Today is the day. The people of the small town in the crater panicked. Every two months, a thick mist would cloak over the town, making it impossible to see. No one could even see their own hand in front of their face. But the worst part about it was the deaths. One soul would be taken away from one citizen, every time the mist blanketed over. Their body would disappear completely, seemingly out of existence.

There was one who was determined to save them all though. His name was Caspian. He was sick of sitting around. But his decision was late. It was the day the mist would cast over.

Caspian didn’t know how he could save this town, yet. It wasn’t like hunting, where he could just shoot the beast and it’s all done. He needed to find out what the cause of the mist was, and if there were people involved in the disappearances. So he set off, wondering through town and around the outskirts. But the time of the mist was edging nearer. It was going to be night in just a mere few hours.

After a short while of searching, his luck became merciful. He had met someone with information. The person seemed close to Caspian’s age of nineteen, and he was friendly enough. They met at a restaurant, when Caspian needed a break for food. The waiter had been friendly to him, and so he decided to spring up a quick conversation about the deadly mist. The waiter told him that this restaurant was one of the first buildings to be hit, and the mist always seemed to come from the east, where the bay of ocean water below their crater town sat. Caspian thanked him and paid for his food.

He left the building, and started toward the bay. He had to climb down the crater like a mountain to get down there. He needed to find out if what was causing the deathly mist was down there. His mind doubted it, though. But then again, when he thought with logic, he told himself if it wasn’t down there, where else could it be? Clouds come from water anyway, and mist is basically clouds lowered to earth. This had to be it.

When he had made it, he landed into a thorny pit of rose bushes. What were these doing here? Cut and bleeding slightly, he trudged through the bushes, and into the stinging salt water.  He sat and soaked in the water, piecing together where the mist could be coming from. The sun was setting, so he didn’t have much time. The rays of sun shone brightly onto the roses, as if hinting at something. The light revealed the true colors of the roses: dark grey. How odd.

Caspian looked closer at the roses. The sun was just barely teetering over the horizon. The amount of time left for him was getting precariously close to it being too late. Think, Caspian! He thought, irritated at himself. Twilight was approaching quickly.

Just then, there was a crumbling sound, coming from below the roses. The ground was opening! It wasn’t in an earthquake way, it was more like a trapdoor. He looked closer, and saw it was a trapdoor. Caspian quickly tried to hide himself behind a rose bush after he heard a series of whispering voices started coming from the opened trapdoor in the ground. Men in fancy tuxedos climbed out, looking disgruntled. This just confused Caspian. What were men like them doing coming out from trapdoors in the ground? This was suspicious.

Three men in total came out from the trapdoor. The middle one appeared the leader. He whispered something, and the other two men nodded. Each took out a spray bottle, filled with a strange liquid-like substance that matched the colors of the roses. They put the liquid on the roses, and they wilted a bit and turned a deeper color of grey. The sky was already twilight. Caspian had missed his chance.

He watched longer, and heard part of the men’s short conversation afterwards.

“You ready to get our next one tonight?” Said the man in the middle.

“Yes. Who are we getting this time?” Replied the one on the left.

“Some teen. His name’s Caspian, according to our spies. He’s a fiery one. We could use him. Plus, he’s got no family to save him. Easy target.”

The men on the left and right nodded with agreement.

Caspian had seen enough. He felt angry at these men. They planned to murder him? He had to stop these strange, terrible men. His hands felt along the ground for a sharp rock. He chose one, and without thinking it over, he charged at the men. The men looked over in his direction, pointed a weapon that looked like a gun at him, and the last memory Caspian had was being shot by something that felt like a needle.

Caspian woke up. His mind was blank, and he had no idea where he was, and who he was. He sat up, and around him the lighting was dim. The smell told him he was underground. He was lying on a very comfortable bed. It seemed like he was alone here in this room.

Right that minute, someone walked in. The person had a deep voice, and spoke to him, “Hello. I see you have awoken. That is good. You can start your training.”

“Training? Where am I? Better yet, who am I?” Caspian repeated

The deep-voiced man chuckled, “Your name is Caspian. You are underground. You are being trained for war. You’ve spent all your life wanting to be in the army.”

“I have?”

“Yes. Here are your clothes. You’ll use these only for training. The room you will train in is down the hall. Just go straight, and go into the seventh door on your left.” The man handed Caspian the clothes, and left the room.

Caspian was confused. He reluctantly put the clothes on. It all just didn’t seem right. It didn’t make sense. And he had much more questions. Like, how did he get underground? And who was that man?

At that exact moment, there was a sudden boom. It was earsplitting, and it rumbled like thunder. Then there was yelling voices in the distance, and loud, romping footsteps. Several strange different men, marched into Caspian’s room, and told him he must leave now. They explained to him he had been kidnapped and that the people here were foreigners, and were trying to start a war. They also said they had wiped his memory, and it would take a year for all of his memories to come completely back. He simply nodded and went with the men silently. So that’s why he felt like something was off.

The men told him they used to work for the foreigners. They said their employers were keeping many secrets from them. They investigated, and found that they were trying to forge a war. They rebelled when they found out the cause. Ever since then, they have been trying to figure out how their ex-employers were going to start the war. In the meantime of doing that, they also tried to help as many people they kidnapped as possible.

A year later, the deathly mist was gone. The intruder men had been driven out, for now, at least. Caspian got all of his memories back. He finally understood everything. The mystery was solved. The foreigners put in a chemical substance into the roses, and it made a reaction that created a thick, blinding mist. Every time, they would steal away someone that their spies thought was strong enough to join their war army. They would wipe their memory with their injected darts of a top-secret memory-wiping “medicine.” But they only wiped their stolen future soldiers if they thought they knew too much. Then they would train them all to keep them strong. Everyone worked together, to tear the roses from their roots, to ensure something like this would never happen again. Who knew roses by the bay could be so dangerous?