Story Writing Debate
Debate Rounds (5)
I grew up in a very poor family. Our house was musty and cramped. And I remember how, at school, the other kids would make fun of the tattered clothes I wore. But I didn’t care. It never kept me from, and actually encouraged me to do what I liked. Often, during the summer, I would climb the rusty fence that separated my family’s old house and the woods beyond. I always loved the summer. When I could, I would remove my tattered shoes and spend the entire day barefooted. Mama always got mad at me for doing so, but I didn’t care. It was an out-of-school ritual of mine. When I could I would revel in my freedom from footwear. It relaxed me.
My favorite spot to hang out was under a small tree near my home. There, I would read the few books I had or simply lie in its cool shade during the hot summer months. But on some days, I was more adventurous and went to explore the woods near my house. I knew every inch of the area within a half a mile of our home. It almost seemed too easy. However, everything changed when I was about nine.
I wandered a long way from home that day.
I wanted to know more about my surroundings. I just wanted something different, for something interesting to happen. I meandered past everything I knew, and eventually made it into territory I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t scared. At the time, it seemed, as a general rule, that the night was always filled with monsters and darkness. Daylight was the exact opposite. Daylight was safe. Daylight was always safe.
I began to notice the greens and golds that filled nature, and I thought I was in fairyland. Then I saw the path. It was a simple dirt road, overgrown with short grass and had occasional pebble on the side of it. It appeared fairly straight, and expanded all the way toward the horizon. As a youngster I thought that it would be a great idea to follow it, so I stepped forward, a barefooted child walking down a long road.
I can’t recall how long I wandered down the path. I simply walked along. The scenery changed so much. I passed by caves and streams. I saw things from open plains to thick forests. But that path, that small dirt path, never changed. I knew that as long as I followed the path, I would never be lost.
Eventually, I came to a small creek, and a fallen tree that served as a bridge to get across. The path ended. The tree was overgrown with moss, and, thinking it was fun and squishy, I began to play with it. Soon, I started to pull the moss off of the tree and watch it fall into the flowing creek. Looking for more adventure, I faced the next challenge of crossing the creek by using the tree. Suddenly…
(To be continued. I understand that this introduction is short, but you know what they say: Go for quality, not quantity.)
Story Title: The Portal
Chapter 1: Colors
The tree's meeble roots hooked to the side of the river bank, shuddered under my tiny weight. The tree was old, and had been meagerly attached to the riverside. When I added pressure to it's seemingly think trunk, I felt the shudder of it's weakness pull from the riverbank. Uh oh.
I quickly tried to make my way across the trunk, as I heard the roots ripping from the surface of earth. Cold raging water licked the side of the trunk viciously attempting to knock me from my stability. And it worked. My barefoot slipped on a moist mossy part of the trunk. I screamed, and fell into the river, grabbing the stub of a broken branch on my way down.
The water was cold, and eagerly tried to suck me downstream. I was panic stricken, and scared for my life as the cold river attempted to take me into the unknown. I gripped onto the tree with all my might, and pulled myself upward, heaving my chest onto the trunk as best as I could. As I pulled myself out of the water, I heard another loud RIIIIIPPP as a couple more roots snapped. In Correspondence, the tree drifted downriver a little bit more, as water raged forward, urging the tree all the way down.
I regained my balance, and stepped quickly (but more carefully this time) across the dangerous tree. Only a few more feet... Almost there...
The tree's final root broke off, and the tree was free. Upon hearing the snap I wasted no time. I leapt from the tree with as much force as my small body could muster, and landed right on the edge of the river bank, slightly rolling my ankle as I landed.
"Ouch!" I yelped, as I clutched my ankle, breathing heavily, adrenaline pumping through my veins.
I stared in fright as I watched the massive tree flow downriver, and snap in two pieces on a massive boulder, and eventually dis-appear.
I bent over, and buried my face in my hands, crying.
What was I going to do now? Who knows how far that river would go before I could find another crossing? And even if I did find one, how would I be able to find that same dirt road that had led me here?
I felt depressed and hopeless.
I instantly regretted not telling my family where I was. Finally, I wiped my tears, on my torn baseball shirt, and composed myself. I had to at least try and find my way home, before worrying myself. I looked at my surroundings, trying to determine the best course of action for finding my way home. After the tree incident, I no longer felt the need to adventure further. It was time to go home.
I decided the best route was back along the river, east, the direction from which I had originally transgressed in order to get to the dirt road.
I followed the river for what seemed like hours. The scenery, the trees, they were all absolutely beautiful.
After another few hours of walking near the river, I started to realize that it was only getting wider. There would be no crossing like the one I had originally found...
It was getting dark, as the evening gloom started to make it's progress in darkening the open sky. The trees started to become more tight, and condensed, close knit, and there were more of them.
I felt tears coming up again. I shouldn't have left so far.. I am so stupid! I thought of mama, an papa, and how angry they were going to be with me for being late.
'You should be ashamed of yourself' They would say. 'You should have been more careful' They would say.
And they would have been right. I should have known better than to come all this way by myself, with No food, and no water.
I was tired, and hungry.
Then I heard a growl, a low rumble from deep inside the Forrest. I gulped. Looks like I am not the only one who is hungry. I broke into a run, running away from the river so as not to be trapped by the river, and whatever it was that was just growling.
After I ran for a few minutes, I finally stopped to catch my breath. The night progressively was getting darker. I could hear the noises of night fill the air, crickets chirping, an owl hooted in the distance.
I heard shuffle nearby in the foliage. I started, and panicked again. I starting running again, further into the Forrest. away from the river.
I thought I herd noises every time, I stopped. Shapes seemed to move themselves throughout the trees, as my imagination went wild. It felt so real, however part of me subliminally knew that my fear was conjuring up pseudo ideals on what was really going on around me. Then I heard the growl again. This time it was louder, closer.
"Leave me alone!" I shouted, and ran further into the Forrest. I ran, and ran and ran. Just when I thought my cardio couldn't keep up with me anymore, I felt my ankle twist on a root, and I fell face flat into the leaves on the ground, hitting my head hard. My vision blurred, for a second, and I felt a bit of blood on my head, as I had a small cut and I figured there was a bruise as well. I didn't even bother to get up this time. I was scared, lonely, and lost. Completely lost. Running would do me no good. I closed my eyes, and tears rolled down my cheek. Why hadn't I just stayed at home? Why did I always have to be so dang adventurous?
The noises of the night continued, and I lay shuddering in a pile of leaves, waiting for the darkness to consume me. Eventually, sleep cast it's luring spell on me, casting me deep into the depths of my nightmares.
I awoke to a strange scuffling sound nearby me. I instantly opened my eyes, allowing the bright beautiful morning light to fill my soul.
I heard the shuffle again, and averted my eyes to where I heard the noise, flinching as I notices the bush near me wiggling. I backed away cautiously, suddenly feeling scared again.
Just then, a small Hare, rushed out of the bush, and off into the trees.
Phew, just a little bunny rabbit.
My stomached growled, signifying that I needed to find food. I got up, and walked into the woods. I had no idea where I was at, but that could wait. I needed to eat. I scavenged around, investigating plants, trees, and other objects for their edibility. Nothing seemed to appetizing, however.
Finally I found it! A walnut tree, just like the one Grandma used to have in her back yard. Lucy and I would always eat wal-nuts that had fallen during the Summer time.
I did the same now, as I collected an armful of nuts. I spent the next while eating, and cracking open wal-nut shells.
Eventually I started to wander around the woods a little more, as I tried to search for something, anything that could lead me back to civilization.
There was nothing but trees around in every direction, for as far as I could see. I felt my heart drop a little as I realized how hopeless my situation really was.
I walked farther into the woods until something.... strange.... caught my eye. In the corner of my eye, I noticed blue. I turned towards it, and walked slowly.
It was a big tree. In fact it was huge, going up at least 60 ft. It's base was thick, about 4 meters wide. But that wasn't the most interesting part. The most interesting part was the big blue oval plastered on the base of the trunk. I was instantly curious. The oval was moving, seemingly shifting endlessly in circles. It almost looked as if it were a dark hazy blue mist. Curiously I touched it. I was completely shocked to see my entire hand dis-appear behind the oval. Gone, completely. I withdrew it immediately, testing it. it seemed just fine. Hmm...
It was some kind of portal, an entrance. But to where? At nine years old, I had long since learned that the only way to find out was to dive straight in.
With that, I gripped the edge of the tree, and pulled myself threw. What I saw when I was through was completely amazing. Blinded by colors, shapes, and things unknown to me, I was somewhere completely different. No longer was I in the forest.
My eyes glistened as I took in the beautiful and intense surroundings.
I took a moment to take in everything I saw. The ground beneath me seemed to sparkle under the sun, and I could spot a lake a not so far away. Above me the sky glowed with a soft purple hue and the entire place smelled of fresh, open air. Suddenly, a little girl about my age spotted me.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, almost accusingly. Her curly, dirty blonde hair moved with the gentle breeze, and she had the tan skin of a child who spent too much time outside.
“What are you doing here?!” she exclaimed again.
I didn’t quite know what to say. “I, um,” I didn’t realize I was clutching my hurt ankle.
She saw this, and replied, “That’s okay. Do you need someone to fix your ankle?”
I nodded. “My daddy owns the city,” she stated. “He can find you a doctor to help you. My name’s Charlotte. What’s yours?”
I hesitated. “Um… Kyle. Just Kyle.”
Charlotte took my hand and said, “C’mon, Kyle. I’ll help you.” And without even asking for my approval, she squeezed my hand and dragged me to her father’s house.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Charlotte lived in the heart of the city. As soon as we entered, Charlotte rushed in. Inside, a tall, brown-haired man waited for her.
“Daddy!” She smiled with a jack-o-lantern grin that was missing a few teeth.
“Charlotte!” They embraced each other with a warm hug. “Where have you been?” her dad smiled teasingly.
“Daddy, Daddy,” she bounced up and down as she spoke. “I made a new friend.” She gestured toward me.
“That’s wonderful, Charlotte.”
“Yeah, but he hurt his ankle,” she replied. “Do we need a doctor?”
“Hmmm…” he said. “It’s a minor injury. I don’t think we need a doctor. He just needs to stretch it sometimes and allow it to heal.” He paused and turned to me. “So, what’s your name?”
“Kyle.” I answered.
“So where do you come from Kyle?”
I didn’t quite know how to reply. “Um, I don’t know- I mean, I don’t come from here. I was in the middle of a forest… and went through a portal that brought me here.”
Charlottes’ father froze. He changed the subject. “So, Kyle, are you hungry?” I nodded. “Good. You can have dinner with me and Charlotte tonight.” He smiled weakly. “Does that sound good?”
To me, dinner seemed awkwardly silent. Even weirder, only three people were at the table: me, Charlotte, and her dad. I couldn’t help but ask why.
“So Charlotte, I’ve met your dad, can I see your mama, too?”
Her lip began to quiver, and tears welled up in her eyes. Her dad didn’t look so good, either. I didn’t know if I said something wrong. “What is it?”
Charlotte choked up as she spoke. “It’s just…” She started to pout.
“There is a person… ” announced Charlotte’s father. “…who goes by the name The Authority. Before his reign was a golden age. But that age stopped years ago when he brought his entire army to our town. We were greatly outnumbered, and we were forced to surrender. Ever since then, he’s been taking our people into his custody. And when he takes them, they never come back. He randomly selects one citizen from our town every day. Day by day, the people continue to disappear, loved ones are lost, children are taken. Nobody quite knows what he does with them.”
His eyes were distant, as if recalling a memory from long ago. Then he sighed a deep, deep, sigh. “Last year, he selected Charlotte as one of his tributes. Frantically, I told him I wouldn’t give her up. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. So The Authority sent his army over to this house and put us under a siege. Days passed, and they just wouldn’t leave. After a few weeks, we had run out of food, and we were starving- until my wife offered herself instead. I insisted that she didn’t, but she said that she had to-for Charlotte. So they took her, and I haven’t seen her since.”
Tear’s dribbled down the cheeks of Charlotte’s dad. His tone was grim. “Recently, the Authority decided that our town was running out of people. So he created portals in other universes that lead into ours. He wants to bring in others to serve his purpose, whatever it may be. And that’s his purpose for you, Kyle. He’s looking for you. You have to run. You can’t come back the way you came in.”
I was shaking in my seat. “Do you think I could fight him?” I asked. “If we could stop him, I wouldn’t have to run anymore!”
“Yeah!” spoke Charlotte. “He has an entire army! How is Kyle going to run away from that?”
“You’re too young to fight,” said Charlotte’s dad. “All we need to focus on is keeping Kyle from getting in the hands of the Authority.”
“But Dad! He can’t run forever!”
“You’ll do as I say, Charlotte. I don’t want to risk losing you.”
“We can find Mommy!”
He raised his voice, “How do you know Mom isn’t already dead?”
Charlotte stared at him and started to cry. “Oh, Charlotte…” Her father put her into his arms and stared to rub her back. “You know I didn’t mean that. It’s all going to be okay. Everything’s just fine. Say it for me.”
“Everything’s just fine.” She repeated. “Thanks, Dad.”
“Now,” he declared, “we need to pack Kyle some food, water, and clothes for the trip.”
I thanked Charlotte’s father for everything as I escaped into the night. “Be sure to stretch your ankle every day, and it should be healed within a few weeks,” he told me. I had already given my goodbyes to Charlotte, as it was now way past her bedtime. “Charlotte will miss you,” said her dad. I thanked him one last time, and scuttled off.
But after a while, I spotted a small, shadowy figure chasing after me. Thinking it was a part of the Authority’s army, I sprinted as fast as I could, until I heard a little girl’s voice say, “Wait up, doofus.”
I turned. Charlotte was right behind me. “Hey! I said wait up!” She was panting.
“Won’t your papa be mad?”
“Don’t worry, I brought food and water.” She gulped, and continued to breathe heavily. “And besides, I have this,” she pulled out a small pink device with a speaker on the front of it and a button on the back. “It’s a little bit like a walkie talkie, just smaller. I can use it to reach my daddy whenever I want. C’mon. Let’s go.”
I headed in the direction I was going, until she stopped me. “Where are you going?”
“Don’t you want to defeat The Authority?”
“But your papa said it was dangerous!”
“Don’t worry,” said Charlotte. “We’ll be just fine. Just follow that small dirt path. After all, all paths lead to the Authority, or so they say.”
I wanted to tell her that that was the exact same path that brought me here in the first place, but instead I replied, “Okay, let’s go.”
Chapter 3: Clumsy Card House
My head was spinning, as I tried to break down everything I have seen in the past few hours. Everything was so new... So different... I had no idea where I was, and everything these crazy people were telling me was just frightening me more and more.
Fight? I am not a fighter. I am just a curious little boy who got in over my head. I felt like I was going to pass out.
I sat down on a patch of soft grass, and looked off into the distance.
"What's wrong?" Charlotte asked, than sat down next to me curiously.
I didn't answer, but decided to take in my surroundings for the first time. As I had noticed briefly earlier, the full gravity of the color this place was filled with, had finally reached me. Everything was bright, and extravagant! The beauty was overwhelming, and almost made me feel a bit nauseous as I stared at my surrounding. There were few trees, that I could see. I had no memory of where the tree I had entered from was, unfortunately. That's the one I needed to find. I needed to get out of this place. For all I know I was still dreaming, and would once again wake up scared and alone inside that horrible dark Forrest. I shuddered at the thought.
Charlotte cleared her throat, trying to get my attention. "Excuse me! I said 'what's wrong?!'"
"Charlotte, I wanna go home. I don't know where I am. I am not from here. I just got lost, that's all. My parents are probably really worried about me. I am sorry, but I don't think I can help you fight this 'authority' or whoever they are. I have my own family to worry about."
With that, I got up, getting ready to go the direction I thought I remembered coming from the portal. Suddenly Charlotte's lip started to quiver, and I could see tears well up on the corners of her eyes.
"You mean... You aren't going to help me?" She whispered in shock.
"No Charlotte I am really sorry. You should get back to your daddy before he-"
Charlotte cut me off, suddenly angry.
"Before he what? Loses the last thing he has left?"
"No! I wasn't going to say that. Charlotte listen-"
"Whatever, I don't need your help anyway!" She screamed, and then ran away in the opposite direction. I facepalmed, and then tried to let myself release my stress.
"Charlotte wait!" I shouted, but it was too late. The girl was already gone. I decided it was best if I just let it go. There was nothing I could do now.
I ventured off into the strange new world, for a few hours, taking in everything I saw, as I tried to search for that mysterious blue oval that had brought me here to begin with. I pass through a big field, with the long grass as tall as my waste. As the wind blew across the plains, the flow of the grass was absolutely amazing and beautiful. The sight was completely awesome.
As I walked, I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty for ditching Charlotte like that. But then my pride piqued up. It's not like I asked her to come with me. This isn't my problem.
Even as I made the arguments mentally, I felt bad for thinking them. The girl had lost her mother, and I could see perfectly how she would want to stop the authority just as much as anyone would.
But that didn't change the fact that I still had to get back to my home, and my family. I decided I would do whatever it took to get home.
With a new found determination, I pressed on forward through the grass, into the unknown. It was time to go home.
I finally cleared the field, and started to think I was getting lost again, when I saw a recognizable bush. I had remembered it on the walk there, because it was shaped funny, and looked like a big clown nose. I must be getting close, I thought as I pressed forward through a thicket.
Things slowly, but surely were starting to seem more familiar as went forward. I knew I would be there soon.
Suddenly, I saw something, and my heart skipped a beat. On the ground about 20 feet from where I stood, was a pink walkie talkie. It was surrounded by foot prints. One small pair, and several very large pairs.
Oh no... I had no idea what had happened, but whatever it was, it didn't look good. I quickly rushed over and picked up the device, and put it in my pocket.
"Charlotte!?" I shouted into the distance.
There was no answer.
"HEY CHARLOTTE! You dropped you walkie talkie!" I shouted out towards nothing.
I waited a few seconds, again no answer.
Every bone in my body wanted to just leave. To just be oblivious to the situation, and go home through the portal that I new was nearby.
Why should I care, I barely even know this girl!
Despite my eagerness to resist, however, I knew it was pointless. I begrudgingly, followed the tracks, hoping to find Charlotte. The tracks went on for a while. After about a mile and a half, the tracks ended. I was about to give up, when I saw it.
It was huge, magnificent, and utterly amazing. The Huge golden city, was astonishing, and possibly one of the biggest things' I had ever seen!
I followed the road down towards the gates of the stone walls surrounding the city, not knowing what to do.
Just then I heard some voices, and instantly ducked down behind some brush against the side of the city wall. I looked over the brush and my eyes widened. There were three big men in Red tunics carrying Charlotte over to the gates of the city. Charlotte, was screaming and pulling against them. "Lemme go! Let me GOOO! You big meanies!" Charlotte yelled as she attempted to bite and kick her captors, who seemed to be rather un-affected.
I didn't know what to do. Should I stand up and scream for them to let her go? I sized up the three men holding her, and quickly changed my mind. They were all much bigger than me, and just one of them would easily crush my tiny body if he so wished. Better stand my ground, I decided.
The three soldiers carried the girl over to a big gate. Two more soldiers peered out from a hole in the gate, and opened the gate. Can this get any weirder?
"We've got her!" Said one of the soldiers to the soldier behind the gate.
"I see that. The authority will be pleased." Replied the guard.
Then he opened the gate and allowed them in. After they were inside the city, the gate closed with a loud bang and a shutter.
Dang. They have Charlotte! I need to help her!
I located a tree nearby the wall. I had always been an excellent climber, and the tree was the perfect height for me to jump directly onto the top if the wall if I decided to jump over.
I climbed the tree in a matter of minutes, and hopped over the parapets on the walls, adrenaline pumped as I was ready to do god knows what.
The city was just as magnificent inside as it was outside. I made sure to stay hidden with a low silhouette in order not to be seen. There were thousands of people in the streets. I felt amazed to see so many people, in one place. There were markets, there were homes, there were children. It was just like a city from where I came from!
"Gather round! Gather Round!" Shouted someone. Just then the three soldiers holding Charlotte walked out into the middle of the central part of the seat. All the citizens back away from the soldiers in fear, as they noticed the Red tunics.
The people did as they were bid, and mulled around the guards who were now the center of attention.
"Today, is a great day! The authority has chosen another one, to fulfill our journey!" The crowd boo'ed at the soldiers, obviously hateful towards them.
"Leave her alone! She's just a little girl!" Shouted someone from the crown. Others chimed in and agreed.
"It's too late. It's time for her now, the authority will see her." Said the lead soldier.
I had do something. But what?
Just then something horrible happened. The walkie talkie went off, as Charlotte's father shouted through it "Charlotte? Charlotte where are you?"
I instantly pressed the 'off' button to silence it. But it was too late. Everyone in the square including the guards were staring directly at me.
People shouted and shrieked as the guards made their way through. Many cowered in fear, and others encouraged me to run while I could. "Up there!" said one man, pointing to a castle window not too high to climb. "You are young. Climb the tree next to the window, and hop in. Quickly! Before it's too late!"
I saw Charlotte being dragged away into the golden mansion. I felt the overwhelming urge to try and save her. But then I realized that I would be completely powerless against the guards, and it would be best if I ran. I followed the man's instructions. Sprinting, I headed toward the tree, guards on my tail. They were faster, stronger. But I was more agile. The soldiers advanced, and I hoped that I would make it, before they caught me. Out of breath, I continued to run, as if my life depended on it. The guards were just feet away...
When all seemed lost, I reached the tree, and hopped onto the first branch. Reluctantly, I began to climb. The guards stood at the base of the tree, one of them using his sword to try to catch me, or bring me down. Another punched him on the shoulder. "Keep him alive, you idiot! We'll all get punished if you bring back a bleeding recruit!"
"Fine," the other replied. As I made my way up the tree, he began to climb as well. Luckily, he didn't get too far before he collapsed under his own weight.
"This is pointless," said another guard. "Just let him get through, and he'll probably meander around the castle. He won't go unnoticed for long. Someone will see him." He shrugged. "Just a kid." The others agreed, and left.
What did he mean by recruit?
Tired, I sluggishly hopped into the room. I looked around. It was a bedroom far from fabulous. The damp smell of old milk and the musty atmosphere made me woozy. The chambers of a servant, I thought. It seemed fairly empty: a bed on the side, a small wardrobe, and a barrel that served as a table.
I was panting. That was the most running I had ever done in my life.
They're looking for me, I thought. I made my way into the empty wardrobe, which I easily fit into. I pulled out the pink device, and turned it on.
"Charlotte! Is that you? Tell me you're alright. Please. Speak to me."
"I'm not Charlotte. It's me, Kyle."
"Kyle. How's Charlotte?"
Oh, gosh. How would I explain this? "She... ran away with me. The night she disappeared. She said she wanted me to come with her, to defeat the Authority."
A gasp on the other line.
"And... some guards got her. I followed her, and now we're both in the Authority's castle. I'm hiding, and they have Charlotte..." Everything that happened over the past few days came back to me. I was more lost than ever before. "What do I do??" I begged. I couldn't hold my emotions back anymore. I started to cry.
The same must have happened for Charlotte's papa. He started to choke up, too. "I let this happen," he said. "I'm the one who told our city to surrender. We should've fought back." He spoke between sobs. "I've lost my family. My wife and only child are gone. And now, I have nothing to lose." A pause. "Kyle, I need to set things right."
Crackling in the small walkie talkie. Charlotte's papa was gone.
All of my guilt suddenly came back at me. Why was I so stupid? If I had just stayed at home, Charlotte would have never run away, and none of this would've happened. I thought of mama, and papa, and my sister Lucy. How are they feeling right now? Worried? Scared? Ashamed of me? Why did I let this happen? I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Why...
I dreamt of many things as I slept in the little wardrobe. I saw my family, sitting outside our house, welcoming me home. "We missed you, sunshine," said mama as she kissed me on the head.
"Mama," I said, "you know I'm too old for kisses."
"I remember," she smiled. She kissed me again. "But I'll do it anyway." And, after all I'd been through, we all engaged in a group hug. "We'll always love you, Kyle," said mama. "Never forget that."
My dream began to change. Charlotte's papa stood on a podium, making a speech to the people of the city. "The Authority has tortured us enough! He has taken our friends, stolen our spouses, and captured our children. But now," he said, "is our time for revenge."
The crowd cheered.
"But we are not alone in the Authority's cruel reign. Nearby towns, like Birchwood and Lambridge, are experiencing the same horror as well. We need an alliance; a stronger force. We need as many allies as we can manage. We will create an army to defeat the Authority, bringing freedom and peace to our people!"
I woke up, sweating.
I took a moment to realize where I was. Of course. I'm in the castle.
My stomach roared.
I pulled out some dried fruit and bread from the pack Charlotte's papa gave me, and began to eat. Mouth parched, I gulped down some of the water as well. Knowing I would need it for later, I stuffed the unfinished provisions into the pack, along with the extra clothes and other packaged snacks.
I couldn't go outside. They would find me. They'd be looking. I knew I couldn't stay in the wardrobe forever, but this would be the safest thing to do for now...
I awakened to a banging on the door, and the sounds of someone struggling. How long was I out?
The door burst open. A young female voice screeched, "Stop! Stop! What are you doing? You said I was done for now!"
"For now, but not forever. These are your chambers. Stay here until we call on you again."
"Wait! Where are you going? You can't just leave me here!"
The door locked. She pounded on the door. "No!" No answer. "No!" She continued to bang on the door helplessly. "No, stop it!" She eventually gave up. Then she kicked the door one more time for good measure. "Meanies. Making me work all the time only to put me in a stinky room." She was obviously talking to herself.
I cracked open the door of the wardrobe to see who it was.
My heart stopped.
You're kidding, right?
It couldnt be...
I was in complete and utter shock as I processed the situation. Charlotte... Got put into the same room that I was hiding in? What were the odds.
Part of me didn't believe it. It was a trick, from the authority to try and bring me out of hiding. The idea seemed ridiculous, but my fear had authenticated the thought.
I mused over what to do as the girl outside wept uncontrollably.
"Why did I run away?" She cried, angry at herself.
"I should have known this would be hopeless... And there's too many of them. How could I have thought I could ever take on the entire authority by myself...? And Kyle..."
I gulped as I heard my name.
"Stupid Kyle!" She yelled angry at nothing. "If he hadn't abandoned me, this would have never happened. This is all his fault."
I burst out of the wardrobe angrily.
"No! You can't blame this on me, you were the one that went and got yourself caught, you dummy!" I felt bad almost as soon as I had said the words. I didn't mean to be so harsh.
But Charlotte seemed to shock to process what I had said.
"KYLE!" She said, happily, and ran over to me and embraced me in a big hug.
I blushed as the girl threw her arms around me. I awkwardly returned the hug, though a little less enthusiastically. Girls did have cooties, I was told.
"Okay... Can we stop please?" I asked.
She released her embrace embarrassed, and tried to look casual.
But then her shock and curiosity set back in and she asked "What the heck are you doing here?"
I grunted, and answered "Like I said, I came back for you Charlotte. I felt bad leaving you alone like that. How did you get yourself caught anyway?"
Her expression looked shamed, and ash-fallen. "I didn't want to give up, just because YOU did. I was going to stop them alone. I ran into a group of them and tried to sneak up on them and..."
I interrupted her abruptly "And do what!? What could you possibly do to a group of full grown soldiers?"
She sighed, defeated. "I don't know. But I wasn't going to run away... Like you!"
I ignored the accusation, and tried to be mature.
"Charlotte... Okay. I'll help you do this. But there will be some conditions, okay?" I said uneasily, wishing I hadn't agreed to help her.
"Okay, what are they?" She said wearily.
"Well the first one, is that you can't run off like that! If we are going to do this, we have to do this smart okay? I can't risk you getting hurt!"
She nodded. "What else?"
"Okay the second thing is, that I need you to help me find my home after this. I can't stay here Charlotte, I miss my parents. You seem to know your way around his place pretty well. I need to go home, and I need your help. If I do this for you, will you promise to help me?"
She smiled. "Of course! I'll get you home to your parents as soon as we've defeated the authority. Deal?"
"Deal!" I spit in my hand and offered it to her, as some of the kids I went to school with often did when they made agreements.
"EWWWW!" She shouted. I just looked confused.
"Your supposed to shake it..." I said, pushing my hand a little closer to her.
She backed away in disgust. "Why in the heck would I do that?"
"You know, to make the deal official!"
She shook her head. "No. I am not shaking that hand, that is gross!"
"Fine!" I said, and wiped my hand on my pants.
She sat down on the big bed, and sighed. "So now what?" she asked.
I was curious. "What did they do to you Charlotte? Why are they doing this?" She looked solemn, and seemed to think about her response before speaking. Finally she spoke.
"They made me work... Against my will! There is a lot of women down there, Kyle. They are all hungry, starved, and sad. Some of them are dying. They whip the girls who don't work fast enough. Some are too old to work, but they don't care. They still make them mine, sew, clean, whatever duties they have, they make the woman do them. And they are so mean! They said I was to young to whip me, but they threatened to plenty of times. I kept refusing to work... They grabbed me and threw me down, and said mean things to me. I don't want to go back there Kyle! Please don't let them take me back!"
I shuddered at the cruelty that Charlotte had just explained to me.
"Was there any males?"
She shook her head. "No, I don't know why. They take males too, but I don't know where they go."
I thought about that for a minute.
"They said something about a recruit when they chased me up here. I wonder if that's what happens to them. I don't know."
I took a moment to size up the room, and look for a way out.
"Well how should we get out of here?" Charlotte asked.
"I don't know... I came in through that window, but I was chased her through the city. I don't think it would be smart to leave out of here right now. Maybe later tonight, but right now there's probably guards all over the city looking for me. The door is locked, so we can't leave that way. I think we are going to have to wait until tonight, Charlotte."
She seemed perturbed by this, by nodded in agreement. Suddenly I remembered.
"Hey guess what I found?" I said enthusiastically.
"What is it?" She asked.
I pulled out her pink walkie talkie from the bag, and watched her face light up. She shrieked and snatched it from my hand and held it against her chest, hugging it tightly as if she were trying to prevent it from running away.
"Thankyou!" She yelled.
She pressed the button on the device to allow her to speak. "Papa, it's me, Charlotte! Are you there?"
They waited, but there was no answer.
After a while she tried again. "Papa it's me Charlotte! Can you hear me?"
Again, there was no answer.
They stayed in the room for hours, and Kyle watched the window as the bright sun started to set. Charlotte continuously used the device, trying to reach her father, however, continued to have no luck in getting through.
"I hope he's alright! Why isn't he answering? I am so scared, Kyle!" Charlotte cried.
"Charlotte, before you came in here, I talked to him. I told him the situation. He knows your were captured. He said he was going to do something, but I don't know what. Maybe he didn't want to bring the walkie talkie with him, wherever he is going."
But then I realized that was a pretty bad way of trying to comfort her.
A tear ran down her face. "Oh Kyle! What's he going to do!? This is all my fault! I shouldn't have left. Now my daddy is in trouble!"
She started crying, and I didn't know what to do.
I went over to her, and sat next to her on the bed. She grabbed my shoulder, and continued to cry into it. I was unsure of what to do to comfort her, but I reached up and patted her on the back.
"It's going to be okay Charlotte. Your daddy loves you. He is going to find a way to help us out of this situation."
She said nothing, but just continued to cry.
Suddenly there was a loud bang, from outside that sounded just like a gun shot.
We were both startled, and jumped at the same time. Following the shot, I could hear a loud male scream. What was going on out there? Suddenly there was a lot of commotion outside. Men were yelling, someone was giving out orders. More shots were fired.
Then there was a loud boom, and the castle vibrated. An explosion, I thought.
I heard some screams from outside the door, and heard more yelling. This was closer than before, now. Whatever was going on, it was now going on inside the castle.
Me and Charlotte were scared. We gripped each others hand nervously as the commotion continued. There were more gun shots, inside the castle. Men screamed, and made awful sounds.
We both nearly fell off the bed as a bullet penetrated the door, and richoted off the wall behind us. Charlotte screamed and held onto me with dear life. Light flooded in through the hole. I tried too look through it, but could see nothing.
Finally, she gun shots stopped, and all was silent. There was no sound...
Then there was a footstep... And another... It got closer to the door, and closer.
Then the light the was coming through the door was covered, by darkness. Someone was outside.
The door handle turned. Charlotte whimpered.
Here we go...
A golden guard stepped through the door. "You," he pointed to Charlotte. Then he spotted me, and, seeming a bit shocked, said, "YOU!" He pulled us both up by the edge of our shirts. Thrusting my sack full of food and provisions over his shoulder, he announced to himself, "This would be good to serve the effort. Now," he continued, dragging us over to the action scene, "observe, kids." He gestured toward the man being shot, who was now backed into the corner. "That coward tried to run, and thought he could get away scott-free. That should serve as a lesson to the both of you," He paused, turned to me, and snarled the words, "especially you, boy."
"Take her away," he said to a nearby guard, and Charlotte was snatched up by a large, meaty hand.
"Wha- what are you doing? Put me down! Put me down! HEEEEEEEEELP!!" she screamed aloud as she disappeared into a nearby corridor.
I was dragged somewhere else, somewhere completely different. The guard thrust me into a room packed full of men and boys. All of them were doing rigorous drilling exercises, with only a few breaks to spare. They're training them, I thought. But what for?
They shoved me in, and I joined the others. It continued for hours and hours, until I fell limp onto the ground. We got little to eat- and we had little time to talk. But when I got the chance, I would speak to people nearby. I recall one of them being a man older than me.
"What do you think they're doing to us?" I asked him.
He took a long sigh, and answered, "Some say that the Authority wants to build an empire, and he needs a large army to do it. He plans to take over the entire world- and he wants us to be his soldiers." The man spoke with sad, sad, eyes.
"But we don't have to do what they say!" I pointed out. "We could rebel!"
"I don't know," the man continued. "Another man told me that the Authority brainwashes them, and turns them into one of his gold soldiers. He said he saw it himself- they forced someone to repeat the same words of praise to his new leader until it was all he could think." And with that, the man returned to drilling with the fear of being whipped if he didn't.
I was later thrust into a room similar to the one Charlotte was in when I first came into the building. I needed to escape then, I thought. But I was so, so, tired. I couldn't move without wincing. I wanted to fall asleep.
But I had to do something. I knew I couldn't climb out the window- there was no tree beside the window that allowed me to go down safely. The door was locked, so I couldn't escape there. However, there was a vent small enough for me to crawl through, and, wondering where it would take me, I stepped in. As I crawled through, I began to see the quarters of others like me. The place was well-organized, as men and women were clearly separated in terms of chamber locations. But when I passed all of the boys, I began to see hundreds upon hundreds of girls. After I witnessed many more, I eventually saw Charlotte. I poked my head out, and she gasped.
"Kyle?" she said, surprised. "How do you always find me?"
"You need to get into the vent. We're going to escape."
"But-" I pulled her in before she could say anything else. We made our way through, seeing the others as unfortunate as us. "How are we going to get out of here?" questioned Charlotte.
"The vent has to end someplace," I responded. "Let's just keep going until we get near a door that leads outside, and then we can escape."
Everything seemed to fall into place until I began to notice Charlotte staring at one woman in particular. She froze when she saw the lady with her same, curly blonde hair, except that she was extremely skinny from being overworked. The woman turned, and we could see her face. Then Charlotte muttered the bittersweet words, "That's my Mommy!"
I knew that bringing someone else aboard would be a bit of a burden, but it was her mother, after all.
As Charlotte poked her head out of the vent, the woman's eyes widened.
"Charlotte? Is that really you?"
Her mama smiled. "My, my. You've gotten taller over the past year, Charlotte. Look at you. Growing up so fast." Charlotte and her mom hugged for the first time in over a year. Charlotte explained everything that happened: how I came in and met Charlotte's dad, how she escaped with me, and how we eventually ended up here. She understood, and, being as skinny as she was, was able to crawl into the vent also. We didn't have much time for introductions, so I greeted Charlotte's mom briefly before we moved on. Continuing to crawl through the vent's metal jungle, we finally came across a door that led outside.
But we were exhausted. We worked the entire day, and had little to eat. Going through the vent didn't help either. Our muscles ached. We came to a unanimous decision that we would have a better chance of escaping if we woke up refreshed the next day. We crashed that night...
When I awoke, I was sore. I was better than before, but my muscles ached. Charlotte and her mama must have been the same way. And alarms were sounding all around us. They must have found us missing. They knew we'd escaped.
We frantically burst out the door we discovered the other night, until we were spotted by guards nearby. We ran as fast as we could. Outnumbered greatly, our trio would be doomed without something to help us escape. As sore and weak as we were, we wouldn't stand a chance against the dozens of guards that chased us.
But when all seemed lost, we spotted a river, and a boat used to get across. There was only one; using it was probably something one did during their free time. Our group paddled across, leaving the guards behind us. We finally stopped and decided what we would do next.
"I remember a little bit about getting the way here," recalled Charlotte. Her mama and I agreed. "Maybe we could retrace our steps, and get back to my home.
"Our home," reminded Charlotte's mom, happy to be free from the horrible place she had been before.
"What about the boat?" I questioned. "It would be faster than walking, and we'd be safer on the other side of the river."
"True," stated Charlotte"s mother. "Tell you what, you all remember walking along that path when you got here, right?"
Charlotte and I nodded.
"Let's travel across the river as long as we can see that path. When we can't see it anymore, we'll go to the other side, and carry on foot. Sound good?"
We all agreed. Then something struck me. I pulled out the pink walkie talkie. "Here. See if this works again."
Charlotte hastily snatched it out of my hand, and spoke into it. "Hello?"
The device remained silent for a second, until we perceived a cautious, "Hello? Is anyone there?"
"Daddy!" exclaimed Charlotte.
"Honey?" said her mom.
The rest of the conversation was a blur to me. I just remember that while they talked, we managed to get into the boat, and drift closer to Charlotte's home. I didn't say much. I only remember that the path remained in our view for a while, and that there was much laughing, and crying, and lots of "I missed you"s.
I wish I had my family back.
But eventually, after everything was explained, the walkie talkie was put away. We got off the boat and started on the path, and made it back to where we originally started. Charlotte's house was the same as before, except this time, her father had tears of joy in his eyes, and he seemed more confident. What had happened to us had already been talked about on the walkie talkie, no questions asked. Charlotte's papa made us dinner, which was very nice after our long fast. We talked, and described everything in detail. I still remained quiet unless acknowledged, until Charlotte brought up the crucial question:
"So, Daddy, what are we going to do now?"
I felt the need to butt in. "Yeah. The Authority is taking in people to create an army to take over the world! What are we going to do?"
"Don't worry," he said confidently. "I've created an army of my own...
Chapter 4: Beginning of the end
"An Army!?" Charlotte's Mom exclaimed. "How in the world did you manage to do that?"
Charlotte's Dad seemed pleased with himself.
"I know what he did. You went to the surrounding cities and gathered support for the war, didn't you?" I said, remembering the radio conversation I had with him.
Charlotte nodded her head, in understanding.
Then to every one's surprise, "Nope!" Charlotte's dad said excitedly. I didn't believe it. How could he have built an army, if he didn't recruit anyone?
It was impossible.
Charlotte spoke up angrily "Stop gloating dad, and just tell us what the heck you did!"
Charlotte's parents, and I burst out in to raucous laughter at her outburst. Finally, as our laughter dimmed to a slight chuckle, Charlotte's Dad explained.
"I know some people on the inside of the city. Some people who were captured and enslaved by the authority. I had something worked out a while back, something that would help me free my wife. That was before they captured you too, though Charlotte. Anyway, I had a feeling something was wrong with the plan. That it wouldn't work, and they would punish you for my action. So after you got caught, I had to think of something... Else. I noticed how the authority had there power. They quickly achieved it because of their ability to gain access to city's, and strongholds. Nobody stood a fighting chance against them, because they could always breach a territory. But I was curious. I knew it wasn't pure raw strength that led them to these victories. I knew it was something physical, that was getting them these advantages. It was the portals."
Everyone gasped as the words left his mouth. Of course it made sense. I too, had wondered how the authority managed to so easily take control of everything.
He continued "We knew very little about these portals. In fact very few people have actually encountered them, or not about them. Kyle, you are one of the few."
Lucky me, I thought sarcastically.
"I had to know what they were. How they worked. So I worked out a plan. The other night, someone I had on the inside named Raff McElder, decided to help me. He escaped from the chambers, got a weapon, and caused mayhem in the city, providing a distraction for me-"
Charlotte interrupted "That was you!? We heard everything daddy! Poor Raff..."
Charlotte's Dad was shocked "They caught him? What happened Charlotte! What did they do to him?"
Charlotte started crying, and couldn't answer. "They shot him" I said.
Tears rolled down Charlotte's Dad's eyes as he heard the grim news, and he too sobbed at the fate of his friend.
"She- She- You guys didn't see it- I mean... Did Charlotte-"
"No, we were dragged away before it happened" I said grimly.
Charlotte's dad seemed relieved, but was still daunted by horrible fate of his friend.
His wife put hand on his shoulder, and attempted to comfort him.
Finally he continued.
"I snuck into the city, and got into the kings chambers. And I found something..." he then got up, and left the room leaving everyone astounded.
"What daddy! What did you find."
A few moments later, Charlotte's Dad returned, holding a small oval object, about the size of a football. It was completely opaque, and shiny.
"I found this." He said, holding it up so that all the confused faces in the room could observe the object.
"What is it?" Charlotte's Mom asked bewildered, and entranced, by the objects beauty.
"This, my friends, is what the authority have been using to make portals. This, is my army. With this we can cripple the authority,"
I tried to process the situation. Finally, I spoke. "How... How does it work?"
Charlotte's dad seemed to consider something before answering. Then he spoke "I had to play around with it for a bit. And I am still not entirely sure how this works, but I found out the basic function. If you hold your hand on the top, pressing your palm down flat on the tip of the oval, this happens."
He put his palm on the egg-shaped-thingy, and suddenly a blue light pierced the middle of the device, shooting out from the objects center, and casting a beautiful surface light on the wall. The wall displayed a blue outline of an oval, though the wall texture was normal.
"This, is how you aim and target where you want the portal to go. Then to make it appear, you cup the bottom of the device with your other hand."
He wrapped his right hand around the bottom of the egg. Suddenly the streaming blue light emanating from the egg shot out a brilliance of purple, black, and blue, and started filling in the blue circle. In only seconds, there was another beautiful whirling portal, just like the first one I had seen, sitting flat on the wall. Charlotte's Dad, let go of his grip on the egg, and the light shut off, leaving the portal there.
"Where does it lead to?" Charlotte's mom inquired. Yes, where indeed. I was wondering the same thing.
"This leads just outside, to the backyard." He said casually.
We were flabbergasted. Charlotte's Dad then walked towards the portal, climbed through, and was gone. Seconds later, the back door to the house opened, and he walked back in towards his astounded family and house guest.
"How did you-" I couldn't seem to finish the sentence.
Charlotte's Dad just laughed.
"I figured it out as I was attempting to escape from the authority. All you have to do, is envision with it, where you want to go, and the portal will appear there. The only way it works, though, is if you've physically been there, or seen the place you want to go."
For about an hour, we all talked about the machine, experimented with it, and tested it out. What an amazing device it was! So powerful, for one man to control. Now everything made sense. How the authority took power so quickly. With this, we could do amazing things!
After a while we all calmed down, and I asked the big question.
"So what's the plan?" I gulped.
"Tomorrow, we are going to free the men and woman, who were captured, with this portal. We will collectively strike against the authority, with this device. It's not a full-proof plan, but I think it will work."
"Agreed" we all said.
We all needed sleep, after our long day. Charlotte's dad set up sleeping bag for me on a couch in the main room. I rested well that night, though it was hard for me to sleep at first. All I could think about was home, and how I would never run away again. This whole ordeal was really scary to me. I wanted it to be over already.
Finally sleep devoured me, like a slowly moving blanket of mystical dreams. I dreamt that night, about home. My sister was drawing, she was always good at art. Mother was making a delicious dinner, and papa was reading the paper. For once, in a long time, I felt really peaceful.
The gun shot was loud, and woke me up instantly. I jumped out of my bed and looked out the window, to see something horrible. There were hundreds of golden guards, all wielding weapons, aimed directly at the house. Charlotte, and her parents instantly came down stairs.
"What's going on!?" Charlotte's father yelled.
I stuttered "They- They're out-s-s-ide. There are way too many of them!"
Suddenly a loud booming voice, came from outside. It was amplified, sort of how a megaphone works.
The voice was smooth, charming and Cunning.
"Now, Now, John. That wasn't very nice of you to steal from me, was it? Here, I'll make you a deal. Come out now, and give me what belongs to me, and I will personally guarantee the safety of your wife and daughter."
"He's lying!" I shouted.
"What do we do!" Charlotte screamed.
Charlotte's dad opened the window, and shouted "Go to hell! I will never Mackrond!"
He then pulled out the device, and aimed it at the wall. He made a portal.
"Hurry get in!" He shouted.
"Where does it go?" I asked.
"No time for questions, just get in!" He shouted.
I quickly jumped in followed by Charlotte and her parents, just as the authority busted down the door, and started firing their weapons at us.
"Where are we?" I asked gather my surroundings.
"King Mackronds Chambers".
"Yes," replied Charlotte's papa. "He's the head of the Authority- the one behind the scenes. The Authority is just a figurehead."
"Really?" I said. "Why didn't you tell us this before? And how does he know you?"
"Raff told me, before he..." Charlotte's dad paused. "Never mind. And, no, I don't know how Mackrond knows me. But that doesn't matter now. I took you all to this place because I heard that all devices like these are stored here." He held up the opaque white stone that created the portals. "But first we need to find them..."
He dug around the room for a few minutes, until he came upon a large chest filled with stones identical to the one he had. "Aha!" he exclaimed. "Now, each of you take one stone, and we need to destroy the rest. We don't want this kind of power to get into the wrong hands."
We obeyed. After receiving our own stones, we smashed the extra ones. When we finished, bits and pieces of crushed white rock lay on the floor, broken and useless.
Charlotte's father explained the next piece of the plan. "Now it's time to set people free. Everybody is training and working at this time of day, so all we need to do is go into the rooms where all of the action is happening. We need to split up." He pointed to Charlotte's mom. "Honey, you go with Charlotte and free all of the girls. You two have been there before, so you can create a portal that goes there. Kyle has seen where the men are, so I'll go with him."
"What about the city?" Charlotte asked. "Outside the castle, the Authority controls an entire city! Everyone there saw me when I first came here. What about them?"
"Their city is just like our city," explained Charlotte's dad. We don't need to worry about them. As long as we can defeat the Authority and King Mackrond, that city will be free." He continued to talk about the plan. "Me and Kyle will meet up with you two in the girl's workplace after we free everyone in the castle. But we need to hurry. Mackrond may have a device like ours, and if he knows where we are, he'll easily find us. Let's go!"
Both of Charlotte's parents created a portal, each one leading to a different place. As I saw Charlotte going into the one her mom made, I was dragged into the other. I soon found myself in the room that I had trained in before. Charlotte's dad created yet another portal on the wall, and he encouraged me to do the same. "Make it go to my city," he instructed. Soon, two blue portals spinned and twirled on the wall. "Everybody!" he shouted to the large crowd, "Go in there!" He gestured to the portals. "They will take you out of here!" Eager, all of the men and boys rushed to the way out. Within about ten minutes, everybody had gone. The portals disappeared.
Charlotte's papa created a new portal leading to where we all planned to meet up. As expected, all of the women and girls, except for the two we intended to find, had disappeared. "What do we do now?" questioned Charlotte's mom.
"Me and you will find the Authority and King Mackrond, and see if we can destroy any remaining portal-makers. But our first priority is to find a safe place for the kids. Do you know of anywhere we could keep Kyle and Charlotte?"
Before she could answer, two men and a large army of guards burst into the room. "Well, John," addressed the man in front, whom I recognized as the same person who invaded Charlotte's house earlier that morning. "So, you thought
you could destroy our empire, didn't you? Looking for this?" King Mackrond smiled, holding up a recognizable, egglike object.
Charlotte and I slinked into the corner, visible but barely noticeable. "Hide your stone," I told Charlotte.
"How do you know me?" growled Charlotte"s father.
"Does the name Raff McElder ring a bell? Oh... he told me ALL about you before I killed him." He smiled. "Nasty spy. But he got what was coming to him in the end. When I tortured him he told me everything he knew, with the hope he
would get to live. I know your plans, John. It won't happen." Mackrond paused. "I forgot to introduce you to someone." He gestured towards the man next to him, who stood quietly as the conversation continued. "His name is Allen Thor, better known as the Authority. My brother." He paused. "Everyone always made fun of him, when he was young. People gave him the worst childhood. They called him stupid and wimpy." He growled. "Even our parents said so. But I told him otherwise. And I promised that I would prevent anything like that from ever happening again. I promised him the world." Charlotte's dad and King Mackrond were nose to nose now. "And you tried to take that away. From him."
The man on the side known as the Authority was shaking. I was surprised that he was so normal. "Mackrond, stop it."
"I'm doing this for you!" announced King Mackrond.
"Stop," said Allen again. "It isn't" right.
"BE QUIET! I'M TRYING TO HELP!"
"What do you want from me?" said Charlotte's dad.
"I saw what you did to the portal-creators," burst the King angrily. "And I know they're not all gone. Give them to me."
"No!" screeched Charlotte's mom. She created a portal on the wall. "Charlotte! Kyle! Run!" We immediately ran through only to encounter two guards, who were obviously expecting us. They snatched our stones, created a portal on a nearby tree, and stepped through. We found ourselves in the same room as a moment before. However, two other guards gripped onto Charlotte's mom, too.
"Let me make you a deal," he said to Charlotte's dad. "You come with me and give up the stones, and I'll set the children and your wife free."
Charlotte's papa, having no other choice agreed. And, as soon as he was seized, Mackrond announced, "Take them away!"
"WHAT?" Burst out Charlotte's father. "But you said you would release them!!"
"Did you really think I would release the other people who attempted to destroy our empire?" questioned the King.
Suddenly, King Mackrond was smacked over the head with one of the large stones.
I looked up to see who it was. Allen, also known as the Authority, gasped as he saw what he'd done. "Brother," he sobbed, seeing his sibling's limp body. "I never wanted this to happen," he said to himself. "Not this..."
Meanwhile the guards exchanged nervous glances. I heard subtle whispers of "You're not hypnotized?" and "You aren't either?" Realizing that they weren't in any real danger, the guards soon began to leave the room and, most likely, walk home.
"What now?" I asked. The room was strangely quiet and empty, save the sobs of a man who just lost his brother by his own hand.
Charlotte's papa smashed all of the stones except one, and turned to poor Allen. "Let me see him." Reluctantly, he got out of the way. Charlotte's dad pressed his ear to Mackrond's chest, and then sat up. "Your brother is alive, but unconscious. He'll wake up soon enough. There's an asylum in the city. We'll take him there, and you'll be able to visit him."
He turned to me. "And now, Kyle, is your time to go home."
"Will I be able to see you again?" I asked.
"No," stated Charlotte"s dad. "Once you go through, I'm going to destroy this stone. I can't risk it getting into the wrong hands. But you need your family, Kyle. And they need you."
I put my hands on the large stone, aimed it at the wall, and created the portal. As I was about to step through, Charlotte came up from behind me and hugged me. "I'm gonna miss you, Kyle," she said.
"We all will," continued her mom.
As I stepped through the portal, I couldn't help but feel gratified that I was going back home.
I stepped through the portal and was instantly shocked to see my home. Dull, boring, and normal. Completely insignificant to the beautiful colorful world I had just been to. The Portal closed down behind me instantly, as I was completely through. A hint of desperate sadness hit me as I looked at the wall where the portal had just been. I would never see Charlotte, or her parents again I realized...
"Hello? Who's there?" Someone shouted from downstairs.
I was in my room.
Everything was just the way I had left it, but a bit dustier.
"Mom?" I asked.
"Who's there?" The voice asked again. I could tell it was my mother's voice.
Suddenly, the door opened, and there my mother was standing there in complete dis-belief. She looked different, as if she had aged a little since I had last seen her. But that's impossible, it had only been a few days since I had last seen her.
"Kyle?" My mother sank to her knees. "What in the world-" And then she passed out. I was confused, but excited to see her. I ran to her side and tapped her face lightly until she woke up a few minutes later.
"Mom! I've missed you!" I shouted.
"Kyle oh dear! I've missed you so much! Where did you come from? We've been looking for you for over a year! Are you okay? What happened? Kyle Hunny-" I cut her off.
"What! A year? Mom it's only been a few days. I just got lost in the woods, but I finally found my way home. Everything is okay mother."
But she didn't listen to me. She started crying, and called my father home. He looked older as well, so did my sister. I was very happy to see them all. They were happy to see me too, I think, but were worried.
I told my dad the same thing, that I had been lost in the Forrest for a few days. Neither of them seemed to believe me.
Later, cops showed up to our house. Neighbors, friends of the family, a whole bunch of people had come to talk to my mother, as the police interviewed me. I had to lie to him, knowing that no one would believe me if I told the story about how I had been to some wonderland. Part of me didn't want them to know either. I was selfish, and I didn't want anyone having access to my little world.
Days went by, and nothing seemed to go back to normal. I slowly started to realize that they weren't crazy. 1 year really did pass by while I was in the other world. Time must have gone by faster there. My parents sent me to a psychiatrist, who tried to understand what happened to me. I guess they all thought I was crazy. Eventually I realized that I had to go along with a different story, or I would be sent to a loony bin for the rest of my life.
Finally I made up a story, about how I had been living by myself in the Forrest for the entirety of the year. I had been lost, and been eating whatever I could find in the Forrest to keep me alive.
They seemed to believe this story better. Eventually, they stopped pestering me, and were just glad to have me home.
Things were... different, though. Home didn't feel as safe, as exciting as I hoped it would be.
As the months passed, I started to miss Charlotte, and the other world. I wished dearly to go back, but my mother kept a close eye on me from that moment forward. I was never allowed out by myself.
I had a good enough childhood. As the years passed, and I grew up. I graduated high school, and went to college. I was still an adventurer at heart, that would never change.
One day after school, I remembered Charlotte, and missed her especially. I was 21 years old, and needed some of my old adventure back. I went back out into the woods, this time fully prepared with a back pack, and supplies. I was older, smarter, and more mature. I knew I wouldn't get lost this time. Plus I had a compass and a map just in case. I walked through the woods for hours, remembering the feeling of being scared so young, and feeling foolish. How could I have been scared of something so beautiful, so magnificent, life the Forrest? Nature truly was lovely.
I was done, and ready to return home, as it was getting dark. I turned, and was shocked, and appalled as I saw it. A portal, just as I had remembered it, was on the same tree. For years, I had thought I was crazy. I had started to believe my own story, that I had really survived in the woods for a year by myself. Until now. Suddenly I was faced with such a clarity, that I had never felt before. I walked up to the portal, debating what to do. I knew I had to go in. Every bone in my body had been aching to go inside, my true home. I never belonged here, on this dull planet. It was full of many wondrous things, but none of them were what I wanted. I wanted to go back to the world where I truly learned who I was, and what I was capable of. I felt such a need to.
I couldn't do this to my parents again, not like this. I sent them a text message.
Dear mom, and Dad, I love you so much. Don't ever forget that. I am going away, to Germany. I went there for a school project last year and fell in love with it. I think I am going to stay there, and live there. I am sorry for such an informal goodbye, but I am ready to start my life, and this is where I want to go, to learn there culture, to meet new people. Please don't try to find me mother. I want to do this. I want to start a new beginning for myself, and find my purpose. I know this all sounds strange to you, but I need you to trust me. I love you and dad so much. Tell my sister, that I love her too. Maybe I will see you guys again someday, but for now, this is goodbye.
I felt sad as I wrote the message, but excited at the same time. Maybe I lied to them about where I was going, but everything else in the message was true.
With that, I stepped toward the portal and climbed though to the beautiful brilliant world.
"Hey you! I've been waiting for you!" Said a familiar voice.
It was Charlotte, Beautiful, mature, and amazing. Just as I had remembered her.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by sbaik610 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It was really hard to vote.. Both were just SO well written, suspenseful at times. I gave the point to TUF just for the ending. Good job to both!
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