You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
“Mom!” Braeden yelled as I carried Sendew into our kitchen.
Hope pushed everything off the table, and I set the Fairy on the top. Braeden shoved Nick toward the pantry. “Don’t move.”
“Mom!” I yelled. “They might not be home yet. What time is it?”
“Two in the morning.”
“At least we weren’t gone for two days this time,” I said, ripping Sendew’s shirt down the middle.
“Oh my gosh,” Hope said. “What’d they do to him?”
Dark, angry red scars covered the Fairy’s white stomach.
“He bleeds red, so we’ll work with that. Hope, first aid kit, under the kitchen sink.”
She jumped into action and within minutes Braeden was digging in the hole in the fairy’s shoulder. “Go check on the scientist dude.”
We’d tied up our peace offering to The King in the garage. Braeden had gotten him into the Jump just in time. I hadn’t even realized it until we’d landed.
That didn’t matter right now, though. I had to help Sendew. He’d totally saved us!
“Should I try and heal him?”
“Bullet out first.”
“What are you gonna do with the guy in the garage?” Nick asked as he rose to his feet.
“Don’t know yet.” So many things were happening at the same time I could barely focus. “I can’t believe we found a fairy.”
“He’ll be able to tell us tons. If we can save him. I don’t know how these people work,” Braeden said. “Hopefully I’m not making things worse.”
“How do you know how to do all this?”
“All Kurators get training in tons of things. If we survive this war, you’ll start training ASAP. Especially since you’re this uber stud with the Jumping.”
The fairy twitched. Headlights beamed through the side windows.
“That’s Mom and Dad,” Braeden said. “Get out there.”
The kitchen door burst open, Hope gasping for breath. “J2 home. Scientist starting to wake, and I think he’s gonna be loud!” She glanced around. “Where’s Nick?”
“Crap!” Braeden went to run into the living room, but Sendew’s wound gushed like crazy.
“Braeden.” I pressed my hand on the bloody hole.
“Go get Mom!” Braeden glanced over his shoulder, then came back to the table. “I got this.”
I pushed Hope outside and bolted to the driveway. The car screeched to a stop, and the door shot open. “What’s wrong?” Janet said.
“We’re okay.” I rushed to her. “Please don’t be mad yet, but we have a scientist and a Fairy here.”
“What did you say?” Jeff asked over the hood of the car.
“Scientist. Fairy. Hurry!” Hope jumped up and down.
“How?” Janet asked.
“Ma’am, please, just help us now, we’ll tell you—”
A bellow from the garage sent Jeff on the offensive. He charged in there already reaching for the gun holstered to his thigh.
“Wait. We need him!” I chased after Jeff.
Hope grabbed Janet’s hand and they, along with Tish, hustled into the kitchen.
Jeff stopped, gun pointed at the scientist’s face, and he stilled.
“Good choice,” Jeff said. “Now tell me what you know.”
The scientist laid back and snickered. “Stupid kids.”
“You Jumped?” Jeff looked at me, keeping the gun trained on the science guy lying on the floor.
“Jeff!” Janet yelled. “Need some help here.”
Jeff smacked the science guy on the head with the butt of his gun, and he went limp. “Follow me.”
Jeff was pissed, I could tell by how his jaw was clenched and his back straight. We burst into the kitchen and found a mess of blood on the floor.
“I think he’s bleeding out,” Janet said, her hands totally covered in red.
“I’m gonna be sick.” Hope covered her mouth.
“Hope. Get more towels from the bathroom,” Jeff said. “Braeden, turn him over. Love, get my stuff. I might need to stitch him up.”
“I got the bullet out,” Braeden said. “Didn’t go through, but it was close.”
“Look at this blood. It’s thinner. Maybe Fairies can’t clot?” Jeff pressed on the wound.
“Here.” Janet handed him a kit and faster than I could even follow, Jeff flushed out the injury and got to sewing up the spot where the bullet went in. “Talk.”
I told him the whole story, including how Nick got away.
“I can’t even tell you how mad I am right now,” Jeff said. “Irresponsible. Dangerous. Brave. Stupid.”
“Desperate,” I added.
“That, too.” Jeff tied off the string he used. “Keep pressure,” he said to Braeden.
“Where’s Tish?” I asked.
“Living room with Hope.”
“What’d you find out from Science Guy?” Jeff asked as he washed his hands.
“Nothing yet. He was just waking up when you got home.”
“Felt like a trap, though,” Braeden said. “Like they were waiting for us. Or something. Because we got this guy pretty easily. The room was mostly empty, then from nowhere these guys pour in with guns.”
“We’ll get to working on him.” Jeff stood up. “Help me, hon?”
She nodded and rested her hand on my shoulder. “Keep the pressure on this wound.”
“What are you going to do?” I took Braeden’s spot and held the cloth to the Fairy’s shoulder.
Jeff dried off his hands. “Find out what he knows.”
I didn’t want to know how they were going to do that. Right now, I’d do what I was told. This creature, lying on my kitchen table, I was part of him. Or something. Since I was part Fairy.
After a few minutes, he groaned and his eyes slowly opened.
“It’s okay. You’re safe,” I said, sitting down beside him.
“My house. My parents stitched you up. We didn’t know what to do since you’re a fairy.”
“I will be fine.”
“I wasn’t sure if I should try and heal you or not.”
He shook his head. “Fairies heal fine on their own. But you know that, yes?”
I nodded. “But your stomach. Why the scars then?”
“The humans got creative with their experiments.”
“I can’t believe how well you speak English.”
“Takes a while for it to register once I activate my translator.”
“Magic.” He held up his glowing hand. “You are Riley?”
“Yep. At least that’s the name the people who rescued me gave me.”
“Rescued you from the scientists?”
“Like we did for you. Only I don’t remember anything.”
He sniffed. “They did something to you. The scientists.”
I eased onto the chair as he sat up on the table and let his legs dangle over the edge. “We’re still trying to figure everything out, but it looks like they made me. Mixed a little human and alien DNA in me.”
“Fairy and Barbarian.”
“You can smell it, too?”
He nodded and rolled his shoulders.
“I don’t smell anything about you, though.”
“You are many things. Still developing.”
“How do you know that?”
“Younglings smell different. Your scent will deepen, become more rich as years pass. And as you grow, your senses will develop.” He peeled off the cloth that’d been taped to his shoulder.
“I wouldn’t do—.” The injury was already beginning to heal. The swelling not so bad. “Wow.”
“If you have food that I may consume, I will strengthen and heal faster.”
I raided the fridge and took about everything out and put it on the table. “I’ll make you my favorite.”
A few minutes later, I set a PBJ in front of him.
“Many strange foods here.”
“But they’re good.” I poured him some orange juice. “How many Realms are there?”
“And The King rules them all?”
“How’d they come to be?”
“Let me guess. You think Earth was first and we came to be later.”
“Um, I guess.”
“Not surprised.” He bit into an apple. “These are my favorite. They fed them to me often.”
“So, what was the first one?”
“Realm of the Fairies.”
“You guys?” Wow. I was sitting next to one of the first beings created. “Why did the other Realms develop?”
“The universe would be fairly dull without diversity, yes?”
“The question of origin is forever debated. Who first? Why? What’s the meaning of life?” He grinned. “The King loves his people.”
“You mean The King created all the Realms? But he seems so scary and evil.”
“He is a mystery.” Sendew smiled. “But evil he is not.”
“He’s going to vaporize Earth. That doesn’t seem all that nice.”
“He does what must be done to keep order.”
“Doesn’t seem fair.” If The King did what was needed, then I for sure couldn’t turn over the scientist. He’d kill him.
But could I let Earth crumble?
“How old are you?” I asked.
“Four centuries, last I checked.”
I choked on my drink, and it almost shot out of my nose. “That’s four hundred years.”
“Yes.” He bit into a cupcake and grinned. “What is this?”
“Awesome, isn’t it?”
He nodded, finishing it off in two bites, then said, “And you are…I can’t tell. A quarter century?”
“Still working on that, but we’re leaning toward three years old.”
He quirked his head.
“I don’t get it either.” I shoved my hand into my hair, not really sure what to say. I mean, I was three years old, but eleven. Or something like that.
“Hmmm.” He gulped some milk. “Jumper. Very rare.”
“What are Jumpers?”
“Elite few who possess the power to move between Realms.”
He shook his head. “It’s how you were made. It’s inside you.”
“It is forbidden for any Realm member to Jump, though, even if they possess the ability to do so.”
“For one…” He gestured to his bare chest. “People fear that which they do not understand. Fear leads to destruction.”
“Or creation,” I said. “They made me. Mixed a few things up in some little dish and here I am.”
“Not by accident. Nothing is.” He dipped his head. “And many thanks. For taking me from that place.”
“How long were you with them?”
“Feels like eons. But if I had to venture a guess, I would say years.”
No wonder The King was ticked off at Humans. “The King says he’ll destroy our planet if we don’t give them the scientists who created me.”
“The Realm of Humans has caused much upheaval. I’m sorry, but I must agree with The King’s decision.”
“But we have a scientist. Maybe if The King could talk to him. Or somehow explain—”
“Humans murdered his son, Riley.”
“My mother heard of his son’s illegal Jump. He didn’t return.” Sendew closed his eyes and let out a long breath. “I wanted to help. Young, stupid, thought I could get him. He was my friend.”
“You were the King’s son’s friend? But you’re from different Realms.”
“Each Realm has royalty. They report to The King. My mother is our Realm Ruler. So I often saw Phael.” Sendew smiled. “I was quite fond of him, actually.”
“Humans killed him,” I whispered.
“So you see why The King has little leniency for this Realm any longer. As do I.”
“But we’re not all bad.”
“But the evil has outweighed the good.” He stood up. “This is not the first time something like this has happened to one of us.”
“Because you guys came here against the law!” I stood up as well. “You’re not supposed to Jump but you still did. This could be your fault. I could be your fault.”
Sendew let out a low rumble, and the black lines appeared around his eyes again. “This Realm deserves retribution for its ill-will. Their darkness has crept into other Realms. Their quest for power. Control. They deserve to die, and I am glad The King is finally taking action.”
“But we saved you. Helped you. How can you let him do this?”
“Because it is for the greater good.” He nodded slightly, but his eyes seemed a little darker. Sadder maybe. “Even if I perish along with it, without ever seeing Mother again, if it’s The King’s will, there is no stopping Earth’s destruction.”
Join us Wednesday for Chapter 28 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.
A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.
CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.
See you soon….