You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang of genetic misfits starts…NOW!
“Are you my mother?” I asked the woman with really black hair. It was straight and long and in some kind of twisty thing that curled over her shoulder.
“Sure, I’m your mom.” She pressed her hand against my chest and I sat back like a good boy.
Always a good boy.
Or there was pain.
Lots of pain. I wasn’t sure where it came from, though. Just shot down from my head into everywhere. I avoided it at all cost.
“Thank you, ma’am.” I eased back against the cold, rigid chair.
Everything in this room was cold and sterile. The scent of bleach burned my nose. Stark white walls loomed above me, locking me in with this person. This equally cold and sterile person claiming to be my mother.
I rested my hands on the white and black-checkered ball in my lap. “I very much liked this game called soccer.”
“Of course you would. It’s coded in your DNA from one of your fathers.”
One of my fathers. “And you’re my mom?” I tried to turn my head, but the stiff headrest wouldn’t allow for that. “Where are my fathers?”
A soft chuckle, but deeper, a different person or voice, followed. “Always asking the same questions.”
“Yes,” Mother answered the other person. “Did you see his strength today? Characteristics of the Second Realm creature are taking hold.”
“Indeed. Intelligence of the First Realm being has made its mark as well.”
A hand rested on my shoulder. I couldn’t move to see it, but the fingers were more like an iron clamp than anything comforting. “Finally. After so long, the blended DNA of these Realm Creatures have finally bonded. Interesting to see what he’ll become.”
“And if he can activate The Coin,” Mother said.
“What is The Coin?” I asked.
“That is none of your concern. You will be quiet and do what you are told.”
A hint of electricity pulsed through my neck. A warning. I’d had plenty of those today during study and playtime. Along with the full dose. If only I knew how to behave the way they wanted. I could do better.
I tightened my grip on the ball. “I would very much like to remember soccer, Mother.”
“That’s the test, isn’t it?” Clanking followed and then gentle fingers skimmed over my bare neck. “We’re interested to see if anything you learned today will pass onward. You made a great breakthrough this morning when you woke from your cognitive cleanse asking for your mother.”
“I very much want my mother. I mean, you, ma’am.” Funny, she didn’t feel like my mother. I figured it would be nicer. That maybe she would hug me.
Hugging. That was what I wanted. To hug my mother.
“Rest.” Mother jabbed a needle in my arm.
More blood? Always taking my blood.
“Will you please allow me to remember soccer?” I was very good at it. Fun running around. We didn’t get much of that here.
Wasn’t really sure where here was, but I liked soccer. And my friend Millie. She was very good, too. I’ll pick her first next time. She—
A blinding light and a crackle of thunder flashed in my head. “What’s happening?” I asked.
Mother slapped her hand to my forehead, holding me still.
She never touched me, except when I was in this chair. When was the last time?
One day ago. Yes. That’s right. I woke to Mother holding me down by my shoulders. I wasn’t sure why, but when I asked, she just poked me with a needle then cuffed something around my arm.
“Close your eyes.” Mother looked down at me. “It hurts more if you stay awake.”
She quirked her eyebrow up. A jolt of pain ripped along my neck and rattled my skull.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Ma’am.” How could I have forgotten the ma’am?
“Manners are everything, Riley. Do not forget again, or you will get more than a shock.”
Isolation. I didn’t like the isolation. The darkness. The pain. No. I wouldn’t forget manners. Ever again.
Mother looked up, I was assuming to the other person in the room. “We will beat down that brute nature of the Second Realm creature in his blood.”
“Sorry, ma’am.” Didn’t like when I made Mother frown. “Is Millie here?”
“Close your eyes.”
“But I’m not tired, ma’am.” I lifted up the soccer ball. “Is Millie here? Can we play—”
“You will do as you’re told.”
Another burst of light in my eyes made me shut them. An image of Millie’s face, her chubby cheeks that were all red from when we played today, popped into my mind. It made me smile. She was nice.
And super fast. I heard her giggle, and I smiled. Millie?
But then the corners of the image faded. Blackened. Millie’s eyes bubbled, and the picture of her crinkled.
My chair vibrated. Something blasted near me.
“No!” Mother yelled and jerked away from me. “Finish the cleanse!”
“Gun!” a man yelled.
Blasts ignited around me. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see anything. Mother.
I had to help her. Protect her. She was my mother.
Then everything went black.
Join us Friday for Chapter 2 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.
See you soon….