CHAPTER VII : shiver
Mog thought he had died falling through the dark shaft.
Obviously, he hadn’t.
Slowly waking up from his nightmare, he pinched himself just to be sure.
It hurt, and he decided that somehow, he was still alive.
But how could he be?
He remembered laughing with Sam, who he thought had been missing until a little while ago, then the elevator had gone crazy and dropped like a meteor.
But where to?
Looking around, he saw sand everywhere, and a lot of water.
Maybe this was the sea, or an ocean.
In any case, it wasn’t exactly normal for an elevator, serving as the entrance of a bar downtown, to slip its way to a beach.
That sort of thing never was to happen.
So how the hell was it at all possible?
Sam was waking up next to him, and there wasn’t any sight of the ruins of their transport.
His friend with the completely delusional idea that he travelled through different worlds, like some kind of TV show.
Maybe his friend wasn’t so crazy after all.
Maybe it did really happen.
“Sam! You alright?” He asked with a fright in his voice.
“Well, yes I am. Thank you. So maybe now, but just maybe, heh - I wouldn’t dare - maybe you fucking believe me now?”
Sam looked angry, but not because of Mog, he could at least tell that.
Sam was angry at himself: after all that had happened, after all that he did with Eze to go back to his world, he drifted from it again.
He had secretly hoped that the elevator would just take them back to their city, but he had been wrong again.
Again, and he had barely passed more than a few minutes in his hometown.
Mog was still dizzy from the ride, but he clearly noticed his friend going rogue on the beach, kicking the sand with his feet, shouting to something invisible to him.
In the end, he thought Sam was just yelling at himself like a mad man.
“Come on buddy, we’ll find a way.” Mog tried to reassure him.
But his friend just wasn’t listening.
Plus, Mog had absolutely no idea where they had ended up.
Suddenly, a thought came to him: what if they really were in another world? What could they possibly do about it?
But before Mog had any time to think about all that, silhouettes appeared out of nowhere, making their way toward them.
These were human shapes, so at least all was not lost.
He discerned male and female shapes, with feathers styling the figure head of the group.
As he tried to stand on his legs to cry for help, he fell back on the sand, a sweet sleepiness enveloping him back into the coma he had just woken from.
Mog opened his eyes to an indoor room, more or less.
Taking a closer look at it, the walls were joined together in a pointy way above his head, the whole thing holding on wooden logs.
This was probably an Indian tent he guessed.
As his memories came back to him, he subtlety looked for Sam, acting like he was still asleep, for he didn’t know the intentions of whoever had put him there, and was in no rush to learn if they had been saved, or were being held captive.
“So this is all your fault! This is your doing if I’m like that, right? Change it back! Change me back right now! What were you thinking?” Sam yelling all over the place.
“I don’t know if I can do that, I am so, so sorry, this has never happened before, and I don’t know how it is even possible.” It was a girl’s voice, one he had heard before not so long ago.
“So what, you’re just travelling around, making people drink your shit and dance with you, and then go on without a thought? Bring me back to my old life or I swear I’m going to burn this whole place down!”
Sam was furious, more than Mog had ever seen him before.
Thinking that his friend would not be shouting all over the tent if there had been any immediate danger, Mog finally rose and made a stunning realization: the girl Sam was screaming at was the one they had partied with on their little adventure.
A whole bunch of questions flooded his mind, but were quickly stopped by the sobbing red haired girl.
“I’m so sorry, I really am!” she cried. “I had no idea this could ever happen, I use this potion because it makes everyone feel good, and we all dance, and we’re all just happy. I thought I was the only one it affected, for I always had these powers!”
The girl in red was openly weeping now, and Mog noticed his friend was wavering, not knowing how to react.
It made him smile, not because the girl was crying of course, but because after all the things Sam had said he now saw him with this look which said: “I should not have said that, what do I do now that I’ve messed everything up?”
He was trying hard to find something comforting to say, when Mog finally stood up and saved his ass, because that’s what friends are for.
“So, where are we?” Mog asked.
A sight of relief crossed Sam’s face as he answered the question:
“We’re in the world of the Indians we met, not so long ago for you. And she just told me that the reason why I’ve been falling from world to world as I told you is because I drank that potion we got so high on.”
Sam finished his sentence with a nod toward the crying girl, hoping Mog would somehow find a way to make her stop, for he was the social one of the band.
“Come on it’s alright, I just woke up, can you explain this whole thing again? It’s a bit new for me.”
He pronounced these last words with a childish smile, and to Sam’s relief, managed to stop the girl’s tears.
She stopped sobbing, and started explaining.
Of course Mog didn’t understand all of it, but to summarize, this is what he got: the potion they had drunk at the Indian’s party was filled with sacred plants which could only truly influence a shaman like the girl, and which went beyond the “super high” affect.
The potion enhanced her power to travel through different worlds, and allowed her to create passages from one to another so she and her friends could visit other places, find other people and party with them.
They were just a bunch of lost kids living in the forest.
But with her magic, which she thought she was the only one to have, they could be more: they became travelers.
But they were not motivated only by their romantic wanderlust.
In their world, the one they were on right now, was raging a war between tribes, killing one another daily.
And apparently Sam wasn’t just one of the usual party-people-from-another-world they were used to.
He had apparently developed the same kind of powers the girl had, but wasn’t able to control them, which is why he had been thrown from world to world like a raft in a storm.
Even worse, this time he dragged Mog into it.
This was the most he could get from her explanation.
“Wow. Okay.” Mog was still processing what the girl had told him.
“At least now you know I’m not crazy.” Sam laughed.
The three of them smiled awkwardly to one another when suddenly, they heard screaming from afar.
They were the kind of war cries Mog had only ever heard at the cinema.
The girl straightened up swiftly, rose to her feet and fled the tent.
The two boys followed right behind her.
Outside the teepee, Mog discovered a campsite: a bunch of little homes just like the one they were in surrounding a large central fire, a cliff in the background.
Hills extended in front of the camp, menaced by black clouds which appeared to be heading straight toward them.
Every single Indian in the camp was running around, throwing weapons at each other.
Spears, bows, daggers and swords were being passed around, replacing the guitars and other music instruments Mog had seen the same people with during their last encounter.
They all looked frightened.
So very frightened that Mog started to feel a little anguish growing in his stomach.
What were they all so scared of?
Then it hit him: that wasn’t a cloud.
They were horses, mounted by men painted in black, hair covered in feathers, brandishing scraps of metal and wood, throwing themselves in their direction.
Mog was given a sword, but he merely knew how to hold it.
Sam on the contrary seemed at ease with one.
Of course he would show off Mog thought, he always bragged about how much time he had spent studying martial arts.
But this was not a joke, the cloud which was not a cloud was getting closer and before Mog knew it, the men on their horses were already encircling them.
A shiver went down his spine and as Mog awoke to the reality of the situation, the battle started.
His friend was fighting at his side, showing his teeth and yelling at the Indians painted in black, fencing like a fury around him.
Sam took some blows and was injured, but didn’t fall back from his position.
That’s when Mog realized he wasn’t just waving his sword at them to show what a fine warrior he estimated himself to be; he was actually protecting him, hands and face bloodied by cuts, mostly splattered from blows to their enemies, Mog hoped.
But that feeling of protection wore off fast, for they were largely outnumbered by the men attacking them, and a lot of the “good” Indians were already lying face down on the mud and blood.
This was all so crazy and Mog wished he was only dreaming, hoping he would wake up on the beach they had found at the end of their trip with Sam.
But pain took him back to present events: a spear had pierced through his chest.