Authors: S.R. Gibbs
“You destroyed our clothes! Those were the only thing we had that kept us connected to our home!” Ashley exploded.
“That’s nonsense, you are home.”
“Our home is on Earth! Wherever we are now, it is not our home!” Angie yelled.
“This is Eupai, where you belong.” Pearl explained calmly.
“Your guardians should have equipped you for this day.” Mina muttered bitterly.
“What do you know about our parents?” I said standing up off the bed.
“I know your guardians failed in their responsibilities.”
Copyright © 2014 Shaudreakia Gibbs
Cover and back design © Images courtesy of Pixabay.com
Typography © Shaudreakia Gibbs
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems – except in the case of brief quotations in articles or reviews – without the permission in writing from its publisher, Shaudreakia Gibbs
Text copyright © Shaudreakia GIbbs 2014
The right of Shaudreakia Gibbs to be identified as the author of this work is asserted by her.
ISBN-13: 978-1497428072 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade of otherwise, be lent, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author, Shaudreakia Gibbs.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
he Inner Kingdom
A Dragon Quest Novella
To a God
That gave me a mother and grandmother, who never gave up on me.
To my beloved siblings and reluctant editors; Jamarol, Yaleesa, Yamond and Char’lissa.
The lightning was deafening overhead as it cackled and lit up the night sky, highlighting the features of the trees around me. The place was unfamiliar, and I had no idea how I came to be in this predicament.
As I stumbled through the wooded area, trying to escape whatever it was chasing me, I tried to remember my name and how I got into this situation.
Too terrified to look back, I continued to run blindly through the prickly bushes and clingy branches.
Curiosity almost got the best of me, but the pounding sound of the predatory footsteps stalking me kept my adrenaline, and my legs going.
With each step I took, I pictured the creature behind me in my mind; built like a mountain lion with sharp teeth, waiting for me to slip, so it could take me down.
As if it were playing with its food, every time I slowed down, it would let out a soul-shaking roar causing me to speed back up. The fear fueled me to keep going as I ran further, hoping to find shelter somewhere.
I did not have enough time to stop as I broke through the woods into an enormous clearing encased by trees; in the center of this picturesque view was a large lake. The sight was so breathtaking and beautiful I almost forgot about the monster hunting me.
As I contemplated jumping into the water, I realized that I no longer heard the monster’s fierce steps shadowing me.
It was very difficult to find the exact location of where I came into the clearing when I turned around to look back at the woods.I couldn’t recall the trees being so close together; it was as if they made a doorway just for me, which disappeared once I entered
Something shifted in the left corner of my vision, which caused my eyes to quickly latch onto a pair of glowing big green orbs that were staring out of the dark at me. They held me captive for a few heart-wrenching moments. Backing away little by little, it finally vanished into the woods.
My body alerted me to the fact that the air I did not realize I was holding in had ran out; I began to gasp for it so desperately, my lungs ached.
The adrenaline that was powering my every move gradually started to drain away, causing my knees to buckle. I sat there in the short grass for a while, taking in my surroundings. Unlike when I was running through the woods, there was neither lightning nor clouds in the sky, but up above there were two giant moons. They were so big it looked as if the Earth was going to crash into them.
The moons lit up the surface of the lake, giving it an unearthly celestial glow. Using the remaining energy left in my body, I crawled toward its edge to wet my dry cracked lips.
Mesmerized by how clear the water was upon closer inspection, I soon noticed my reflection as clear as if I was looking in a mirror; my face covered with long puffy welts, is what I saw staring back at me.
Touching a long wound near my eyebrows brought out a long hiss from between my clenched teeth.
Bringing my hands down from my face, I saw that they were littered with many open cuts, which I must have sustained when I was running through the woods.
Regarding my surroundings, I noted the entire area was silent. The only sound I could hear was the beating of my own heart.
Almost instantly, my oasis turned into something sinister, making me wonder if I was safer running through the woods with the creature.
A spreading gleaming light, glowing underneath the surface of the lake about a foot away from me, caught my attention; and as every cell in my body screamed for me to run away, I became paralyzed as I watched the head of a beautiful young woman appear. She had hair so blonde that it was almost white with sharp gray eyes that looked more aged than her appearance.
She was clearly more dangerous than the previous monster I was running from. I finally understood why the monster would not enter this area as I saw a menacing smile appear on her face. Her eyes quickly locked onto mine as she gradually glided towards me.
I struggled to overcome my paralysis as she swiftly floated closer, never emerging any further out of the water. To my horror, she was now about two feet away from me.
Though my body was unresponsive to my desire to move, I discovered that I still had the ability to talk.
“What do you want?” I asked, as my speech quivered with fear.
“Soon,” she whispered in a voice that could quiet an infant and start a war at the same time.
There was now nothing separating us when she grabbed both of my wrists, pulling me closer to the water. My body slowly awakened as I felt myself falling forward. I screamed and struggled as hard as I could to stop her from pulling me in, but the harder I fought the tighter her hands became.
I could sense myself losing in this twisted display of tug-of-war. With my strength almost completely drained, I started to fall in the water. I felt a silent scream build up inside of me, as I finally lost my balance.
Surprisingly, my surroundings changed, and I discovered myself panting and clutching armrests that were similar to the ones on my school bus. Observing my surroundings, I found myself in a nightmare that was all too real. I was on my school bus, enclosed by my peers who were now staring at me; judging the expressions on the faces of everyone around, I came to the realization that everything I had just experienced was a dream, and the silent scream in my nightmare, was not so silent in reality.
“Are you okay?” The bus driver Mrs. Ember embarrassingly asked through the intercom.
I awkwardly nodded my head, as I tried to hide the blush that was overtaking my entire face, concealing my freckles.
While looking out the window, I realized that we had already arrived at school. There was still no sound out of any of the students as they continued to look at me like a bad smell.
This was not good; I have never had a nightmare this intense.
I’m no stranger to dreadful dreams that leave me shaken in fear, but this was the first time that it has happened during the day.
When the students began to speak, it started out as whispers, growing in volume until it was as if they did not care if I could hear them.
“Is she mental?” Brandon Churchill, captain of the football team, asked loud enough for everyone to hear causing an uproar of laughter at my expense. Brandon and his twin sister Miranda have made torturing me their personal mission. They are the children of ex-supermodels and are very popular.
“I heard that last year at the school annual lock-in she had one of her episodes and destroyed almost $100 worth of equipment in the computer room.” Brandon laughed at his retelling of one of the most embarrassing nights of my life.
“They need to go ahead and commit her to an insane asylum.” Miranda commented.
As I stared out the window pane at the snow-covered school ground, I caught my two sisters gazing sympathetically at me; neither of them spoke up as the people around continued with their insensitive jokes. My sister Ashley’s blue-eyed gaze left mine as she looked up at her boyfriend, Brandon Churchill.
While watching her I saw a small frown appear on her face, which she covered up fast with a smile when her boyfriend looked down at her.
Meanwhile, Angie, my other sister, broke eye contact with me to look at Ashley with disgust noticeably present in her brown-eyes; even though her eyes showed how angry she was, in the end she just pulled the hood of her coat over her ponytail, slumping further down in her seat.
I was used to this type of treatment from my sisters. There are four rules that must not be broken while in school. We do not tell anyone that we are adopted sisters, sit at the same lunch table, speak more than necessary to one another during school hours, and the most important one,
get involved in the problems of others.
No one would believe that at home Ashley is caring and Angie is very comforting to me; they would even go as far as to sleep in my room to console me after I have had a bad dream.
Amongst the indifferent and laughing faces, there was one that remained blank as he sat back and observed the situation.
No one looked his way, and I know it sounds senseless, but only I could see him. I first saw him three days ago standing in front of the school looking out of place and lost, but no one stopped to tease him or help. In my mind I have named him Ghost Boy.
Since that first day, I have seen him everywhere. He shows up in my classes and also on the bus, never speaking, only watching. His blue tinted dark hair made his smooth skin look even lighter in comparison. Everything about him screamed out of date; from his long hair, to the Ancient Greek clothing with the leather sandals.
A few times I have tried to gather my courage to talk to him, but in the end, I decided against it for several reasons, actually. The main reason was because I did not want to make matters worse by validating my own insanity, and also as crazy as it sounds, I didn’t want him to disappear, which makes my second reason more sad than crazy.
Sometimes I just sit and watch him as he silently watches people pass by as if he was looking for something or someone. Yesterday, I got close enough to him that I saw a dragon tattoo on his right ankle as he stepped off of the bus. I was almost caught several times by him while staring, but I would just pretend that I was as oblivious as everyone else.
That is when you know you have reached the point of no return, when you begin to stalk a ghost.
After what felt like an eternity of torture, I heard Mrs. Ember announce that it was time to line up to get off the bus. As everyone hastily exited, I remained in my seat, staring blankly out of my window.
Angie looked torn as she paused for a moment beside my seat; only to just walk away without saying anything, leaving only myself, the ghost boy, and Mrs. Ember, who appeared to be debating on whether I really needed professional psychological help.
I wondered if I was really going crazy as I reached for my backpack. In doing so, I noticed that my wrist was red.
Since drawing more undesirable attention was not what I wanted, I grabbed my backpack, pulling my jacket sleeve down as I left.
I ignored the ghost boy and made my way down the sidewalk to my first period class of the day...Phys. Ed I.
This day just keeps getting better. At least I have my eighteenth birthday to look forward to in two days.