Happy Birthday, Kallie!
I hope you enjoy this story :D I love you, sister, and I want you to remember that you are one of, if not the, sweetest person I have ever met.
You're so kind and caring all the time :) That's a rare trait in people, and you have it and it is so genuine.
You are amazing and don't you forget it!
Love you, and I hope you enjoy this! :D *hugs tight and hands 18 cookies*
Happy 18th!! :D
Alice sat at the table eating her cereal and watching her absent-minded mother wander around looking for her sunglasses, which were sitting smugly atop her head.
"I just saw them, where could they be?" Matilda King said as she walked into the kitchen to check once more.
"Mom," Alice said in her quiet voice.
"Yes, dear?" Her mother said, still looking around.
"You have a hair sticking straight up." Alice said with a straight face. Her mother reached up to check and realization dawned on her face as she felt her sunglasses.
"Thank you, honey." She said as she took them off of her head and put them on.
"What would you do without me?" Alice asked with a small smile.
"I don't even want to think about that." Her mother said as she leaned down and kissed Alice on the top of her head. "I'll see you after work."
"Okay," Alice said.
"Do you need a ride to school?"
"No, I think I'll walk today." Alice replied.
"Okay, sweetie." Her mother said before giving her another kiss on the head, and then walking out the door.
Alice took a few more minutes to finish her cereal before she too left the house, grabbing her backpack and heading out the door.
The day went by as usual, boring teachers and too much homework.
When the final bell of the day rang, all of the students ran to the exits, trampling others in their stampede to get out.
Alice managed to duck into a classroom before she was trampled, and she waited there until the other kids had all left before she peeked out and began walking out of the doors.
She took the back way home, or as she liked to call it the Scenic Route. She climbed over the large rocks until she came to her usual spot, a little opening by an especially large boulder and she sat down and leaned back against the stone and closed her eyes and breathed in the forest air.
She'd always loved the fact that she had a forest in her backyard, a place for her to go and clear her head when she got stressed. It was so peaceful here.
She heard a loud snap and stood, startled, her eyes looking around for what could have caused it.
She'd seen bears around here before, and one mountain lion, but neither of them, or any deer, had made that loud of a snap before.
She did a 360, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. So she shrugged and sat back down to begin her homework.
* * *
Malark leaned against the tree as he waited for his beast to return from its hunt. He glanced up at the full moon and figured he had another half hour before he would have to drag it back by force.
The Grenra could only be controlled in the mortal world during a full moon, and even then the handlers had trouble keeping it under control.
He looked around again as he heard the loud snap that signaled that the creature was close, and saw it.
It stood hunched over, like its arms were too heavy for it to stand up right, its head was the smallest part of its body, with its torso being the largest, it looked like a puppet reject that had been given growth potion.
It's skin was the color of the earth, and it towered over the tallest man. It snarled, showing its fangs as it obediently came forward, its eyes somewhat glassy, but getting clearer.
He turned and touched a knot on the tree he'd been leaning against and the trunk started to glow. The Grenra walked forward into the light until it disappeared, Malark, after one more look around to make sure they weren't being observed, followed, and the tree sealed up behind him.
* * *
Alice jerked awake, looking around in confusion at her surroundings. She was still in the forest.
Cursing, she gathered up her things and ran home, mentally preparing herself for the worried rant her mother would give her for being home late without telling her she'd be late.
She got to her house and slowed down, getting her breathing under control before she walked inside. She opened the door and braced herself for the torrent of angry words, but none came.
She looked around at the dark house.
"Mom?" she called. "I'm sorry I'm late, I fell asleep doing homework."
"Mom?" She said, dumping her backpack by the door and went exploring, looking for a note. She glanced at the phone and saw that there was a message. She hit play.
"Hi honey, I got called into work and I ran out of the house so fast that I forgot to leave a note, so consider this the note," Her mother laughed. "There's some casserole in the oven if you get hungry, I figured you'd fallen asleep in the woods again. I'll be home late tonight."
* * *
She finished her homework, got something to eat, and then sat on the windowsill in her room, looking out at the forest.
She saw a strange light from the center of the woods, then it disappeared just as fast as it had appeared.
"What was that?" She asked herself, trying to see it again, but it did not show.
She heard the front door open and close, so she went downstairs to talk to her mother,
That night, as she lay on her bed reading her favorite book, she had the oddest sensation that she was being watched.
She looked around her room, but, naturally, there was no one there. She glanced out her window and thought she saw a pair of purple eyes staring at her, but when she tried to focus more closely, they were gone, leaving her wondering if she'd imagined them.
She drifted off to sleep, imagining what could have purple eyes like that.
* * *
"You what?!" He screamed as the servant told him what had happened.
"Sir, I just thought tha-" The servant began, but was interrupted.
"No you didn't think!" The man screamed. "If you had used your brain, you would have known that 'checking in on her', as you so eloquently put it, was a moronic idea and wouldn't have done it!"
"I'm sorry," The servant said. "But Malark had taken his pet out, and I had to be sure that he didn't harm her."
"Malark did what?" The man asked, his voice now dreadfully quiet.
"H-he took his pet out." The servant stuttered. He hated it when his master took that tone, that was when things usually took a dangerous turn.
His master was silent for a moment. "Summon Malark."
The servant bowed and hastily left the room.
* * *
Malark walked boldly into the room, not bothering to knock, and shut the door behind him, effectively slamming it into the servants nose.
"Malark." The man said.
"Golen." Malark said in greeting, and waited for Golen to speak.
"You know the law," Golen started in a menacingly quiet tone. "Yet you choose to disobey it; why?"
"You mean The Grenra?" Malark said. "I had to let him hunt, unless you want him to turn on your subjects."
"Do you realize how close you came to killing the girl?" Golen demanded, spinning around to face Malark.
"The girl?" Malark asked, taken off guard. No one ever spoke of her.
"Yes." Golen snapped. "You came within a meager three miles from her home!"
Malark stared at him in shock. "What?" He asked.
Golen calmed himself down at the look in Malarks' eyes. He truly hadn't known.
"Next time, do not disobey the laws." Golen said. "Because of what you did, my servant felt the need to go check on her, and there is a chance she had seen him."
Malark was silent, taking this all in. "Did she?"
Golen shrugged. "We do not know, but we shall assume she had."
Malark nodded and turned to leave.
"Malark," Golen said, and he stopped. "Don't venture into the Otherworld again unless you want severe reprimand."
And with that, Malark left the room.
* * *
The next day, Alice was still pondering the strange sight outside her window. Her day went by in a blur of friends' faces and mean teachers assigning too much homework.
When it finally came time to go home, she couldn't get out of the building fast enough.
"Alice, wait!" A familiar voice called from behind her and she reluctantly stopped and waited for her best friend to catch up.
"Jeez you run fast." Ophelia said as she bent double to catch her breath. "Why are you in such a hurry?"
Alice gave her a 'are you kidding?' look and Ophelia laughed and they walked out of the building together.
"Oh come on, schools not so bad." she said.
"Oh yeah? Do you have a million tons of trigonometry homework? Do you have to write two essays that have to be at least two thousand words each? or perhaps you have a science project due by tomorrow?!" Alice snapped.
"Jeez, calm down Allie, you're sure in a mood." Ophelia said. "What's eating you?"
Alice took a deep breath to calm herself. "I'm sorry, I'm just..." She hesitated, unsure if she should tell Ophelia what she saw yesterday.
"What aren't you telling me?" Ophelia asked. "You know I can always tell."
Alice sighed and dragged her out of earshot of the other kids and told her what she saw yesterday, expecting Ophelia to laugh at her and call her crazy or that she'd been doing too much homework, but she didn't.
She listened intently and when Alice was done, she paced, like she always did when she was thinking over a problem, the thing is, Alice didn't know what the problem was this time.
After five minutes of pacing, Alice had had enough.
"What?!" The word seeming to explode out of her, stopping Ophelia in her tracks.
"Sorry, I'm just thinking." She said, twirling a strand of her bleach blonde hair on her index finger, another sign she was thinking something over.
"About?" Alice asked. "It's just a weird thing that I saw; I was probably just more tired than I thought I was."
"Yeah, you're probably right." Ophelia said, though she seemed to voice the disbelief that Alice herself was feeling at her statement.
That night, as Alice sat there, trying to concentrate on her homework, found herself looking out the window at the forest, trying to get a glimpse of what she had seen the previous night, but with no luck.
"Alice, dinner's ready." Her mother called up the stairs.
"Coming mom!" She hollered back, taking one last glance out of her window before she headed downstairs for some lasagna.
* * *
Malark sat at his desk, writing on a piece of parchment to his mother, who was away on business, about what had been happening. He still could not believe he had gotten so close to the girl without knowing.
He was careful in his wording, not telling the exact location he was at when he took out The Grenra, so as not to alert anyone who might intercept the letter to her whereabouts.
When he was finished with the letter, he sealed the envelope and set it aside for the courier to take it to his mother.
He blew out his candle and lay down on his bed, wondering what the girl would be like if he met her, wondering what his life would be like if he had come across her that day in the woods.
Before he knew it, he was drifting off to sleep, thinking those thoughts.
* * *
"Any weird sights last night?" Ophelia asked when she saw Alice running up to the building. She had overslept again.
Alice shook her head as she bent double to try and catch her breath. She had run almost the entire way to school.
"Aw, that's too bad." Ophelia said, though she didn't sound too disappointed.
The bell rang and they both hurried to their respective classes for the day.
* * *
Renalda was sitting at her dressing table, brushing out her long, dark hair when her servant knocked on the door.
"Come in." She said, still running the brush through her hair.
Her maid opened the door and walked in, keeping her eyes down, as it was rude to make eye contact with someone of noble blood.
"A letter came for you, my lady," The maid said, holding out the letter. "From Malark."
That got Renalda's attention, and she stopped brushing her hair and took the letter from her son, and almost opened it right there with the eagerness of a newborn kitten.
"Thank you." She said, dismissing the maid, who left immediately.
Renalda ripped open the envelope and read her sons letter, almost dropping it as she read how close he had come to the girl.
She stood and started pacing around the room, trying to think about where her son could have been that he would come so close to finding her.
She sat back down and re-read and re-read the letter, trying to read between the lines and figure out where he had been.
* * *
As Alice was walking from her last class to her locker to get the rest of her homework, she thought she heard a voice whispering to her through the chaos of the hallway.
She stopped and turned around, thinking it was someone playing a prank on her, but no one was even looking at her.
She shrugged to herself, dismissing it as having little to no sleep last night, and continued towards her locker.
She glanced around again before entering her combination and opening the locker door.
All of her homework came shooting out at her, and she cried out both in surprise and pain, as some of the books hit her in the face and slammed into her feet.
She leapt back, wondering how her books did that when she knew she'd organized them specifically so that that didn't happen.
"What are you screaming about?" One of the jocks asked her as he passed.
She glanced at him and then back at her locker, and it was pristine. All of her books were as she had organized them. She stared at her locker in shock.
What had just happened?
She closed her locker door without getting her homework and walked quickly out of the building, her mind elsewhere as she walked passed the buses and kept walking until she was out of civilization and the houses became few and far between. She eventually reached her house, perched on the outskirts of the forest. Without taking her usual stroll through the forest, she walked right up her drive and into her house and went straight to her room, closing the door behind her.
She dumped her backpack on the floor and laid down on the bed, staring at the wall, trying to think over what had happened and whether or not she was losing her mind.
* * *
Malark walked through the courtyard, his mind elsewhere. His thoughts strayed to many things. His mother, the Grenra, and the mysterious girl. His thoughts stayed on her the longest.
What was she like? Was she carefree or uptight? What did she look like? Did she have red hair or brown? Golden or black?
He shook his head as if to rid himself of those thoughts and left the courtyard, heading into the forest, which always helped him to clear his head.
He heard a branch break behind him and he turned, seeing someone, a silhouette, whose features were blocked by the castles fires.
He opened his mouth to speak before the figure launched themselves at him, knocking him into one of the trees.
He hit his head and the world spun, but he tried to stand, to get a good look at his attacker, who was now kneeling by the base of one of the trees, and seemed to be writing something on the trunk.
Malark got to his feet and half walked, half stumbled forward.
His attacker got to their feet and turned, their features still darkened to him and, with their head down, threw themselves at him, and, though he tried to struggle, he was thrown into the base of the tree.
He was expecting a solid thud when he hit it, but there was no sound, because there was no impact. He had gone through the tree. It was then that he realized what the figure had been doing. He had turned the tree into a gateway, and now Malark was falling through it, into the world beyond.
* * *
"Hey mom," Alice called. "I'm going to study in the forest, I'll be home later."
"Okay hon, see you later!" Her mother called back from the living room as Alice walked out the door.
She followed her usual path into the forest until she got to her usual place and sat down, she set her backpack down and began pulling her books out when there was a massive flash of light that blinded her, and then something heavy hit her, knocking her to the ground.
When the light faded and she could see again, she looked around for what had hit her and froze when she saw it. It was a boy about her age, lying unconscious on top of her math books, her other books now laying all over the place.
* * *
She stared at him, unsure of what to do about this new development. She sat there, chewing on her fingernail.
Her phone rang and she leapt three feet. She crawled over and began rummaging around in her backpack until she found it, watching the stranger to make sure he didn't wake up while she spoke, she answered it.
"Hello?" She whispered.
"Why are you whispering?" Ophelia asked, also in a whisper.
"Why are you whispering?" Alice returned. "Are you mocking me?"
There was a long pause. "Yes. Yes I am." Ophelia responded, still whispering.
"Ha ha, very funny." Alice said. "Now why are you whispering?"
"I broke into the principals office." Ophelia said, keeping her voice low, though no longer whispering.
"You WHAT?" Alice asked, her voice louder than she had intended and she cringed and glanced at the man again, though he was still unconscious.
"They gave me a 75% on a test when it was clearly 85%." She said.
"You broke into the principals office over 10% of a grade?!" Alice said.
"Because I didn't want to let them get away with cheating me." Ophelia answered calmly. "Now why are you whispering?"
"Don't change the subject," Alice said.
"The subject has been retired, get over it." she said. "Now why are you whispering?"
"Something weird happened again." Alice said after a moments hesitation.
"What happened?" Ophelia asked, suddenly serious.
"Okay so, I was getting ready to study in my usual place, and just as I am getting ready to sit down and get to work, there was this blinding flash of light and then something hit me and knocked me off of my feet." Alice explained, finding the words spilling out of her. "There's an unconscious man lying on my books right now."
"What does he look like?" Ophelia asked.
"Do you really think now is the time to be going boy crazy?" Alice said.
"Just answer the question."
"Fine, he's got dark hair, and looks to be pretty tall," She said, getting to her feet to get a better look at him. And handsome, she thought to herself.
"Are you at the usual place?" Ophelia asked. "I'll be right over."
"I thought I already told you where I was, why don't you ever pay attention?" Alice asked.
"I'll be there in five minutes." Ophelia said right before hanging up.
"Bye," Alice said irritably into the phone before also hanging up and putting the phone into her backpack.
She sat there for all of five minutes before Ophelia showed up. When she walked into the clearing, Alice leapt to her feet. "Jeez, what did you do? Hop on the Flash's back?"
Ophelia ignored her and walked right over to the still unconscious man and knelt next to him, silently cursing as she got to her feet, looking around the clearing at the trees.
"Which direction did he come from?" she asked seriously.
"Uh, that way." Alice said, pointing south towards the tree that had seemed to be the focal point of the blinding light.
Ophelia walked right up to the strange tree and placed her hands on the trunk and closed her eyes. "Damn," She muttered after a moment. "Not now, not yet."
"What's wrong?" Alice asked. Ophelia glanced at her, but didn't respond.
"Get home." She said. "And lock your doors."
"What are you talking about?" Alice asked. "What is going on? Who is he?"
"He's someone you should not have met yet." Ophelia said. "And you can't know yet."
"Can't know what? Why won't you tell me anything?"
"Because you can't know yet, things are happening too early." Was the infuriating answer. "You'll have to trust me."
"How can I trust you when you're acting like this?" Alice demanded.
"I'm sorry, but it's vital that you don't know anything yet; I will explain later." Ophelia said. "Now please, go home."
Alice just stood there, glaring at her.
"Now!" Ophelia yelled, startling her into action.
She turned on her heel and stalked through the forest back to her house, fuming.
* * *
Malark groaned and held his head as he sat up. He was sitting on something hard and he looked down to see what it was and saw something written in one of the Earthen languages. It appeared to say 'Algebra 101.'
He looked around at his surroundings and saw a forest clearing similar to that of the one he'd been in, except this one had a boulder in the center.
Someone cleared their throat and he turned to look behind him and saw Aliandra standing there, tapping her foot.
"What the hell are you thinking?" she demanded angrily. "You know that it's not time yet!"
"What are you talking about?" He asked.
"She saw you!" Aliandra almost shouted. "You blithering swamp troll!"
"Swamp troll?" Malark repeated, holding in the smile that threatened to break out on his face. She glared at him.
"What were you thinking, coming here?" She demanded.
"I didn't do it on purpose!" He said defensively, getting to his feet. "I was out for a walk in the forest when someone attacked me and shoved me through the portal."
"What?" She asked after a moment.
"I was attacked and then shoved here." He repeated. "I didn't exactly mean to come here."
"Damn it, they're working to break the prophecy." She said, chewing on her thumb nail.
"Who is?" Malark asked.
"You don't know?" She asked, surprised.
"They didn't exactly tell me every detail, just that there's a prophecy involving a girl that no one is allowed to contact." He explained.
"This is not good." she said. "We're going to have to try and explain this to her."
"Can't you just tell her to be quiet and not to ask questions?" He asked.
"She's not a pet, Malark, and she happens to be quite stubborn so, no I cannot tell her to be quiet, and I most certainly cannot tell her not to ask questions."
"And you call yourself a Guardian." He said, rolling his eyes. Aliandra made a visible effort not to reach over and smack him.
"You're the moron who went into the woods during dangerous times and got your ass kicked and then thrown through to Earth, what's your excuse?" She said. "I think you wanted to come see her, just to be rebellious."
"I resent that." He said, though he had wanted to see her, he hadn't intended for this to happen.
"Whatever, it doesn't matter now, we have to keep the prophecy in motion, and that means explaining things to her." Aliandra turned and started walking.
"Wait," Malark said, and she stopped but didn't turn around. "We can't risk it,"
"Then what do you suggest?" She asked.
"Couldn't we wipe her memory?" He said.
Aliandra was glad she was facing away, so that he could not see the shock on her face. "What do you mean 'wipe her memory'?" She demanded. "That is illegal and you know it, prince or not."
"Do we have a choice?" he asked.
"Yes, we tell her." She said. "And that's the end of it."
"No its not, I am the one in charge here and I order you not to." He said.
She stopped walking and turned slowly to face him. "You order me?"
"Yes." He said, unsure now that he saw the look in her eyes.
"You order me? Do you have any idea who I am?" She said, her voice low. "I am Aliandra Kalari, Guardian of the first ward, and adviser to the Royal Crown, and you dare claim you are superior? You are a naïve, selfish, arrogant little brat who needs to be taught his place in the world." She said, her voice raising. "I am not the one who screwed up here, you are; I have the authority to make the decisions should something go wrong, and trust me, something just went very wrong, so I have decided to tell her, and THAT'S FINAL!" she yelled the last two words and turned and stalked through the trees to Alice's house, leaving a very stunned Malark behind her.
* * *
Alice sat on her porch, anxiously tapping her foot, waiting for Ophelia to come and explain things to her. She got to her feet and walked around on the porch before settling on the porch swing.
Eventually, she saw Ophelia stalking through the trees and up to the house; the stranger was running behind her, trying to catch up.
When Ophelia reached the porch, Alice saw the most serious expression she has ever seen on her best friend.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"A lot of things, but we'll get into that in a bit." Ophelia explained. "There are some things that you should know, starting with this idiot behind me."
Alice's eyes flickered to the man, who was just now reaching the porch, gasping out a lung.
"What about him?" She asked, wondering why Ophelia was calling him an idiot.
"For starters, I think you should know his name and then we'll go from there." Ophelia said. "His name is Malark."
"That's an odd name." Alice said.
"He's an odd person." Ophelia said, making Alice laugh. "Now, we have some things that we need to tell you, alright?"
"Okay," Alice said. "Is this the part where you tell me why you've been acting weird and why I keep seeing these weird things?"
"Yes." Was the answer.
"What?" Alice asked, shocked. Usually in these situations its always 'Oh, well, you're not ready to know yet' and then they'll only tell you what's going on when they're hands are forced.
Her heart leapt at the thought of being able to know what was going on without having to jump through hoops.
"Yes we're going to tell you what's going on, and some of it may surprise the hell out of you so try and prepare." Ophelia said.
"How am I supposed to prepare when I don't know what kind of information your about to tell me?" She asked.
"Good point." Ophelia said after a pause.
"I thought so." Alice said.
Ophelia paused, gathering her thoughts together, before explaining. "Okay, the first thing you should know is that there are worlds that intersect with yours, some that overlap at times and others that you can only reach after many many many steps."
"Okay," Alice said. Where was she getting at?
"Malark and I are from one of those worlds." Ophelia said, broaching one of the lesser shocks.
"What?" Alice asked, an unsure smile breaking out on her face as she tried to figure out if she was joking. "Ophelia, if this is one of your practical jokes I'll-"
"My name isn't Ophelia," She said. "It's Aliandra."
Alice opened her mouth to speak, but couldn't.
"Aliandra Kalari, to use my full name." She said. "This is Malark Oblarn, and he is one of the princes of this world."
"One of?" Alice asked.
"Yes, one of."Aliandra said. "There are many different kingdoms, you could say that our world is like this world once was."
"Medieval?" Alice said.
"Yes." Came the response. "And there is a prophecy about a great danger looming over one of the princesses of one of the most powerful kingdoms in the land."
"Okay, but what does this have to do with me?" Alice asked, and just as the words left her lips, she understood. "Oh no, no no no no no!"
"Yes," Aliandra said again. "You are that princess."
"No! My name is Alice Darwin, I was born and raised in Florida!" She put her hands on her ears, hoping to block out what they were telling her.
"No you weren't," Aliandra said gently. "You were born in our land, and brought here for your safety, and your mother knows this."
"What?" Alice said. "My mother?"
"Yes, she is one of the Guardians that was given the task of keeping you safe."
"No, no that can't be!" Alice protested. "I'm from Florida and my mom was born in New York!"
"No, you were both born in our world," Aliandra said. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, we were not supposed to tell you this early, but Malark got himself kicked to this world and now we have no choice."
"Why are you lying to me, Ophelia?" Alice asked. "This joke isn't funny anymore."
"I'm sorry to say that I am not joking."
"But you have to be." Alice said, her voice breaking as tears threatened to fall.
"Princess, listen to me," Malark said. "I know this is a shock, but your going to have to get over it."
Aliandra elbowed him hard in the ribs for that.
"Don't call me princess!" Alice almost shouted. "My name is Alice!"
"I'm afraid its not." Malark continued, despite the glare he was getting from Aliandra.
"What?" Alice asked.
"We were forbidden from using your name, for fear that it could be used to find you," Malark explained. "But your name isn't Alice."
"Then what the hell is it!"
"Demitria." He said.
"My name is Alice!" She yelled again before running into her house.
"Well," Malark said after a moment. "That went well."
Aliandra punched him, making him topple from his perch on the porch railing before running after Alice.