FLICKERS ON A DARK DAWN (CHAPTER 2)

“Dylan Grey’s 15 Years Of Existence Have Consisted Of Everything There Is To Know About Normal. That Is, Until He Learns Who He Truly Is. And What The days Leading Up To His 16th Birthday Look Like. A World Of Certainty Has Turned Upside Down And Inside Out; The Question Has Been Raised: “Who Are You?”

Vivien Phillips, Staff Writer

As we walked up the stairs, the pain in my arm disappeared; in its place, a million questions racing through my head. What’s the Alternaverse? Did that really just happen? Was that magic? Do they know what’s going on? Why has no one told me about this? 

My thoughts were interrupted by someone’s hand on my shoulder. “Dylan?” It was only Anne. I lifted my head, “Yes?”

“We’re here.” 

We stopped in front of the bookshelf on the third floor. they all appeared to be normal books; everyday fiction, and nonfiction together, except for three books. How Magic is Real, The Magic Among Us, and The Alternaverse were spread among the shelves. Anne grabbed the book “The Magic Among Us”, and Logan Picked up “How Magic is Real”. Mrs. Williams asked me to open “The Alternaverse”. Logan and Anne opened the books to reveal a red metal looking button, It was metallic, and the way they were holding it made it look heavy. 

“Dylan, could you open the book?” Anne asked though she said it with a more serious tone. I grabbed the book, it was heavier than the average book. I opened it and sure enough, inside was another red button, matching the others. The button looked severe and almost caused a feeling of stress. “We have to press them all at the same time,” Logan said, almost reading my mind, though he looked at me before continuing. It appeared as if he was contemplating whether this was a good idea. His answer was yes.

“3, 2, 1!”

We each pressed the buttons and the bookshelf before me split in two. My jaw dropped as the two separate sides of the bookshelf parted, leaving me speechless. What the heck? When I stopped focusing on how peculiar this was, I saw it revealed a hidden room. The room did not match the library one bit; instead, it was metallic and small. There were no lamps, but overhead lights. The room was empty, with no furniture or carpet other than metal, harsh, looking flooring. There was a sizable decrease in temperature, most likely due to the rain beating against the wall. The room appeared to serve no purpose, except for an elevator in the back of the room. All was silent as we walked to the elevator and stepped inside. We stepped inside and I could no longer pay attention to my surroundings. The silence that fell upon us only made me think of the questions I had before. This can’t be happening, right? This hidden room, magic, none of that’s real! Although once we arrived at a lower floor we heard a quiet meow. We stepped out of the elevator, my eyes widened. It was another library! This one looked to resemble an office, smaller than the first library, but similar in design; same carpet and wooden walls. A few noticeable differences in this particular room included a desk in one corner and a snake enclosure and birdcage in another.   There was a small golden cat with brown spots sitting in the middle of the room who meowed at us just like before. “Flint! Come here!” Anne called the cat, and it ran to her. “Dad, we have company,” Logan said hesitantly. The chair at the desk slid back.

“You brought someone here?!”

 A man with red hair like Anne’s, a blue and white striped button-up, black slacks, and brown leather dress shoes stood up from behind the desk. How didn’t I notice him before?

He began to lecture Logan about how he can’t go showing people the secret library, but Anne interrupted him. 

“Dad!”

He turned around to look at her, then looked at me. His eyes widened, his jaw nearly dropped. “You’re a Grey!” He seemed so confused, but what he said wasn’t a question, rather a statement.

I raised my eyebrow. “Hmm? Oh, yes…?” I responded though it sounded more like a question than an answer. “T-that’s amazing! That’s.. astounding! That’s unbelievable! That’s-”

“Dad?” Logan looked at him. He must have been lost on what he wanted to say, because he looked at Logan, quickly shook his head, and said, “I’m sorry, I just find that so peculiar!”

 All I asked was, “How do you know that? What’s so peculiar?”

He laughed for a moment; I was completely lost now. “Anyone could have figured that out the power you have if they know how. It’s easy to tell who’s magic, and how much magic they possess. Grey’s have light magic, which makes them much more powerful than the average mage. I find this so strange because the last Grey I knew moved to the Alternaverse.” Mage? Light magic? The last Grey? What did he mean? 

“I’m sorry?!”

 “Wait, you don’t know about magic?” He paused, his face seemed almost… disappointed?

 “N-no. Not really.” The man sighed and looked in the distance. “Okay, how do I word this?” he looked at his children. “What did I tell you again?”

Anne, who was previously twiddling her thumbs looked up. “Something along the lines of, I have a thing called powers and I can do things like this.” She healed out her hand and a flame began to grow on her palm. She continued as if it was no big deal, but I thought it was the strangest thing I had ever seen. I stared in awe at her hand as she continued.

“And there are these things called familiars who are pets that help with magic, then you called Aiden over.” The canary in the birdcage chirped. “Oh! Sorry, Aiden. I was seven but I think it still applies.”

The man nodded in approval, “There you have it.” He said. Some sort of light bulb went off in his head because he said, “Oh, and I never formally introduced myself. My name is Tyson Williams.” He then thrust his hand forward. Well, now I know where it came from. 

“Dylan Grey.” We briefly shook hands. “You’re welcome to explore this section of the library. Oh, I have something for you.”

 He took a key from his pocket and unlocked the bottom drawer of the desk. He pulled out a wooden box with images of flames, water droplets, vines, and gusts of wind carved into the side. He handed me the box.

“To open this box you have to recite a spell. Say nunc aperire.” The words were strange and foreign. The odd words slipped off my tongue and the box opened, inside was a leather journal with the word “Grey” embroidered on the cover. I brushed a hand over it.

“This belonged to your uncle. We used to be friends. He lives in the Alternaverse. You need him to teach you how to use your powers. I’ve never read it myself, but he told me he wrote of his first trip to the Alternaverse in that book. I don’t know if he is still there, but this might be your best bet.” 

I smiled. “Thank you,” was all I could say. What I felt had no words. And although I had once felt lonely and in the dark, as I held the book in my hands and took a long look at it, it felt as if it would reveal everything. 

The book was made of leather, with the word grey embroidered in black yarn, and there were pieces of paper sticking out the sides. The was a black ribbon bookmark sitting at the end of the journal. Although being kept in a box, the book was incredibly dusty and old looking, but I didn’t mind.

I checked the shelves and grabbed two books. One named “Everything About The Alternaverse” and another called “Famous Mages Through the Years” I took the books and before getting into the elevator. 

“Thank you for showing me this!”

Mr. Williams nodded and I stepped into the elevator.

The elevator ride was quiet… I think. I wasn’t paying much attention to what was happening around me, I was overwhelmed, confused, and in the dark, but it didn’t matter to me. I held the book in my hands and the confusion would disappear. I was lost in my own world, that was until the elevator door opened and I returned to earth.

After reading for about an hour I turned to look at Anne beside me. 

“I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” 

She stood up from the chair a few feet away and sat next to me on the sofa, “I don’t either but you won’t be doing it on your own. We will go with you.” Logan nodded and Anne smiled warmly. 

I returned the smile. I had found my true friends.