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  1. #1
    Forerunner of Fire and Divinity PhoenixPrime's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Compass, Chapter 1

    It is the moments in time, when one's life is filled with music, and the rhythm of pulse leaves the heart with a sense of longing. Longing for the future, of the innocence past, and of a true reality presented before the individual. The journey was not about destination, or origin, but the travels presented along the way. And may the lost souls of the world find their way in the light, thoughthe darkness in humanity be kept at bay by the good souls of the world...

    The sound of basketball was, as Michael Rayne believed, the pulse of the world. Every heartbeat was beating in symphony with the game. Every footstep was in tune with basketball. The game was Michael's whole world.

    Michael crossed the court with ease, his dribbling a motion of liquid grace and innate muscle memory. Basketball, to Michael, was as natural as breathing. Any movement, however complicated from an outside perspective, was effortless. The court was home. Today, Michael could not be stopped. The shouts of the other players transformed into background noise. Michael existed in his own world. This was a world in which no one could touch him in, and a world that he could shift with the touch of his hand. Within seconds the ball moved easily into the hoop, giving Michael's team the final three points of the game. Everyone, including the other team, ran up and smiled.
    His best friend, Barry, was the only other regular player at the park that could keep up with Michael. Ever since childhood, the two boys competed in sacred game of basketball. Each of them felt that it was the only way to spend their time. To them, nothing else was near as important as the game.

    "Mike man, you seriously gotta tone it down for us. Winning by thirty points isn't going to make people wanna play," Barry said, his breath coming in rapid succession.

    "I thought I was toning it down. I only shot outside the paint three times," said Michael, a grin forming on his face. He was a bit out of breath, but nowhere near as out of breath as the rest of the players.

    "Whatever man. Next time, I'm guarding you." Barry said with a sarcastic tone, shaking his head to get the sweat off of his face.

    "I could only be so lucky," laughed Michael, picking up the ball.

    Michael's usual routine allowed him to run through the town. He did this while dribbling the basketball, which permitted him to retain that very vital muscle memory.

    He was distracted on this particular night. His mother was having trouble with her business. She owned a music store on a small corner of town, right alongside Main Street. Business had slowed lately.

    The new concept of downloading songs onto a computer had stopped mostly everyone from getting in their car and actually driving to pick up an album from a popular artist as opposed to simply acquiring the only song they want from the Internet. As a result, Michael and his mother had fallen on hard times. Michael didn't notice this all too much. So long as he had basketball, he would survive the TV dinners.
    Michael jogged across Mayweather Bridge, the bridge that allowed safe passage across the river that ran through the small town in Indiana.
    Though it did not appear to be interesting at first glance, Michael had always loved it. He truly loved the town. He often felt as if, no matter what happens in the world outside of Tracy, Michael and his town and basketball would always remain the same. He liked it that way.

    Bounce. Bounce. Bounce...

    He passed by a school playground. Little children were chasing each other, each determined to shout above the din of the others. Michael smiled, remembering those times in his child hood when he did the very same thing at the very same school. The memories seemed so distant and clouded, but still brought fresh joy to his mind. It was the feeling of innocence, and simplicity. As he smiled, reminiscing in his childhood triumphs, he dribbled onward down the street.

    Michael became distracted by old memories. His thoughts became sporadic, shifting from one memory to another. He felt as if he had lived a great deal of life in the short span that time had allowed. It seemed impossible to him that he had so much more to live, with much more time. And yet, he would.

    Unfortunately, Michael wasn't looking where he was going. He promptly ran right into Emma Price at full speed. This was a great misfortune for many reasons, the greatest being that Michael was very, very attracted to her. He was also physically incapable of talking to her.

    It was more than attraction to Michael, though he had little experience in the ways of love. To him, Emma had been something he'd always wanted, and yet he felt she would never take a chance on a guy like him. Michael wasn't rich, popular, and he didn't associate with the teens that were. He was the guy in the park, playing basketball. Their worlds didn't intersect.

    "Watch it jock." Emma said coolly, her face configured in annoyance. She shoved Michael out of her way with a frustrated sigh, her curly blond hair slapping him in the face.

    "You, uh, too..." Michael managed to stammer as he lost the rhythm of his dribbling. There were other arguments running through is head, all very assured to give him conversational victory. However, at this moment, his habit of not being able to speak to Emma overwhelmed him.
    He supposed it was her eyes. Every time he thought about talking to her, he'd fall deeply into those brown eyes of hers, and completely forget what he had desired to communicate. They were the sort of light brown that simply attracts one's focus into the eyes; a mixture of different shades of brown, enough to distract him. And then she would bring out her usual bitter response....

    Michael knew Emma wasn't bitter. He knew that there was more to her than the popularity, and the crowd she spent her time with, and her cold attitude toward him. Michael had faith that the person inside was much more than the person she chose to show the world. He knew by her music, and by her writing. She was a person he could love, had he been given the opportunity to reach her.

    She walked on, acting as if Michael bumping into her had never happened. Michael did the same, now moving at a faster pace with the ball.

    A thousand reasons as to why he wasn't good enough burned through his head. The rhythmic bounce of the ball kept him focused. Soon enough, the thought had left, and Michael continued running.

    "Hey there gorgeous," said a girl's voice as he ran by a small side street. It was Michael's best friend, Rebecca. The two of them had been friends since Michael had turned eleven years old. Rebecca came from a large family that lived across the street from the record store. One day Rebecca, who tended to get involved in anything that she was curious about, ran right over to the record store and asked Michael's mother if she could live with them.

    At first, Michael's mother, Alyssa, thought the small girl was serious. She had no idea that the girl lived right across the street, or that it was her way of meeting new adults. The surprised look Alyssa gave the girl was enough to make both the girl and Michael laugh.

    Rebecca loved going to Michael's home. She was able to get away from the chaotic life at her own home. Having seven siblings would create such an annoying home life that Rebecca visited Michael just to hear the metronome of his basketball hitting the ground.

    "Careful there girl, or you'll break someone's heart." Michael said with a laugh.

    "Emma seemed glad to see you today. That makes it thirty seven times that she's greeted you with so much enthusiasm!" Rebecca said, her eyes widening with feigned excitement.

    "There's always tomorrow," Michael said.

    "Or the next day... Or the next day...Or-" repeated Rebecca

    "The next day?" Michael finished for her.

    "Uh-huh!" Rebecca laughed.

    There were still a few blocks to go until they reached Michael's house. Rebecca kept pace with Michael. While Emma's face still burned freshly in his mind, he also anticipated the smell of his mother's kitchen. The sweet scent of freshly-made brownies, especially the brownies made by his mother, was divine. His mother made them every Tuesday, which coincided with Michael winning at basketball at the park. Michael liked to think that it was a reward.

    Michael stepped inside the kitchen door; the yellow light that hung on a small chandelier above the table filled the room. Alyssa was taking a fresh pan of brownies from the

    "Michael, you're home early, aren't you?" She asked, as she carefully set the pan on top of the stove.

    "Actually, no Mom" Michael replied, setting the basketball on the floor at last. It had bounced its final time for today.

    "Well, I think we're about thirty seconds early from when we normally walk in." said Rebecca, as she stepped through the door.

    "Enough time for no one to care!" said Michael in a false-cheerful voice. He smiled at Rebecca, letting her know he was joking

    "We had a busy day at the store for a change." Alyssa said, changing the subject. There was an air of excitement in her voice. A busy day usually meant some old rock group
    had released a new album and all the old fans wanted to be able to buy the entire album. Alyssa usually didn't mind though, since any business was good business

    "That's great Mom. Will that mean we get to go get some groceries?" Michael asked, eager to eat something other than cereal.

    "Yes, yes it will," she said with a wink. "You know, Coach Randolph came by the store, looking for you."

    Michael's mind froze. Even Emma disappeared from his mind. Coach Randolph, who coaches the local high school basketball team, came by to look for him? Michael had never been a part of the school basketball team. The players tended to be jerks. They picked on most everyone who wasn't on the team, and took advantage of every girl they came across. Also, Emma dates the captain of the team, Paul Williams. If ever there was a jerk, it would be Paul Williams. Michael and Paul have hated each other since they first played against each other as kids. Michael disliked Paul because Paul had everything Michael never did: Money, girls, and attention. Paul didn't like Michael because Michael had something Paul didn't: Talent. Paul spent his entire life working at being good at basketball. Michael didn't even play competitively and he possessed skill in the game that Paul could never have.

    Back to Coach Randolph. Michael's mother had great respect for the man, but Michael had never met him. He had never talked to the coach at all...

    Michael was hesitant, but he still pressed onward. "What did he say he wanted?" he asked, trying to sound more curious than nervous.

    "I don't know dear. He just said he had a few things to talk to you about. He's the sort of man that tries to help teens out whenever he feels they need it," said Alyssa, fanning the hot brownies.

    Rebecca fidgeted with a spatula, anticipating her slice of the brownies. "Randolph helped me once with getting a job," she said, eyeing the dessert with desire.
    Michael did not think that he had any problems or issues that Coach Randolph would feel obligated to address. Then again, his life was centered on basketball, and reading, and music. There was not much to be lectured about there.

    "I'll stop by the gym tomorrow at school and ask him about it," said Michael, dismissing the idea altogether.

    "I'll go with you," said Rebecca, sensing Michael's nerves.

    Michael nodded, smiling. It probably wasn't important after all. At this moment, Michael could not see anything that could complicate his life. With basketball, his best friend, and his loving mother, Michael could not foresee any dark clouds on the horizon.

    Give me good feedback, and I'll post another installment on all of my stories early, just for you guys.

    "You must begin by gaining power over yourself; then another; then a group, an order, a world, a species, a group of species; finally, the galaxy itself."

    Monday: 4:30-6:30
    Tuesday: 8:00-6:00
    Wednesday: 4:30-6:30
    Thursday: 8:00-11:30 & 3:00-6:30
    Friday: 9:30-6:30

  2. #2

    Re: Compass, Chapter 1

    It was a different story from what I am use to reading but so far I am enjoying it. I am curious to see how things are going to turn out for Michael and the ending makes me think there is going to be some sort of twist to it.

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