Watcher of the Realms Chapter 32

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 32

“Riley, boy of no origin, you showed much bravery. Risking Earth’s demise, not only to return a lost soul to his mother, but also because you refused to sacrifice those who hurt you—no matter how deserving—to save Earth.” The King nodded at me. “That demonstrates much compassion. Whether these scientists intended to create it or not, it is there. You belong in no Realm, yet can freely travel to them all. This is a great responsibility.”

I gulped, still clinging to Janet. No, to Mom. My mother. She was my mom.

“I will grant your request to spare the Realm of the Humans if you agree to one thing.”

Tish grabbed my hand and smiled.

“What is it, sir?” I asked.

“You will become my Realm Watcher. You, your family, and your human friend. You are all charged with monitoring Realm Jumpers. While it’s forbidden, it happens. And when it does, damage to all Realms occurs. You, for example, are a result of such things.”

“Wait a minute.” Jeff stepped in front of me. “What’s that mean?”

The King grinned. “We will get to that. I think Riley has questions?”

“The scientists got the DNA from those who have Jumped illegally,” I said.

“Yes.” He glanced down. “As you mentioned earlier, there are creatures on every Realm who make poor decisions. They don’t realize the consequences ripple through every Realm.”

“I think some do,” Tish said.

“Evil, greed, desire, it grows everywhere, leading to actions that cannot be undone.”

“Your son,” I whispered.

He looked at me for a long, long time. “They have caused much grief. I was blinded by it. Nearly stepped down a course that would have been most regrettable.”

“I assume you mean destroying the Earth?” Janet asked, still holding my hand. And Tish’s. Hope was on the other side of her with Braeden standing close.

“Thank you, Riley. Your bravery showed me the error of my ways.”

“You’re welcome, sir.” Wow. The King was thanking me. Earth was saved. My family was here. I couldn’t believe it. “What will happen to the scientists?”

“What would you like?” The King asked.

“To find out more about me. My fathers and my mother, too. I would very much like to know more about what I am. Why I was created with the ability to use this.” I clutched the chain holding The Coin around my neck.

With all the unconsciousness, Jumping and fighting I was lucky I hadn’t lost it.

“I suspect you will not always need it.”

“Excuse me?”

The King leaned forward in his throne. “You, I suspect, are not done developing your unusual set of skills. But, should you accept my offer, you and you alone will have my permission to Jump Realms as needed to bring violators to justice.”

“Justice?” Janet asked.

“To bring them before me.” His voice boomed.

“And what will you do with them?” I asked.

His beard jiggled. He was smiling, or maybe laughing? “Nothing regrettable.”

Braeden stepped beside Mom. We all stood together, shoulder-to-shoulder-to-shoulder, facing off with The King. A creature with the power to blink out a whole world with the snap of his fingers.

And he wanted us. A group of misfit genetic freaks and humans to help him govern the Realms. Yikes.

I looked at Jeff and he dipped his head. Janet smiled. “I stand by what I said earlier, honey. Whatever you decide, I’ll love you.”

“Um…I don’t know what to do. The other Realms. How—”

“Say yes, and you will be trained. Your friend and family will be your support.” He pointed to Tish. “And you, little girl…”

She turned into me, shaking.

The King grinned. “You, my dear, will be their eyes.”

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 33  of the Watcher of the Realms.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 31

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 31

“They’re dead!” Tish screamed. “Mom!”

I whipped around and faced The King. He remained on his throne, watching me with those arrogant red eyes. No expression on his face.

He’d wiped out Earth—my family—without even batting an eye?

My heart exploded into a pounding so hard my chest burned. Clenched so tight, my jaw throbbed. Nails bit into my palms as I fisted my hands.

“You killed them.” Tears stung my eyes. Tish and I were truly alone. The King had no right. No mercy. He didn’t deserve to rule.

I stepped toward him.

He titled his head and whispered, “There’s the Barbarian in you.”

This was not fair. None of this was. How I was created. His son dying. Everyone the scientists hurt. My family—

Janet’s face flashed before my eyes. You’re so sweet, Riley. You have a big heart.

She’d told me that more than once. Even though I wasn’t human, she treated me like one. They all did. They loved me.

But she wouldn’t like this anger and hate rampaging through my body right now. I didn’t like it. Darkness. Pain. Everything felt heavy.

I stopped and looked back at Tish. She lay on the marble floor, hugging her stuffed monkey, crying. Heat flared to life in my chest again. I swallowed it back.

She needed me. I had to take care of her.

“It takes a strong will to beat back the Barbarian rage.” The King stood.

“Hurting you solves nothing.” I glanced back to where the screen was, hoping it’d flicker my family’s images. That they’d be okay. That this was a nightmare.

“As if you could hurt me, boy,” The King said. “You have no idea what it takes to rule the Realms. All its inhabitants. You think I like punishing my people.”

“You didn’t punish them. You ended them,” I yelled. Tears burned. I refused to cry in front of him. Never. I would stay strong.

He slammed his staff against the marble floor. The screen appeared again, but this time images of The King and a boy filled it. The boy was small but looked like The King. Laughing, The King launched the boy into the air. Giggles that sounded a lot like Tish’s filled the throne room. Echoed off the marble.

Cut right to my chest. “Your son,” I whispered.

Tish took my hand and held Alastair in her other one. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her nose was red and so were her eyes.

“Phael.” The King stood beside me, watching the supernatural screen.

His long beard lay along his armor, nearly reaching his belly. His knuckles whitened as he squeezed his staff.

“Feel better now that you vaporized the Realm that killed him?” I swallowed the lump in my throat.

Killed them. He…killed everyone on Earth.

The King grunted.

“Was it worth it?” My voice cracked.

The dam of tears burst open. My knees met the hard floor, and I hugged Tish. Everyone was gone.

“You reap what you sow,” The King whispered.

“I don’t even know what that means.” And I wish he’d quit saying it.

“How you live your life. The choices you make. It comes back on you.” The King stepped away, and the screen vanished.

He sat down on his golden throne, rested his head back and closed his eyes. He’d just wiped out my Realm and now he was going to take a little nap?

I looked around, not really sure what to do other than hold on to Tish. The marble went all the way to the ceiling. From what I could see behind the throne there might have been a couple of doors, but I had no clue where they’d lead me.

I didn’t have anywhere to go, anyway. Nobody to help me. What would happen now?

“Mercy and compassion.” The King scrubbed his face. “Determination and courage. Makings of a great leader.”

He was missing the mercy and compassion part for sure.

“Despite the horrors you faced, the pain you experienced, and how you were created, your heart remains pure. Compassionate. Injustice grieves you.” He cleared his throat. “Therefore, you will reap what you sow.”

He jammed his staff against the floor. Lightning flashed. I grabbed Tish, blinking through the blue spots in my vision.

“Riley!” Janet yelled.

I turned around, taking Tish with me, and there was my family.

~~~~~~

Join us Friday for Chapter 32 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….

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 28

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 28

“Where is he?” I asked as Braeden stomped down the sidewalk from Nick’s front door.

“His Mom said he’s down at the soccer field.” He pulled the driver’s side door of his Jeep open. “You didn’t have practice this morning, did you?”

I shook my head.

“Then what is he doing down there? Especially if he knows about us?”

“Probably calling a meeting with his bully gang.” I picked at the Jeep logo on the glove compartment. “Did his Mom know?”

“She does not appear to know anything,” Sendew said from the back seat.

We figured he’d better stay hidden. Kind of stood out with the tallness and stark white hair.

“Did you pick up anything about the Dad knowing? Because a call went through the phone I snatched from Nick.” Braeden revved the engine and steered toward the end of the block.

“No.”

“I can’t believe you have telepathy.”

“Some fairies have it. I happen to be one of them.”

“And it’s working okay? You said your magic isn’t quite right.” I looked over my seat. “Is it getting better?”

“I believe I worked some sort of chip out from beneath my skin last night.” He gripped the back of his neck.

“A chip? Huh?” Braeden asked. “We so need to see that.”

“I left it on the small table beside the couch I rested on while you were talking to that Council of yours.” He leaned forward. “What did you decide?”

“About…”

“Me?”

“What do you mean?”

“I believe they instructed you to keep me hostage? Use me as a bargaining chip with The King if you can’t find the scientists?”

Wow. He really could read minds. I was still kind of ticked at the Council for suggesting such a mean thing. “You’re not a bargaining chip, Sendew. I won’t let that happen.”

Because about five seconds ago I’d decided to Jump him home. No way should he be used by the Council Triad. What they told us to do pretty much made them as bad as those evil scientists.

“Now that the chip is out, is it letting your magic come through?” Braeden asked.

“Somewhat. But telepathy isn’t magic. That is an ingrained ability within our DNA. At least the DNA of those who are of royal lineage.”

Braeden steered the Jeep around the corner and the school came into view.

“Then why don’t you use your magic to get away from us?” I asked.

He smiled. “I know your thoughts, youngling. They are not malicious. Plus, I am unable to open a portal to my Realm. Even with The Coin. So my fate is in your hands.”

If he could read my mind, then he knew I was going to sneak away from everyone and Jump him home. No wonder he was helping.

“If we tested a sample of your blood against mine, will we be able to see some similarities?” I asked. “Enough to know if we’re related?”

“Meaning, did they use some of my DNA to create you?”

I nodded. “Does alien blood work that way?”

“You are alien as well, so I would assume yes. Though, in our Realm, we do not use medical instruments. We use magic. Our healers are very gifted. But even if it is not my blood, per se, you are part Fairy, that makes you kin.”

“Just like I’m kin to Barbarians.”

“That poses a problem. Not to mention the Human parts of you. Those I abhor even more than the Barbarian.”

“Great.” I slouched into my seat. I tugged at the chain that held the Coin of Srupiso, working out how I was going to ditch Braeden to get Sendew home.

We had less than twenty-four hours until The King came back to make good on his promise—er—threat. Tish had had a vision at the tail end of talking with the Council Triad, so they were out West somewhere chasing that lead down.

They said they’d text me if they got the scientists, and then I was to Jump to them and figure out how to contact The King.

But my phone had been silent for more than an hour.

“What will you do if you find the scientists The King wants?”

I said, “Still working on that one.” At the same time Braeden said, “Give them to The King.”

Sendew laughed.

“Not sure why you think this is funny. If Earth dies you die.” Braeden turned the car into the school parking lot.

“Then that is my Fate.” He let out a long breath. “Though I do wish to see Mother before I die.”

I glanced at him over my shoulder. “Braeden, what are we going to do about Nick?”

“Sendew, can you read him from here?”

We were on the far end of the lot, not easily seen through the bleachers on the visiting side of the soccer field. It was a long ways; I was sure Sendew wouldn’t be able to.

He closed his eyes for a few seconds, then he nodded. “Yes. I can. Faintly.”

“Here’s how it’s going to go down,” Braeden said as he eased the car to a stop. “Sendew, let’s sneak you a little closer to get a peek into his noggin’.”

“Agreed. I do sense quite a bit of turmoil from him. But I can’t pick specific things out. Why would he come to this place?”

“I would,” I said.

“This doesn’t make sense.”

“Soccer relaxes me. Helps me think. He loves it just as much as me, so maybe he’s the same.”

It was funny to think I had anything in common with that meany.

“Let’s go.” Braeden opened his door but didn’t shut it. He motioned for us to do the same.

We made it to the bleachers and stopped. Braeden nodded to Sendew.

“His father left the minute Braden got home. Yelled at him to stay away from you and your family. Not to talk to anyone.”

“Where’d his dad go?”

“Can’t quite see. There is something different with his brainwaves.” Sendew squinted. “I sensed it in his mother, too. They’re slowed almost. Like not fully functioning.”

“Slow brain. Explains a lot about him,” I said.

“Drugs?” Braeden asked. “Could he be taking drugs?”

“I can’t see that, but what I’ve learned from being in the scientist’s labs, drugs are a distinct possibility.”

“Could be anything, though. Like, maybe he’s hyper and needs medication for that,” I said.

“Or something else. Because why would his dad fly like that after hearing what Nick told him? Where’d he go?” Braeden stood straight. “What’s his dad do again?”

“Chiropractor I think. Hope told me they’re super rich because of his grandpa or something. She didn’t really know.”

“I don’t like it. But we are about outta time. Let’s go.”

“He’ll bolt when he sees us.” I know I would.

“I’ll hold him in place.”

“Forgot about the telekinesis,” I said as I pushed open the door.

“With that brain of yours you forgot?” Braeden hurried to the end of the row of bleachers. “That’s a first.”

I looked at Sendew and thought, Be ready. As soon as Nick is fixed, I’m Jumping to you, then to your Realm. Hopefully he heard that.

You will need to focus on my mother. Her name is Pelielia.

Oh, wow, he was talking to me in my head. It kinda hurt like when I ate my ice cream too fast.

“We’ll be right back,” I said to Sendew, nodding. Be ready.

He dipped his head and looked down, but I saw a smile. I bet he was super excited to get home. If I could help him do that, I sure would. No way should he be dying here on earth or stuck here longer than he already had been. His Mom must miss him so much.

We turned the corner of the bleachers. No hiding us now. Nick stopped juggling the soccer ball. He glanced around, then took off toward the trees.

“Crap,” I said, busting into a run.

“I got him.” Braeden held out his hand, and Nick fell over.

He rolled onto his side and pushed up. He ran one more time but fell over again. By then, we were to him.

“Get away from me, you freaks.”

“Where’d your dad run off to?” Braeden held him in place.

“I’m not telling you anything.” He pushed at Braeden. “Freaks.”

Braeden waved his hand and Nick rolled over a few more times.

“What are you gonna do to me?” he said, his voice cracking.

“Nothing,” I said. “Just relax.”

“Always knew you were some alien creature freak. No human could heal like you did after that kind of fall.”

“Who have you told?” I asked.

“Just you wait. You’ll see.”

“What have you done?” Braeden yelled.

He just grinned and crossed his arms over his chest.

“He’s bluffing. Otherwise, Sendew would have picked something up.” Braeden grabbed Nick’s face.

“Get off me!” He pushed at Braeden, but he didn’t budge.

He stared into Nick’s eyes and whipped out a story about Nick watching some scary movies at home and how he came out here to get some extra practice.

“Oh,” Braeden added. “And quit being such a jerk to everyone you big, stupid bully.”

I laughed at that last comment. If we survived, it’d be nice to not have him riding me so much—and pushing me down stairs.

“Now. I’m going to set you down. You’ll lay here for a few minutes, to catch your breath after practicing so hard.” Braeden started easing Nick to the grass, and that was my opening.

I grabbed The Coin around my neck, and faced the Jeep. Sendew was standing near the passenger door.

I focused on the space beside him and bam a little black ball appeared in front of me.

“Riley!” Braeden looked over his shoulder, almost dropping Nick on his rear end. “No!”

I stepped in and landed beside Sendew. He grabbed my hand and once again I focused. This time it was on the Realm of the Fairies.

Pelielia. Sendew’s home.

I repeated these words in my mind. Sendew’s hand got warm in mine. His eyes flashed red.

An image of a female came to mind. She was tall, like him, with long black hair. Black as night, but there was some blue in it, along with some braids. Her eyes were red like Sendew’s. She wore a long, white dress. White flowers tied into a circle—no a crown—lay on top of her hair.

That is Mother.

Sure would be nice to have a mom. I focused on the woman. I swear Sendew was putting thoughts in my mind, because an image of him with her flashed before my eyes.

Laughing.

Playing in the water.

Smiling.

I felt the love. Mother.

A portal opened in front of us. Sendew, without hesitation, stepped in, and I followed. This time the wind whipped like crazy. It was cold and hot at the same time. My chest hurt. I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t see.

And then a light appeared before us. A little, tiny light. But it got bigger.

Imagine ground beneath your feet. Walk through the Realms, Riley. You are meant to. Sendew’s voice echoed in my mind. Otherwise, you would not be able to.

I did as he said, and all of a sudden, it felt like there was something hard beneath my feet. Like an invisible sidewalk to wander down. I couldn’t see it, but it was there.

Sendew stood beside me, and I thought, You’re good at this.

I’ve Jumped several times. You are strong. This is different.

Finally, the ball of light was big enough to step through, and we landed in a yard of some sort. It wasn’t green grass or anything, just white sand. Like a whole ocean of white sand. Too bad I had shoes on, because I bet it was soft.

Sendew released my hand and took a deep breath.

I turned around. Huge trees partially hid a ginormous house a ways away. There was a pathway to my right.

No Pelielia, though. “Wonder why I landed here if she’s not here?”

A slicing pain tore through my shoulder. I flopped forward and got a mouthful of that sand I thought was so pretty earlier.

Not so pretty now, though.

Some wicked-fast clucking followed. It was Sendew, and it sounded like he was yelling.

I pushed up with my good arm. Three men stood before me, two with arrows poised at me.

So much for a warm welcome.

~~~~~~

Join us Friday for Chapter 29 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 27

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 27

“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.

I nodded.

“Jeff!” Janet yelled. “Need some help here.”

“What about—”

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.

“Where?”

“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.”

“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?”

“Thirteen.”

“And The King rules them all?”

Sendew nodded.

“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?”

“I guess.”

“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.”

“Magic?”

He shook his head. “It’s how you were made. It’s inside you.”

“Genetics.”

“It is forbidden for any Realm member to Jump, though, even if they possess the ability to do so.”

“Why?”

“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.”

“Wait. What?”

“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.

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See you soon….