Earthbound: A Hero Chosen (book 1)

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PSY 30: Loose Ends



Starting our adventure together, we left the Polestar school, and Paula’s home. As we stepped out the door a man with dark sunglasses was running down the sidewalk—He looked distressed. Every few steps he would stumble and trip. As he passed the wooden fence in front of Polestar he caught himself on one of the boards.

“Aiyaiyai!” He cried. “The things I do for that man!”

The boy in the yard was bouncing his soccer ball on his knee, and then to his head, and back again. The kid looked over at the man and the ball dropped, rolling out into the street.

“Oh!” The man cried. “I’ll get it!”

He ran out into the street and tried to stop the ball with his foot, only causing it to roll further away.

“Just pick it up!” The boy shouted.

A loud engine revved from somewhere up the street and my eyes flew wide. The red sports car was speeding along, and the driver was leaning over to the side—He wasn’t paying attention to the road.

“Crap!” I cried. I ran out in the street. Paula shouted my name, but I wasn’t going to let the guy get hit by the idiot driver.

The driver still wasn’t looking as I dove and tackled the startled man with a loud “Oomph!”

We rolled onto the sidewalk only a split second before the car zoomed past. The driver sat back up and didn’t even seem to notice he had nearly flattened both of us.

“Guy!” I snapped, pulling the man to his feet. “You almost got yourself killed!”

“S-sorry.” He stammered. “I’m in a hurry. Then the boy lost his ball and—”

“Don’t worry.” I said, reaching down and picking up the soccer ball.

I tossed it back to the boy who waved. “Thank you!”

“Are you boys okay?” Paula shouted. She looked both ways then crossed the street to join us.

“We’re fine, I think.” I shrugged.

“Ness, you jerk!” Paula shouted, throwing her arms down to her sides. “You can’t just go throwing your life away like that!”

“H-hey!” I argued. “This guy’d be dead if—”

“Y-you’re name’s Ness?” The man asked me.

I cocked my head to regard him. “Heard of me?”

“Hello?” He said. “Ness? You’re the one who took on the Onett Police Force and lived to tell the tale.”

“Word’s getting around isn’t it?” I muttered, glancing off to the side.

“You did what?” Paula cried.

“Never mind that…” I told her.

“I have a message for you.” The man spoke up again. “Everdred is looking for you. He’s got something for you.”

“What is it?” Paula asked. “I bet it’s something nice. He’s the nicest guy—Wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

I rolled my eyes, remembering my short battle with the guardian of Burglin Park. He would certainly hurt a fly, and I was said insect.

“I’m not sure…” The man looked away. “But now that I passed along the message, I’m going to go order me a pizza.”

“You do that.” I said, and then turned to Paula. “We we’re planning on seeing Everdred anyhow. So let’s get moving.”

“O-kay!” She grinned and nodded.

“Nice meeting you.” The man patted me on the shoulder. “Take care of the pretty lady, just like you did for me.”

He turned and jogged off down the street. I shook my head as he went. “That guy was awkward.”

“But nice!” Paula pointed out.

“Sure…” I turned and started walking. Paula followed. We rounded the corner onto Burglin Avenue, and the park came into view.

Continuing on, we made our way into the park. All of the food stalls, and other merchants were still hanging out, selling their wares—And they had plenty of customers to boot.

Everdred’s house was at the end of the park, so we headed that way. Walking past a bread stall, I sniffed the air.

“I’m hungry.” I grumbled.

“Maybe we should have shared that guy’s pizza back there?” Paula replied.

“Hold on.” I rushed over to the bakery stand.

“Can I have a skip sandwich?” I asked the chubby baker.

“Sure thing, buddy!” The man said. “What kind of bread?”

“Sourdough.” I told him.

“Right away, sir.” He began throwing together an artisan sandwich as Paula walked up to me.

“You couldn’t have waited till after we saw Everdred?” She asked. “He’s probably waiting for us.”

“Just in case he decides to try and kick my butt again!” I handed the baker a few folded up bills, and then took my change. He gave me the sandwich and I quickly started chowing down into it.

“You didn’t even offer me one.” She frowned.

“Do you want half of mine?” My mouth was full, and crumbs were dribbling down my chin.

“I…think I’ll wait.” She looked away, giggling.

With that, I continued tearing into my sandwich with renewed energy and a kick in my step. I was only halfway down when we got to the house at the end.

Paula walked onto the doorstep and knocked three times.

Jake A. Strife

Edited: 15.10.2019

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