You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
“Hey!” Christian pushed off me as I plowed by him, dribbling the ball toward the goal.
I spun. Pushed. Kicked. All of it. I’d make it to the goal no matter what. This was mine. A normal kid’s soccer game. Nothing else mattered.
It was dark out. The lights were bright. The crowd was loud.
And it rocked!
I kicked with everything I had, and the ball blasted by the goalie. “Yes!” I spun around and raised my hands.
The crowd went nuts.
Hands smacked my back. Whistles filled the air. The game was over. We’d won. At that moment, I wasn’t a non-human freak of nature who killed his mother. I was just a kid, playing soccer who just happened to score the winning goal.
Hope tackled me around the waist, and I landed flat on my back. A few more of the guys piled on, but I heard Hope out of all of them. “We’ll forgive you for being a jerk cuz you scored. But you’re mean!”
After a few seconds, I clawed my way from the mosh pit and everyone jogged to the sidelines.
Coach gave us a quick pep talk and we all packed up to head to the locker room.
“Riley. Hold up.” Coach waved me to him.
“Ohhh, you’re in trouble,” Christian and Hope said at the same time.
I slung my bag over my shoulder and jogged to Coach at the corner of the field.
“Hey, son. How are you feeling?”
“Fine, sir.” I stood straight. “Thank you.”
“I know your parents held you out from practice the other day—”
“They’re not my parents, sir.”
“Your foster parents. Is everything going okay with them? At home?”
“Yes. Sir. I wasn’t feeling well. Didn’t want to get everyone sick.” Or infect them with some Barbarian disease we tracked to earth from the Barbarian Realm.
Yeah. Not telling him that.
“Good to hear. But let me tell ya something. The attitude’s got to go.”
“Team sport, son. First you haul off and deck an opponent at a game. Today you pushed your own teammates around. Clean it up or you’re sidelined.”
“I’m here to help ya with whatever’s got you upset if I can. But I won’t have you taking your junk out on the field and runnin’ over your teammates. You hear me?”
“Now, get in there and clean up.” He slapped my shoulder. “You’re a good kid, Riley. Whatever’s going on, figure it out. You hear me?”
“Yes, sir.” I took off toward the school.
Figure it out? Figure it out? Like we weren’t trying. Let’s see how he’d handle finding out he was a freaking alien or mix of alien, human and…whatever!
Not to mention having to face this Council thing whatever it was. After a week of total radio silence, they finally called Jeff—right before my game—and scheduled a meeting for tonight.
Sectional finals were coming up. School was starting soon. And I had an attitude?
I opened the side door to the school. Crank. The whole thing came off the hinges. Dang it! “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
I propped the dumb thing up and took off down the hall. Just had to get to the locker room and calm the heck down. My heart was pounding. My head throbbing. And I couldn’t catch my breath. What the heck was wrong?
I clutched my chest. The shirt was soaked from sweat, but I was cold. And—
“Let’s see how you like being pushed.”
A solid shove to my back sent me face first down the freaking stairs.
And yeah, cement stairs hurt.
A jolt of pain ripped up my arm. My shoulder blasted into a billion pieces as it met the exact corner of a stair.
“Oh my gosh, Nick. Let’s get out of here!”
I finally came to a stop when I rammed into the wall at the bottom of the staircase. Lights flashed in the corners of my eyes.
“Stupid freak,” a voice faded as the person ran away.
Stupid Nick. I pounded my fist on the floor as tears stung my eyes. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone?
My skin heated up. Like a flash of warmth coiling around my arm. I shifted so I lay flat on my back and closed my eyes. Sleep. Sleep would be—
A shockwave blasted up my arm.
My shoulder snapped back into place. My heart started hammering like crazy. The hair on my once broken arm stood on end. The smell of burgers grilling filled my nose. It had a hint of grass to it, too. Like burgers thrown on wet grass or something.
Was somebody there? Not sure who’d smell like that, but something felt off.
I lay there for a few more minutes before I decided to try moving. My muscles didn’t like it, but I ended up on my feet and started up the stairs. Dang that Nick.
I rounded the corner toward the locker room and smacked right into something.
A growl vibrated the air around me and there was that smell again. Only way more intense.
Now, I didn’t have to look up at many people, but this guy—er—thing I’d run into, I had to look up.
And those flaring purple eyes did not seem happy to see me.
Join us Monday for Chapter 21 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.
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See you soon….