Part One - The Invite
Lauren woke up on her twelfth birthday with a huge smile on her face and a warm feeling in her stomach. I made it, she thought happily to herself. And she had. Everyone in Lauren's class had waited to turn twelve with anticipation. It was the best age to be. She would get her first kiss, she would be wearing a bra soon, and she could wear skirts and makeup, and she could stay out later a night. She had watched others for months now, all turning twelve, and joining this new, secret club, and she was finally part of it.
She raced from her tiny bedroom to greet her mother in the kitchen. As expected, her mother had laid out what could only be described as an ocean of gifts, Lauren couldn't count them there were so many. Lauren always got lots of birthday presents from her mother, probably because she didn't have many friends who would buy gifts for her, or maybe because she didn't have any brothers or sisters her mother had spare money for birthday presents, so she got enough gifts for two people, or three.
She rushed to her gifts, completely forgetting to thank her mother or even acknowledge her existence, and started tearing them open. She had got everything she wanted and more. When she finished the gifts, she moved on to the small pile of envelopes waiting for her on the kitchen table. She tore open the first three, revealing money and a gift certificate for a trendy clothing store in town. As she admired her new possessions, her mother tapped her shoulder.
"You forgot this one." She handed Lauren another envelope. This one was old looking, and sealed with wax. Lauren stared at it, bewildered. Who would be writing to her in this strange way, she wondered. She felt like Harry Potter as she pulled off the wax seal and peeled apart the old, yellowing envelope. Her fingers trembled as she unfolded the piece of paper inside. She gasped at what she saw.
We have never met, but I am writing to you because I need your help. You might not know this, but where you live, your home, is sitting next to a window. A window to another world. I am writing to you because this world is in danger. Right now it is under attack by heinous creatures you could not imagine. We need you, now, on your birthday, to come to this world and help save our people. Only you can accomplish this task, as the legend states.
"Our hero will come on her very own birthday. She will bring help and fight all evils to eventually find the Golden Egg. She will live far closer to the window than anyone else, and only she can touch the egg. The Golden Egg will bring peace to our world of pain."
I know this all seems confusing, but trust me, we need your help. On the back of this letter you will find a map. Follow it and you will find the window. I hope I will see you soon.
The letter wasn't signed.
Lauren rushed to her next door neighbour Kerry's house. Kerry had lived next door to Lauren since the girls were both three years old, and they had been best friends since. They both attended the same school and did everything together, but Kerry was far more confident than Lauren. She was prettier, and she turned twelve before Lauren. She was better than Lauren at almost everything, and Lauren knew it. She had always envied Kerry, and now, she finally had something that Kerry didn't. She knocked the door and waited for Kerry to answer. Kerry opened the door and held out a gift and a birthday card for Lauren, but just before she finished saying "Happy Birthday" Lauren held up the letter and said "Do you want to go on an adventure?"