I posted this on Wattpad, too!
“You have been banned from existence”
Mark stared at the words.
Words printed in jet black ink on white paper in a white room.
Was it even a room?
He didn’t know. All he could see was white. He assumed it was a room. What else could it be? He wasn’t sure.
Was it a prank? He didn’t know.
Was he really banned? It appeared so.
Why? No idea!
The last thing he remembered was eating an apple in the kitchen. He was alone at home. Mum was out shopping and Luke had a football practice session before the Finals.
“This has got to be some sort of a mistake,” Mark muttered as he looked around. All white. Had he gone colour blind? Just blind? Was he dead?
“Hello-oh!” Mark yelled. The sound boomed through…wherever he was, and faded away.
So there was air here. If he could hear, that meant air was present. Or he was under water. That was what was written in his 7th grade Science textbook anyway.
Mark jumped and whirled around, his raven hair flying around his head as he did.
No one. It was still stark white all over the place.
“Who’s there?” he called out. He wanted his voice to come out demanding, courageous, and not at all afraid. But what came out was an uncertain squeak of a twelve year old. It even shook. But really, he didn’t have any idea why. Seriously. Mark was a grown-up. And grown-ups didn’t cry. That would be ridiculous.
He wasn’t going to cry.
He was a grown up. A twelve year old, but still a grown-up.
Not. Going. To. Cry.
Dust. Dust had gone into his nostrils. That’s why he sniffed. No other reason.
Maybe he had a cold? Yes. That was probably it. That was why the corner of his eyes were prickling too. That explained everything.
“You there, kid.”
Mark squinted. The sound had come from someplace ahead of him.
“Who’s there?” he repeated. This time, thankfully, it was steady. And strong too, if he said so himself.
“It’s me,” said the voice, “The Receptionist.”
“You are Dirk Magny Dooty?” asked The Receptionist, its voice dry and bored.
Despite the situation, Mark giggled.
“What’s so funny? I just asked if you are Dirk Magny Dooty,” The Receptionist grunted. It seemed angry.
“Um, no I am not Dirty Mangy Doodie,” Mark squeaked, trying to supress his laughter.
“What’s tha—oh,” The Receptionist huffed in annoyance, “What’s your name then?”
“Mark. Mark Ros,” he informed.
“Mark Ros? Hmm…no…you were not on the list, as far as I remember. And I remember everything. Why are you here?” The Receptionist asked
Mark clenched his teeth. So he doesn’t know why I am here, neither. “No idea. I was just eating an apple and the next thing I know, I am here.”
“I suppose it was a mistake. Yes. Of course. It’s all Daemon’s fault. That huge oaf. I’ll report the problem. And then we’ll see about the promotion…the nerve of him to call me ‘Reccy’…I’ll show him who Reccy is…the big red brute…”
“The Receptionist? Do you know how I ended up here?” Mark asked, interrupting Reccy’s monologue.
“What’s that? Oh right. You are still here. Blast you. Now I have to take care of you, too. I mean, yes. Yes I know how you ended up here.”
“Can you tell me how to get back home?” Mark asked, trying the puppy eyes on…well, he still couldn’t see The Receptionist. He reached out his hand to touch the body of the voice. That would have made the whole episode a lot less freaky. And grown-ups’ hearts melted when their sleeves were tugged by kids.
Mark always took advantage of being shorter than average twelve year olds. He looked cuter and more innocent.
But apparently, it was not to be, his fingers closed around thin air. Or whatever was there in the place of air here.
“There is one way,” Reccy started, “you’ll have to fill out a form”
“A form,” Reccy confirmed, “Fill out the details and I’ll send it to the Senior.”
A whooshing sound came, followed by crinkling of paper, and suddenly, a paper fluttered to Mark’s hand.
Complaint ID #:
Accused Employee of Banished (or other):
Complaint taken by:
Victim’s Signature: __________
“That’s all?"Mark asked, trying to stamp down the hope bubbling in his stomach.
"Is that not enough?” came the gruff voice of Reccy.
“That’s enough,” Mark said quickly. Best not anger your saviour, Mum used to tell him. “How do I fill the form?”
A pen clattered on the floor. Luckily, it was blue, so Mark could spot and pick it up from the milky white floor.
He quickly filled out the blanks that he understood. But the rest…
“What’s Complaint ID Hash?”
“Oh that. That’s just a…well, you won’t understand. I am supposed to fill it up. Write it yourself then, yours is 34#2!33”
Mark scribbled it down. “And what’s accused Employee of Banished or other?”
“Not other. Not other at all. It’s an employee of Banished, alright. Write down, Daemon. D-A-E-M-O-N.”
Was it his imagination, or did Reccy actually sound gleeful?
“Good boy. Now, in ’Complaint taken by’, write, The Receptionist. And in 'Complaint details’, write, Sudden appearance at the Room of the Banished Law Breakers. Also add what you were doing before appearing here. Right. Then, in 'Suspected cause’, write, Case of Accidental Banishment due to neglect and carelessness of Accused Employee. Yes. Good, good. You are a smart lad. I like you. Now just sign there. Aha!”
The completed form was snatched by a gust of wind—and it vanished.
“The Receptionist?” Mark called. Nobody answered. He looked around. Nothing. All white.
“The Receptionist?” he tried again. Still nothing. “Reccy?”
A sudden roar. The whites around him was turning grey. Dark grey. Black. It was closing around him. Closer. Nowhere to run, Mark screamed.
Something soft, and yet hard, hit his face, muffling his screams.
“Stop yelling. It’s 3 in the morning. Mum will go berserk if you wake her up at this hour.”
Mark opened his eyes, and saw his pink bedroom ceiling. He turned on his side on the bed, pushing the pillow, which Luke had chucked at him, away from his face , and found the said person lying on the other bed, eyes still half shut.
“What happened?” Mark croaked.
“Funny. That’s what I want to ask you,” Luke growled.
A moment of silence ensued.
So it was a dream.
Just a dream.
Mark glanced at his brother. Luke had fallen asleep during the lull in the conversation, if it could be called a conversation.
Smiling, Mark turned to his other side, slowly drifting into a peaceful sleep. Only, just before he fell asleep, he heard a singy-songy gruff voice.
A very familiar gruff voice.
An ocean of emotion
Daemon got fired
New post I acquired.
What’s this commotion
Daemon was fired
That’s what I desired.