The Door to Xaishur

by Emily Palmer


Prologue

Holly tried to push through the wall of people. 'Why the heck are so many people waiting for this new store?' she thought. She finally saw the name of the store:

New, Technology, Cameras

Then the doors flew open and everyone was pushing and shoving to get into the store. Holly saw all different cameras in the new store. One that caught her attention was a camera that took pictures of moving objects which kept being in motion in the photos.

Suddenly, she saw another camera. Everyone else seemed to be ignoring it. She went over to the shelf. The sign said: Pictures of the doom that is to come

There was only one on the shelf. She picked it up and snapped a picture of a person across the store. She looked at the picture and saw the man standing in front of a house and watching it burn to ashes.

Holly quickly put the camera down, and read the sign again. 'Can this take pictures of the future?' she wondered. She picked up the camera and made up her mind that she would buy it.

Part 1: Xaishur

Holly woke up in her bed sweating. Her hair, which changed color with her clothes, was rumpled and she felt disheveled. She instinctively reached over to her bedside table and touched a strange object that felt unnervingly like a camera. She froze as she remembered her dream. The clock beside her bed showed 6:00 a.m.

She snapped her fingers and the light went on in the room. Slowly she turned to look at the desk. Sure enough, there was the camera that she thought took pictures of the future. Holly picked it up, put it in her pocket, and slid out of bed, landing on the floor with a thump, then bouncing right back up to her feet. The floor was springy. 'Good ol' technology of 2020,' she thought.

After she had dressed she went into the kitchen. There, waiting patiently for his breakfast, sat Fang, her English Mastiff. She poured some dog food into Fang's bowl and sat down at the table. Cereal appeared in a bowl and milk was poured out of a glass from the refrigerator. Holly and Fang ate in silence. When they were finished she rinsed out her bowl and put it in the small dishwasher. There was a whirring sound and the dishwasher popped open with her dish, now clean and dry. Holly put it away and took a book out from a drawer. She opened it and read aloud to Fang as she did every morning.

"He will not see, she will see, all will die.

He will love, she will love, all will die.

He will kill, she will kill, all will die.

He will die, she will die, all will die.

Earth will prosper greatly."

Holly shivered. She was always freaked out when she read the prophecy. She wondered if the prophecy referred to her and her friend at school. Then she yelped. It was already 7:00 a.m. School started at 7:30, and she had to walk to get there! She ran out the door shouting a hurried apology to Fang, who was whining because she had not taken him out for a walk.

Holly ran and ran. School was three miles from her house. While she was running, she thought, 'Why am I so worried about the prophecy? Sure, my friend at school is a boy, but he won't die or anything. Or will he...?' She arrived at school and dashed into her classroom just as the clock hit 7:30.

The first class was history. The children were learning about the French and Indian Wars. It was a pretty dull class and almost everybody was falling asleep, except Holly. She was wide awake. The next class was biology. This class consisted of four students. After this class, everyone was dismissed early because nearly all the teachers were sick with the flu. Holly sprinted home and walked Fang, who was anxiously barking at the door.

After their walk, she decided to visit a theme park near her house because she had an annual pass. She rode her bike to the theme park. Holly loved rollercoasters, loved everything about them. When she arrived at the park, she went in and stood in line for her favorite rollercoaster.

"Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!" Holly screamed as the ride plummeted toward the ground at break-neck speed and swerved into a series of loops and corkscrews at the last moment. After the ride was over, she saw her friend from school and waved him down. "Why weren't you at school, Nick?" Holly asked him.

"I was sick," he said looking uncomfortable.

"You were sick?"

"I... I was... I am sick," he stammered. He pretended to blow his nose.

"You are lying to me, Nicholas." He hated it when Holly used his real name. He flinched.

"I am not lying to you Holly. Why would I lie to you?"

"Do you want to go on a few rides with me, Nick?" Holly asked.

"I can't," he said, then turned and ran. Holly tried to call him back but it was no use.

Nick could be weird sometimes. Her mood was ruined and she decided to go home.

When she went into her room, the wall immediately changed from cool green to hot orange to represent her bad mood. She flopped down on her bed still in her clothes, and... "Ouch!" Holly had landed on the camera and felt it crack. "Oh no, oh no, oh no!" Holly repeated, till her voice became hoarse and she had to cough.

Holly gingerly took the broken camera out of her pocket and looked at the damage. Suddenly, the camera began to glow, and within ten seconds it was whole again. She absently took a picture of the wall, which had begun to change to deep lavender, and looked at the photo she had taken.

She screamed so loudly that the windows shook. There, on the small screen, was a picture of her lying on the ground, blood pooling around her, and over her there was Nick holding a bloody dagger. "This cannot be true," she panicked looking at the camera screen and hoping that she was hallucinating. But it was true, and this is when Holly started having androphobia (fear of boys).

The next day when she would have to go to school, Holly called in sick, which was not a complete lie because she was feeling terrible. The next day she felt worse and was in bed when she heard the doorbell. Holly slowly rolled out of bed and staggered to the front door.

She opened it and was petrified by fear. There in the doorway stood Nick, and she thought that he was holding a knife. A bloody knife. Holly fainted, and when she got to her senses again, she was being fanned by a very disturbed looking Nick.

"You just fainted. I did not know what to do!" Nick said helplessly.

"You," Holly croaked, "get out of my house and my LIFE!" She yelled the last word, and Nick, looking bewildered, said,

"Okay, see you, uh, sometime." Nick hurried out of the house, and Holly never saw him again.

The next day Holly went back to school. Her chemistry class was going to have a field-trip to a famous lab where they would be able to mix different substances and have fun. Holly was horrified. She hated labs and the people who worked in them, white-coats. All of the class packed into one car and they set off. The drive took only a few minutes. When the car stopped, everyone jumped out and ran in. Holly was not so excited and asked if she could go to the bathroom instead of entering the strange-smelling lab.

Holly had no idea where the bathroom was. She wandered around for a while, and then saw a sign over a door that said: Welcome Holly! Come in.

Holly stumbled backward a few steps. 'Who knows my name? Is it me or some other Holly? Should I go in?' she thought. Finally, she decided to enter. 'What the heck. The worst thing that can happen is that I die.' She bravely stepped forward and opened the door. It was dark inside and she walked in. The lights turned on and the door clicked shut behind her.

Holly groaned. It was a boys' bathroom. She tried to open the door to get out, but it was locked. Suddenly, the bathroom began to move upward. Holly screamed and fell. She heard a crack as she landed and knew that she had broken her wrist. Then the bathroom stopped moving.

Holly stood up painfully, holding her broken wrist. She tried to open the door, and click, it opened, and Holly was dazzled in bright green light. She let go of her wrist with a gasp. Her wrist began to glow bright green and it was healed. She shielded her eyes, and took a step. When she opened her eyes, Holly was surprised to see purple everywhere. The grass, the trees, and the sky were all different shades of purple. Holly walked out onto the strange new planet.

She saw a boy running towards her, with outstretched arms and fear in his eyes. Holly stood her ground. He ran right past her and almost knocked her down.

Chasing the boy was a girl. Holly thought that she looked about 16 years old and very strange. She had bleached white hair tipped with black and purple eyes. She had a pierced eyebrow and a strange shirt that showed most of her stomach. When the girl was almost next to Holly, she finally seemed to notice her. "Hey!" she said in an annoying voice. "What are you doing here?" she said.

"Uh, hi! Where am I? Who are you?" Holly asked the girl.

"Well, excuse me. My name is Cosmia, and you are on the planet Xaishur."

"You must be lying! There is no such planet as Xaishur!"

"Well, like, then, where are you?" Cosmia said in a very teen-agery voice. Holly introduced herself to Cosmia and she said, "Yah, whatever."

"Can you get me something to eat? I am starving!" Holly said. Cosmia began to walk away, and Holly followed her, not knowing what else to do. She came to a clearing where she saw a huge mansion and a moat surrounding it.

"Eris, get over here! There is someone who wants to see you!" Cosmia yelled.

"I am coming, love," said a silky voice.

What happened next made Holly gasp. Eris walked down the steps of the mansion and onto a bridge that hung over the moat. She was tall and slender, unlike Cosmia who was slouching at the moment. Eris was wearing a black silk dress that flowed out behind her as if wind was blowing it. Her hair and eyes were also raven-black and her eyes glittered like black diamonds.

"Who is it, Cosmia?" Eris asked smoothly.

Finding her voice, Holly said, "I am Holly and I don't know how I got here, so don't ask."

"Well, come in, and you can join us for dinner tonight," Eris beckoned Holly to come in to the mansion.

The inside was exquisite. There was a staircase in the middle of the room Holly had stepped into, and Eris lead Holly upstairs. The room at the top of the staircase was the dining room. It was huge, and dinner was already laid out on the table in gold plates. Silver goblets held the finest wine.

Cosmia grumbled and sat down in the seat next to her mother, Eris. There were lots of seats at the table and Holly did not know which one to choose. Eris called to Holly and told her to sit on the chair beside Cosmia, who was on Eris's left. Cosmia picked up a fork and began shoveling food into her mouth.

"You disrespectful, good for nothing scum! Don't you dare eat before Mark gets here!" Eris screeched at the top of her lungs. Cosmia said something that Holly wished she had not heard, but she did stop eating, although there was not much food left on her plate.

Suddenly, there was a smash, and a very tall, corpulent man came barging into the mansion. The man was wearing black shades, but when he entered the room, he took them off revealing large bulging eyes that were a cloudy blue color. Holly decided that he was blind. Eris stood up and led the man to the seat on her right side. The man lifted his nose to the ceiling and said,

"I smell hu-man," in a guttural voice.

"It is just a girl, and she will be leaving soon," Eris said.

"I will not eat with hu-man sitting at table."

"Oh, Mark, it's okay."

"Me no eat with hu-man, me eat hu-man."

"I can leave if you would like," Holly said in a quiet voice.

"You no leave. Me eat you."

"I would not like that, I will leave." Holly stood up from the table and began to walk towards the door. When she reached it there was a ZAP, and she blacked out.

When Holly woke up, she guessed it was morning because she was in a room, and sunlight was streaming in through the window.

"You're finally up," said the drawling voice of Cosmia. Holly remembered where she was and sat bolt upright.

"Why didn't Mark eat me?" Holly asked.

"He decided that Andrew tasted better."

"Andrew?" asked Holly with a sinking feeling in her stomach.

"Yah, Andrew, the cook. Oh, speaking of that, we need a new cook." Cosmia walked out of the room, calling, "Peter, Peter, where are you, you have been promoted. Have you ever wanted to be a cook?" Holly groaned. She was feeling sick. She lay on the bed thinking of poor Andrew, and thinking of what she should do. She was on a planet called Xaishur in the middle of nowhere, and she was trapped with a crazy teenager, a crazier woman, and a lunatic man who was going to eat her.

Holly fell into a trance-like sleep. She dreamed about cooks falling into their pots and being eaten. When she woke up it was dark, night, she supposed. She was very hungry so she went to open the door, and again, she was blown back, unconscious. She woke up once more and saw Cosmia looking in a small mirror, posing.

"What are you doing, Cosmia?" Holly asked.

"Oh, nothing," she said airily, still staring at her reflection in the mirror. "Do you think I should dye more of my hair black or purple like my shirt?" she asked Holly.

"I think purple," Holly answered. Cosmia nodded and with a bang, half of her hair turned purple. Holly thought it really suited her. Cosmia's shirt was striped purple and black. Her pants were black jeans with a chain, and her shoes, Holly noticed, were high heeled boots with chains hanging all over them that jingled when she walked. She wore a necklace with spikes, and her earrings were fangs.

Cosmia walked over to Holly and sat down on the bed.

"Look, Holly, I think I know how to get out of this wretched place."

"How?" Holly asked nervously.

"I think that when people die on Xaishur they go to another place. Maybe it is your planet, Earth."

"Really!" Holly exclaimed.

"I don't know," Cosmia said sighing. "I just want to get off this Xaishur," Cosmia broke down and began to sob. "Oh Holly, you are the one that can bring me off this cursed planet." Holly awkwardly patted the teenager's shoulder, and said,

"I don't know how to get off either, but you know, I might..." There was a timid knock on the door.

"Come in," Cosmia said wiping away her tears. A boy opened the door. He was around 14 years old. Holly screamed! It was a boy! She imagined him holding a bloody knife, and...everything went black. When Holly came to, she saw Cosmia talking to the boy.

"What do you want, Arthur?" Cosmia asked the boy.

"I...I just wanted to see the new person. I heard that she was here," Arthur answered in a small voice. "I can go if you would like."

"Yah, it sounds like you should go," Cosmia answered gesturing to Holly who was still pretending to be unconscious. When Arthur walked out of the room, Holly sat up and asked Cosmia,

"Are there lots of boys here?"

"Well, only like, um...1,000."

"1,000!" Holly screeched. "This is bad...really bad. I have to get out of here. So, you said that if I die I'll go back to Earth?"

"I think so, but don't get any ideas. I don't want you to go killing yourself just to experiment if you will get to Earth," Cosmia stated. Holly was sitting on the bed quietly and thought again of the prophecy that she read at home.

"He will not see, she will see, all will die.

He will love, she will love, all will die.

He will kill, she will kill, all will die.

He will die, she will die, all will die.

Earth will prosper greatly."

Earth will prosper greatly... Earth will prosper greatly...

"This is it! You are right, Cosmia, it's in the prophecy."

"What prophecy?" asked Cosmia.

"I will tell you." Holly recited the prophecy to Cosmia.

"So, who is the 'he' in the prophecy?" Cosmia asked.

"Well, I was thinking that he could be one of the thousand boys here, but I don't know,"

"Are you hungry?" asked Cosmia.

"I am famished!"

Cosmia led Holly to a smaller dining room and she clapped her hands. The boy, Arthur appeared, bringing food. Holly squeezed her eyes shut tightly and waited for him to go away, but he didn't.

"Ah, excuse me Miss, I could not help overhearing the prophecy, and I have the same one in my room."

"What? You do?!" Suddenly Holly was not scared of him anymore. "Show me, now!" Holly stood up and walked away with Arthur. Holly thought that she saw Cosmia smile behind her.

When Holly reached Arthur's room, she saw the same book that she had, except hers was red and his was green. Holly picked up the book and opened it apprehensively. Sure enough, there was the prophecy.

"So, Arthur, what do you make of this?" Holly said pointing to the book. Arthur was taller than Holly, and he looked down at her with the same emotion she felt when she read the prophecy: a mix between being horrified and full of wonder.

Holly vividly remembered the day the book had appeared on her doorstep. She had carried it into the house. There was a lock on it, but when she touched it, it magically opened. After that it had just been a tradition to read and memorize it.

"Holly, do you 'see'?" Arthur asked Holly.

"What? Of course I can see," Holly answered taken aback.

"Well, in the prophecy it says: "'He will not see, she will see,' do you see?"

"I actually think that I do see. I saw a sign saying Pictures of the Doom to Come, when I bought a camera that takes pictures of the future," Holly said casually. "Actually, I have the camera here now. Do you want to see it, Arthur?"

"No, thank you, Holly, I am okay."

"Are you sure?"

"Yah really, I don't think that I could see things like that," Arthur stated.

"And the next line..." Holly glanced sidelong at Arthur who was beginning to look a bit pink.

"Uh, I think we should move to the next line," Arthur uttered.

"Have you killed anyone, Arthur?"

"No, I have not. Have you?"

"Nope, sorry,"

"Well, then I think the last three lines are still to come."

Suddenly, there was a crash, and Holly saw Cosmia running towards them.

"Eris is gone, disappeared, and there is blood all over her room!"

"Well, I am so sorry Cosmia, but it is really no loss. I mean she was really mean to you and all."

"Yah, but she is my mom, and I think we should at least try to find her," replied Cosmia.

"I will help," Arthur volunteered.

"Of course, I will help too," Holly said.

The three of them walked out of the room and down the hallway.

"Where does Eris usually spend her time?" Holly asked Cosmia.

"In her room, of course. She only goes out of the room to eat."

"And you said that you found lots of blood all over the room," Holly speculated.

"Yah," Cosmia answered. They reached Eris's room and Holly did see the blood all over.

"Okay, so where else do you want to look for her?" Holly asked. They walked out of the room and down the hallway. Then Arthur, who was walking a little in front of them, said,

"Look at this guys!"

There was a door swinging loosely from one hinge and there was a sudden draft in the room. Arthur cautiously walked in and cried out. Holly ran in when she heard Arthur scream, and saw that at the end of the room another door was open, and there was nothingness, just stars and blackness. Cosmia strolled casually up to the door of nothing and looked down. What she saw made her gasp. There was more blood all over, and there, just a jump away, was another planet, and a women fallen on the ground with blood, and blood, and more blood. Cosmia jumped down next to the body and looked down at her dead mother. Suddenly, there was a fearsome war cry, and a boy ran over to Cosmia holding the dreaded, bloody knife. Holly fainted and fell through the gap onto the other planet, and...CRACK! Holly had broken her leg, and she was on a small planet that actually was moving in a dizzying circle around Xaishur. The boy ran towards Cosmia and unexpectedly, he plunged the dagger into Eris, who was already dead.

"She killed my brother!" the boy yelled.

"Calm down, dude," Cosmia said to the boy.

"I will not calm down! First Max, than Mo! It was just too much! I had to kill her!" He broke down into uncontrollable sobs, and Cosmia walked over to Holly, staring at her broken leg.

"Well, I don't know what I can to," Cosmia muttered to herself. She gingerly touched Holly's leg and winced. "This is pretty bad; well, I can't do anything about this. Wait...maybe I can." She touched Holly's leg and thought of her happiest memory.

Then suddenly, her hand began to glow with blue-purple light. Holly's leg also began glowing and while it glowed, it began to heal. Holly woke up startled.

"What happened?" Holly asked, bewildered.

"Well, you kind of fell onto this planet that is spinning around Xaishur and..."

"Oh yah, I remember." Holly was quiet for a second. "Didn't I break my leg?"

"Well...no, no, you did not break your leg," Cosmia lied. Cosmia did not want to tell Holly that she had powers.

"Actually, I think that the reason that you got knocked out is probably that you saw that dude over there." Holly noticed the boy, who was still holding a bloody knife and sobbing. Holly's breath caught in her throat, but she did not pass out. The boy looked up and when he saw Holly, he stood up and strode over to her.

"Are you the girl that Arthur talked about? The one with the prophecy?" the boy asked.

"Uh...yah actually," Holly answered. "So," Holly continued "You killed Eris. Why?"

"I already told Cosmia, Eris killed my two brothers, and was going to kill me!"

"Well, I guess that is a good enough reason," Holly said to the boy.

"Hey dude, what is your name?" Cosmia asked.

"My name is Lucas," He replied.

"Okay Lucas, do you know where we are?" Holly inquired.

"We are on Eris's not-so-secret planet,"

"Well, that helps a lot," Holly responded sarcastically.

"Don't you think that we should get off this stupid little midget of a planet?" Cosmia requested. While Holly and Lucas were bickering, she walked a little ways away and was peering downwards. "This is the edge of the planet," Cosmia said pointing down an exasperated look on her face.

First Cosmia, then Holly, and last Lucas stepped back through the doorway that led back into the mansion. When they were all back inside, they saw Arthur collapsed on the floor. Holly rushed over to him, and knelt down next to him. When she touched him, his eyes popped open and she gasped. Arthur's eyes were red, and they did not have pupils. He pulled free of Holly, stood up, zombie-like, and walked out of the room.

"What is wrong with him?" Cosmia muttered.

"I think that the thing that made him scream put a curse on him," Holly said.

"Well, I guess we should follow him," Cosmia commented. The two girls and Lucas walked out of the room. They saw Arthur a little ways down the hall. He was knocking on a door whose content was unknown, even to Cosmia.

"Eris never let me near that room," Cosmia said. The door opened and Mark stepped out to meet Arthur. Mark's face broke into a large evil grin and he beckoned Arthur into the room.

"This is bad. Mark is really evil. I don't know what will happen to poor Arthur."

"I have an idea," Lucas spoke up. "I think that we should go up to the door and listen through the crack in it."

'Why the heck did I not think of that?' Holly asked herself.

Lucas tip-toed up to the door and laid down in front of it, peering through the crack under the door. He listened for a few minutes and then he stood up.

"Okay, so Mark was talking about Arthur as if he was a trusted servant. Mark said that Arthur should kill you, Holly, take the prophecy, and give it to him," Lucas whispered.

"Well, that is just great," Cosmia muttered.

"I think that we should at least try to get out of here, guys," Holly murmured. Lucas began to walk away swiftly and the two girls followed him. He led them out into a small room.

"Nobody knows about this room, except for me. We can talk freely in here," Lucas said.

Little did they know that Arthur was just outside the room and he was holding a dagger that was not yet bloody. Holly, Cosmia, and Lucas conversed for a while and then Cosmia walked out of the room. She saw Arthur hiding behind the door. All she did was creep up behind him and hit the back of his neck hard. Arthur fell to the floor, and Cosmia called that the coast was clear.

When Holly came out, she gasped as she saw Arthur on the floor, knocked out.

"Was he going to ambush us when we came out?" Holly asked Cosmia with a shaky voice.

"Yes," Cosmia answered, "I think he was." She grunted as she picked up Arthur and threw him roughly over her shoulder. "Let's go!" Cosmia led the way. She led them to a huge room. Holly looked around in amazement.

"Whose room is this?" Holly asked.

"Oh, this is my room," Cosmia replied nonchalantly. She deposited Arthur roughly on the bed in the corner of the room and sat down next him on a chair. She placed her head in her hands and began crying.

"What is wrong Cosmia?" Lucas asked gently.

"I...I...just was thinking that we should try to...well...maybe kill ours..." Cosmia was interrupted by the sound of a large BOOM!

"What was that?" Holly asked. Cosmia rushed out and ran to the room that led to the planet. She looked down where the planet should have been. There was Mark on the planet with a stick of dynamite in his hand.

One half of the planet was already blasted to smithereens. The other half was apparently just about to be blown up. Mark lit the dynamite and threw it at his feet. He laughed like a mad man and jumped up to the doorway just as there was another earsplitting BOOM!

Cosmia was knocked backwards as Mark leaped through the door.

"You inconsiderate numbskull!" Lucas shrieked. He lunged at Mark bringing him down with surprising strength. Mark was so stunned he did not even protest. There was a small duel and then Lucas stood up, victorious. "Mark, you are an evil monster," Lucas said. He kicked Mark one more time, and then all of the kids strode out of the room.

"Well, that was successful," Holly said with a grin. Cosmia was also beaming.

"This is the best day of my life," Cosmia hugged Lucas so hard that Holly could see his face getting quite red.

A few days later Holly went to investigate the site where Mark had been defeated. Cosmia and Holly were eating lunch when they noticed that when Cosmia clapped her hands for more butter, nobody appeared. Cosmia stood up with a sigh and a grunt, and went to get it herself, when there was a CRASH and a CRACK, and boys rained down on Holly and Cosmia, and for that matter, everything else.

All of the boys had some sort of weapon, either a fork or a knife or even a sword. Holly picked up a chair and began to swing it at any boy that came too near. Cosmia dug in the pocket of her black jeans and pulled out a very thin rapier. Anyone that the rapier touched turned to stone. Lucas was using a totally original form of wrestling to his advantage.

Suddenly, all of the boys fell still. Mark walked into the room. Obviously, he was the leader of the slaves.

"Kill them!" It was a simple command, but one that chilled Holly to the bone. All of the boys advanced on Holly, Cosmia, and Lucas. Holly saw Arthur in the mass of boys. He still looked brainwashed, and his eyes were still red. He was holding a long crooked sword.

"Poor Arthur," Holly breathed.

"This is not the time to take pity on a freaky lunatic," Cosmia said panting.

"But I just feel so sorry for h..."

"Look out Holly!" Lucas yelled. There was a bullet streaking towards Holly. There was nothing anyone could do. Holly crumpled to the floor. She was dead before she hit the ground. The bullet hit her heart, right on target. Arthur had just killed Holly.

"Noooooooooooooooooooo!" Lucas shrieked. He fell unconscious onto the ground. He was trampled to death by the swarming slaves. Cosmia did not notice that her only two friends had just died. She was fighting with all of her remaining strength. There were just too many people. Cosmia did not stand a chance.

"Stop!" said the guttural voice of Mark. All of the boys stopped. "Do you notice that your friends have fallen in battle?" Mark asked.

"I...I didn't know," Cosmia answered.

"Well, they did and there is nothing you can do," Mark laughed evilly.

"Kill me, too," Cosmia said plainly.

"What?" Mark's smile was wiped off his face.

"Kill me!"

"Okay, I can do that." A stick of dynamite was flying through the air. It did not quite reach Cosmia, but she still exploded with a BANG!

Holly found herself in her bed, in Florida, at home. There was a slight pain in her chest, but it was barely noticeable. She heard Fang barking at something. She sat up, but was immediately pushed down by something that had just fallen from the ceiling.

"Lucas?" Holly said in a soft voice.

"Holly? Oh, thank goodness! I thought you were dead!"

"I think Cosmia was right. We died on Xaishur and now we are back on Earth!"

Suddenly, Cosmia fell from the ceiling and landed on top of Lucas and Holly.

"You were right, Cosmia. Here we are on Earth!" Holly exclaimed. Lucas stood up and walked around the room. Fang bounded up to Holly and licked her.

"Is this your house, Holly?" asked Lucas.

"Of course this is my hou..."

"Who are you?" There was a man in the doorway and he was pointing a gun at Holly.

"This is my house. Who are YOU?"

"This house had been empty for weeks, so I just moved in," the man answered.

"Well, now I am back, and you will have to LEAVE!" Holly yelled.

"Okay, okay, I will leave," The man packed up and left to Lucas's great amazement.

"On Xaishur nobody would ever leave if you tell them to," Lucas marveled.

"Guys, you can live in this house, too, if you want," Holly said shyly.

"Oh, that would be great!" Lucas and Cosmia said in unison.

The two of them lived together with Holly for a long time. Until Eris returned.

Part 2: The Fight

The four of them lived together happily for over a year. On the day of Holly's 14th birthday Lucas, Cosmia, Arthur and Holly were joyfully singing happy birthday to Holly. A large cake shaped like a rocket ship was on the table, when there was a knock on the door. Lucas went to answer the door singing,

"Happy birthday, happy...ahhhhhhhhhhh!"

"Whassup dude?" Cosmia called from the kitchen. There was no answer. She grunted and walked to the door. "Oh my..."

Holly heard Cosmia and she ran to the door. There in the doorway was an evil face that Cosmia recognized. "Eris!" she breathed.

"That's right you little turd," Eris cackled. There was a kicking screaming bag on the doorstep.

"Lucas, is that you?" Cosmia asked.

"That's right and there's nothing you can do for your little friend!" Eris said, grinning.

Holly also ran to the door and almost fainted. Cosmia knew what she had to do. She stepped forward and gave Eris a nice big....knuckle sandwich. Eris fell back onto the lawn and held her hand to her mouth, which was bleeding violently.

"How does that taste?" asked Cosmia smirking. Cosmia grabbed the still kicking bag and brought it inside. She slammed the door and, pushing Holly out of the way, she walked back into the kitchen. Arthur was still sitting at the table looking scared.

"This is the worst birthday ever," Holly started crying. There was a bang and the door was knocked off of its hinges. Eris stood there looking triumphant. Arthur screamed like a girl and hid under the table.

Cosmia quickly got Lucas out of the bag and, sensing what she had to do, she put her hands together in prayer position and suddenly there was a purple ball of energy in her hands. She threw this at Eris.

"I didn't know, Cosmia! Why did you not tell me?" Eris yelled while the energy ball soared threw the air as if in slow-mo.

"You why I didn't tell you, mother? Because you never gave me the chance to!" Cosmia shouted. Right before the ball hit Eris it veered to the right and bounced back at Cosmia. It hit the wall a hairs-breath behind her.

"Cosmia!" Holly breathed in disbelief. "How come you didn't tell us?" Holly, Lucas, and Arthur were staring at Cosmia. She looked away, embarrassed.

"I...I...I'm sorry dudes, I just didn't want to be like such a weirdo, I just want to be your normal friend."

"Oh Cosmia, you will always be our friend," Holly went over to Cosmia and put an arm around her shoulders.

"Yah, Cosmia, its cool...you're cool," agreed Arthur and Lucas.

"Please...I just don't want you to think I am an idiot! I want to be normal!" Cosmia began to sob. A ball of energy hurtled straight at Holly, Cosmia, Lucas, and Arthur.

"Duck!!" Holly yelled at the top of her lungs. All of them ducked and managed to avoid it. Unfortunately, the wall behind them didn't. It was blasted to smithereens by the ball.

"Why are you doing this, Eris?!" Cosmia shouted as she back-fired the ball at the enemy. "I thought I was your daughter? Now what am I...your enemy?" Cosmia screamed.

"I disinherit you, filthy girl! You where never really my daughter anyway! I adopted you; you would have died without me!"

"You are lying, evil, dirty...woman!" Cosmia screamed at her mother. The ball just missed Eris as she ducked.

"Guys...chill!" Lucas said coming over to Cosmia. "Why can't we all just be nice to each other?"

"No! I will not be nice to this...girl!" Eris shrieked.

"Okay, I will give you two options Eris. 1. You will be nice to us. 2. You will go away," Lucas said reasonably.

"No! I will not do either of those things! How is this? 3. I will kill you all and take over the world?"

"Sorry, that is not an option."

"Well I am going to do it anyway, so there." Nobody could explain how it happened. Suddenly, Eris and Cosmia where on top of each other in a frenzied fist fight. Lucas and Arthur ran over and tried to disconnect the two women.

"Holly, come help!" yelled Arthur. Holly could not move. 'Would it have just been better just too stay on Xaishur, instead of having to watch all of this destruction?'

"Please! Don't just stand there! These people are going to kill each other!" Arthur screamed. Holly instinctively ran forward when she heard a sound of a nose breaking, and yelled,

"Cosmia, please just let go of Eris!" She noticed that Cosmia was winning the fight; it was Eris's nose that had broken. Holly roughly grabbed Cosmia and hauled her of Eris. Eris fell over on the ground moaning and holding her nose.

Cosmia stepped over her mother and slumped to the ground. Holly, Arthur, and Lucas rushed over to her and knelt down.

"Are you okay, Cosmia," Holly asked, concerned. Cosmia did not answer. Lucas and Arthur turned her over and Lucas felt her wrist for a pulse. There was only a slight flicker.

"Eris, you have to help us!" Arthur said urgently.

"I will not help her," Eris said with disdain.

"But she's dying!" Holly pleaded.

"I am not helping." Eris stood up and began walking away. Holly began to cry. Eris faltered for a second and then turned back to Cosmia. Holly could tell that there was a mental battle raging within Eris. Eris sighed and turned to the group of people gathered around Cosmia.

"I will help... On one condition! One of you has to come with me."

Lucas stepped forward. "I will come with you," he said bravely.

"No Lucas you can't!" Holly screamed. Arthur had snuck away and up behind Eris.

With a fearsome battle cry, Arthur jumped in front of Eris, and stabbed her through the back and into her heart. There was one final shriek of pain and she crumpled to the floor. Then the strangest thing started to happen. Eris's feet disintegrated. Her legs followed suit and in a heartbeat, Eris was no more.

"Arthur, how could you!" Holly cried. "I think she was going to cure Cosmia and now there is no hope!"

"Whaaaa..." Cosmia had feebly raised her head.

"Cosmia!" Lucas reached forward and closed his hand around Cosmia's cold had. "Don't die on me," Lucas said simply. Arthur walked over to Holly and hugged her.

"I...I..." Arthur stuttered. Cosmia's head fell back and Lucas tried to stifle his scream of terror. Holly thought that the scream was because of Cosmia, but Lucas was not looking at Cosmia, but behind Holly. There, out of the bush behind her, stumbled a man.

He looked to be around 25 and was tall and thin with redish brownish hair, with black, dead looking eyes.

"What...who are you guys?" he said confusedly. Then he saw Cosmia and his dead eyes widened. "Lucienne? Is that you?" the man said.

"No!" Lucas said. "This is Cosmia and she is...she is..." The man ran over the Cosmia and kneeled down beside her.

"No!" Lucas exclaimed again. He tried to keep the weird man away from Cosmia, but it was no use. The man laid his hand on her chest. There was a jet of lime green light, and Cosmia began to cough.

Arthur, Lucas, and Holly thanked the man as Cosmia stood up and walked over to the group.

"This is my daughter Lucienne," the man said. "And my name is Connor."

"Dad?" Cosmia asked.

"Well," Connor began a little later, after he had convinced the group that he was not here to kill them, "I lived in a small house with my wife Roxanne and my daughter Lucienne. Lucienne was only two years old, when Eris came. She just came and took my daughter. It was horrible," Connor explained.

"Whoa! Wait a second. Did you used to live on Xaishur?" Lucas asked.

"Yes," Connor answered shortly.

"So...how are you here on Earth?"

"I...I am not proud of what I did," Connor hung his head. "My Roxanne was devastated and she ran away from home. I never saw her again." He began crying and he could not finish what he was saying. It was apparent Holly thought. He had killed himself for grief.

"Um, that's very sad and all but what do you want us to do? Just give Cosmia to you?" Holly asked.

Connor was still crying and he did not answer. Cosmia went over to her dad and put an arm around his shoulders.

"Dad can't we just live together with my friends in Holly's house?" Connor looked up and Holly saw the slight tinge of red in his black dead looking eyes.

"Uh, Cosmia be careful," Holly advised. But Cosmia had noticed the red manic gleam and she backed away from Connor.

"I think Connor has gone slightly mad," Holly whispered to Cosmia as she backed up.

"I wish my mother would be here she would sort this out." Cosmia sighed.

"Do you think that we can live in the same house as this weirdo?" Arthur asked coming over with Lucas to Holly and Cosmia.

"I think we should at least try," Cosmia confirmed. Cosmia grabbed Connor's arm hauled him up. "Come on dad."

When they reached the house Cosmia settled Connor in a chair and gave him a glass of icy water to drink. He pushed the glass away and stood up. He wandered around the house touching things and muttering under his breath.

Miraculously, the rocket ship shaped cake was still untouched on the table. Holly invited everyone to the table and cut the cake. It had turned out to be a good birthday after all.