Chapter 1: Slacker

Tis said that wrath is the last thing in a man to grow old.


I hate alarms clocks…especially those that dare to attempt to wake me before 11 am. Knowing I should get up and get ready for another blasted day of being girl-less, getting flamed by parents, and having a job that I loathe with all fiber of my being.

Lurching out of bed, as I was a definitely the polar opposite of a morning person, I slumped to the offending beeping contraption upon my dresser, silencing the bastard device with a swift fist. Zombie-walking to the closet, I slid open the white wood door and searched for a usable towel so I could shower. Finding one such cloth, I grabbed it and caught a fleeting glimpse of myself in the mirror, and being the guy I am, began striking heroic poses.

I'm willing to call myself average-looking…certainly no Brad Pitt but as well not a Corky. Short brown hair, short enough so I don't have to worry about combing it anytime soon, I believe the chin strap beard I have running from my side burns and at the chin, arcing upward to my bottom lip, was a mere fraction shorter than the actual hair on my head. My hair has this weird style of looking like I was constantly having the wind blowing against me, as it always flowed backward, making a nice diagonal backward hairstyle. Eyes of light blue glared back at my 24-year old body.

Exiting my cavern of a room, I was greeted by my redhead roommate, Pete, who was definitely a morning person, drinking his coffee and watching some kind of British humor sitcom…which I dislike with great intensity.

"Mornin', sunshine." He said in that smart-ass tone of his that he uses when he pokes fun of me.

"Ah weel keel you." I grumbled as I shuffled to the bathroom.

After near falling asleep in the shower three to four times, a new record low for me this early, I exited the bathroom and dripped my way back into my room, passing by my third roommate, Randy. Randy was about my size, only way taller…and I'm about 6'3"…if I had to place it, he's about 6'6-7. Reaching aforementioned room, I threw on my garbs of choice, white t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and my black heavy skateboarding shoes…finally adding the two pieces de resistance, my favorite black cargo vest, with the back inscribed the Japanese kanji for thunder, 雷, bolded upon the back in white and my massive DJ headphones around my neck, its wire running into my upper-left most pocket of my vest, it being where my MP3 player resided..

A few minutes later, I returned to my room with a great big bowl of a delicious chocolate cereal, intent on watching my favorite anime on my computer, One Piece. If I could choose one thing in the world to love, it would be Eiichiro Oda's creation…sorry Warcraft and Final Fantasy; you come in second place next to it. Hitting the random button, my computer took a few seconds to process which episode I would be viewing…landing upon an earlier one, a little early for my tastes, (I loved the Enies Lobby arc, my favorite) It was actually the first, where Shanks gave Luffy his straw hat...I was just glad that it wasn't one with Coby in it…that annoying little bugger.

Living in Oregon, you expect the near everyday torrents of rain in Fall, Spring, and Winter…and half of Summer…but today was a bit different, lightning streaked across the sky…meaning I jumped for joy. I loved lightning, even when I was little, seeing my siblings huddled together with our pets, scared crapless, I loved to look out at the arcing bolts across the sky, screeching in glee when the thunder rolled over our house. Continuing with my breakfast, reading an awesome comic, and lightning? Some of my favorite things at once? This was a good sign for today…normally that's what I would have thought if today hadn't been the single weirdest, most traumatizing day of my life.

Growing up I knew at least one thing, lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, this being proved false when a massive bolt hit the nearby power line, causing a complete blackout…but then again…causing a power surge of some sort. My power bar failed to protect my computer, which promptly began fizzing and spitting, its screen a fuzzed mess of black and white. Stringing together a line of profanities that would make a sailor blush, I had dropped my bowl upon the floor and cursing whatever god had it out for me, something very strange happened. At first I thought that the screen was messing with my eyes, I saw that it was as if…it was melting towards me…like a blob floating in the air. Rubbing my eyes, sure I was hallucinating…but it only got worse the blob now sporting finger-like appendages, giving it a blobby hand look. This is when my brain finally kicked in and said Get the Hell outta dodge man! Scrambling over myself to escape the thing, I only managed to tip myself over in my chair, as it wrapped around my flailing leg…I screamed bloody murder, and the adrenaline pumping, I decided to punch myself free…Didn't work, as now the thing got my right hand as well, slowly enveloping me…until I saw nothing but fuzz…than blackness.

"Ugh…what…the…flying $^# was that dream?..." I grumbled as I fought to open my eyes, which I probably shouldn't have done, as I officially freaked the hell out.

I wasn't lying down or upon anything, I was just…floating upon nothing, the only thing around me…was nothing. Nothing. Zip. Zulch. Nada. White was all I could see if I didn't count anything on me. Seeing my dream wasn't a dream, I quickly searched myself for any signs of the glop of crap that engulfed me, breathing a sigh of relief when I found no trace of the computer virus from hell...still floating through Limbo…but at least nothing's trying to do to me what I do to hamburgers.

Drifting through nothing sure makes you bored…which I found out about what felt an hour or two. Digging through my pockets and taking inventory of what I had…out of sheer boredom; wallet, butterfly knife, few sticks of gum, old school Zippo lighter (Don't smoke, I just like to keep it around as a good luck charm), my MP3 player, and my favorite pair of sunglasses…did I mention I was kind of a pack rat and love to stuff my cargo vest's pockets with any interesting crap I find? Well I do. During my body search, I realized something. I was starving…I didn't even know how long I was spinning through nothingness, let alone how long I was unconscious. My stomach confirmed its lack of sustenance with a growl that would put a lion to shame, its rumblings making an echo throughout the Limbo world. I knew something about my body, when I was hungry…I kept gum with me, the chewing of it seemed to calm down my roaring guts till I found something to eat. Thusly I chewed away, a slight predicament arising when I found no trash can, opting instead to throw the wrapper into emptiness.

Silencing my stomach for now, I whistled a nameless tune as I drifted...seemingly sometime between swallowing my gum when it lost its flavor and me wondering what would happen if you mixed Celebrity A with B, I fell asleep. That is, until something conked me on the head, whatever it was, I decided to destroy it…we men have simple ways to alleviate the dreariness of boredom.

Looking up was a poor idea…as it turned out to be a human shaped version of the blob that sucked me into this place. Taking a defensive posture while floating in space sort of spun me a bit, as I faced the attacker.

"What the hell do you want?! Where in bloody hell did you take me? What the $^#& is this place?" I shouted at the unknown entity, hoping for an answer.

That's when I got creeped out…the thing smiled...and then waved at me….and then I started falling…falling….really fast. The thing zoomed out of sight, and I was plummeting like a meteor. I turned myself so I can actually see where I was falling to, but a bright light blinded me as I faced the bottom.

My eyes finally stopped showed dots, I found myself surrounded by no more white…but blue…with a streak of white here and there as I fell faster. Part of me was relieved to see sky again…the other side prayed to any god to cushion my suicidal fall from the heavens. Opening my eyes barely due to the wind, I noticed a small speck get bigger…and bigger, a brown speck that turned to green and yellow and all sorts of colors…an island. As I rocketed towards it, a closed my eyes and braced for impact…the dirt providing a not so comfortable landing…but at least the pain signaled to me that I still alive…although in incredible amounts of pain. The last thing before I blacked out…was a tuft of light blue…and…oranges?