‘What a great day to go for a swim,’ Rex thought to himself, taking a look out of his bedroom window, watching the sunrise creeping over the trees in his street.
Perfect start to the weekend, having quite a terrible week at school, as usual, Rex was turning 18 in 2 weeks, so this year at school was going to be his last, the only problem with school for Rex was that he was an outcast at his school, he was a constant target for bullies, being an outcast also meant his pool of friends was quite small, almost not existent you could say.
But not today, today he would go and spend the day in the sun, relaxing in the river to clear his thoughts with some music, Rex liked to spend most of his time either exploring or swimming on his weekends, being by himself a lot for so long cause Rex to enjoy his own company more than with others.
Getting ready for his day, Rex changed into his usual t-shirt and board shorts, fashion was never one of his strong points, ‘everything works with jeans and board shorts’ being his favorite saying on that topic, quickly sneaking a look at himself in the mirror, a small nod of approval at how he looked proved his theory, slowly sliding his door open and proceeding to head downstairs.
Today will be different he decided, today he was going to win the game Rex and his grandmother played, it involved Rex attempting to sneak up on his grandmother to try and catch her by surprise, this had been a game between them for many years and had always ended up with the same result, he crept down the staircase, carefully maneuvering past the creaky steps that had tripped him up many times, around the corner and into the dining room, luckily for Rex, today his grandmother was sitting with her back to him, ‘should be an easy win this time’ he chuckled to himself, he got low to the floor and like a tiger stalking its prey, he crept over towards Iris, standing up slowly so his clothes didn’t make a sound, he reached out his hands, he was just about to grab her shoulders and finally claim his win when…
"How is my king this morning?" she asked with a smile, casually sipping on her morning coffee, ‘she was a demon!’ Rex thought, he never made a sound and she didn't even have to turn her head, he was mere inches from victory.
"I can never seem to sneak up on you, I have tried thousands of methods, I even watched ninja videos on youtube and practiced, always ends up with the same result, and why do you always call me 'king'" he huffed, letting out the air he had held while trying to sneak.
"It's simple my dear, experience," she said chuckling, "Rex 0, Iris...I can't even count that high, and like I always tell you, your name Rex means 'King' and was given to you for a purpose by your parents."
Parents. That was the word Rex hated the most because his 'parents' had given him to his grandmother when he was a baby because they had some critical thing to take care of, well that's what Iris told him, so he didn't even know whether it was the truth or not, he did not even have any pictures of them.
"Any big plans for the weekend?" Iris asked, pulling him out of his gloomy thoughts.
"Just going to head down to the river for a swim" he replied, lightening up a little because he knew Iris was trying to cheer him up, no matter how bad Rex’s days got, he always considered himself lucky, because Iris was always there for him.
"Your breakfast is on the bench, don't drink all the juice this time please," Iris said sternly.
"Thanks gran," he said, heading over to the bench and grabbing the bowl of oats with honey, eating quickly so he was able to leave.
"Would you look at that, almost 8 am, time for my morning tv show" Iris exclaimed cheerily, standing up and heading into the loungeroom, Rex had once changed his plans to see what Iris found so interesting on TV at the same time every day, boy did he regret the choice, over two hours of watching scripted drama and fake romance, it was painful to see and gave him a headache.
"I'll see you this afternoon!" Rex called out, throwing his bowl into the sink before walking into the garage, grabbing his backpack and picking up his bicycle, Iris had picked it up cheap from a friend and Rex had spent quite a few afternoons fixing it up.
It took him almost an hour to reach the river, seeing as his house was on the north side of town and the river ran along the southern part of town, it was called the Golden River due to a special type of plant that grew along its banks, once a year the plants would sprout golden flowers that that only lasted for 2 days, that always strangely coincided with Rex's birthday, he felt an unknown connection deep down to this place and had for as long as he could remember, that is why he enjoyed spending his time here, he could not explain why and Iris always told him she had no idea about the plants, even though she possessed many books on plants and watched gardening shows.
Rex had just reached the entrance to the river so he jumped off his bicycle and started walking it down the main road that was usually chock full of people, when a voice called out, making him sigh and cringe.
"Would you look at who just showed up!!" Laughed Dean pointing at Rex as he walked down the path that took Rex right past him, Dean was the most popular boy in his year and was also the one who targeted Rex the most, "Come to ruin our day at the river with your presence have you weasel?"
"I don't want to be anywhere near you" Rex retorted, turning his bike away from the group of people who Dean was sitting with and continuing along the path that led away from them, throwing his leg over his bike when he couldn’t see any more people ahead, cycling away at a slow pace.
"You aren't going to let him speak to you like that are you?" asked the pretty girl Dean had brought to the river to impress, "You told me you ran the school and everyone in it."
"We will go and teach him a lesson about respecting his superiors, you wait here," Dean said, standing and motioning to the other 2 boys that were there, "let's get him."
Laughing and shoving each other, the 3 boys started off down the path boasting about the horrible things they had planned for Rex when they caught up.
After about 10mins of riding down the path, constantly stopping and checking his usual places to stop, each time they had varying sized groups of people currently occupying them, so he had to find somewhere else for today, “this looks like a good quiet spot” Rex said quietly to himself as he pulled up his bike a short while later, he looked around and was happy that he had found a place that wasn't close to the other groups, he wanted to keep to himself and enjoy his music.
Rex pulled his bag off his back and sat down, opening the zip, pulling out his floating speaker and phone, paired them together, started the music, and dropped the phone into the bag again, he threw his shirt on top of the pack and started heading down to the water speaker in hand, he walked in as far as he could without cutting the music out, before leaning back and allowing himself to float, the water was so nice and mixed with the warmth from the sun, Rex was already enjoying it.
He was whistling along to one of his favorite songs when his music stopped abruptly, Rex opened his eyes, leaned forwards and swam to where his feet could touch and looked up to where his bag was and noticed Dean standing next to it with a smile from ear to ear, he had smashed his phone and was waving it at him to come and take it back.
Wading up to the bank, Rex walked out, dried himself off and was about to give Dean a piece of his mind when Dean acted first, shoving him hard enough that Rex lost his balance and landed on his backside.
"We are going to give you a lesson in respecting your superiors" Dean snarled.
‘Well, not today’ Rex thought, getting back up to his feet, failing to notice Dean's friends sneaking around behind him.
"This is for making me leave my girl at the table" Dean growled, Rex was able to see the evil intention Dean had in his eyes.
Whack!! The force from Dean’s punch to his face was enough to rattle his teeth and it sent Rex scrambling, a trickle of blood now trickling out from the edge of his mouth, in typical bully style, he gave no warning of ill intention, this was the way Dean operated. "How dare you try to stand up to me, you are nothing, stay down on the dirt where you belong" Dean sneered looking down at Rex, “People like you need to be reminded who is at the top around here, know your place and stay on the ground, it's even more pathetic that your weak grandmother can't even help you, she always appears at the right moment to save your ass, but not this time, you’re all mine today, it’s embarrassing, you’re even 18 soon and still worthless like her, even my dad says it’s hilarious, she hangs on so tightly to that house, he even offered a sum of money worth way more than it’s worth." Rex had never been so angry in his life, he didn't care that Dean would tease him, but the moment he brought his grandmo
Rex decided he would make for home after the events that unfolded at the river with Dean. He was going to leave and he planned on taking the same track he came in because it was the quickest route, but after the altercation earlier, he changed his mind, he was not wanting to risk running into the group again on the way out. 'An extra 20 minutes to go around him and his friends won't kill me' he thought as he picked up his bike and started off up the hill, going along the road headed in the opposite direction he used to come in.The only problem was the other track he knew about that would lead him back towards home was a very steep and rough goat trail that went over the eastern hills behind the town that cut through the forest area that many people avoided, there were many stories from the locals about strange things that happened in that forest. Stopping just outside of the edge of the tree line, Rex had an odd feeling like someone was watching him, looking around for any signs of
"I'm serious Iris! That is what happened!!" Rex exclaimed when Iris did not believe him. "Ok dear, you're here and you're fine, that's all that matters," She said in a soft tone, "Go upstairs, clean yourself up, and try to relax a little, it sounds like you've been through alot." "Well, no…I…fine…" Rex grumbled, admitting defeat, he was not impressed she thought he was lying about the events that had just unfolded, so after she smiled at him once more, he stood up quickly and stomped up the stairs, shutting the door loudly, getting himself undressed and ready to clean himself up, after having a warm shower, Rex threw on some clean clothes and sat in his chair and stared at the wall for a while. 'What an odd day I've had' he thought, he tried to focus on slowing his breathing because he felt like his headache was going to return if he didn't stop trying to make sense of everything, he took one look at his computer and thought, 'well Iris said my brain is already rotting, no more harm
Once Rex was upstairs, he changed into his usual attire, sat in his chair, and flicked on the tv. "I'm off to the shops," Iris said, poking her head into the door. "Ok gran, please be careful, remember to take a list with I'll be here watching a movie and relaxing" Rex replied trying to add a believable smile, no way was he planning on staying, he was going to follow her to find out what she is hiding. Once Iris had walked out the door and started off down the street, Rex was straight up out of the chair, climbing straight out onto the window sill. "If I'm going to follow her, might as well do it like a ninja so I don’t get seen," he said with a grin, in all the movies he had watched the fastest way to get to the ground was to go out of the window. Grabbing onto the drain pipe that ran next to his window, Rex shimmied down, making sure to jump the last few feet. Landing on both feet, he threw his arms up "And the dismount is a 10!" He chuckled imitating a cheering crowd. Time to
"My brain hurts, thanks gran" Rex replied, totally lost at her latest statement. "Let me start at the beginning to make it a little easier on you," she said sitting down with her coffee, "this may take a while, and please save the questions for the end." Rex sat hurriedly, totally enthralled that he was finally going to find out things he had merely dreamt about, he was secretly hoping for a mention of why his parents dropped him off and had not come back for him. Taking in a deep breath, Iris began her explanation, "This existence isn't the only one that connects to this world, there are a few more, that both you and I and many more belong to, in these places things not thought possible there exist in harmony with everyone, things like magic, for example, as I hear you have already had a small taste yourself. In our world what you would think impossible is quite common, like your feat of strength and the slowing of time, which is quite rare I must admit, the reason why I was surpr
"Now that I have told you all I can tell you for now, you need to get yourself sorted for tomorrow," Iris said, standing and washing her cup before placing it on the sink. "What's tomorrow?" Rex asked, not hiding a little excitement just in case it was something to do with the news he had just heard. "School of course dummy" she laughed. What a letdown that was, Rex thought to himself, he had let his imagination run wild and had forgotten that tomorrow was still Monday, which meant he was back to school. Back to another week of torture, he sighed, for that was what awaited him each day he went to school. Just like at home it seemed that Rex had the same routine at school, every day he had his classes, lunch by himself, more boring classes, then home, a little homework, and then video games until dinner, and then it was a shower and a little sleep. So, when Monday came around, true enough, his routine kicked in, he had breakfast, got ready, and rode his bike to school, but instea
"So have you lived here long?" Vanessa queried. "I came to Oak when I was a baby and yourself?" Rex replied. "I'm from a small town called Valen," she said. "I've never heard of a place called Valen," Rex said racking his brain for a place with that name, "Where is that?" "It's a small place, to the east, not far from the ocean," she smiled, "My mother moved here for an important job, and she dragged me with her," She frowned, Rex could tell she was not happy about it. "Well with it being so close to the end of school exams, I'm not surprised you're not happy about the move, new school, new teachers, that's a lot of pressure on you," Rex sympathized. "My mother certainly puts a lot of pressure on me, that's for sure," she muttered, still frowning. To lighten her mood Rex asked about her likes, they spoke about movies, and books, and Rex spoke about the river. *RIIIIIINNNNGGG* Damn! Just when Rex thought he was truly getting somewhere with her, lunch was already over, he waite
"Is that you Rex?" Iris called out, rounding the corner into the dining room at the same time Rex had entered, "Oh my god what happened to you?" She exclaimed, seeing him covered from head to toe in dirt and wearing torn clothes, "Did those boys beat you up again? I might have to talk to their mothers" she said angrily while fidgeting over Rex to examine his injuries. "No gran, it wasn't that, my front tyre on my bike blew and threw me forwards over the handlebars, I'm ok except for a few cuts and scrapes, my clothes seem to be the in the worst condition" Rex said trying his best to get Iris to stop fussing over him. "What cuts and scrapes?" After turning him around and looking him up and down once more, she said, "you have none on you that I can see." "What do you mean? My knees and elbows are all busted...up??" He stammered, getting confused as he twisted and turned his arms and legs around in shock, there was nothing to show what damage he had sustained from his bike accident th