Earthbound: A Hero Chosen (book 1)

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PSY 11: The First Giant Step

PSY 11 - The First Giant Step

 

It was absurd. I couldn’t believe that they had raised the price of a hamburger and fries to more than twenty bucks. And furthermore they said it was becomes of the economy and all of their stores had likely done the same. It was a fast food joint for crying out loud! Of course it was a rip off, but I had to eat and given that it was the only restaurant in Onett, I had little choice. I just hoped Dad would put more money in my account again later.

 

Shoving my fries in my mouth, I downed those before even leaving the hamburger shop. I tore open the hamburger and took two huge bites out of it, and left out the door carrying half of a juicy burger. At least they got the food right. There was nothing like it.

 

I continued up past the library through the shallow woods. I spotted some kids in a near-hidden tree house, one I used to hang out in when I was younger. It had always been there as far as I knew.

 

Back at the Traveling Entertainer’s Shack, I found the two clowny stars of the show still sitting outside of the building. Had they been there since the day before? I didn’t see them at the hotel. The guys were really desperate and they looked really glum too, heads in their hands. Neither of them even acknowledged my presence as I approached. One of them sighed breaking the silence, but I wasn’t even sure he knew he did it.

 

As  I walked up to the door of the shack, I rummaged through my backpack searching for the key Mayor Pirkle had given to me. One of the clowns looked up, curious as I pulled out the key and shoved it into the lock. I twisted the little piece of iron and the thick wooden door gave a long creak as it swung open.

 

“Wow!” the clown cried, “You opened the door!”

The other cheered, “Alright!”

 

The first clown jumped up from the log he sat on and tore open his bag, looking through it at a frantic pace.

“Whoo hoo!” he cried as he pulled his hand out. In it was a small figure made of sticks tied with twine.

 

“What’s that?” I asked as he held the object out to me.

“Here’s a trinket for good luck!” the clown said, “it’s the Travel Charm.”

It looked more like a witch voodoo charm to me.

None-the-less, he shoved it into my hand and laughed like a child.

“Just wear it around your neck and you’ll never be led astray!” he added.

 

I didn’t really want a ‘lucky’ trinket. Luck wasn’t something I believed in, especially with the whole prophecy of needing to save the world thing. Before I could give it back the man grabbed the strings and brought them around behind my neck, trying them in a small knots. It looked like I was wearing it if I wanted to or not.

 

“Gee, thanks,” I told him, looking off to the side, a bit annoyed.

 

He went back to his cohort and began chatting a mile a minute, and the cohort looked to him with a huge smile, nodding every few seconds. At least they were happy now. I took that opportunity to sneak away and walk into the Entertainer’s shack.

 

Inside the small structure I found myself shocked. Frank had caused a lot of damage. Sections of the wall and floor were missing boards, there was single bed that looked more torn up than Lier’s. This one though was sliced up by something sharp, at which I pictured Frank’s knives that he had nearly killed me with. The only remaining thing in the room that didn’t look entirely too damaged was a wardrobe with old and musty looking clothes. I spotted a couple metal buckets next to it, one with a smiley face painted on. It looked almost like the one Frank had used with his Frankystein Mark II robot. This was where he had gotten most of his supplies for the terror. Geez, he could have at least went to the hardware store.

 

It appeared some of the missing floor planks were piled up against the far from, and from behind them I could see sunlight peeking in. It must have been a window, or a door that was left ajar. I walked over and moved each board out of the way. Instead of such window or door I found a self-made one. There was a giant section of wall missing, leading out back of the building. Something had knocked the wall out from the inside as the broken boards were still hanging in and outward direction. That jerk Frank used this as a punching bag for his robot, as well. He sure had caused a lot of people grief. What had possessed him to do such a thing—well I guess Giygas was to blame.

 

I stepped through the hole and stood in the center of a small hidden garden. A few trees stood, nestled between three cliff faces, three leafy green trees. It would have been a beautiful place, if not for the gaping mouth of a cave entrance, dug into the left wall.

 

I took a deep breath and pulled out the Tee Ball Bat. It was time to go monster seeking, and to somehow defeat it in mortal combat. With a deep exhale, I walked through the opening and into a cavern. Right away bugs all over the floor scattered. It was gross. I thought I even saw a couple huge rats, a quarter of the size of King. I didn’t like rats, or bugs, that much either, but it would take a lot more than that to get me to run away now. I just hoped the monster I was to face wasn’t a giant rat. That would freak me the heck out.

 

The inside of the cave was unassuming enough. A tall cliff wall was on my right. I could see it was another level up there. To my left were numerous stalagmites, which were probably the hiding places of all the bugs that ran away. Squeaks echoed around and I shivered. A true rat infestation.



Jake A. Strife

Edited: 15.10.2019

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