Owen a through glass nov.., p.1
Owen: A Through Glass Novella, page 1
A Through Glass Novella
Text Copyright ©2019 by Rebecca Ethington
The Though Glass Series, characters, names, and related indicia are trademarks and © of Rebecca Ethington.
The Through Glass Series Publishing rights © Rebecca Ethington
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No Part of this publication may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher. For Information regarding permission, write to:
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Printed in USA
This Edition, September 2019
Created with Vellum
1. May 5th 2013 11:20 p.m
2. May 6th 2013 6:45 a.m
3. May 8th 2013 5:35 pm
4. May 8th 2013 6:00 pm
5. May 8th 2013 6:59 pm
6. May 8th 2013 8:59 pm
7. May 8th 2013 11:59 pm
8. May 11th 2013 4:03 p.m
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To The Gamers In My Life
May You Always Live in This Reality
May 5th 2013 11:20 p.m
“Spence, if you don’t take that one out and we get taken out again, I’m going to come over there and knock you upside the head.”
I growled the words into the headset, my eyes focused on the computer screen on my cluttered desk, and the four characters that were running around a bit haphazardly. At least, I thought they were.
The high definition twenty-four-inch monitor was new and top of the line. I had saved up for months for the thing, ready to play with Spencer, Carl, and Rome in hi-def. Turns out high-def only goes as high as your internet, however, and my parents had opted for the bottom of the line provider, despite telling me otherwise.
As a result, I could scarcely tell the differences of the undead corpses we were supposed to fighting and the Elven Queen we were supposed to be saving.
“Says the guy that’s killed Madame Eureulia twice now,” Spence grumbled, his character busting in front of me to take out a line of zombies that were two steps away from blowing my brains in.
No wonder he was getting frustrated with me, that was the second time he had done that.
Damn, I was going to have to fish my old monitor out of the donation box.
“Focus, Owen,” Carl snarled, he and Rome’s massive goblin-like characters heading toward the last block of zombies that were guarding the princess.
“Yeah, yeah,” I mumbled, clicking keys and moving my mouse as my priest healed first Carl, then Spence, then me. I hadn’t realized that they were so low.
It was just in the nick of time too, as the next line of zombies were already heading our way now that Rome had freed the princess.
“I’ll get her to the checkpoint,” Rome said with little more than a grunt. His green-skinned rogue grabbing the princess and taking off.
“I got left.”
“You guys always stick me in the back,” Spence grumbled as we all ran into our positions, spell after spell flying from my staff as I took down the monsters and healed my comrades.
“Just get moving, Spence.”
We all did as one, the zombies falling like flies as we ripped our way out of their underground cavern and back into the open air.
The zombies began to fall away as we got closer to the checkpoint, the NPC growing larger as the zombies finally faded away and our panicked run turned into a walk.
“Damn, we barely made that,” Carl said as we all turned in the task, he and Spence leveling up. “Thanks for paying attention, Owen.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I grumbled, typing the code in for my mage to send a crude gesture to his elf. He returned it right back. “We got through it, that’s all that matters.”
“Well, remind me not to be on your team if we are faced with a real-life zombie apocalypse. We’d be the first to die,” Carl said and everyone laughed. That time I shot Carl in the head, and they all laughed more.
“Your funeral. I have enough skill, weapons, and knowledge to live through anything. But if you guys don’t want to be on my team…”
Their laughter finally started to die down, our characters taking off toward their next task.
“What does this knowledge entail, O?” Spence was barely able to conceal his laughter. “Hiding underneath the table?”
“No,” I snapped, shooting him in the back of the head and sending his elf to the ground. “If zombies were to take over, we’d need a fortress. Large space, few doors, easy to lockdown in an emergency…”
“Are we taking over the army base, now?” Rome chuckled darkly as he took down a raging galalope with one hit, the one-horned beast dying in dramatic fashion, his tongue was even lolling out of his mouth. “Because I can’t think of any other place like that.”
I rolled my eyes, “Then you clearly aren’t thinking. Use your brain. What has space, food, lights, lots of smaller compartments that lockdown easily and,” I counted quickly in my head, “Eight glass entrances, all easily covered.”
There was just the sound of swords and grunts and my character grumbling about losing their target for a minute before Carl grumbled, “You’re talking about the Old Court Mall, aren’t you?”
“At least one of us has sense.” I sent him five copper for that, if only because he at least had his head on straight.
“Old Court Mall?” Spence laughed, as I healed him and then Rome. Again. Downside of being the only healer with too many tanks. “That old place with the glass ceiling? Does that place even exist anymore, didn’t they tear it down and build a high-rise? Aren’t you afraid Zombies will climb the walls and fall through the roof?”
“Nah, that ceiling is thick. Besides, you ever hear of a zombie with wings? They are slow, and dumb as rocks. You block up the glass doors and no one’s getting in.”
“Okay, okay,” Spence conceded.
“I dunno,” Rome sighed, just as he ended the last of the galalopes that had rushed us and we moved to the next target. “That’s a lot of space, how are you going to keep it all safe. Cover the glass doors, sure. But what about all the service entrances? And then you got three floors and all those stores…”
“The service entrances have rolling metal and locking doors,” Carl said and I sent him another five copper. “You keep them secure and you should be fine. The space though… What, you building a city or something?”
I laughed, “I highly doubt I would be the only survivor of the zombie scourge. Survivors need a solid home base. You guys would make it, and others…”
“And elect you as mayor? Mayor Owen.” Rome laughed, Spence joined him.
“I prefer to be called King,” I said as sarcastically as I could and they all laughed. Laughed and killed galalopes, just like pretty much every night. “And as King, I will permit you to pick which store you would make your own…”
“Hot Topic!” Spence yelled before anyone else could.
“Spencer’s,” Rome grunted. I was pretty sure he wasn’t going for the themed t-shirts.
“I’d go for the Lego store, myself. Build myself a throne seeing as I am king and all.” I smiled as I clicked my mouse, already planning how my epic Lego throne would look.
“You guys are idiots,” Carl mocked, laughing even harder, “The dollar store is mine.”
“Yep. Canned food, cooking supplies. Camping supplies. Everything supplies really,” Carl explained, moving on to killing more of the zombies, although this time they weren’t attacking us quite as much. “Think about it, it’s a custom-made survival store.”
Silence rang through my headset, even the zombie killing had stopped as we all froze in place, realization slamming against my head.
I wasn’t the one to have it click first, however.
“That’s it,” Spence said, breaking the silence. “I’m battling Carl for the dollar store.”
“Screw battling,” I said, taking down two zombies at once. “I’m king; I’m taking it for myself.”
“You’ll have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers, King Owen,” Carl said, snarling my fake title as everyone snickered.
I just sat, killing zombies, hating that a legit plan had already fallen into place.
Well, at least I’d be prepared, not that Zombies are real.
May 6th 2013 6:45 a.m
The heavy slam of lockers echoed around me, pounding against my skull like the bones were shattered and burning. We had stayed up way too late last night conquering a pirate ship and returning ‘The Prized Hogg’ to a villager. That and a million other little things.
Now, thanks to my lack of sleep, the whole world was too loud, too bright, and too wobbly. I cringed as another locker slammed to my left, and after darting around two girls who thought they owned the hallways, I finally reached my locker.
Spin. Twenty-five. Spin. Eighteen. Spin. Three.
The locker snapped, the door swinging wide to reveal a dozen dragon sketches that I had labored over lining the inside of the door. They were all sketches from a monster I was going to write into a book someday. If I could ever figure out what it was going to be about. The story was almost cemented in my mind, I just needed the heroine who was going to fall in love with the dragon.
Although, I already had an idea of what she would look like.
A familiar laugh echoed behind me, and I turned, hoping for a glimpse of the beautiful Sarah. Instead, I was met by half a bagel and my best friend’s smug grin.
“Figured you’d need this,” Spencer chuckled, waving the cream cheese laden bread toward me. “I’d give you coffee, but I drank it on the way.”
“Gee thanks,” I grumbled, grabbing the bagel, even though I was still watching Sarah and her red-headed friend walk down the hall.
Sarah, the beautiful senior. I was only a sophomore, so she was out of my league for more than a few reasons. Age. Beauty. The fact that I was an immense nerd.
I wasn’t about to ask her out or anything like that, but just thinking of her in battle leathers atop a dragon was branding her as my muse.
“Beautiful,” I nearly drooled the word, and Spencer laughed. He didn’t need to know what I was staring at.
“You have got to set your sights on something more logical,” Spencer said, grabbing the bagel out of my hand and taking a bite before returning it.
“I can’t deny what the heart wants.” I winked, grabbing my math and history books out of the locker and slamming the thing.
“Oh yeah? And what does the heart want?” Carl asked, coming up on the other side of me, and grabbing my bagel. God, if I didn’t scarf it down there wasn’t going to be any left.
“Nothing,” I snapped, grabbing the bagel back and doing just that. Carl gave Spence a look and they both began to chuckle.
“I take it the beautiful Sarah walked by here,” Carl prodded, looking over my shoulder for his own peek.
At least I knew he wouldn’t razz me too much, he drooled over her about as much as I did.
“You know what you should do?” Spencer nagged me as I threw my bag over my shoulder and we began to walk down the hall.
“What?” I asked, knowing that if I didn’t acknowledge him he would respond anyway, the bastard.
“Forget your mall, just turn the school into your Kingdom,” God, I could already tell where this was going, just by the look that Spence was giving me. “The king of the school. Because, you know, being king comes with certain benefits.”
“Don’t be an ass,” I snarled and slammed my fist into his arm. He fell sideways into a row of lockers and just laughed.
“You know you want to,” Spence continued, completely unabashed. “There is no way you are getting with her otherwise.”
“Jeeze, Spence,” Carl said, the hollow echo of the bell nearly running over his words. Nearly. “You are an ass.”
“At least I’ll get me some--”
“I’ve got to get to class,” I mumbled over Spencer’s coming ramble about women.
Ever since the guy had hit puberty he had declared himself a ladies man, a title that he wears with way too much honor after his three-date girlfriend from last year let him touch her boob.
Just the one, and just the once.
It was hardly a badge of honor.
We had all kissed girls. We were all still virgins. But somehow, Jessica McMurphy and her skimpy C’s had put him above all of us in his knowledge and ability to ‘get some.’
Maybe that would be my first decree as king of my fictional zombie kingdom, find me and Carl girlfriends. And Rome too, even though the guy lived on the other side of Texas and none of us had ever met him in person.
He deserved a girl too, before Spence at least.
“Okay, Mr. Straight A’s have fun in your nerd computer class.”
I flipped Spence off, but he only laughed and flashed the bird right back, he and Carl headed to their math class on the other side of the school.
That one wasn’t worth fighting with him, he would have been in this class too if his parents could afford the extracurricular fee. But they couldn’t. All that money went to booze, and cigarettes, and whatever else they spent it on.
Spence could be a jerk sometimes, but I wasn’t about to judge him over it. He had been the best, kindest guy until his mom took off a few years ago. Now his dad and ‘Nancy’ made his life a living hell.
I slid into my desk and started tinkering with the PC we were rebuilding this term, my lab partner already soldering something on the motherboard.
“Hey, Owen,” he said, barely looking up. The guy was on tunnel vision when he worked on computers. Fine by me, I was the same way.
It was luck I got paired with him, and not just because we were the smartest guys in the class. But because he happened to be related to Sarah’s best friend, the redhead.
“Hey Travis,” I said, and knowing that he would see right through me asked, “How’s your sister?”
He just laughed.
May 8th 2013 5:35 pm
“Owen! Don’t talk back to me, young man!” The mocking scold followed me out the back door, and I rolled my eyes, scuttling down the back steps with a trash bag in hand as I finished yet another of my mother’s asinine chores.
The bag was almost empty, I was starting to think she was just trying to find a way to get me out of her way while she worked. She needn't have bothered. I was happy being holed up in my bedroom, playing games and chatting with the guys, all of which I was already five minutes late for.
Spence had some family thing this weekend and we wanted to make another pass on the dungeon we had been working on before he left. Tonight was the last night to do that and the guys were waiting.
“Sorry mom,” I mumbled as I entered the house sans garbage, the screen door slamming shut behind me. The wind had been on a rampage for the last few days and I was starting to wonder if the screen door could take much more the way it was pounding around.
“Just watch your tone. You’re in high school now, be polite to me, and you’ll be swimming in women.”
“Mom!” I didn’t know what was worse, that she actually thought that would work, or that she used the term ‘swimming in women.’ Ugh.
“I still don’t want to think about that.” I rolled my eyes and started heading in the opposite direction.
“What? The women? Cuz I’m okay if you want to think about guys too! I don’t much care as long as you are happy.” She sipped her tea, grinning at me from behind the rim.
“I’m going to go play, mom,” I said, ignoring her prodding. “I’ll make dinner in a bit.”
She just chuckled at me knowingly and darted into her office, leaving me to thunder down the stairs to my basement. The basement was made up of more than just my bedroom, but seeing as my parents very rarely made the journey down the ten steps, and everything down here had been reclaimed, built, or dragged in by me and my friends; I had claimed it as my own.
Star Wars and superhero posters lined the walls, a few old game consoles I had been trying to fix up littered over the old green carpet. Carpet that perfectly matched the couch Carl and I had found out by the dump last summer.
After a good hose down it was good as new.
Flipping on my monitor I immediately fired up the game, the screen opening to the three others who were sitting there talking, their voices already rumbling through the speakers on my headset.
“Sorry guys,” I said, falling into my chair and typing the few commands to join their group. “Trash.”
“Taking or eating?” Rome asked and everyone chuckled.
“Taking,” I said, forcing my character to take a swipe at Rome, who dodged. “Let’s get this party going before Spence bails on us.”
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