“Hey there, sweet girl,” I swooned as I opened my door one chilly morning. October was setting its trademark days upon the town I had moved to a year before and the sun was climbing a stairway or warm trees to the sky. I was expecting a German shepherd or a golden retriever, like usual to take me on my morning walk but I was in for a shock. The walking service had sent me Cerberus instead. Thankfully, all three heads were collared and all teeth were away; it seemed they shared one leash and that metal rope had a note attached to it. Good, I decided, the service certainly owes me an explanation at the very least. Liquid fire boiled my bones as I read:
Good morning Percy. The Rising is upon us; all that Zelda has foretold has begun to unfold. You have been chosen to survive these events; thus, we have sent Cerberus to act as your protector. Safe travels you too (speaking of safety we promise C is not dangerous so long as he gets enough steak each night).
The note was signed “Your Caring Mother” and her corporation was entitled “The Family of Eternity”. Events of Zelda indeed, I thought with a surging sense of irony; all my life I wanted a family and now one had claimed me. I never asked to be part of whoever was charged with the care and keeping of Cerberus, but they seemed to be, so I had won some and lost some. Then came the matter of actually taking the leash into my hands and figuring it out from there.
I watched my acrylic nails wiggle as I reached forward, but my hand remained intact which encompassed everything required on my part. The utter lunacy of this situation struck me while the leading head proceeded to drag our party of four brains and six legs for about one block down the center of an abandoned Main Street, which usually had some traffic even though the town had expanded since the central stretch of the town’s road got its moniker. The immense bricks of a library that predated my grandparents dominated my right, a small restaurant predating American democracy perched on the left.
“What now?” I asked Cerberus. All three heads responded with a blood-curdling sound in unison. It was about as loud as a siren and meshed that type of wail into its howling bark.
The Rising had begun.
Glass popped, scraping against the sidewalk. Shards of countless windows filled the potholes of my first winter in town as Hurricane Patricia (the monster of my birth year) unleashed her winds from inside the young adult section onto the street. Cerberus with fur standing all the way up was electrified. For my part, I found myself draped across his back. Now, I answered my own question, comes the most interesting ride of a lifetime.
So four brains and six legs- not all of them functioning, admittedly- thundered on for several blocks. To a cantering Cerberus, this amounted to the next several seconds. I didn’t want to see the Rising, a forceful cowardice I explained as being dizzied by watching the town whizz by as I bounced up and down, but I was not excused from hearing it.
Whispers. Rustlings, actually, then whispers.
Then a cacophony and I knew where we were. I stood deposited in the heartland of the Rising; at that time, it was a crumbling as all the tombstones were turned on the heads at best and hurled away at worst. Then, naturally, Zelda’s voice sounded and spirits answered in miserable moans or anguished screams. The Rising was at work and before long, fresh souls arrived to join the show.