The Kingdom of Ramen was a musical kingdom. All the mountains and
tiny cities in the kingdom were always filled with beautiful
music and symphonies. They were always happy in the Kingdom of
Ramen because of the music that always played. The towns within
the kingdom had their own people, music and currency. It was
almost like they lived in a different kingdom, but the king
always kept order over his country.
At the very top of the kingdom, the highest mountain,
The Academy Castle sat. King Thomas and Queen Genevieve played
their music the loudest, always a background noise throughout the
cities. Even down in the lower class area, you could hear the
beautiful melodies of The Academy.
In the lower class area of the kingdom, where money was
scarce and the music was dark, The Starship buildings sat. It was
a small area for all the people to live, so most of their huts
were filled with an abundance of people. Their music could barely
be heard throughout the kingdom, but they still always played.
Music made them happy.
Gabriel of The Starships was known as their leader. He
was the peace keeper when all the fights broke out; he was the
one to settle bets with the other cities when his family needed
money; he found food when no one else could. Without Gabriel,
many of The Starships would have been killed or starved to death.
Gabriel - or Gabe, as he liked to be called - was a
beautiful man. Many of the women thought he belonged at the top
of the kingdom, with The Academy. Gabe was taller than most men,
had tan skin from living in the sun all his life, and curly black
hair that never grew past his ears. He had a smooth voice and
provided most of the songs for The Starships. Gabe had an overall
friendly face, but when the middle class people came to collect
their money, Gabe's dark eyes got darker and the shadows his
cheekbones casted looked frightening.
At age thirty-two, Gabe was the oldest of The
Starships. He had lived in the lower class all of his life,
carrying on in the steps of his father, but had been raised like
he belonged in The Academy. Gabriel was loud and obnoxious, he
had an ego the size of Texas, and he was always hyper. Many
people thought he never slept. Gabe was always up, always working
on a plan to make The Starships better.
One day, Gabriel and his best friend, Ryland, were
standing on the outskirts of The Starships, listening to music
that the other cities could make. They were beautiful songs
coming from all areas of the Kingdom. The songs flowed together,
always sounding lucid, but if The Starships had started playing
their music, a deep bass would bane all of the songs. Gabe and
Ryland were thinking hard, not speaking to each other. They
needed a way out of The Starships. As much as Gabe loved all of
his family, he needed to get out. He'd been there for thirty-two
years, taking care of every member, and he had enough. He was
plotting an escape to the Fall Out part of the kingdom, where
refugees went to find jobs, and he planned to leave Ryland as the
new leader of The Starships.
As he wondered along the border, Gabe heard the song of
an angel. He stopped thinking, stopped plotting, and focused only
on the song that filled the air. All of the other music in the
kingdom had stopped as the beautiful symphony melted into the
atmosphere. Gabe listened hard to the light tune that was
playing, trying to pinpoint a city. All of the cities had their
own genre of music. This song was happy and carefree but still
full of emotion. There was a story in the song, and Gabe was
trying to decipher the plot.
He felt as if he could almost see the music. Instead of
hearing the song, he could see the colors the song was creating.
A beautiful purple, lighting up the sky, spotted with yellow and
pink. The colors created its own rainbow, the most beautiful
rainbow Gabe had ever seen. When the song came to a close, Gabe's
colors went back to normal, and he saw the cities surrounding
"Wow," Gabe breathed, letting out a breath he hadn't
realized he was holding, "That was beautiful."
Ryland nodded in agreement, brushing his long hair past
his ears. The song had ended, and Ryland was ready to start
planning again. Gabe couldn't stop thinking of the song. He tried
to imagine the colors again, name the colors, but no pink or
purple could compare to the sounds he had heard earlier. He
wondered away from the border, following the specks of colors in
front of him.
"Where are you going?" Ryland shouted, reaching forward
to grab Gabe's arm before he could step into the Panic City. The
Panic City was the one that collected all the debts and made sure
the lower class stayed lower.
"I need to find that song," Gabe told him. "I need to
hear it again."
"You will one day. Don't start walking through enemy
territory. Are you crazy?"
"I'm in love," Gabe answered, his eyes still focused on
the hint of color in front of him, leading him to the music.
"With a song?"
"The person who made that song has to be beautiful,
they have to be perfect. I need to meet the creator of that
music, Ryland, I need to."
"What do I tell the others?" Ryland let go of Gabe's
arm. The desperation of Gabe's voice was clear - he was in love
with the person behind the song.
"I will come back, I promise. For now, you can take
care of them. I've taught you well. I know you'll be able to do
this. Think of it as practice for the future. When I come back
with my wife, we'll be leaving for the Fall Outs and you'll be in
charge permanently." Gabe offered a small smile, and Ryland
returned it with fear in his eyes.
Meanwhile, in The Academy, William's song came to a
close. Genevieve and Thomas clapped in their appreciation.
William of the Yike Kingdom had come from far away to
ask for the princess' hand in marriage. Thomas and Genevieve's
daughter needed to be courted, but they would only let their
daughter marry someone who could play a song so beautiful that it
would stop all other music. Many had come and played their songs,
but William's music had quieted down the entire kingdom.
Princess Christine was impressed by William's song, but
she wasn't impressed with him. She could hear the song from her
room, but she didn't want to marry William. The song was
beautiful, and she was sure her parents found her a beautiful
man, but she didn't even know him, and a wedding was not what she
Once the music of the kingdom continued, Thomas and
Genevieve had thought over their decision and announced that
William would court their daughter and become the new king of
Wedding bells sounded once the announcement was made,
and the whole kingdom stopped to cheer. The beautiful song writer
would soon be their king; everyone was happy. William was proud
and ready to take on the musical kingdom.
Gabriel had left The Starships with nothing but
determination and the hints of colors in his mind to lead him to
the beautiful songwriter. The colors were leading him through the
Panic Kingdom, and Gabe was worried he would run into the debt
Travelling through the forest to avoid such things,
Gabriel continued to count the colors in his mind. The song left
a memory of those colors, and Gabe savored every time he got to
see them. The path of purple and pink lead him easily through the
forest, finding a flat plane to travel across.
Once the forest broke, the busy city was laid out in
front of Gabe. Many people were dancing along with the song
playing in the town. Gabe could easily recognize the debt
collectors, Brendon and Ryan, standing near the edge of the town.
He knew he couldn't get by them. Brendon and Ryan's job was to
collect the money The Starships had in order to keep them in the
lower class. They were one step below The Academy, and they
didn't want anyone threatening their rank.
Gabriel thought over how to get through the city
unseen. Most people would turn back, run back to their home, but
Gabriel couldn't give up; he couldn't go home without meeting the
song writer and getting to see those colors again.
Before Gabe could think of a plan, a small woman
appeared in front of him. "Hello," she greeted.
Gabe was taken aback by her, jerking back in a small
movement. He had been spotted, and this woman could easily report
him to Brendon or Ryan. The woman who stood in front of Gabe
smiled at him, showing off bright white teeth that shined against
her pale skin and pale hair. The only thing contrasting against
her appearance was her dark brown eyes.
"Hello?" she reapeated again, raising an eyebrow.
Gabe swallowed hard and nodded, "Hello."
"My name is Bianca," The woman held her hand out and
Gabe stared at her for a moment, deciding whether or not he could
trust her. He eventaully held his hand out to shake hers.
"You're from The Starships, aren't you?" Bianca asked.
She didn't seem angry about it.
Gabe couldn't lie to her; his clothes revealed that he
was from The Starships before he could tell her. Defeated, Gabe
just nodded and hung his head low.
"It's okay," Bianca assured. "I won't tell them," She
turned her head to glare at Brendon and Ryan. "My mom is from The
Starships. Brendon and Ryan killed her when I was a baby. My
brother brought me here when we were young, and Mr. Walker took
Gabe looked in the girl's eyes for the truth. She
looked sincere, sadness shining her in eyes. "I'm sorry," Gabe
whispered. It was all he could offer the girl. She looked older
than him; her mom was probably killed before Gabe was born.
"Are you trying to get through?" Bianca wondered.
Gabriel nodded. "Yes, I want to find the person who
wrote that song, from before."
Bianca smiled like she understood. She was probably in
love with the song as well. Everyone probably was; it was a
beautiful song. "I can help you. Mr. Walker lives just around the
corner and there is a back road that can take you to the forest.
You'll be able to get past Brendon and Ryan and make it past The
Hereos without being seen."
Bianca put up a good argument, but he still didn't know
if he could trust her. What if she lead him to Brendon and Ryan?
Or Mr. Walker was one of them?
"You can trust me," Bianca promised. She reached out to
take Gabriel's hand, smiling at him in earnest.
Gabe took a deep a deep breath and stepped forward,
nodding towards Bianca. She smiled at him with excitement in her
eyes and pulled him towards the city. Gabe panicked with fear as
she lead them straight to the center of the town. The music was
louder, and Brendon and Ryan were just steps away. It had to be a
"Don't worry," Bianca whispered to him as they walked
past the debt collectors. "They keep watch near the forests, and
no refugee would get close to them. They think you're one of us."
"In these clothes?" Gabe asked, laughing as he nodded
to his ratty garments, just barely holding on to his tan skin.
"Not everyone in Panic City is rich, Gabriel."
Gabe didn't respond. They were richer than The
Once they reached the edge of the fesitval, Bianca let
go of Gabe's hand, and he willingly followed her to a cottage
hidden behind two trees. Smoke was coming out of the chimney, and
there was a cinamon smell surrounding the house.
Without knocking, Bianca opened the door and lead Gabe
inside. The inside of the cottage was small. There was a small
couch standing in the middle of the room with a black blanket
drapped over it. A man stood from the couch and walked towards
Gabe and Bianca.
He was short and had a dark black beard, but it didn't
make him look frightening. He had a friendly face and almond
colored eyes. "Bianca, who is your friend?"
"Mr. Walker, this is Gabriel. Gabriel, this is Mr.
Mr. Walker shook Gabe's hand and smiled. "Are you from
The Starships as well?"
"Please, call me Jon. You're a man, not a child." Jon
let go of Gabe's hand and smiled. "Are you just passing through,
or do you need somewhere to stay?"
Before Gabe could answer, a short brunette woman came
out of the next room, holding a black pot that was steaming from
the top. She stopped short when she saw Gabe, then smiled. "Oh.
Hello, are you a friend of Bianca?"
Gabe shifted his eyes to Bianca, who smiled, then
nodded. "You could say that."
"Well, hello. I'm Cassie - Jon's wife. You're just in
time for dinner. Please, sit down," Cassie moved to the couch and
set the pot on the small table in front of the couch. A short man
came out of the kitchen behind Cassie, holding four bowls and a
handful of spoons.
"Peter, go get one more bowl, please?" Cassie asked.
"We have another guest."
Peter nodded without hesitation and disappeared back
into the kitchen. Bianca sat down next to Cassie and patted the
spot next to her. "Come on. I know you're hungry."
Gabriel couldn't deny that he was starving. In The
Starships, they didn't eat much. They were happy if they could
get some food every three days or so. Hesitantly, Gabe walked
forward and sat down on the couch next to Bianca.
When Peter came back out, he sat on the floor and
passed the bowls around to everyone. Gabe felt bad. He had kicked
a member of their family onto the floor, so he cleared his
throat, "Peter, I could sit there if you want. This is your
Peter smiled, but let Cassie speak for him. "Nonsense,
you're a guest,"
"Are you sure?"
"Of course," Cassie smiled, then it faltered. "I'm
sorry, I didn't catch your name."
"Gabriel. Or, rather, Gabe." Gabe gladly excepted the
bowl of soup Cassie handed him and nodded in thanks.
"So, Gabe, what brings you to Panic City?" Jon asked
after a moment of silence.
"I, um, I'm traveling. I'm looking for the writer of
the song… from before."
"Oh, that song was lovely," Cassie agreed.
Peter cleared his throat. "It's rumored around the city
that someone from The Academy played it, and that's why the
princess is getting married. I doubt you'll be able to get all
the way up there. You could barely make it past Brendon or Ryan
without Bianca's help."
"Peter!" Cassie chastised. "That's awful rude. Gabriel
is a guest; we don't speak to guests that way."
"I'm just being honest," Peter shrugged, shoving a
spoonful of soup into his mouth.
"It's fine, ma'am," Gabe argued. "He's right. If the
song did from The Academy, there is no way I'll be able to get up
there. I probably won't make it out of Panic City without being
thrown in jail, but the song has stuck with me and I need to find
"We can help," Bianca offered. "I'm sure Peter or Jon
has clothes for you to blend in here and then you can travel
throught he forest to The Academy. You could do it."
Gabe smiled at Bianca. "Thank you,"
"She's right, you know," Cassie agreed. "Tell you what,
you sleep here tonight and help Jon cut firewood and then
tomorrow we can help you get to the forest unseen. Deal?"
"You really don't have to do that, ma'am."
"We like helping people," Jon said. "And you're helping
me, so think of it as a paycheck."
"Okay. That sounds perfect." Gabe smiled at them.
In The Academy castle, Christine was sulking in her
room. Her mother was rifling through her closet to find a dress
to wear to dinner, where she would finally meet her husband.
"Christine, you are a lucky girl. This man is so
perfect for you. He has the voice and face of an angel, and he
will make a great king one day," Queen Genevieve pulled a long
blue dress off of the hanger and laid it out on Christine's bed.
"I heard the song, mom, I liked it. I just think I
should get a say in this. I need to get to know him before I
"What's the fun in that?" Genevieve argued. "If you
know him now, what will you spend the rest of your life doing?
Get to know him while you're married,"
Christine sighed but accepted her fate. If William was
as nice as his song was, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
"William even promised he'd sing you another song
tonight. The whole kingdom is waiting for his voice again."
Gabriel and Jon had finally finished cutting the
firewood late at night. Gabe was panting out of exertion, and he
had many cuts along his hands. Jon looked about the same, but he
seemed more used to it.
As Gabriel started loading the firewood onto their
wagon, he heard the song again and stopped what he was doing. He
was completely captured in the music, chasing the purple and pink
dancing around in his mind. The colors painted a path through the
forest, and if his feet weren't planted in awe, he would have
chased after it.
Jon was impressed with the music as well, but not as
much as Gabriel. He watched the look on Gabriel's face and saw
the questions in his eyes. This song was longer than the last,
keeping Gabe in his trance until the sky darkened another degree.
When the song came to a close, Gabe's face went back to normal,
just admiring the small flecks of color spotting his vision. The
path was still clear in his mind.
"Are you okay?" Jon asked.
Gabriel nodded and began loading the firewood onto the
wagon again. "I can see the path to the music. I see the colors
the song creates."
Jon nodded. "Impressive. Where is the path leading you
"I don't know, yet." Gabe admitted, defeated.
They continued bringing the firewood home, and the
other music of the kingdom continued playing. Jon watched Gabe,
seeing how strung-out he was. The path could lead Gabe anywhere,
but he was willing to travel it.
Cassie and Jon offered Gabriel their floor to sleep on,
next to the couch, where Peter slept. The next morning, Gabe
would be off on his adventure and they were giving him clothes
and food to keep him prepared.
The floor was uncomfortable, but Gabe was still
grateful. It was better than the dirt floors he slept on at home.
Peter didn't seem to be sleeping either, as he tossed and turned
on the couch.
"Gabe?" Peter whispered after a couple minutes of being
"I didn't mean what I said at dinner. I think you can
"Thank you." Gabe whispered back and rolled to his
side, curling up against the couch and falling asleep.
The dinner at The Academy was beautiful. Every member
of the castle was there, excited to meet their new king.
Christine had been seated next to her mother, waiting for the
arrival of her new husband.
William showed up perfectly on time, guitar strung to
his back and Christine's first thought was, Yeah, he's beautiful.
William was a tall, slender man with chesnut hair shadowing
around his face. He had chesnut eyes, the same color of his hair,
that held a lot of promise. He smiled at Christine, his smile
bright, but crooked, and began playing her a song.
The entire kingdom quieted down, just like it had the
previous time, and Christine was trapped in the music, trapped in
William's voice. He was everything her parents wanted as a king,
and, as the song went on, he became everything she wanted in a
Gabriel woke up to sun streaming through the window and
hitting his face. It warmed his body with comfort and he sat up.
Peter was still asleep on the couch, but Bianca, Jon and Cassie
were sitting on the other side of the room, piece of paper spread
in front of them.
Bianca smiled at Gabe when he met her eyes, and she
motioned for him to sit next to her. Gabe got up, tiredly, and
looked at the map on the floor.
"We set up a route for you to go through the forest,
unseen," Jon explained. "This will take you past The Hereos and
straight to the base of the mountain. From there, you'll be able
to climb to the top and meet in the woman behind the song."
Gabe smiled, gratefully. "This really is too much.
"The Starships isn't the best place to live, and I know
this city has turned to crap since Brendon and Ryan started
running the town. I think it shows great spirit and character
that you want something better. You're a good man, Gabriel," Jon
shook Gabe's hand and passed him the map. "I laid some clothes
out for you outside. They might be too small, but if you change
into them, you can blend in with the city."
"Thank you, sir, thank you so much." Gabe stood up with
the map and walked outside. There was a button down shirt and
khaki pants laid on the doorstep for him. He quickly changed into
them and left his discarded clothes in their place.
Before Gabe could leave the path, the door opened and
Bianca ran outside to meet him. She pressed a container of soup
into his arm, and smiled. "Good luck, Gabriel. When you meet your
wife and marry her, bring her back here for dinner, so we can
"I promise. Thank you so much, Bianca, really. I
couldn't have done this without you," Gabe leaned in to hug her
and kissed the top of her head, and he started on his path
towards the forest.
The journey into the forest was easier than Gabe had
imagined. The terrian was smooth, and he was able to pass through
the forest fairly quickly. Night had fallen and the sun had risen
again when he decided to stop for a break. Gabriel hoped that the
songwriter would sing again, because the colors in his mind were
The soup that Cassie had prepared for him was probably
cold by now, but Gabe didn't care; food was food. He found a
shady spot under a big tree and sat down, opening the container
he was holding and inhaled the auroma of the soup. Just as Gabe
brought the bowl to his lips, he heard scuffling in the bushes
next to him. Gabe put the soup down and looked toward the bushes.
Gabe was prepared for an animal to come out. It would
be nice to see some type of life form and Gabe loved animals. The
bushes rufled more and more until something - someone - came out
The boy - well, rather man - was dirty and thin. He was
tall with dirty blonde hair that was greasy and clinging to his
face. His black shirt was ripped at the shoulder and barely
hanging on. Both the shirt and the jeans he was wearing were
stained with mud, blood and everything else the forest could
Gabe stared at the man. "Hello?" he asked.
The man looked at him with wide eyes, that soon darted
to the soup. Gabe followed his eyes and picked up the container
again, "Would you like some?"
Carefully, Gabe handed the soup to the frightened man
and watched him take it with slow hands. He brought it to his
dirty lips and drank down most of the soup before giving it back
to Gabe. Gabe shook his head. "You can have it all. I'm fine."
The man drank down the rest of the soup before licking
his lips. Gabe smiled at him then closed his eyes and leaned his
head against the tree. He heard more scuffling, and he assumed
the man had run off, but then he spoke, "Thank you."
Gabe cracked his eyes open and looked at him. His voice
was rough. "You're welcome,"
"I'm Tyler," The man breathed. Gabe looked at Tyler. He
had fear in his eyes.
"I'm Gabriel, from The Starships." Gabe reached his
hand forward, and Tyler skidded back, eyes locked on Gabe's hand.
"It's okay. It's a handshake. I'm not gonna hurt you."
Tyler met his eyes one more time before hesitantly
taking his hand in a quick handshake. Tyler sighed. "I used to
remember how to give a handshake."
"Where are you from?" Gabe wondered.
"Panic City. I traveled there from Midtown, but I
didn't have enough money to keep paying them, so they kicked me
out. I have no where else to go."
"You could have gone to The Starships. It seems bad
there, but we get by, and we are a family."
"I didn't think they'd take me in."
Gabe smiled at him. "We take everyone in."
Tyler nodded. "Thank you for the soup. You didn't have
to do that; I know you're hungry."
"I'll be fine." Gabe promised. "Tell you what, I need
to continue on, but I want you to go to The Starships. Find
Ryland and tell him Gabe sent you. He'll take care of you,"
"You don't need to do that," Tyler whispered.
"I want to. You don't need to live here."
Tyler gave him a smile, then got up and headed off in
the direction on the starships.
Once Tyler left, Gabriel took a minute to hope he ended up okay
after all this. Maybe Bianca would find him on the way to The
Starships and help him. Gabe didn't want to hear about Tyler
dying or anything, he seemed like a good kid.
It was a little odd, though, Gabe thought. He
wondered who else was in the forest that he didn't know about.
How many people were so fearful of Brendon and Ryan that they had
to hide in the forest and starve?
After Gabe took a couple more seonds to rest in the
shade, he stood back up and focused on the colors mapped out in
front of him. They told him to continue going straight through
the forrest. He brushed off the back of his pants and moved
forward, naming and renaming the rainbow in his mind.
The morning sun was spilling through Princess
Christine's window, warming her bed. The sun didn't wake her,
though. What woke her was the sound of the beautiful melody being
played before her. She opened her eyes to find her soon-to-be
husband smiling at her, guitar in hand.
"Good morning," He whispered, and the song ended with
one last chord.
"Morning," Christine smiled back.
William set the guitar aside and sat on her bed,
placing a single kiss to her forehead. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, I did. Thank you for the song."
"You can have all the songs you want, my princess,"
William promised, placing a kiss to her hand.
The sentence warmed Christine's heart and she smiled.
"Can I try?" She motioned to the guitar, and William happily
picked it up, placing it in her lap.
Christine fumbled with the instrument, before she
started strumming absently. William laughed and moved to sit
closer to her, placing his fingers over hers and guiding them to
where they should be.
Together, the Princess and new Prince of The Academy
created their own harmony that would play at their wedding that
As Gabe continued to travel throught he forest, his
vision was blinded again by the beautiful pink and purple. The
colors were so much stronger than before, and he quickened his
pace, almost like the colors were moving him. He began sprinting
through the forest, not paying attention to where he was going
just following the colors in front of him.
They started to fade eventually, but Gabe continued
running, eager to find the source of the colors. Suddenly, the
colors picked up again, but they were marred by blue and black
and mixed with dark yellow. Gabe's whole path changed colors and
created a blend that was absolutely horrendous. He stumbled and
fell into the dirt.
There was snickering from behind Gabe, and when he
finally blinked away from the darkened rainbow, he saw someone
standing in front of him. He began to stand up, but she stopped
him, running behind him and grabbing his wrists. She pulled them
behind Gabriel with a bruising force, and he cried out in pain.
Rough material was wrapped around his wrists before he could move
Gabe tried to struggle free, but the rope kept his
hands tight. "What are you doing?"
The woman grabbed Gabe's shoulders and pulled him to
his feet. He stumbled a little, but she kept him in place,
turning him around to face her. She was a little shorter than
Gabe but had sharp features and dark, thick, brown hair that
flowed around her face and shoulders in the wind. She looked
"Do you know how much money I could get for you? Turn
you in to Brendon or Ryan and be rich enough to move up. There is
a bounty on your head - they know you're here,"
Gabe's eyes widened. "What? How?"
"Yesterday was debt collecting day, Gabriel, and you
weren't in The Starships. They know you're somewhere else, and
they aren't resting until your head is on their mantle. You're
little friend who helped you into the forest - she's already in
"No!" Gabe shouted. He didn't want to get anyone else
hurt in this. He couldn't let Bianca stay there. "What if I just
turn myself in?"
The wild woman laughed. "And let me miss out on all
the cash? As if. I'm gonna turn you in alive - you're worth more
"They're gonna kill me, aren't they?" Gabe asked.
"That's what they plan to do. But, I just can't
figure out where you're going. I've been following you through
the forest. I even watched you tell Tyler to go to The Starships.
Good advice, but they'll kill him before he gets there. Where are
you trying to go?"
Gabe felt a shiver of fear run through his body. She
had been with him the whole time; she could have killed him at
any time. "I'm following the song from before. I need to find the
person who wrote it."
The woman raied her eyebrows in an almost
understanding way. Of course she understood. How could she not?
Was there anyone out there who didn't love that song?
Finally, the woman sighed and reached behind Gabe to
cut the rope around his wrists. He brought them to his front,
rubbing them gently. "What are you doing?"
"Go. I would do anything to find the song, too. I'll
pretend I never saw you."
Gabe smiled at her, grateful, but he couldn't just go
without helping Bianca. She would be killed because she helped
Gabe. "Miss..." Gabe began.
The woman smiled and shook her head. "Please, call me
"Elisa, hi. I'm really grateful that you're letting
me go, but I can't go without helping my friend. I can't let her
stay in jail because of me."
Elisa nodded, understanding. "I think I have a plan."
The knock on the Princess' door startled her, and she
threw her robe over her body quickly before her mother entered
the room. "Well, the wedding is in a couple hours. Are you almost
ready? We still have to go to dinner and then you'll need to
change. You're father is preparing William right now, making sure
he says all the right things to the guests, so they will see what
kind of king he will be. William's bringing his guitar in case he
needs to win people over..."
Christine let her mother talk, until her voice became
background noise. She did think William was a good man, yes, but
she still wasn't ready to marry him. She had only met him
yesterday; she didn't know why her parents wanted to rush things.
"Christine, are you even listening to me?" Queen
"Yes, mother, I am! And I'm almost ready, so please,
let me be."
"Alright, but I'd loose that attitude if I were you.
It might be unappealing to your new husband." Genevieve kissed
her daughter on the top of the head and left her chambers.
Christine flopped down on the bed and sighed. This
was going to be a long night.
Brendon's eyes sparkled with power as Gabe was
dragged to him. Ryan's face was a perfect mask of Brendon's.
"Elisa," Brendon cooed, stepping forward to look at
Gabriel better. "You did such fine work; he's not even harmed."
"He came willingly. I scared him enough," Elisa shook
Gabe's wrists, and he winced, the rough rope that had been
re-tied digging into his skin.
They were in Panic City's jail cell, which was really
just a small cabin that consisted of two caged areas. Gabe could
clearly see Bianca in one of those cells, her eyes wide with fear
and locked on Gabe.
Elisa stood behind Gabe, her hands on his wrists -
bound with rope. Brendon and Ryan were facing him, smiling
devilishly. Brendon smiled to Elisa and grabbed Gabe's arm,
yanking him away from her.
"I'm going to send a telegraph to the Hereos and Fall
Outs to let them know we got him," Ryan grinned and left the
small cabin, just as planned.
Elisa moved away from Brendon and Gabe, walked over
to the cell in which Bianca was in. She quietly started picking
the lock with her knife.
Brendon walked forward, until Gabriel was against the
wall. Reaching up, Brendon found a noose dangling from the
ceiling. He wrapped it around Gabe's neck.
Gabriel stood his ground, not uttering a word as
Brendon just took him in. He kept his eyes on Bianca and Elisa,
watching Elisa quietly open the cell door and Bianca step out.
Bianca's eyes were locked onto Gabe's, never once leaving his
Brendon pulled a knife from his pocket and held it in
front of Gabe. Gabe looked up, not wanting to see any of this.
Brendon chuckled and then Gabe felt cool steel pressing to his
jugular. He swallowed, increasing the pressure against the blade
for a moment.
Then, so suddenly, Gabe's song started playing. It
was louder in the city, and his entire vision was blocked by the
bright purple he saw. He gasped, his mouth falling open and
didn't pay attention to Brendon or Bianca or Elisa. He didn't
care if the plan failed and he died right here because he was
perfectly happy with the colors draping around his mind and body.
Seeing Gabe lose focus and Brendon grip the handle of
the knife, Elisa slipped into a crouch and launched herself on
Brendon, her knife to his throat. The two stumbled, falling
against Gabe with Brendon's knife falling to the floor. Without
any hesitation, Elisa dragged the blade across Brendon's throat,
and the two fell to the ground.
Gabe still stood in the noose, eyes unfocused as the
rainbow danced in front of him.
Elisa stood up and cut both ropes keeping Gabriel
bound. "Come on, Gabe, let's go!" She shouted, tugging at his
The song ended just as abruptly as it began and Gabe
regained his vision. He stepped out of Elisa's hold and took
Bianca in his arms. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"I can't believe you did that! He could have killed
"I couldn't leave you in jail because of me."
"This is a great love-fest," Elisa snapped, "But we
need to go before Ryan gets back! Come on!"
Bianca and Gabe nodded and, hands connected, followed
Elisa out of the door, stealthily slipping into the forest. The
trio didn't stop running until the were deep in the woods, away
from all noise of the town.
"Come on, I'll talk you back," Gabe squeezed Bianca's
hand and started pulling her towards the path.
"No." she resisted. "No, you need to go. Find your
song. We didn't all do this for nothing."
"I can't just leave you," Gabe whispered.
"I'll take her," Elisa offered. "I know the woods
better than both of you; I'll get her home. You need to go, Gabe.
Once Ryan comes back and realizes what happened, everyone is
going to be looking for you and trying to kill you. You need to
"But - "
"She's right, Gabe," Bianca said. She slid her hand
out of Gabe's and kissed his cheek. "Go!"
With one last goodbye to the girls who saved his
life, Gabe started running. Night was falling over the kingdom,
but it didn't slow him down. The colors were fresh enough in his
mind to create a perfect map. He followed the colors with
familiar ease and ran all through the forest, finally reaching a
stop at the base of the mountain.
Gabriel paused, only for a moment. He weighed the
pros against the cons and then threw it all out the window
because he needed to find the song writer. He needed to try. He
started jogging up the mountain, counting the colors to keep him
going, until a guard stopped him.
"What are you doing here?" The guard was tall and
muscular. He had long black hair sweeping across his face and
Gabe swallowed. "I need to see the King and Queen,"
"They are at a very important dinner for their
daughter and the new king. It'll have to wait."
"It can't wait," Gabe aruged and tried to run again.
The guard snatched him by the arm and yanked him back. Without
thinking, Gabe turned and smacked the guard in the mouth,
struggling to get free.
The guard growled at him and yanked him back even
harder, causing Gabe to fall to the ground. With much agitation,
the guard reached down and took Gabe by both arms, bending them
at an uncomfortable angle behind his back and dragging him up the
This was good, Gabe thought. He'd be getting into the
castle, and he's clever enough that he could get away and find
the song writer. The colors in his mind were just exploding in
his mind because he was so close. He could almost taste the
The castle was bigger than Gabriel had ever expected,
and he was almost in awe when the guard shoved him through the
big metal door. The first thing to be seen was a huge staircase
just in front of the door. There were two hallways on either side
of the stairs, and the guard dragged Gabe down the left one.
The hallway was white, long and bright. Gabe could
barely keep his footing as the guard dragged him along. They
found another staircase at the end of the hall, this one leading
down. Practically tripping down the stairs, Gabe let the guard
pull him downstairs.
Gabe could hear laughter and chatter from the other
side of the door that they reached at the bottom of the stairs.
The guard switched both of Gabe's arms into one huge hand and
used the other to knock on the wooden door. The dark landing of
the staircase brightened intensely as someone opened the door.
Being pulled in, Gabe noticed how bright it was. The
huge chandiler was luminating the whole room. Thousands of people
were seated at a long white table, enjoying a meal that had
Gabe's mouth watering. He recognized the king at the head of the
table, a chesnut-haired man to his left and the princess on his
"Sir, I hate to bother you during this important
dinner," the guard started, "but I caught him trying to sneak
into the castle. He said he needed to talk to you,"
"Well?" The king roared. "What is? What is so
important that you would interupt my daughter's wedding dinner?"
Gabe was completely in too deep. He had no idea what
to say. The whole kingdom was musical, the king wouldn't believe
him if he said he knew the song was coming from here. "I - I
thought - " Gabe tried to stutter out an explaination, but
nothing came out.
"I don't have time for this! Send him to Panic City
and let them deal with him!"
The guard pulled on Gabe's arms, but he stayed
"You're objecting me?" The king glared, diry blonde
hair falling over his blue eyes. "You're objecting the king?"
Christine had perked up the moment Gabe was pulled
through the door. The dark man was more beautiful than her
almost-husband, and he had her attention ever since. He was more
beautiful than she could ever dream her husband would be, and she
was terrified that if he left, she'd never find him again.
"Daddy, stop it!" she cried, rising from her seat and walking
over to Gabe.
Gabe's eyes locked with the princess, and he knew it
had to be her. She was beautiful. Who else could make such
beautiful colors with their music besides this beautiful girl?
Christine shooed the guard away and took Gabe's wrists in her
hands, looking at them closely. "Are you okay?" She asked.
Gabe nodded. "I'm fine, ma'am, thank you." A real
grin spread across his face as he stood with the princess, both
their eyes locking for a second time.
"Christine, what are you doing? Let the fool go and
get back to your dinner!" King Thomas ordered and Christine shook
her head. "Christine!"
"Daddy, I don't want to marry William! He's not my
prince! This man is, I can tell,"
"He's a street-rat, Christine!" Genevieve shouted,
gasping like it offened her.
"So?" Christine argued.
William's eyes lowered into slits as he took in Gabe.
It was obvious the man was low class.
The king sighed and stood out of his seat, walking
forward to stand with his daughter. "Who are you?" He asked.
Gabe cleared his throat. The Queen had pinpointed him
exactly. "Gabriel, sir, of The Starships."
"See, Christine!" Genevieve called. "He's poor and
nothing! Now please come back to your wedding dinner with
"No! I don't care that he's from The Starships! I
want him, not William," It didn't matter that she didn't know
Gabe. She could see it when she looked into his eyes - they were
meant to be.
The king looked Gabe up and down. "So, it's apparent
my daughter wants you as a husband, but how do I know you're so
right for a king?"
"I'll prove it to you anyway I can, sir," Gabe
promised. If he married the princess, he could see the colors
whenever he wanted, hear the songs whenever he wanted.
King Thomas thought over the request. He whispered
something into his guard's ear, and he disappeared from behind
Gabe. Christine let her hands wonder from Gabe's wrists to his
hands, and she smiled at him.
There was a long moment of silence. All of the guests
didn't know what to say; Queen Genevieve was angry; William was
jealous; Christine and Gabe were enjoying getting lost in each
When the guard finally returned, he had someone with
him. He was holding him by the arms much like he had held Gabe
earlier. The boy in his arms was just that, a boy. He couldn't be
more than seventeen. He had frizzy hair stuck to his face and
eyes that held secrets.
The king cleared his throat and took his sword out of
scabbard and handed it to Gabe. Withouth knowing why, Gabe let go
of Christine's hands and took the sword. The king nodded, "This
man has been a prisoner for months. It's finally time he goes,
yes? If you can act as I would in this situation, you may marry
The guard pushed the prisoner onto his knees in front
of Gabe. He looked up at Gabe with wide eyes, scared and
pleading. Gabe held the sword above his head. If he just let the
sword drop and kill the prisoner, he'd be able to marry Christine
and get everything he ever wanted.
Gabe took a deep breathed and told his arms to move,
but they just... didn't. He couldn't do it. Sighing, Gabe lowered
the sword away from the prisoner and gave it back to the king.
"I'm sorry, sir, I can't do it. I cannot take another's life."
There was a small beat of silence, and then the king
smiled. He put his sword back in his scabbard and put his hand on
Gabe's shoulder. "Sir Gabriel of The Starships, you may have my
daughter's hand. I have never taken a life before, and I never
will. You will make a great king."
Gabe's mouth fell open in shock and the cheers
erupted. Gabe's head whirled as he felt Christine wrap her arms
around his neck.
He, Gabe, would become king of this kingdom some day.
He would rule all of the music, he would make all the laws. He'd
be at the top. He'd be able to wake up to a beautiful wife and
listen to her beautiful music and see the beautiful colors she
created with her songs. He smiled and shook the king's hand,
still a little dazed by the shock.
William glared from across the table, sitting next to
Queen Genevieve, who was just as apalled. The guard had taken the
shaking prisoner away from the dinner, and the king sat back
"Chislett," The king barked. A tall blonde man
appeared by his side. "Go get Gabriel suited up for his wedding.
I still want to continue this tonight,"
Chislett nodded and motioned for Gabe to follow him,
leading him back up the stairs he had just been pulled down.
Gabe's head was still spinning; this was happening so fast.
When they reached the next staircase, Gabe took a
deep breath. This would be his home now. He would have to tell
Ryland and Bianca that he wasn't coming back. He would have
Chislett lead him into a bedroom and laid out a suit
for him. With a silent nod, he exited the room. Gabe stripped out
of the dirty clothes and took a moment to himself. He found the
bathroom through a door in the bedroom and washed his body as
quickly as he could. Afterwards, Gabe changed into the brightly
colored suit and stepped outside of the room. Chislett was
standing straight against the wall and smiled when Gabe came
The two walked in silence back downstairs, only now,
Chislett lead him down the other hallway and into a bigger room.
It almost looked like a church, the way it was set
up. There was an alter at the top and seats in front of that, but
there were many tables and chairs around as well. Gabe didn't
even have time to register that this was his wedding before
Chislett was leading him to the head of the alter. The king stood
behind Gabe, and Queen Genevieve stood behind Christine, who had
been dressed in a white silk dress and was now facing Gabe.
Gabe wanted to stop it all, just for a moment. He
wanted to pause, to actually take in the fact that he was getting
married, but there was no time. A short older woman was standing
between them, and she placed their hands in each other.
"Gabriel of The Starships and Christine of The
Academy," She began, her voice raspy and old. "This powder will
bind you to this kingdom forever." The older woman doused their
hands in white powder and Gabe watched in complete awe as the
powder turned blue on their skin.
"And this kiss will bind you two together forever, no
matter what obstacles threaten your love."
Gabe and Christine both leaned in, meeting each other
halfway and kissing the magic seal closed. He felt the powder on
his skin shoot through him and felt the kiss physically bind him
to Christine. He could faintly see the colors behind his eyelids,
and the kiss broke.
Applause erupted from the guests and the king and
queen kissed both Christine and Gabriel. "Welcome, Prince
Gabriel." The king smiled at him.
Soon after the congragulations, they were all seated
at a table again. This time, Gabe was on King Thomas' left side,
holding Christine's hand under the table. He was married. He had
just busted in an hour ago, and now he was married. He prayed the
songs would be worth it; the colors would be worth it.
Queen Genevieve cleared her throat. "Christine,
Gabriel, William has prepared a wedding gift for the two of you,
and he'd like to share that,"
Christine and Gabe both nodded and looked up at
William. He stood in front of them, across the table, with his
guitar strapped to his back. After a deep breath, he began
Three things happened after the song started playing:
The whole kingdom went silent.
Behind Gabe's lids, purple and pink were exploding
and mixing, so much stronger than they ever have before. The
colors were right in front of him, filling his mind competely.
And Gabe gasped.