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A territory is a territory.
Quartz City, Crow Street
The skyscrapers of Quartz City are covered with huge monitors and colorful bulbs that become one with the brilliant stars to help illuminate the ground. Every building is uniquely shaped, none like the other. There is one building that gives off the impression that a giant glass doughnut is hovering between two other buildings. The Mirage, the tallest building anyone has ever seen, serves as a mirror to the moon, reflecting its bright silver light upon the streets of Quartz City.
Any kid with a fear of the dark feels safe in this vividly lit city. Children are able to walk around, actually using the lights from all the buildings as a channel to find their way home during the dark hours of the night. But what kind of a child wanders around the streets after sun down anyway? Well, it would have to be a kid with no parents to impose a curfew on him, a kid like King.
King is a skinny, shaggy, afro haired kid who always wears a white tank top with a big red star designed on it. He pairs this with blue jeans that have obviously been patched up more than a few times.
Tonight, King is running around the bright city using the moons reflection off of The Mirage as his flashlight.
You would think the local zoo had just released a cheetah into the city. Don’t blink because you may miss him!
A foster care agent chases King. Today, Mr. Maxo is sure that he’ll catch him.
King is a smart and crafty twelve year old, it’s his fifth time running away from the QC Foster Care Institute. Could you believe that he escaped from a room with five locks by rusting them with his own urine? He then simply kicked them off one by one using the karate techniques that he learned from watching a full marathon of ‘The Amazing Karate Tiger’ on TV.
Ever since he’s been in foster care he’s been nothing but trouble. Like a wild bird trapped inside of a cage, all King desires is his freedom. As he runs away from Mr. Maxo, King uses the lights to guide him around the buildings. Mr. Maxo is out of shape and much too slow to keep up with him. King runs into a graffiti wall. It’s a dead end for him as Mr. Maxo finally catches up. He stretches out his sweaty hands, ready to grip King and take him in.
“I gotch’ya now ya lil’ rascal. I’m putting ya back in for good! And where you’re headin’ won’t have locks, it’ll be more like bars!” says Mr. Maxo in his southern accent with a grin.
“I’m not going back anywhere with ya guy!” King yells bitterly. “The street is my home. I don’t need any foster parents, ya hear!?”
Ironically the wall behind King has the words ‘THIS IS MY HOME!’ written in graffiti. Well... it’s not too ironic since King is the artist.
“We’ll see bout’ that,” says Mr. Maxo as he lunges his over sized body towards King.
King dodges him by just a few feet and then climbs the wall using the building’s pipes, poles and finally a light post, making it all the way to the top of the wall.
Mr. Maxo’s eyes bulge out in complete shock.
“What the...? Are you a some kind of monkey or somethin’?!”
King sticks his tongue out, taunting Mr. Maxo while doing silly hand signs. Thereafter, a turquoise blimp that looks like it has been sprinkled with Christmas lights passes by with an advertisement for ‘Bare Naked Truth Juice’. King and Mr. Maxo stare at the blimp in awe.
No matter how many times the blimp passes by, everyone in Quartz City always stops to stare at it, almost fanatically.
Mr. Maxo takes his cap off and flicks off the sweat from his forehead with his massive curly french fry like finger.
“What a blimp eh?” says Mr. Maxo calmly conversing with King as if he wasn’t just in a skirmish with him.
“It’s almost hypnotizing,” King replies with his back turned to Mr. Maxo. He flips out a peace sign to Mr. Maxo with his back still turned, “Well... see ya next time ‘Mr. Rolly Polly!” King hops over the wall.
“What? Hey wait!” yells Mr. Maxo from the other side of the wall.
King sprints away, back to the only place that he can call home. Traverse Bridge.
Traverse Bridge was built over the Grand River to create a connection between Quartz City and the “Bare Naked Truth Juice Factory”. The factory, located on top of a hill, produces the most colorful, mouth dripping, and thirst rejuvenating juice that King, his friends and possibly every kid in the whole world has ever tasted. Everyone loves this juice, even grownups. Yes, even grownups!
Beneath Traverse Bridge live about a dozen orphans who follow in King’s path, including King’s two best friends Niles and Flor—this is where all of them hang out and sleep.
This is home for King.
Flor is a cute girl who wears a pink dress with two belts strapped around her waist, white beat up stockings and bracelets she made herself. Her always-braided long brown hair is flying in the wind as she runs towards King. She is excited and a little relieved that he’s back home and unharmed.
“King, you’re back!” coos Flor with her charming smile.
Digging into the pockets of his baggy cargo pants, he pulls out a yellow flower and hands it to her. Flor takes the flower and jumps on King like a kangaroo, squeezing him like a teddy bear. King pulls his head back and tries to wiggle his way out of her tight grasp.
“Ahk! If ya keep hugging me like this I’ll think twice about ever bringing ya your favorite flower again, ya hear?”
“Awe... Don’t be like that,” says Flor as she wipes away her tears of joy. She plants the yellow flower behind her ear, pinning her bangs back. Instantly it magnifies her smooth and soft tan face.
“So did you bring back some food?” shouts a kid in the distance.
King looks around to see who made the remark but he couldn’t find the owner of the voice.
“Over here, are you blind?” says Niles. Seated near the Grand River shore is Niles, wearing a blue and white striped long sleeve shirt designed with a hoodie and black baggy jeans. He’s playing a board game created entirely out of kitchen forks, spoons, plates and wine glasses with a round kid nicknamed Columbus... because he’s always discovering new places.
Next to Columbus is a really skinny kid named Edwin, but everyone calls him Ed-stein because he’s always inventing crazy things and games using only ordinary household appliances.
Niles is the noisiest, blond headed-eleven year old on the face of this planet. He’s usually easy to spot from a mile away. Niles walks up to King and they proceed to do their usual, yet secret, awesome handshake.
King and Niles swing a straight jab towards the side of each other’s right arm in unison. Then they bring back their arms until their elbows are bent. They bump fist to fist and finally, they simultaneously open up their hands as if they were holding up a fire ball. They make a facial expression that looks like theyre doing a ‘number two’; a priceless face.
Flor rolls her eyes at the boys. She walks away and skips towards the factory’s huge waste container by the edge of the hill.
She opens the hatch of the container, pulls out a Bare Naked Truth juice bottle and starts sipping the juice with the straw that comes with it.
Inside of the container lies a whole bunch of day old juices that are just as good as the up to date juices. Some time ago, King broke the lock that chained the hatch of the container using Edwin’s invention, the ‘Lock Gyro Breaker’. Edwin created it by utilizing different mechanic tools and junk he found out in the streets.
Grabbing a free juice bottle whenever you want is the best thing that could’ve happened to King and his gang but lately, the kids have gotten tired of drinking it—with the exception of Flor.
“Whattya mean you don’t have any food?” asks Niles.
“Well to make a long story short... Mr. Rolly Polly was after me again and I barely escaped guy. Seriously, I ain’t playin’,” says King with the bad habit of saying ‘GUY’ at the end of almost all of his sentences.
Flor makes her way back, catching the boys in an argument again. She stands in between them.
“You mean that child care agent?” Flor asks.
“Yup, yuppers,” says King.
“This is bad, badder than the first day of school. I’m going to starve to death,” whines Niles.
“Well, we just have to stick it out one more night guy. I have a master plan that’ll get us some real meat for sure. Seriously, I ain’t kiddin this time,” King assures him.
Niles sighs and shakes his head, “Oh no... I’m not following any more of your plans! ...every time I do, I get skinnier. I need some fat man!”
Flor finishes her juice and throws the bottle in the air, the bottle lands, grazing Nile’s head.
“Why’d you do that for Flor!?” cries Niles holding his hurt head.
King and Niles deviate their attention from one another and steer towards Flor.
“Well, now that I’ve gathered both of your attention, I think that the best thing we can do for now is rest until tomorrow, right?” she asks.
King and Niles stare at each other for a bit, then they look over at the huge clock that stands tall from Quartz City’s, Time Octagon Road. The clock is so big and shines as bright as the moon; it can be seen from miles away. They know she’s right. “It’s 12:17am,” says Niles sadly as he holds his tummy.
All the children have a box with their name on it where they store their tents and small belongings.
As they all open up their boxes to setup their tents for bed, a violent sound pierces through their ear drums.
The sound is just unbearable! The kids cover their ears attempting to shut it out as best as they can.
Luckily, it doesn’t last long.
The noise is heard coming from the Bare Naked Truth Juice factory, only twenty yards across Traverse Bridge. It sounded like a truck swerving off the road into a herd of wild cows.
The kids quickly duck inside their tents... all, except for King. King curiously and without a second thought, climbs the bridge to peer over the ledge.
With just the tip of his nose and eyes showing, he gazes across the bridge and spots a huge black, sixteen-wheeler truck. It looks like a fusion between a garbage truck and a school cafeteria milk carton.
“It’s been passing by here ever since we first moved here two years ago... but it has never caused such a ruckus like tonight?” King thinks to himself.
“And every night, at this exact time this same truck crosses Traverse Bridge from the factory and drives down to Quartz City. I’ve never seen anyone go in or out of the factory since a fire broke out six years ago, yet that truck still does?” he continues.
King has never been able to get a view of the driver because the window tints are too dark. “Something is certainly up.” His stomach growls.
“I guess I’ll look into it tomorrow. I’m much too hungry and tired to think about this now,” he says to himself as he returns to his tent to sleep like the rest of the kids.
Around three in the morning, Flor awakes from a hissing sound in the sky. She power walks and climbs to the summit of a hill, ten yards east of the camp and Traverse Bridge.
Flor sits on the grass and looks up at the starry night. To her surprise the sky now looks orange. She keeps staring until her eyes start to get dry. Abruptly, within a few minutes of staring, she witnesses three meteors making their way towards Quartz City.
“Aha! So the hissing noise was coming from the meteors??” Flor wonders out loud. “Wait, Meteors!!!” she reassures herself.
As the meteors make their way closer to Quartz City, a large crescendo is heard.
Frightened, Flor quickly darts down the hill, and dashes inside King’s tent. She shakes him with all her might but he doesn’t budge. Frustrated, she dashes to Niles tent, but then immediately, bails right out remembering how much Niles likes to fart while he sleeps.
The intoxication of Niles farts would knock her out before she can even reach him.
Terrified, she begins to panic.
So she decides to just yell out, “Danger, Danger! There are meteors coming!!!”
However, before anyone can make any sense of her rants, an immense catastrophic sound startles everyone wide-awake.
BAKKKKOOOOOM!! BRAKAKAKAKAKA!!! GOOOOOOOSHA!!!!
The meteors CRASH right INTO Quartz City!
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