Adventures of the Dimension Jumpers: Being a Jumper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

the first story of the adventures of the dimension jumpers. meet riley and her partner, buck. the pair have been on their own for a while. riley has come to accept it as one of the few things a jumper has to deal with, but could there be more for her?

The computer screen blinked to life. The mouse hovered over a video imported from an SD card. With a click, the video began to play. A girl, no older than ten years old popped up. Her sandy colored hair was pulled back in a ponytail and the gap in her two front teeth was proudly displayed as she smiled.

“Hello multiverse! It’s Riley!” she said, her smile never faltering. “Today’s the day! I’m finally gonna tell Mom and Dad that I’m a jumper! I mean, they didn’t realy believe me the first time I tried to tell them, but that’s just ‘cause Buck got shy. He’s not shy anymore. So, they’ll see I wasn’t playing a prank.

“I can’t wait to go all over the multiverse with them. We’re gonna see so many cool things! Mom and Dad have always wanted to travel. Obviously, I’ll keep a video log of—”

A loud crash sounded in the background of the video. Before anything else could play, Riley, hit the space-bar. She knew what happened next. She didn’t need to rewatch it. A creature with a yellow, fox-like head and buck teeth gently nuzzled her cheek as she stared at the screen. Riley scanned over her friend, taking in his red body, the bright green spot on his belly, his purple wings and his beaver tail.

“Thanks, Buck,” Riley said, scratching him behind the ears. “Forgot I still had this video on the card.”

Riley glanced out the window of the house she was squatting in for the night. Oranges, pinks and purples filled the sky as the sun went down.

“Let’s eat. Then we should get moving,” Riley sighed, pulling the card out of the computer. “Who knows? Maybe we got them off our tail after that last jump.”

Buck made a small, clicking noise. She saw how he glanced at the door and how his tail twitched.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she replied. “Wishful thinking. Mind lighting the stove?”

Buck walked over to the small stove across the room. He barely had to tilt his head to position his mouth at the nearest burner. A small flame popped out of his mouth. Riley pulled a can of tomatoes and a can of chicken from her backpack and started cooking. It wasn’t much, but it was the only food she could take when they’d had to run. When she was satisfied with the food, Riley grabbed an oven mitt and a camping mess kit. Half of it went into a bowl for buck. Riley took the other half for herself.

“Happy birthday to me,” Riley said numbly.

The two companions ate their food as fast as they could without burning their tongues, then packed everything up.

Riley pulled an army jacket on over her t-shirt, laced up her hiking boots, and pulled a beanie on over her hair. She did a quick once-over of the house to make sure they didn’t leave any valuable resources behind. When she didn’t find anything, she followed Buck out the back door and into the back alleys of the town. She hadn’t bothered to learn its name, not when she wouldn’t be sticking around.

Riley remembered a forest on the western side of the town from when they’d jumped in. She pulled a compass from her jacket and headed west. Buck took care to stick to the shadows, not wanting to be seen by anyone who passed them on the street. Riley did her best to not let her eyes linger on the families and groups of friends that passed them. It helped her avoid the stinging pain in her chest.

It was late into the night when they reached the forest. The pair walked right in, keeping an ear out for any sounds of trouble. They crossed streams and climbed over fallen trees and rocks, with no particular destination in mind. Riley almost entertained the thought that they wouldn’t have to jump tonight.

The silence of the forest was broken by the sound of twigs snapping and the echo of a dog barking. Riley felt a familiar shiver run up her spine and her muscles tensed. Buck shivered too. But, if they weren’t chasing her, then they were chasing someone else.

“C’mon Buck,” Riley said, swinging herself onto his back. “Follow those barks.”

Buck bounded through the trees at a breakneck speed. Riley did her best to ignore the fear that was clawing its ways up her throat as the shivering intensified. Every instinct in her said to leave the dog, to protect herself and Buck. She ignored those thoughts. Her parents didn’t raise a coward.

It didn’t take long for Riley to spot the dog. She could make out its distinct, fluffy tails in the dark. Yes, tails. Honestly, Riley had seen weirder.

The dog was cornered in a clearing with a teenaged boy at its side. They were surrounded by large, snarling beasts. The beasts blended in with the shadows. The only things that gave them away were the glint of their fangs and their bright, red eyes.

Buck jumped into the clearing, spitting fire at the beasts.

“Grab on!” Riley called, holding a hand out to the boy.

He took her hand without hesitation and wrapped an arm around the two-tailed dog.

“Jump!” Riley ordered, lightly thumping Buck’s side with her legs.

There was a blinding flash of light. Riley kept a firm grip on the boy, feeling a sense of weightlessness as they jumped. The light faded a second later. Sheer faces of rock towered above them. A small river ran past them. It was early in the morning in the new setting. With the brighter light, Riley finally got a good look at the boy.

He was pretty tall, at least two heads taller than her, and he had unruly, black curls. His dark eyes were framed by a pair of rectangular glasses.

His dog was the size of a husky, with rounded ears. The dog’s head was light green, but it’s body was magenta, with a dark green spot on the belly. Its two back paws were orange and the tails were dark red, with green-blue tips.

“Hi,” she said, ending her assessment of the two. “I’m Riley.”

were those things?”

“Hellspawn,” Riley answered. “Pretty big pack, too. Surprised you didn’t have any hunters on you.”

“What?!” Elliot exclaimed.

“You’re a jumper,” Riley stated in a matter-of-fact tone. “Speaking of, what’s your dog’s name?”

“Spyke,” Elliot answered. “Now please start at the beginning. What the he—”

“Watch it,” Riley warned. “Buck doesn’t like bad language.”

heck is a jumper?”

“We are,” Riley answered, slipping off of Buck’s back. “See, Buck and Spyke are creatures that can jump between dimensions. They bonded with us and we became jump pairs. All four of us are jumpers.”

“And the… hellspawn?”

“They’re… I don’t really know what they are,” Riley admitted. “They’re like the foxhounds for hunters and… well, we’re the hunted.”

Elliot’s eyes widened as he ran a hand through his hair. “So this place is—”

“Another dimension,” Riley finished. “Not sure if there’s any civilization. We’re probably a ways off if there is.”

“And those things?” Elliot asked. “Are they gonna go after my family?”

“Did they see them or know that you’re a jumper?” Riley inquired.

Elliot shook his head.

“Then they’ll be fins,” Riley answered. “C’mon. Lets find a place to get some sleep.”

Riley led the way down the canyon. She didn’t try to talk to Elliot, giving him some time to process the new information. She never thought she’d actually meet another jump pair. It was nice to have some company, even if it was a little strange after she’d spent so long on her own. Buck seemed to be enjoying it too. He and Spyke played around in the shallows of the river. Thankfully, Riley and Elliot didn’t get splashed with water.

Eventually, they found a cave and set up camp. Riley shared what little of her supplies that she could. She gave Elliot the small blanket she kept in her backpack. She didn’t really need it anyway. Buck was warm enough for her.

She tried to sit away from Elliot, to give him some space. She had kind of forgotten how to make conversation with other people. She didn’t want to get her hopes up for anything. He’d probably stay with her for the night then go jumping off on his own.

“So, are you going to meet up with anyone?” Elliot asked as he settled into a comfortable position.

“You and Spyke are the first jump pair I’ve met,” Riley replied.

“But you’re, what? Ten? You shouldn’t be on your own.”

“Eleven,” Riley snapped. “And what about you? You’re not exactly an adult.”

“I’m sixteen. That’s close enough. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re still just a kid.”

“Well, this kid saved your butt,” Riley retorted. “So what does that say about you?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Elliot replied, keeping his voice calm. “You’re the one we’re talking about. What would your parents say? Do they know you’re out here?”

Riley did her best not to flinch. “I’ve been on my own for four months and I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.”

“Four months?!”

Riley pulled her legs close to her chest and shot a glare at Elliot. Okay, maybe she hadn’t wanted to be on her own, but that was the way it is. At least, that’s probably how other jumpers did things.

“You shouldn’t be on your own,” Elliot stated.

“I didn’t choose to be on my own,” Riley snapped. “But jumpers don’t exactly get a say.”

Elliot went silent. Riley hoped that maybe he would stop talking. She curled against Buck and turned away from Elliot. They were jumpers now. They didn’t get a say. They had to be alone.

“They’re not around anymore, are they?” Elliot asked softly.

“They died.”

“I’m…I’m sorry, Riley.”

“You got lucky,” Riley said, burying her face in Buck’s fur. “Hunters don’t leave witnesses. Jumpers are either alone or they end up getting other people killed.”

“What happened to your family…it wasn’t your fault,”Elliot replied.

“Yes, it was,” she said numbly. “They wanted me and Buck. If we’d run sooner, they’d be alive.”

Elliot moved over to Riley and placed a hand on her shoulder. “You’re a kid. You shouldn’t have needed to run in the first place.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Riley sighed. “I’m running now and I can’t stop.”

The cracking of their fire filled the cave. Riley resigned herself to sleeping and waking up in the morning to only finding her and Buck in the cave.

“Then, I’ll just have to run with you.”

Riley’s eyes widened. She glanced at Buck, hoping he had heard it too. She sat up and gaped at Elliot.

“Really?” she asked, a small shake in her voice. “You’d do that?”

“I’m a jumper now too,” Elliot stated. “Spyke and I are running. I say we all run together.”

Together. For four, long months all Riley had had was Buck and whatever she could fit in her backpack. She’d never known just how wonderful that one word could sound. She rapidly blinked her eyes, trying, and failing, at holding back tears. Riley tackled Elliot in a bear hug.

“Thank you,” she replied, resigning herself to crying. “Thank you so much.”

Elliot returned the embrace and patted her on the head. “Well, I can’t just leave you all on your own. I’d end up worrying non-stop. Who knows? Maybe we’ll find other jumpers.”

More jumpers. There was no telling how many were out there. More people like her. But, with Elliot hugging her, she didn’t even care if they found another jump pair or not. She wouldn’t be alone anymore.

She wouldn’t be alone.

Submitted: December 15, 2020

© Copyright 2021 cass stearns. All rights reserved.

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Serge Wlodarski

A good story, and a solid foundation for more adventures.

Wed, December 16th, 2020 11:53am

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