Chapter 1: Prologue
Another day, another test aced, another soccer game won, another average day for me. To someone else, it may have seemed like a pretty good life, but there's a darker point-of-view. Mine. I didnt like my life very much. It wasnt terrible, but it wasnt great. I had only two friends; Neil and Gary. And it seemed like everyone else was my enemy. But I was the only one to blame for that. In my younger years, I came off as very annoying. I always what but into other people's conversations, and no one liked that. I was also one of the smartest in my class (even though there were only about 60 kids in my grade. Small school) and I came off as a know-it-all. Needless to say, I had no friends back then. And to them, people can't change. I'm now tormented and by some people and ignored by others.
I was walking to Neil's house after the soccer game with Neil and Gary.
"Do you guys wanna play basketball when we get back to my house?" Neil asked.
"Sure," Gary said
"If I must," I said I didnt like basketball
only soccer and tennis. And I wasnt even that good at either. I wasnt athletic. At all.
"Flip for Snake," Neil said, taking a quarter out of his pocket.
That was my nickname from soccer. All because when I was a freshman, on the first practice I wore a shirt with a snake on it. No one new who I was except the other freshmen on the team. Another suck-ish part of my life. I had no social life at all basically. I lived at the very top of a small mountain. My closest neighbor was 500 yards away. And it was some old guy.
My parents also kept a tight leash on me. I couldnt go anywhere at anytime unless it fit their schedule perfectly. They had to pick me up from everywhere. It was embarrassing. I'm seventeen and I didnt even have my license because my sister totaled her car after her first year of driving. My sister was perfect at everything that was important to my parents. Perfect grades and perfect behavior. My parents thought if their perfect child could get in a crash and I was still imperfect, driving was a no-no.
"Heads" Gary said.
It was heads, even though it wouldnt matter. We wouldnt have time to play basketball because of our detour.
We stopped as Neil was picking up his quarter, which had rolled about ten feet behind us. He couldnt catch for crap. Gary noticed something off though.
different. I've walked through here dozens of times but it seems like something here that wasnt here before." He said, looking around
"You know my parents dont let me have a social life," I said "I never come through here."
"I know what you're talking about, but I can't place my finger on it." Neil said.
I looked around, and noticed something that shouldnt be in a small town. A costume shop. How would a costume shop stay in business when there would be only about a hundred customers for one day of the year? "It must be new, maybe they just didnt notice it when it went up."
"Is it the costume shop?" I said pointing to "The Second Identity"
"I guess" Gary said.
"Lets go in it. They probably have everything on sale since Halloween's still three months away." I said, trying to get out of a basketball game.
"Fine" They said, almost in unison.
Drethan just finished his latest costumes: both phoenixes. But even though they were the same creatures, they were very different. The fact was that he was a wizard conducting experiments on people and their wishes. One of the phoenixes was a regular costume, but the other was alive, in a sense. It could move on its own and had thoughts under certain conditions. Those conditions were if it was given life by someone who wished to be a phoenix, who would just need to be near it. But it doesnt end there. The reason it was alive was so they could fulfill the human's wish to be a phoenix. It would transform them and, most importantly, help me with my research of wishes. The human could almost always transform back if they wanted to, and most did transform back into human.
Just then, three teenagers walked in.
"Are you sure you dont just want to be a pretty princess, Alex," Gary mocked, although upon closer inspection, there were no princess or fairy costumes, only animals costumes. If you could call them costumes. They were more like skins. They were so life-like.
" We said, this time in complete unison.
"Can I help you three?" Drethan asked cheerfully, carrying the phoenix costume out (the ordinary one. His "special" costumes were in the back room)
"No, just browsing sir" Neil said, wanting to be polite. He was always like that, sometimes even too polite.
"Call me Drethan," The old man said.
" Neil replied
Then Gary spoke up. "Actually, can I, um
see that phoenix costume?" Gary was always so blunt. Almost the opposite of Neil.
"So he's into phoenixes," Drethan thought. "He's pretty lucky he came when he did, I just finished this. I better let him see this one. People can be very picky about coloring and size and feather-count and stuff."
"This is amazing! I've never seen anything like it! I have to have this!" Gary exclaimed.
"Are you sure? Is everything about it to your liking? I could always make a custom one for you for the same price." Drethan said
"No, this is perfect! How much?" Gary asked.
"Wait here," Drethan said "I have a better version of the same costume in the backroom, this one was for show" This boy would be perfect for my special phoenix costume. He dished it out, put a paralysis spell on it, boxed it, and sent it away.
"Here you are," said Drethan.
"How much do I owe you?" asked Gary
"For now, nothing." Drethan said. "Try it on at home, see if it fits. If it does, you can buy it. If it doesnt, I'll make you a custom fit one." Although he knew it would fit. But he had no use for money, and didnt like to make people pay for involuntarily being part of his experiments, unless it was unavoidable. "Can I get either of you a costume before you go?"
"If he makes phoenix costumes, and he can make custom costumes, maybe he can make a
I thought, but was interrupted by my cell phone. It was my mom, who always called to tell me she was on her way to pick me up at Neil's house.
Neil and Gary knew that's what it meant too.
"Sorry, got to go" I said to Drethan, as we ran out of there and to Neil's house as fast as they could.
"They'll be back. I saw the look on the others faces. They want a costume, but just had bad timing
" Drethan thought