You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
“Sendew!” Someone yelled.
Sendew released his hold on me, and I almost fell to the ground again. I didn’t feel too good. Mostly weak and tired. And my mouth was suddenly super dry, like I hadn’t drunk a drop of water during an entire soccer match.
Another set of hands grabbed onto me. One of the shooters held me up. None too gently, either.
Sendew embraced the woman I’d seen in my mind. She was different, though. Her hair had a streak of white down the front, and her dress was purple. Long and flowing.
The world tilted a little and this time, the guard didn’t even bother trying keep me upright. I landed flat on my back. Everything spun like I was in one of those tilt-a-world rides at the fair. “I’m going be sick.”
“Quickly mother,” Sendew said. “He must get the antidote.”
“Wasss…happening…” My tongue was too big for my mouth. And it felt leathery. How’d that happen?
“A human, but I detect something else,” Sendew’s mother spoke. Her voice was nice. Calming. I turned toward her. Soft, gentle hands touched my face. “Barbarian.”
“He helped me, Mother. The King is set to destroy his Realm, yet he chose to bring me home to you instead of allowing me to perish with that Realm. So I could be with you.”
“His mind is muffled,” she said.
Someone lifted me up, and I felt us moving. Even if I wanted to protest, I couldn’t. I ordered my hand to move, but it didn’t. Nothing worked. It was like I was frozen.
“The arrow has toxins on its tips,” Sendew said. “Subdues our enemies. I’m sorry, my friend.”
My body was set on something hard and a soft pillow put beneath my head.
“There, there, child,” Sendew’s mother spoke. “Shall be over soon.”
“Hafff…to…get back,” I said. “Safff family.”
“His will is strong,” she said. “Focused on his family, yes?”
“They have less than a day to appease The King. Though I am not sure he can do what The King asks of him to save his Realm.”
A prick to my arm followed by a warm rush up my shoulder had me groaning.
“My son.” I heard crying. “How I missed you.”
My body finally listened to me, and I turned my head to see Sendew and his mother hugging. Tears streamed down her face as she held her son.
Did I have a mother somewhere? Would she cry over me if I found her? No the documents said my mother was dead.
I swallowed, and little tingles shot through my arms and legs. I wiggled my toes, and my hand moved. Everything was starting to work again. It was a little sluggish, like I was after running suicides at practice, but at least I could move again.
Three men stepped toward me, and it looked like they wanted to cream me into a gooey mess.
“Child.” Pelielia released Sendew and came toward me. She leaned over and touched my forehead. “You are fine.”
She helped me up, and I realized we were in a bedroom. There was a big bed covered with purple blankets. A huge window beside it was open and the drapes flowed in a slight breeze. It was warm. Comfortable.
Relaxing. Boy, could I use some of that after the crazy that’s been happening.
The sun shone through the glass roof, brightening the room. White clouds spotted the blue sky almost like little pillows floating in the ocean.
I was sitting on a couch on the far side of the room, near an open set of doors that led outside to a patio of some sort. The floor and walls were marble, bright and shiny and patterned with what looked to be the sky, filled with clouds.
Was that orange I smelled?
“Feeling better?” Sendew sat beside me and handed me a glass.
The water felt so good going down my throat I could have drank about twelve. But hey, what about my shoulder? The wound was gone. I raised my arm and there wasn’t even any pain!
This healing thing was awesome!
“Wicked stuff you got on those arrows. Can I use some against The King?” I said.
Someone gasped behind me.
“I was kidding.” Sort of.
“Even to speak of harming the King of the Realms is treason,” Pelielia said.
“How am I understanding her?” I asked Sendew.
“With a little magic.” He tapped his throat. “I placed a spell on you so you can understand us. You are speaking our language, believe it or not.”
“Wow.” I went to stand, but my legs weren’t on board for the task yet, so I plopped back down. “I have to go.”
“Riley. You might consider staying,” Sendew said. “Much time has passed on Earth. You are closer than ever to your deadline, if it has not already passed.”
“How long was I out?” My heart pounded like a crazy drum solo had started in my chest.
“A while. Your body is a little different, so you reacted to the toxin more harshly. Took longer to flush out.” He grabbed my arm. “Try standing again.”
This time I made it to my feet. “I have to go. What if J2 found the scientists?”
Sendew’s Mom lurched forward and pulled me into a hug. Her arms were warm, and they felt like a heating blanket.
“You have brought my joy home. So long he was gone. We thought he was dead. You are a hero. Stay. You have a place here with us. In my home.”
I glanced at Sendew. He stood there, hands clasped behind his back. He’d changed into a long, white robe with a tie around the waist. His hair was shiny white, like the clouds in the sky, and his face clean.
“Here?” I glanced around. “Stay here with your family?”
Sendew nodded. “It is much better than the fate of the Human Realm. Here, there is peace. Nothing like your people, like the ones who made you and hurt me.”
Sendew’s mom sniffled, and whispered, “My son.”
“But what about Janet, Jeff, and my friends?”
“This is no place for them. You are part Fairy,” Pelielia said. “Though mixed with the Barbarians, I sense the Fairy is strong. You will learn our ways, son.”
There was truth in her words. I felt it. Felt the love behind what she spoke. But how could she? She didn’t know me. I didn’t even know me.
“Our family can be yours,” Sendew said. “If you so choose.”
I could have a mom. A real live mom. Her hugs were great, too. But my friends. They needed me. Earth needed me.
But if I couldn’t convince The King to spare the scientists we would all die. Maybe I should stay here.
No. I could save Earth. I had to save Earth. Like Hope had said, as messed up as it was, it was worth saving.
“Eat.” Pelielia waved her hand, and I was instantly sitting at a huge, marble table filled with tons of food. It looked like there was a humungous turkey in the middle of the table. Plates of fruit, berries, and so many things I’d never seen before.
We were in the same room, but with a slight movement of Pelielia’s hand there was a little party going on.
Sendew sat across from me, next to his mother. Two guys sat at the end of the table, but they weren’t eating. They were more watching me than anything else. But I was so hungry, I didn’t care.
I grabbed food after food, eating everything I could reach. I’d never been so hungry. And everything tasted like PBJs. My favorite thing in the world.
A few more people joined us, eating, laughing, and talking. Music played in the background, from somewhere. I’d never heard the songs, but they were quiet and soothing. I could listen to it forever.
It all felt so familiar. Comfortable. Like I belonged here.
Yeah. I did. This was home. My home.
Wait. Home? I glanced around. Where were my friends? Um…what were their names again? I shifted in my seat, something nudging me deep down in my brain. I needed to do something. Help someone.
My body suddenly protested the fact that I’d drank about five glasses of water, and I hopped off my chair. “Sendew. Bathroom?”
He pointed toward the door. “Down that hallway.”
I headed toward the door, but a window to my left caught my attention. Through it I saw the blue sky again. There were three kids out, playing catch with something, in the green grass. It was more like a sphere than a ball, though. Clear like glass with something inside.
And that grass. It went on forever.
I stepped toward the window for a better look. Each of the kids had long hair, but it was in a braid with gold twine mixed in. The bubble-like thing the kid caught looked like it had a butterfly inside.
The kids were laughing and smiling. Not a care in the world. Nothing to worry about. Or be scared of.
Wait. There was something I was supposed to be doing. What the heck was it? An assignment for school? No I wasn’t in school yet.
What was it? A mission. No, that didn’t make sense. Why would I have a mission?
I shook my head and stepped away from the window.
Oh yeah…the bathroom. That’s what it was.
That poisoned dart must have mushed up my brains for something.
I pushed through the door and took the first left down the hallway. Voices trickled in from an open door up ahead, so I slowed down.
“If we can control it, think of the power we’ll have.” The person speaking was a guy with a deep voice.
“The King will destroy the Human Realm soon, then it will have nowhere to return to. It will be ours.”
“And so will The Coin. We mustn’t tell Pelielia. She’s weak, but she has influence over Esar’s actions, and if she convinces us to let it go, we will lose everything. Just a few more Earth hours and it will be gone. Their evil stricken from the Realms as it should have been eons ago.”
I grasped The Coin beneath my shirt. Realms. Earth. The King.
Oh my gosh.
How could I have forgotten? I glanced over my shoulder toward the dining room. They did something to me. The food. I swallowed hard. They drugged it.
“Riley?” Sendew’s voice came in behind me. “What is wrong, my friend?”
Two large men, wearing long coats decorated with colorful patches and gold seams, stepped out of the room up ahead. They’d been the ones talking. Planning. They wanted to keep me here so I couldn’t save Earth.
Save my friends.
I stepped away from them.
“Androphilia, what have you done?” Sendew yelled.
Home to Earth. My bedroom. I clutched The Coin and thought of my bedroom. The space beside my bed. The sound of the garage door going up and down. The smell of the roses outside the garage. My small desk.
A black ball erupted between Sendew and me. He raised his glowing hands and yelled at me, “Go!”
I looked behind me and the two Fairies charged, long fingers reaching for me, but their hands met an invisible wall.
One created by Sendew.
Holding The Coin, I jumped into darkness.
Through the whipping wind, I ran. Like Sendew had taught me, I envisioned it solid beneath my feet as I sprinted. Toward home.
Janet, Jeff, Braeden and Tish. They were my family. Hope was my best friend. Christian and Anthony were my soccer buddies. I had to save them all. Their families.
I landed in my room beside my bed, but I stumbled into my desk. The lamp crashed to the floor.
My chair tipped over as I tried to use it to stay upright. That sent me falling to my knees beside my bed. My stomach cramped.
Up came all the food I’d just eaten.
And the drugs that must have been in it, because my body suddenly felt lighter. My stomach better. My mind clearer.
“Braeden?” I yelled, pushing to my feet. “Braeden?”
I bolted down the stairs and smacked right into him as he rounded the corner from the house. I’d had about enough of me falling on my rear!
“Where the heck have you been?”
“What’s happening?” I glanced out the open garage door.
Join us Monday for Chapter 30 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….