions counselor told me the lockdown was mandatory for all new students, so what gives, where is everyone?
I looked around, the classroom/kitchen was completely empty. Maybe I’m early…
I put my stuff on one of the many empty tables and took a seat. As I looked around, I noticed that no one was in the hallway. Even stranger, on my way here, I didn’t recall anyone being on campus. Yet at the same time, I felt those same eyes looking at me.
Even now, I can still feel them digging at my nerves. I looked up and to my surprise I saw a man standing in the doorway. He was wearing a black and white three-piece suit. He had two large barrel rolls of locs that kind of looked like ram horns and reddish brown skin. His eyes glowed a fiery yellow and as menacing as he looked, this man was quite handsome. As he stepped closer, there was a strong sense of fire and brimstone or something coming from him. I say all this to say that this dude was not human.
“Are you Jamisha Pockets,” the man asked, his voice was both soothing and rustic, as contradictory as that may sound. It was almost as if the voice was an ancient entity and this man was its vessel.
“Yes, that’s my name, are you another student or-?”
The man stepped closer and shut the door without touching it. “I’ve been looking for you, O’ Blessed Queen of Space…”
“What are you talking about? You never answered my question, who are you, and how do you know my name?”
As he inched closer, I instinctively backed away, who is this man, what does he want with me? What was with that whole Queen of Space shit he was talking about?
“I don’t wish to alarm you, but you will be facing a time of great hardship soon. In this time, you may call on my aid, though it’ll come at a price,” his words were almost prophetic.
“Tell me what you want, who are you and how do you know me?”
“My name is Astaroth, think of me as something like a guardian angel,” he smiled. Looks must be deceiving, because this guy looked like a demon that you see in an anime or something.
“Why should I trust you, did you lure me in here, was that you that kept looking at me?” I asked, I had no idea how I was able to muster the courage to speak to this being. I had been fortunate enough to learn a little bit about the non-human race before I graduated high school.
There was a rift that had opened in the early half of the 30’s and what I can only describe as monsters and demons came through. They looked like us, sounded like us, and have feelings, but they could do some otherworldly stuff.
Most of the beings that came through the rift were malicious, but those that weren’t were studied and the human race learned quite a bit from them.
“Forgive me, I understand you are aware that I am not completely human,” Astaroth stated. “Though this body is made of human flesh, I, the one possessing this body am the true aspect of time.”
“I have no idea what you’re saying.”
“That is alright, soon you won’t have to know what I’m and you will have your own role to play, as foreseen by Oracle,” his voice trembled the kitchen and the lights flickered rapidly.
“I must go,” he approached me and handed me a small sundial. It was gold and the dial was razor sharp, “When the time comes, use this to draw blood, and time will be on your side. There are those that wish to snuff you out and have you killed simply because of who you are.”
The words this man, if I can even call him a man, said caused my head to pound uncontrollably. I wasn’t able to stay awake, but I did manage to hear his parting words.
“O’ My Beloved, Blessed Queen of Space, may our union usher in a new age, and may our descendants prosper in that era.”
After that, I blacked out.
While I was asleep, I had a vision, one that stayed with me for the rest of my life. I was in this dark shadowy abyss, and those eyes were on me again. Yet, only this time the eyes weren’t Astaroth’s they seemed more malevolent.
“Hello? Who‘s there?”
There was a muffled voice in the distance that I could barely make out, but after listening for some time, I could make out the words “It’s mine!”
Suddenly, a smokey dragon rushed me and I woke up. The classroom was empty and it seemed like I was out for awhile, seeing that it was the next day.
I looked down and saw the sundial, so it was real. I gathered my things and made my way off campus to grab a bite to eat.
On my way to the nearest Starbucks, I saw something that one would call a miracle happening on the street. A group of people were surrounding a young boy healing a homeless person‘s broken leg. The people cheered and called the boy the next messiah.
He looked up and the two of us made eye contact, and as soon as we did, the sundial, that I fashioned as a necklace, started to emit an intense burning heat. Is it reacting to that kid?
The child stepped closer toward my direction and from nowhere, I heard a voice that sounded like my own scream at me to run. So I did, I ran to the nearest Starbucks bathroom and locked the stall door. I probably sat in that stall for two hours before I worked the courage to leave.
I didn’t even get anything to eat, the only thing I wanted to do was get in my bed. I didn’t know what was going on, it’s like my world was being flipped.
I eventually made it home and my brothers were sitting on the couch. Both of them were beaten to a pulp and had a tinge of hate in their eyes and it was clearly directed at me.
“Where were you, Jamisha? Do you see what he did to me and Jalen? Do you even care?” Jamal, the eldest of my two younger brothers, stood up in anger.
“Save it, sis, Dad will be back soon, and when he does, no telling what he’ll do-,“ in that exact moment, a shotgun blast echoed the in living room and there was a massive hole in the middle of Jamal’s head.
Both Jalen and I stood there in complete fear and disbelief as our brother’s lifeless body flopped to the floor. In the distance, I could hear the drunken swishes of alcohol in a glass bottle.
“The fuck are you lot gonna do about it?” Our dad usually thinks he‘s British when he get drunk and angry, but this seemed different, I didn’t know at the time, but my encounter with that Astaroth guy and that miracle boy, were the least of my troubles.
My dad‘s eyes glowed white and he was crying blood, it was like his body was being manipulated by some outside force. He took another drink from his bottle and cocked his shotgun.
“Don’t look at me with those eyes! You think you’re better than me?! You think you can survive without me!?” Dad screamed and shot a round at the ceiling.
Jalen rushed our father to try to the gun out of his hands, but there was a shot in the scuffle. The two stood and stared at each other in disbelief.