We were suddenly somewhere altogether different. The ceiling was so high that I would’ve thought it was the sky if it weren’t pink. There were no walls that I could see. The path we were on was yellow with red splotches, but there seemed to be no ground under it. The path before us raised and lowered like a series of hills, or maybe more like a roller coaster. “Where the hell are we?”
But Lu did not answer. I turned toward him and found him lying on the ground, his blood mixing with the red splotches on the path. “Wu!”
I flipped him over and checked his vitals. He was alive and nothing seemed broken, but he was bleeding and badly. I didn’t know what I could do for him. I didn’t know where we were. I didn’t know where I could take him. But I couldn’t let him die here. I tore strips from Lu’s already ripped clothes and did my best to bandage him up. There was no water to clean his wounds, but I did what I could.
While I was tying cloth around his arm, I heard a moaning sound. I looked at the prone man. The noise was not coming from him. The moans were starting to get louder. I looked around. Nothing. Where was that noise coming from? And then I looked up.
And there was a monster! A behemoth! A giant mouth coming our way! It looked like a massive wall swimming through the air! It was coming right for us, there was no question.
I tried to pick up Lu, but this body wasn’t so strong. I threw him over my shoulder and tried to run, but this body wasn’t made for running with such weight and the skywhale was closing quickly! I slipped! I was trapped in these stupid heels and I couldn’t run in them! I fell and Lu’s body went sliding ahead.
I could hear him groan in pain. I rushed to him. His eyes were open now. “Come on,” I told him hoping he could run. “We have to go!”
“Take this,” he said, handing me something, but before I could look, he waved his hand and I was thrown off the path as if by a gust of wind. As I fell, I saw the skywhale get closer. It’s mouth opened and I yelled for Lu to move, but he didn’t! He couldn’t! The skywhale was coming right for him. Fortunately, I couldn’t see the whale swallow him whole, but he and the path he had been on was gone.
The skywhale flew away, but I was still falling! I was alone with no way to stop myself. Then I noticed the thing Lu’d given began to glow! I opened my hands and I saw that it was some kind of pendant. It was glowing brightly. What had he given me? Was it a way home? I tried to shake it, to find a button or a switch. I tried to find a way to use it. I was falling and I needed to stop. There seemed no end in sight. Just endlessly falling, but I didn’t want to wait until I found the bottom.
And then the Manta People came.
There was a pack of them, a school. They had heads and arms like people, but their bodies were like manta rays. There was nothing I could do to them. I was still falling, yet they somehow seemed to have full control of their movement, as if the air were water and they were swimming through it.
They were coming for me and I had nothing to fight back with…except the pendant. I had no other hope. I held it up, wishing for some luck. The Manta People came up short, surprised at the glowing pendant. I, however, continued to fall. They began following me downward, but from a distance. One of them took a weapon from his back and aimed it at me! This was it, I knew. There was nothing I could do to avoid it, no way to move out of the way. The Manta fired his weapon. A net shot out of it and ensnared me. I realized quickly that the net was not made out of rope. It was slimy and wet. I hoped it wasn’t alive.
The Manta People circled around me, but they all kept their distance. “Hello?” I said. “My name is Fra…Fran. I need your help.” They didn’t answer me. Instead, they just turned around and swam off, pulling me behind them. There was nothing I could do, trapped in the net. All I could hope for was that they’d take me somewhere with a floor. That would have to be a better place than where I was now. That was unless they decided to eat me. I hoped they don’t want to eat me.
But we didn’t get far before the Mantas came to a stop. There was something floating in their way. It was another fish person. She looked like she were part dolphin…no, a shark. She was wearing some kind of a necklace. I noticed it because it was the only adornment I had seen any of these fish people wear. The only adornment, that is, except for the gunbelts the Manta people wore. They took their guns from their belts and pointed them at the sharkwoman.
Suddenly, the Sharkwoman let out a loud growl and she began to change. Her mouth was growing, transforming! Her teeth too! Her hands were transforming into fins! Her hair disappeared! She had transformed herself into a giant shark and she was swimming our way!
to be continued…