You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
“Where is he?” I asked as Braeden stomped down the sidewalk from Nick’s front door.
“His Mom said he’s down at the soccer field.” He pulled the driver’s side door of his Jeep open. “You didn’t have practice this morning, did you?”
I shook my head.
“Then what is he doing down there? Especially if he knows about us?”
“Probably calling a meeting with his bully gang.” I picked at the Jeep logo on the glove compartment. “Did his Mom know?”
“She does not appear to know anything,” Sendew said from the back seat.
We figured he’d better stay hidden. Kind of stood out with the tallness and stark white hair.
“Did you pick up anything about the Dad knowing? Because a call went through the phone I snatched from Nick.” Braeden revved the engine and steered toward the end of the block.
“I can’t believe you have telepathy.”
“Some fairies have it. I happen to be one of them.”
“And it’s working okay? You said your magic isn’t quite right.” I looked over my seat. “Is it getting better?”
“I believe I worked some sort of chip out from beneath my skin last night.” He gripped the back of his neck.
“A chip? Huh?” Braeden asked. “We so need to see that.”
“I left it on the small table beside the couch I rested on while you were talking to that Council of yours.” He leaned forward. “What did you decide?”
“What do you mean?”
“I believe they instructed you to keep me hostage? Use me as a bargaining chip with The King if you can’t find the scientists?”
Wow. He really could read minds. I was still kind of ticked at the Council for suggesting such a mean thing. “You’re not a bargaining chip, Sendew. I won’t let that happen.”
Because about five seconds ago I’d decided to Jump him home. No way should he be used by the Council Triad. What they told us to do pretty much made them as bad as those evil scientists.
“Now that the chip is out, is it letting your magic come through?” Braeden asked.
“Somewhat. But telepathy isn’t magic. That is an ingrained ability within our DNA. At least the DNA of those who are of royal lineage.”
Braeden steered the Jeep around the corner and the school came into view.
“Then why don’t you use your magic to get away from us?” I asked.
He smiled. “I know your thoughts, youngling. They are not malicious. Plus, I am unable to open a portal to my Realm. Even with The Coin. So my fate is in your hands.”
If he could read my mind, then he knew I was going to sneak away from everyone and Jump him home. No wonder he was helping.
“If we tested a sample of your blood against mine, will we be able to see some similarities?” I asked. “Enough to know if we’re related?”
“Meaning, did they use some of my DNA to create you?”
I nodded. “Does alien blood work that way?”
“You are alien as well, so I would assume yes. Though, in our Realm, we do not use medical instruments. We use magic. Our healers are very gifted. But even if it is not my blood, per se, you are part Fairy, that makes you kin.”
“Just like I’m kin to Barbarians.”
“That poses a problem. Not to mention the Human parts of you. Those I abhor even more than the Barbarian.”
“Great.” I slouched into my seat. I tugged at the chain that held the Coin of Srupiso, working out how I was going to ditch Braeden to get Sendew home.
We had less than twenty-four hours until The King came back to make good on his promise—er—threat. Tish had had a vision at the tail end of talking with the Council Triad, so they were out West somewhere chasing that lead down.
They said they’d text me if they got the scientists, and then I was to Jump to them and figure out how to contact The King.
But my phone had been silent for more than an hour.
“What will you do if you find the scientists The King wants?”
I said, “Still working on that one.” At the same time Braeden said, “Give them to The King.”
“Not sure why you think this is funny. If Earth dies you die.” Braeden turned the car into the school parking lot.
“Then that is my Fate.” He let out a long breath. “Though I do wish to see Mother before I die.”
I glanced at him over my shoulder. “Braeden, what are we going to do about Nick?”
“Sendew, can you read him from here?”
We were on the far end of the lot, not easily seen through the bleachers on the visiting side of the soccer field. It was a long ways; I was sure Sendew wouldn’t be able to.
He closed his eyes for a few seconds, then he nodded. “Yes. I can. Faintly.”
“Here’s how it’s going to go down,” Braeden said as he eased the car to a stop. “Sendew, let’s sneak you a little closer to get a peek into his noggin’.”
“Agreed. I do sense quite a bit of turmoil from him. But I can’t pick specific things out. Why would he come to this place?”
“I would,” I said.
“This doesn’t make sense.”
“Soccer relaxes me. Helps me think. He loves it just as much as me, so maybe he’s the same.”
It was funny to think I had anything in common with that meany.
“Let’s go.” Braeden opened his door but didn’t shut it. He motioned for us to do the same.
We made it to the bleachers and stopped. Braeden nodded to Sendew.
“His father left the minute Braden got home. Yelled at him to stay away from you and your family. Not to talk to anyone.”
“Where’d his dad go?”
“Can’t quite see. There is something different with his brainwaves.” Sendew squinted. “I sensed it in his mother, too. They’re slowed almost. Like not fully functioning.”
“Slow brain. Explains a lot about him,” I said.
“Drugs?” Braeden asked. “Could he be taking drugs?”
“I can’t see that, but what I’ve learned from being in the scientist’s labs, drugs are a distinct possibility.”
“Could be anything, though. Like, maybe he’s hyper and needs medication for that,” I said.
“Or something else. Because why would his dad fly like that after hearing what Nick told him? Where’d he go?” Braeden stood straight. “What’s his dad do again?”
“Chiropractor I think. Hope told me they’re super rich because of his grandpa or something. She didn’t really know.”
“I don’t like it. But we are about outta time. Let’s go.”
“He’ll bolt when he sees us.” I know I would.
“I’ll hold him in place.”
“Forgot about the telekinesis,” I said as I pushed open the door.
“With that brain of yours you forgot?” Braeden hurried to the end of the row of bleachers. “That’s a first.”
I looked at Sendew and thought, Be ready. As soon as Nick is fixed, I’m Jumping to you, then to your Realm. Hopefully he heard that.
You will need to focus on my mother. Her name is Pelielia.
Oh, wow, he was talking to me in my head. It kinda hurt like when I ate my ice cream too fast.
“We’ll be right back,” I said to Sendew, nodding. Be ready.
He dipped his head and looked down, but I saw a smile. I bet he was super excited to get home. If I could help him do that, I sure would. No way should he be dying here on earth or stuck here longer than he already had been. His Mom must miss him so much.
We turned the corner of the bleachers. No hiding us now. Nick stopped juggling the soccer ball. He glanced around, then took off toward the trees.
“Crap,” I said, busting into a run.
“I got him.” Braeden held out his hand, and Nick fell over.
He rolled onto his side and pushed up. He ran one more time but fell over again. By then, we were to him.
“Get away from me, you freaks.”
“Where’d your dad run off to?” Braeden held him in place.
“I’m not telling you anything.” He pushed at Braeden. “Freaks.”
Braeden waved his hand and Nick rolled over a few more times.
“What are you gonna do to me?” he said, his voice cracking.
“Nothing,” I said. “Just relax.”
“Always knew you were some alien creature freak. No human could heal like you did after that kind of fall.”
“Who have you told?” I asked.
“Just you wait. You’ll see.”
“What have you done?” Braeden yelled.
He just grinned and crossed his arms over his chest.
“He’s bluffing. Otherwise, Sendew would have picked something up.” Braeden grabbed Nick’s face.
“Get off me!” He pushed at Braeden, but he didn’t budge.
He stared into Nick’s eyes and whipped out a story about Nick watching some scary movies at home and how he came out here to get some extra practice.
“Oh,” Braeden added. “And quit being such a jerk to everyone you big, stupid bully.”
I laughed at that last comment. If we survived, it’d be nice to not have him riding me so much—and pushing me down stairs.
“Now. I’m going to set you down. You’ll lay here for a few minutes, to catch your breath after practicing so hard.” Braeden started easing Nick to the grass, and that was my opening.
I grabbed The Coin around my neck, and faced the Jeep. Sendew was standing near the passenger door.
I focused on the space beside him and bam a little black ball appeared in front of me.
“Riley!” Braeden looked over his shoulder, almost dropping Nick on his rear end. “No!”
I stepped in and landed beside Sendew. He grabbed my hand and once again I focused. This time it was on the Realm of the Fairies.
Pelielia. Sendew’s home.
I repeated these words in my mind. Sendew’s hand got warm in mine. His eyes flashed red.
An image of a female came to mind. She was tall, like him, with long black hair. Black as night, but there was some blue in it, along with some braids. Her eyes were red like Sendew’s. She wore a long, white dress. White flowers tied into a circle—no a crown—lay on top of her hair.
That is Mother.
Sure would be nice to have a mom. I focused on the woman. I swear Sendew was putting thoughts in my mind, because an image of him with her flashed before my eyes.
Playing in the water.
I felt the love. Mother.
A portal opened in front of us. Sendew, without hesitation, stepped in, and I followed. This time the wind whipped like crazy. It was cold and hot at the same time. My chest hurt. I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t see.
And then a light appeared before us. A little, tiny light. But it got bigger.
Imagine ground beneath your feet. Walk through the Realms, Riley. You are meant to. Sendew’s voice echoed in my mind. Otherwise, you would not be able to.
I did as he said, and all of a sudden, it felt like there was something hard beneath my feet. Like an invisible sidewalk to wander down. I couldn’t see it, but it was there.
Sendew stood beside me, and I thought, You’re good at this.
I’ve Jumped several times. You are strong. This is different.
Finally, the ball of light was big enough to step through, and we landed in a yard of some sort. It wasn’t green grass or anything, just white sand. Like a whole ocean of white sand. Too bad I had shoes on, because I bet it was soft.
Sendew released my hand and took a deep breath.
I turned around. Huge trees partially hid a ginormous house a ways away. There was a pathway to my right.
No Pelielia, though. “Wonder why I landed here if she’s not here?”
A slicing pain tore through my shoulder. I flopped forward and got a mouthful of that sand I thought was so pretty earlier.
Not so pretty now, though.
Some wicked-fast clucking followed. It was Sendew, and it sounded like he was yelling.
I pushed up with my good arm. Three men stood before me, two with arrows poised at me.
So much for a warm welcome.
Join us Friday for Chapter 29 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.
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See you soon….