Sonic barely let me do anything on my own when we returned. Anytime I tried to get up from the couch, he would speed up and force me down. He was like a slingshot going from all points of the house. I finally had to get up once to keep Sonic from burning dinner in the kitchen. He seemed to be a bit clueless.
At last everything began to settle down. We ate on the couch instead of the kitchen table, which was a new experience for me. Then, about halfway through, Sonic said:
“I’m sorry, Luana.”
I paused and raised an eyebrow.
“For what, Sonic?” I asked.
“It wouldn’t have been like this if I was there to help…”
“Sonic, no one can blame you for what happened. You needed some time to think. I could never be angry at you for that.”
I smiled sadly. I reached for his ear and scratched behind it. Sonic closed his eyes and purred a little.
“I’m glad you came back. I would’ve made due without you, but…I missed you.”
Sonic opened his eyes and smiled back.
“I missed you too; and, if you’ll let me…I’d like to stay.”
“Of course! I’ve enjoyed your company. You’re welcome to stay as long as you want.”
Sonic sighed and slapped his lap.
“Well, I say we watch a movie!”
I nodded happily.
“Let’s watch Speed and Savvy 3!”
“Sonic, you’ve watched that like six times. We’re going to watch something different! How about…Neverending Story!”
Autumn was rolling in. The wheat fields were tilled and replanted, which caused Sonic to have to stay indoors due to all the dust the farming machines were generating. I on the other hand was preparing for the Fall Showcase at the Lorhen Theater and I dove into my work with a vengeance. Every year at the Lorhen Theater, we put together a compilation of gothic stories and music from all across the country. It was one of my favorite events. I never took any interest in slasher films or anything grisly, but I enjoyed gothic stories and eerie tales.
One particular day, when Sonic just so happened to catch up with the mailman, he spotted a flier for the Showcase in the pile.
“All auditions welcome!” It read.
Sonic sped inside and placed the mail on the table.
“Hey, Lu?” He called.
“Why don’t you audition for the Showcase?”
I was a bit taken aback.
“I mean, you enjoyed being in the spotlight when you were little. Why don’t you try it again?”
“Sonic, I…I don’t know…”
“Come on! You should never be afraid to try again! And this time, I’ll be there to support you!”
“You’re like a treasure trove of fortune cookies, aren’t you?”
“What can I say? I’ve learned a lot in my days of adventuring.”
I looked away, then smirked.
“I’ll think about it…”
“You sure you don’t think anyone will notice?”
Sonic was on the other side of the bathroom while I was finalizing the makeup on my costume. Halloween had come quickly. It was the one time of year I could dress up in costume, and I always made an event out of it. I told Sonic that this might be the one night of the year where he could walk freely without a disguise.
“It’s Halloween, anything goes!” I responded.
“Yeah, but isn’t that a little too obvious? That kind of stuff is just in movies!”
“It’s up to you, Sonic. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, that’s fine! It was just a suggestion!”
I sped back downstairs and on the couch to wait for Luana. I folded my arms and tapped my foot. She has been in that bathroom for almost two hours! How long does an Overlander take to put on makeup? Even Amy wasn’t this long!
As I waited, I couldn’t help but notice an old book had been left open on the table in front of me. I don’t know how long it had been sitting there, but I spotted something familiar. It was a silhouette of a hedgehog, a South Islander hedgehog, like me, and seven gems surrounding it, in front of a backdrop of a meteor shower. I thought it might have been me, but the quills were all wrong. My eyes drifted to the title on the left page:
“Legend of the Black Wind.”
Gently, I picked up the book and read closely:
“The origin of the Black Wind is a mystery to this day, and has since delved down into legend, much like the South Island People. What is known, is that the Black Wind was immortal, and with god-like powers, and was able to possess the Seven Power Diamonds all around once to take a form of indestructible power-”
“‘Seven Power Diamonds’? Boy, they got that wrong!”
“-Historians have speculated that it was the Black Wind who prevented the End of the World that was projected to be in the year 2012. Astronomers believe a giant asteroid was due to hit Earth that very year, as well as crashing into the moon on its way. The results were negative, and none of these events appeared to occur, though many believe it was Black Wind’s doing. Despite this theory’s many believers, scientists generally agree that it was simply a matter of the hysteria and conspiracy regarding the Ancient Mayan Calendar.
“In the year 2027, archeologists have since recovered glyphs that depict this mysterious warrior, along with a poem that has become infamous since its discovery-”
I heard footsteps descending the stairs. I put the book back where it was and stood up.
There was Luana. She was dressed in a soft black bodysuit with artificial white fur, a black leather jacket with red stripes, white gloves with big gold rings on her wrists. She wore a black wig with red stripes, and red and black makeup around her eyes. Her scars were still there, but was hidden almost perfectly. Finally, she wore big shoes, black and white with gold heels.
“Whaddya think?” Luana asked, “Was I accurate?”
I stammered a little. I wasn’t expecting that to be her choice of costume. I was expecting a vampire, or a princess! She got a little insecure after a few seconds of my staring.
“I know there’s only so much I can do as a human, but…” – she turned around 360 degrees- “I did research as deep as I possibly could…!”
“No, no! It looks great!” I finally replied, “I just didn’t recognize you for a minute there!”
Luana giggled, sheepishly.
“You really think so?” She froze for a moment, “-It didn’t occur to me that this might be disrespectful…”
“No, not at all! I love it!” I insisted.
I watched her as she stepped onto that stage. At first she was nervous. Once she spotted me in the audience, and continued, it was as if she had been doing this for years. It was fascinating to see her expressions flip-flop from foreboding to sad in matter of seconds. The song was soft, a lullaby. There was so much weight in her voice.
“I see no, hear no evil
Black writings on the wall
Unleashed a million faces
And one by one they fall
I am all, I am all, I am…”
It was bizarre to think that the adventures my friends and I had been on had now been passed into the legends of the Overlander’s world. For me, they weren’t that long ago. For them, it was decades ago. For a moment, I felt alienated, more so than I already was. I was a legend. He was a legend.
“I wonder what he was thinking…in his last moments…”
“Can you see all of me?
Walk into my mystery
Step inside and hold on for dear life
“Do you remember me?
Capture you or set you free
I am all, I am all of me
“I am all, I am all of me…”