The Piper Chronicles: Dreams of a Time Reality – Chapter 4

Chapter Four:

The Cruelness of Reality

Crashing waves echoed. There was no signs of life. No cackling seagulls, no crabs pinching, not one person in sight. She was all alone on this vast, empty beach. She looked around.“Back here again. Why?” she wondered.

“Piper…”

She whirled around. “Hello? Who’s there?” Then, far in the distance, she could see someone. A man. She could just barely able to see him. He was very tall, one of the tallest she had ever seen. He had brown hair, long, and floofing up into the air, long side-burns down the sides of his face. He had brown eyes, and thick eyebrows. He wore a blue suit, a polo white shirt underneath, with a bright, red tie, with a billowing, tan overcoat on, and red sneakers sinking in the sand. Far, far away, she could see him. He looked so sad. He looked straight right into her soul, his eyes yearning, begging for his legs to run and meet her. But he didn’t. He just…stared. The Mystery Man. She screamed, “WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE!? GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!” The Mystery Man didn’t answer. She picked up her pace and started to walk towards him. Just then, the waves rose up. She tried to scream for help, but nothing came out of her mouth. The waves took over her. She wasn’t choking on the water. She could still breathe, but she couldn’t go forward. She just…sank like a rock…falling…falling…into darkness.

“Come on Piper, wake up!”

Piper stirred and yawned. “Five more minutes” she mumbled as she reached for the sheets of her bed. But there were none. Then, she heard multiple voices snicker. She opened her eyes. She wasn’t in her bedroom, she was in her the literature classroom. “Ms. Dominique, can you explain why you decided to take a nap in my classroom?” exclaimed Mrs. Woodall, in a harsh, raised voice. “‘Cause your class is boring as heck?” Piper wanted to say. Instead, she sat up, took the book quiz she had on her desk out from under her, and handed it to Mrs. Woodall. “Because I finished the quiz fifteen minutes ago” Piper replied, bluntly. All her classmates stared at her. Mrs. Woodall retorted a little, then calmed down, reminding herself that this was normal for Piper. “Thank you, Ms. Piper” she finally said, a bit forcefully. Piper sighed and started twiddling her thumbs. She listened to the eerie silence, with nothing but the occasional shuffling of papers, and clearing of throats. She began slouching in her seat. As she sat there, with the cold breeze from the open windows drifting into the room, she thought she heard a loud thump outside. She jumped. She looked around. Everyone was too head deep into their quizzes to pay attention. Piper looked over to the window to see outside. Her heart almost stopped. She saw a person, a man, who seemed to be looking right at her. She knew who it was. The Mystery Man. He stared, but not with loneliness in his eyes this time. Instead, he smiled. Piper didn’t know why, but she suddenly became frightened. This was new. She never saw him smile before. Why did that terrify her so? Piper turned away. “Stop it Piper. It’s not real. He’s not real. Don’t think about it” she told herself. Before she could stop, she glanced back over at the window. He was gone. Finally, after fifteen minutes of sitting idly, the bell rang. Piper sprang from her seat before the words, “Go off to lunch” could leave her teacher’s mouth. She grabbed her bag, and sprinted out of the room, off to drop off her books in the locker, and off to find Raiden in the cafeteria.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Raiden was no social butterfly, but usually he could tolerate large crowds. Not today though. Raiden sat in the very back of the room, near the large storage closet, that was filled with stacked chairs. He wanted to look at that watch again. He took it out of his pocket. It was still whispering, but much quieter than before (or perhaps it was hard to hear over the noise of the cafeteria). He wanted to see if he could learn more about the “Timelords” the watch spoke of… He cracked it open. Another vision flew towards him.

He was standing in front of what looked like to be a school building. It looked to be made of silver, as it towards into the golden sky. Suddenly, a little girl with bright wheat-blonde hair, dark blue eyes, rushed passed him. She was wearing a red garb, hemmed with gold. The little girl ran into the arms of a man, who looked like to be in this fifties. “I did it ***** ******! I made it! I got accepted into the academy!” She exclaimed. This man looked very strange. He had a white hat, with ratty, brown hair, a cream colored sweater with red questions marks all in lines, a multiple colored necktie, a lightweight white jacket, plaid pants, and a pair of two-tone, brown brogues shoes. “I’m so proud of you, Piper!” the man exclaimed, spreading his arms wide for the little girl. “That’s Piper!?” he thought in surprise, “Why does she look so…different? She didn’t have bright blonde hair, ever…” “How about we celebrate with some ole fashion earth custard?” the man said. Piper squealed in delight. “Really? Okay!” she cried, excitedly. “What did he mean by ‘Earth custard?’”

“Raiden!?”

Raiden frantically slipped it into the pocket of his uniform. Piper came around the corner with her lunch tray.

“What are you doing all the way back here?” Piper inquired.

Raiden shrugged. “Just wanted some peace and quiet today” he replied.

“Oh, will I be too noisy for you?”

“No! Never. Come sit.”

Piper immediately sat down next to him. Raiden felt the watch shift in his pocket, as watched her eat. “I’m sorry Piper. But I can’t tell you…Not yet.”

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

The bell rang. Piper scrambled to clean up all her art brushes and paints. She couldn’t wait to get back home. She had one particular project she was working on that she was eager to complete. After she sealed everything tight, and put everything neatly on the tables, she started to exit the classroom, with her canvas in one hand, and her backpack in the other. However, Mrs. Nightbird then said, “Ms. Piper, the headmaster wants to see you in his office before you leave.” Piper raised an eyebrow, suspiciously. “What for?” she asked. “He didn’t say specifically, but you better go on.” Piper sighed, a bit irritably. She exited the room without another word, and into the crowded, and noisy hallway. Piper had learned to drown out the noise by this point. She used to always get overloaded with the bombardment of people and noise. Not anymore. If she had her way, she would’ve quit school ages ago. She was smart, much too smart for nearly everything. At the very least, she desired to move up a few grades. Maybe in the same class schedule as Raiden (he was in 9th grade, while Piper was in 8th). But no. Mrs. Dominique insisted she stay where she was. Piper suspected it was because that way she could be forced to “make friends,” or “go to parties” like everyone else her age. Piper never made any friends except for Raiden. She wasn’t like anyone else. She wasn’t into neither boys, nor boy bands. She didn’t like sports because she was rubbish at them. She didn’t like glamour, make-up, or otherwise. Even her classmates who attempted to bully her, or dare her to do something drastic, didn’t get much out of her. She was almost literally a ghost, just drifting through crowds of people, unnoticed, and unheard; and she liked it that way.

The door was a third of the way open when she got to the Headmaster’s office. Piper took a deep breath, and slowly knocked on the door frame. The Headmaster raised his head from his paperwork. “Ah, Ms. Dominique, come in” he greeted, politely. Piper slid her way past the door, and quietly sat down in the seat in front of his desk. The Headmaster, Mr. Fairday was a tall, slim, black man. He always dressed very formal, and was very respectful and fair to all the students. Still, as much as Piper would hate to admit it, she felt uneasy going to the Headmaster’s office, especially when she couldn’t think of anything she possibly had done. “Am I in trouble, Mr. Fairday?” Piper finally asked. Mr. Fairday raised his head, and removed his glasses. “I don’t know yet. That’s why I wanted you to come” he replied. Piper scooted her chair forward. Mr. Fairday sighed, like whatever he was about to say hurt him to say it. “I have received…comments…about your attitude during classes…Some of your teachers seem to believe that, from the way you complete tests in such a fast manner, and often times sleep through class, you may be, in some way, cheating.”

Piper felt a flash of anger inside her, and it took everything to keep her from jumping out of her seat. “That’s absurd! I’ve never cheated in my entire life!” She objected.

“I want to believe that, Piper. Really, I do. But this is something that is difficult for me to ignore.”

Piper leaned forward. “Mr. Fairday, I have done many things, and some of them I wasn’t very proud of. But I swear to you, I do not cheat! I’ve never cheated!”

Mr. Fairday quietly folded his hands. “Could you then…possibly provide me with an explanation?”

Piper slouched in her seat, folding her arms across her chest. “I can’t explain it, but somewhere…somehow…I feel like I had been taught these things before. When I hear my teacher’s lectures, I already know because I’ve already learned them. Tests and quizzes are easy because of that. Thus, I have no challenge, no stimulation, and I tend to get very bored.”

Mr. Fairday looked down on at his desk, thinking, taking every word in. “Have you spoken to your mother about moving up a few grades?”

Piper shook her head. “She won’t let me. She knows I’m clever, but she doesn’t care. She wants me to be normal. A normal 14 year old with a normal 14 year old life. Thing is, I can’t. I tried eight years to be normal. I just can’t do it.”

Mr. Fairday put his glasses back on, and straightened in his seat. “I’ll look into the matter,” he decided, “I believe you, the part about being clever. I’ll speak to your mother about moving you forward.” Piper would’ve loved that, but she knew it wouldn’t happen. “It’s not necessary, Mr. Fairday. But thank you though” she replied. Mr. Fairday nodded. “You’re dismissed.”

Meanwhile, as Raiden was walking down the hallway, and it slowly started thinning out, he saw something strange. Out from the cafeteria, came three, burly type men with dark green sunglasses. They were all dressed in different colored tank tops, khaki pants, leather mountain boots, and a leather cross-body bag. One of them was holding a peculiar piece of technology. Raiden casually walked closer, glancing at the lockers, pretending to find his. He couldn’t hear what the men were saying, but he heard beeping coming from the device. Suddenly, he had a feeling of danger wash over him. He suddenly felt it unsafe to be near them. Casually, he wiggled back around, and walked to the exit of the building. He walked over to his bicycle, and unlatched it from the bike rack. The men seemed to follow him outside, as they walked down the stairs from the entrance. Raiden turned away, and got on the road as fast as he could.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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