A Parallel Dream

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1) - A Safe Place

Submitted: August 23, 2019

Reads: 11

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Submitted: August 23, 2019

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I froze in my current position. The voice behind me sounded somewhat sinister. The look on Grace’s and Felicia’s faces wasn’t comforting either. Both were a pale white and frozen in place.

“H-hello?.. Who is that?!”

“Aww.. honey, you sound so cute when you are nervous.” I believe the voice was attempting to be intimidating, but it was so feminine and high-pitched. I couldn’t take them seriously. It reminded me of my little sister when she was 7.

“And who exactly are you supposed to be? Is this supposed to scare me?”

“Eli, I wouldn’t if I were you…” Felicia gave me a look of concern and dread.

“Such a tough man, are we? I’m sure we will break you from that shortly.”

A hand grabbed my side and spun me around. What appeared before me was interesting. It was a short, young girl who had a long, scaled tail. The scales continued up her back and ended just short of her neckline. Her pupils were elongated and were surrounded by dark red irises. Short, black hair completed her look.

“Well, it appears I was correct about the voice.” I muttered to myself.

“What did you just say you heathen! It would take me to two seconds to end you. Watch it!” The girl flashed her tail in an instant towards my neck. I noticed the end was as sharp as a razor blade.

“You humans never seem to understand. We leave you be, leave society, and what, you still have to come here and screw with us!” She was definitely upset. I was actually becoming a little worried as her tail moved closer to my neck.

“Suri! Stop please!”

“Wait… Empress Grace is that you?”

Grace removed the cloak that had been covering her head and revealed herself to the girl. The girl quickly retracted her tail from my neck. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Empress, why didn’t you inform me of your presence before? Things wouldn't have taken such an… unfortunate turn.”

“We just aren’t sure who we can trust. Our own allies have been turning against us, and we had to take necessary precautions. The guy is, unfortunately, with us.”

The rope holding me up snapped as Suri sliced through it with her tail. I landed on my head with a loud thump. Well, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I wanted to be put down.

“Grace, who is this? And what the hell do you mean by unfortunately?”

“Silence human, show respect to someone of higher stature and prestige than you!”

“Suri, it’s fine. Eli is a… guest of mine. Some things have happened recently. The capital is gone.”

“Gone? What do you mean?”

“As far as we know, there is nothing left. The Arthenian Kingdom attacked and destroyed it… they destroyed everyone.”

“Oh my… I’m sorry your grace. You can stay here as long as you like. Follow me.”

We began following Suri deeper into the forest until we came upon a large clearing with a single, large stump centered in the middle. Suri walked up to the stump and began tapping on it in the same manner that Felicia had previously. The roots of the large stump began to open, and a large tunnel formed underneath the area the stump had rested on.

“Hurry in quickly, before someone sees us.”

A man, who I presumed was a guard, ran up to us clad in dark green armor from head to toe. He seemed very strong but was quite short for someone of his position.

“Tell my father we have an emergency! Bring him here at once!”

“Yes ma’am.”

The guard quickly scurried away leaving the four of us at the entrance to the underground facility. Within a few minutes, the guard returned accompanied by a large man. The man wore a large green cloak adorned with gold shoulder coverings. He had scales covering his cheeks and a long tail extending from under his cloak.

“Empress Grace, it’s good to see you again. I never thought I would see you here. And who are our two visitors here.” The stocky man eyed me and Felicia.

“Thank you for your hospitality King Vulcan. This is Felicia von Bettinger my court’s Grand Transmaculator and this is Elijah Arrington my…. acquaintance.”

“Ah. Well, welcome to our humble abode. It isn’t much but you may stay here as long as you desire.”

“We appreciate it King Vulcan. It means more to us than you know.”

“We are indebted to you your grace so think nothing of it.”

Suri led us through the intertwining halls, and we traveled down several flights of stairs before reaching a room at the end of a long hallway. The room was quite gaudy with expensive furniture dotted around the room. Grace glared at Suri.

“There’s only one bed Suri…”

“I’m sorry your grace but this is the best we can do with such short notice.”

“It’s fine, I guess. We can just make Eli sleep on the floor.”

“Why should I sleep on the floor?! I mean… I am the guest.”

Grace shot me a look of anger. “And I’m the Empress! Why do you not seem to have any manners?”

I returned Grace’s stare. “No offense but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not from around here and so, I don’t really care what you call yourself.”

“Why you little!!” Grace began to approach me in a fury but remembered the presence of Felicia and Suri.

“Well, regardless, the decision is final, you will sleep on the floor. I’m sure a blanket and pillow will suffice.”

“Fine…” I decided to take the defeat. I didn’t want to seem as though I was attempting to usurp her authority in front of two individuals who seemingly had a lot of respect for the young Empress. It was better this way.

“Dinner will be served shortly. Help yourselves to the facilities. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let one of the guards or servants know.” Suri bowed towards Grace and began climbing the stairs outside of our room.

“Eli, we are going to go to the bathroom to get cleaned up before dinner. Don’t do anything stupid while we are gone.”

“Grace, I really liked you better when you were greeting me formally.” I grinned. She appeared annoyed by my comment and made her way to the restroom with Felicia in tow.

Well, now that I’m alone. I guess I can look around a bit until dinner. Along the far wall of the room from the bed, a large desk sat with several volumes of what looked like a historical index place on top of it.

“The Parencia Chronicles Vol. 1” It looks interesting. I wonder how much history is covered in each volume. I opened the first volume and flipped through a few pages. The book seemed ancient with the pages feeling as if they may crumble under the weight of my grip. I carefully reviewed the table of contents to find a topic I had been hoping to learn more about. Divine Ones… Divine Ones… where is it… Found it! “See The Divine Historical Index.” Seriously… I’m going to have to find another series of books to figure out more?!

“Eli, are you ready to go?” A noise from behind me interrupted my concentration. Felicia was standing behind me.

“Ugh. Sure. Before that, do you know if we could find any books from The Divine Historical Index?”

“Unfortunately, no. All of that information was burned during the book burning events several millennia ago.” Felicia seemed to notice my curiosity.

“If you are curious. We can discuss it later, but for right now, we need to head to dinner. You don’t want to be a rude guest, do you?”

She was right. I guess they were giving us refuge during an ongoing military conflict. I stood up from the desk and was about to follow Felicia out of the room when Grace stopped me.

“Felicia, go ahead of us. I need to discuss something with Eli in private.”

 “As you wish, I will inform the King you will be arriving shortly.” Felicia exited the room leaving Grace and me.

“I-I wanted to thank you Eli.” Grace’s expression was soft and sorrowful, a far cry from the authority and strength I had perceived thus far.

“For what? I was absolutely sure you hated me up to this point.” I laughed at my own comment.

“I’m serious Eli. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. What you did back at the palace was incredibly brave, and I doubt I could ever repay you.” Grace peered into my eyes, her soft expression drew me in, and I blushed slightly.

“I-it’s fine. I would have done it for anyone. There is no need to thank me. If anything, just help me get back home, and we will consider the debt repaid.”

“Sounds like a plan. So long as we survive that long.” Grace smiled at me. It was the first time I had seen her with her guard down, and it was honestly one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. We stared at each other for a minute until the awkward silence was too much for me to bear.

“W-well anyway, I guess we should get going.”

“Absolutely, lead the way Eli.”

Grace and I exited the room and began our assent to the dining hall.


© Copyright 2019 Jonathan Nelson. All rights reserved.

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