Red Sun

Gale ran. She stopped in front of an electronics store to see reports of mysterious black holes all over the world. Skeletons rained from the sky; she looked up and saw a black hole over her own city. She ran the opposite direction and ended up dashing through the park.

A flash of familiar, bright red caught her eyes. She looked and saw a horned woman sitting alone on one of the tables. Her body was highlighted with a red glow that told Gale she was important somehow. Gale took a quick glance around and didn’t see any skeletons chasing her. She approached the woman carefully.

“Excuse me, Miss,” Gale said while still keeping her distance. “There’re some crazy things going on, it might be safer for you at home,” Gale pointed at the large black hole over the city. The horned woman didn’t bother to turn around, instead, she kept her gaze focused on Gale.

“I don’t have a home,” the woman said with a slight smile. Gale was puzzled why this woman was red; it was the first time her ability ever highlighted a person. She did not know everything about her power, but she guessed this woman was somehow important if she was going to survive.

“You can come home with me,” Gale surprised herself with the suggestion, but it made sense and went well with Gale’s sense of helpfulness.

“You don’t even know me,” the woman protested. Gale shook her head.

“I don’t, but death is raining from the sky and I’m not going to leave anyone outside if I can help it. You’ll be safer if you come with me,” Gale added. The woman raised an eyebrow at Gale.

“I’m safe everywhere I go,” she said. The air changed suddenly; a gentle breeze that Gale enjoyed for the last minute stopped suddenly and hair on the back of Gale’s neck stood up. She looked around and found they weren’t alone anymore. Dozens of skeletons surrounded the two women, though Gale never heard them walk up or fall out of the sky. It was then that Gale realized she should have paid more attention to the woman’s horns than the red glow. She initially dismissed the horns as some sort of cosplay and focused on why she needed the woman.

“You’re doing this to the Earth?” Gale asked. “Why?”

“I’m looking for someone,” the woman said, then winked at Gale. “Don’t worry, it’s not you. And you’re not even worth killing.” Gale caught a whiff of sharp mint under her nose. She looked down and found a mint leaf pinned to her shirt. “To thank you for your kindness I”ll send you to someone that will find you useful.”

The park ground disappeared under Gale and she fell into the dark hole. As she fell she watched the red glow dissipate from the woman; Gloria no longer had a task for her. She heard the woman’s voice one more time.

“Tell them Ballisea sent you.”

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