Watcher of the Realms Chapter 34

Watcher of the Realms BannerThe FINAL chapter….

Chapter 34

“Here’s to surviving The King,” Hope said, raising her glass of soda. “And creaming the Cyclones!”

I joined her and so did the rest of my family. It’d been just yesterday that we were at The King’s table, eating, and talking to Labbiel. But now we were at the pizza place after winning the championship game.

“When do you think training begins?” I asked, then bit into a slice of pepperoni pizza.

“Who knows,” Janet said. “But one thing I do know, is that we need you registered for school right away.”

Jeff leaned in. “And there’s one thing we need to figure out for the paperwork.”

“What?” I asked.

“Your birthday.” He grinned. “I left it blank on the soccer stuff, and they didn’t call me on it since you came in mid-season, but for school, we need to have all the paperwork official.”

“What do you think?” Hope asked.

I shrugged. “You guys pick. I mean, you are my parents.”

Janet looked up, her eyes wide.

“I can call you Mom and Dad, right?”

A tear slid over Janet’s—er—Mom’s cheek. “Of course, honey.”

Tish grinned over her glass. Hope nodded. Braeden punched my shoulder.

Sure felt nice—not the punch, but the family part. Specifically calling Jeff and Janet Mom and Dad. The way Sendew and his mother hugged and how welcomed he was. I kinda knew how he felt, now.

“How about yesterday for your birthday? You pretty much saved Earth from destruction. Got named a Realm Watcher. I think that’s pretty good for a birthday,” Jeff said.

“July twenty-first it is,” I said. “So I’m twelve now.” That felt cool to say.

“And a big time, winning goal shooter, Realm Jumping hot shot.” Hope tossed a Pepperoni at me. “But don’t let it go to your head.”

“I’m sure you won’t let me.” I grabbed another piece of pizza. “So, what are you all getting me for my birthday?”

~~~~~~

Thank you for reading Watcher of the Realms.

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Watcher of the Realms Chapter 29

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

Chapter 29

“Sendew!” Someone yelled.

Sendew released his hold on me, and I almost fell to the ground again. I didn’t feel too good. Mostly weak and tired. And my mouth was suddenly super dry, like I hadn’t drunk a drop of water during an entire soccer match.

Another set of hands grabbed onto me. One of the shooters held me up. None too gently, either.

Sendew embraced the woman I’d seen in my mind. She was different, though. Her hair had a streak of white down the front, and her dress was purple. Long and flowing.

The world tilted a little and this time, the guard didn’t even bother trying keep me upright. I landed flat on my back. Everything spun like I was in one of those tilt-a-world rides at the fair. “I’m going be sick.”

“Quickly mother,” Sendew said. “He must get the antidote.”

“Wasss…happening…” My tongue was too big for my mouth. And it felt leathery. How’d that happen?

“A human, but I detect something else,” Sendew’s mother spoke. Her voice was nice. Calming. I turned toward her. Soft, gentle hands touched my face. “Barbarian.”

“He helped me, Mother. The King is set to destroy his Realm, yet he chose to bring me home to you instead of allowing me to perish with that Realm. So I could be with you.”

“His mind is muffled,” she said.

Someone lifted me up, and I felt us moving. Even if I wanted to protest, I couldn’t. I ordered my hand to move, but it didn’t. Nothing worked. It was like I was frozen.

“The arrow has toxins on its tips,” Sendew said. “Subdues our enemies. I’m sorry, my friend.”

My body was set on something hard and a soft pillow put beneath my head.

“There, there, child,” Sendew’s mother spoke. “Shall be over soon.”

“Hafff…to…get back,” I said. “Safff family.”

“His will is strong,” she said. “Focused on his family, yes?”

“They have less than a day to appease The King. Though I am not sure he can do what The King asks of him to save his Realm.”

A prick to my arm followed by a warm rush up my shoulder had me groaning.

“My son.” I heard crying. “How I missed you.”

My body finally listened to me, and I turned my head to see Sendew and his mother hugging. Tears streamed down her face as she held her son.

Did I have a mother somewhere? Would she cry over me if I found her? No the documents said my mother was dead.

I swallowed, and little tingles shot through my arms and legs. I wiggled my toes, and my hand moved. Everything was starting to work again. It was a little sluggish, like I was after running suicides at practice, but at least I could move again.

Three men stepped toward me, and it looked like they wanted to cream me into a gooey mess.

“Child.” Pelielia released Sendew and came toward me. She leaned over and touched my forehead. “You are fine.”

She helped me up, and I realized we were in a bedroom. There was a big bed covered with purple blankets. A huge window beside it was open and the drapes flowed in a slight breeze. It was warm. Comfortable.

Relaxing. Boy, could I use some of that after the crazy that’s been happening.

The sun shone through the glass roof, brightening the room. White clouds spotted the blue sky almost like little pillows floating in the ocean.

I was sitting on a couch on the far side of the room, near an open set of doors that led outside to a patio of some sort. The floor and walls were marble, bright and shiny and patterned with what looked to be the sky, filled with clouds.

Was that orange I smelled?

“Feeling better?” Sendew sat beside me and handed me a glass.

The water felt so good going down my throat I could have drank about twelve. But hey, what about my shoulder? The wound was gone. I raised my arm and there wasn’t even any pain!

This healing thing was awesome!

“Wicked stuff you got on those arrows. Can I use some against The King?” I said.

Someone gasped behind me.

“I was kidding.” Sort of.

“Even to speak of harming the King of the Realms is treason,” Pelielia said.

“How am I understanding her?” I asked Sendew.

“With a little magic.” He tapped his throat. “I placed a spell on you so you can understand us. You are speaking our language, believe it or not.”

“Wow.” I went to stand, but my legs weren’t on board for the task yet, so I plopped back down. “I have to go.”

“Riley. You might consider staying,” Sendew said. “Much time has passed on Earth. You are closer than ever to your deadline, if it has not already passed.”

“How long was I out?” My heart pounded like a crazy drum solo had started in my chest.

“A while. Your body is a little different, so you reacted to the toxin more harshly. Took longer to flush out.” He grabbed my arm. “Try standing again.”

This time I made it to my feet. “I have to go. What if J2 found the scientists?”

Sendew’s Mom lurched forward and pulled me into a hug. Her arms were warm, and they felt like a heating blanket.

“You have brought my joy home. So long he was gone. We thought he was dead. You are a hero. Stay. You have a place here with us. In my home.”

I glanced at Sendew. He stood there, hands clasped behind his back. He’d changed into a long, white robe with a tie around the waist. His hair was shiny white, like the clouds in the sky, and his face clean.

“Here?” I glanced around. “Stay here with your family?”

Sendew nodded. “It is much better than the fate of the Human Realm. Here, there is peace. Nothing like your people, like the ones who made you and hurt me.”

Sendew’s mom sniffled, and whispered, “My son.”

“But what about Janet, Jeff, and my friends?”

“This is no place for them. You are part Fairy,” Pelielia said. “Though mixed with the Barbarians, I sense the Fairy is strong. You will learn our ways, son.”

Son.

There was truth in her words. I felt it. Felt the love behind what she spoke. But how could she? She didn’t know me. I didn’t even know me.

“Our family can be yours,” Sendew said. “If you so choose.”

I could have a mom. A real live mom. Her hugs were great, too. But my friends. They needed me. Earth needed me.

But if I couldn’t convince The King to spare the scientists we would all die. Maybe I should stay here.

No. I could save Earth. I had to save Earth. Like Hope had said, as messed up as it was, it was worth saving.

“Eat.” Pelielia waved her hand, and I was instantly sitting at a huge, marble table filled with tons of food. It looked like there was a humungous turkey in the middle of the table. Plates of fruit, berries, and so many things I’d never seen before.

We were in the same room, but with a slight movement of Pelielia’s hand there was a little party going on.

Sendew sat across from me, next to his mother. Two guys sat at the end of the table, but they weren’t eating. They were more watching me than anything else. But I was so hungry, I didn’t care.

I grabbed food after food, eating everything I could reach. I’d never been so hungry. And everything tasted like PBJs. My favorite thing in the world.

A few more people joined us, eating, laughing, and talking. Music played in the background, from somewhere. I’d never heard the songs, but they were quiet and soothing. I could listen to it forever.

It all felt so familiar. Comfortable. Like I belonged here.

Yeah. I did. This was home. My home.

Wait. Home? I glanced around. Where were my friends? Um…what were their names again? I shifted in my seat, something nudging me deep down in my brain. I needed to do something. Help someone.

My body suddenly protested the fact that I’d drank about five glasses of water, and I hopped off my chair. “Sendew. Bathroom?”

He pointed toward the door. “Down that hallway.”

I headed toward the door, but a window to my left caught my attention. Through it I saw the blue sky again. There were three kids out, playing catch with something, in the green grass. It was more like a sphere than a ball, though. Clear like glass with something inside.

And that grass. It went on forever.

I stepped toward the window for a better look. Each of the kids had long hair, but it was in a braid with gold twine mixed in. The bubble-like thing the kid caught looked like it had a butterfly inside.

The kids were laughing and smiling. Not a care in the world. Nothing to worry about. Or be scared of.

Wait. There was something I was supposed to be doing. What the heck was it? An assignment for school? No I wasn’t in school yet.

What was it? A mission. No, that didn’t make sense. Why would I have a mission?

I shook my head and stepped away from the window.

Oh yeah…the bathroom. That’s what it was.

That poisoned dart must have mushed up my brains for something.

I pushed through the door and took the first left down the hallway. Voices trickled in from an open door up ahead, so I slowed down.

“If we can control it, think of the power we’ll have.” The person speaking was a guy with a deep voice.

“The King will destroy the Human Realm soon, then it will have nowhere to return to. It will be ours.”

“And so will The Coin. We mustn’t tell Pelielia. She’s weak, but she has influence over Esar’s actions, and if she convinces us to let it go, we will lose everything. Just a few more Earth hours and it will be gone. Their evil stricken from the Realms as it should have been eons ago.”

I grasped The Coin beneath my shirt. Realms. Earth. The King.

Oh my gosh.

Earth.

Destruction.

Scientists.

How could I have forgotten? I glanced over my shoulder toward the dining room. They did something to me. The food. I swallowed hard. They drugged it.

But—

“Riley?” Sendew’s voice came in behind me. “What is wrong, my friend?”

Two large men, wearing long coats decorated with colorful patches and gold seams, stepped out of the room up ahead. They’d been the ones talking. Planning. They wanted to keep me here so I couldn’t save Earth.

Save my friends.

I stepped away from them.

“Androphilia, what have you done?” Sendew yelled.

Home to Earth. My bedroom. I clutched The Coin and thought of my bedroom. The space beside my bed. The sound of the garage door going up and down. The smell of the roses outside the garage. My small desk.

My family.

A black ball erupted between Sendew and me. He raised his glowing hands and yelled at me, “Go!”

I looked behind me and the two Fairies charged, long fingers reaching for me, but their hands met an invisible wall.

One created by Sendew.

My friend.

Holding The Coin, I jumped into darkness.

Through the whipping wind, I ran. Like Sendew had taught me, I envisioned it solid beneath my feet as I sprinted. Toward home.

Janet, Jeff, Braeden and Tish. They were my family. Hope was my best friend. Christian and Anthony were my soccer buddies. I had to save them all. Their families.

I landed in my room beside my bed, but I stumbled into my desk. The lamp crashed to the floor.

My chair tipped over as I tried to use it to stay upright. That sent me falling to my knees beside my bed. My stomach cramped.

Up came all the food I’d just eaten.

And the drugs that must have been in it, because my body suddenly felt lighter. My stomach better. My mind clearer.

“Braeden?” I yelled, pushing to my feet. “Braeden?”

I bolted down the stairs and smacked right into him as he rounded the corner from the house. I’d had about enough of me falling on my rear!

“Where the heck have you been?”

“What’s happening?” I glanced out the open garage door.

“War, remember?”

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 30 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

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….