Adventures of the Dimension Jumpers: A Little Boy's Whimsy

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

Elliot, Tesla and Riley find themselves in a more...colorful dimension. They've gotten comfortable with the lack of hunter attacks and wander into a village for a pit-stop. They find that they have nothing to trade with for supplies and they stand out. Despite these facts, they decide to make camp nearby. In the middle of the night, Riley makes a new friend.

Forests were generally quiet places. This forest, full of bright, lively colors and creatures that came straight from fairy tales, was not.

Six figures ran through the trees, swatting at luminescent insects that buzzed at them.

“Great cogs! I said sorry!” Tesla exclaimed.

“That’s the last time we let you lead the jump!” Elliot said, swatting one that landed on his arm.

“It’s not my fault we landed on a shi—”

“Little ears,” Elliot warned.

“I’m allowed to swear when being attacked by vengeful fireflies!”

“Buck’s gonna blow!” Riley interjected.

Elliot and Tesla dropped to the ground, well aware of what happened when Buck decided to blow. A low growl came from Buck right before he blew a plume of fire into the air. The insects scattered or were burned to a crisp. A few trees got singed by Buck’s display. Buck let out an irritated snort, satisfied with the peace.

“That’s one way to get rid of them,” Elliot commented.

Riley scratched Buck behind the ears. “At least we’re not getting stung anymore.”

“What kind of dimension are we in?” Elliot inquired.

Tesla put her goggles to her face and quickly pulled them away with a wince. “Not sure, but the energy around this place gives me a headache.”

Elliot held out his hand and Tesla passed him the goggles. Her conclusion wasn’t wrong. The goggles made everything look like a neon sign. Their energy signatures looked dull in comparison. He shook his head as he handed the goggles back to her.

“Yeah, looking at that hurts,” Elliot agreed. “It looks like someone poured neon over the whole dimension.”

“Can I see?” Riley asked.

“No,” Elliot and Tesla answered.

Riley puffed out her cheeks in a pout. Elliot and Tesla ignored it. They resumed their trek through the forest, trying their best to avoid anymore incidents with local fauna. Eventually, they stumbled upon a dirt road. Some mountains rose in the distance, and roads meant civilization.

“We could use some new supplies,” Tesla reasoned. “Just a quick pit-stop in the nearest town.”

Elliot and Riley agreed. As they hiked up the road, Riley pulled her camera out and filmed their journey. Tesla had scrounged up parts for a long lasting battery a few weeks ago after Riley mentioned that it was almost dead.

“I think this is my favorite dimension,” Riley stated.

“You say that about every dimension we get a break in,” Elliot replied.

“Not true,” Riley argued. “I didn’t like the dimension with all the storms.”

“No one would like that dimension,” Tesla stated.

“Fair point,” she conceded. “But that doesn’t change the fact that this one is my favorite.”

“Whatever you say, Riley,” Elliot said with a chuckle.

The six jumpers found themselves relaxing a little as they walked down the road. It was one of the few time they’d jumped without needing to hurry. They’d had a slight reprieve from the hunters. Enough so that they didn’t feel the need to keep their hands close to their weapons.

They walked into a town at the base of the mountains just before sundown. The houses were made of stone and wood. Each one was decorated with its own flowers and crystals. Elliot nudged Riley with his elbow, gesturing to her backpack. She quickly put her camera away. Buck, Spyke and Ramrod hid themselves in some trees at the edge of the town.

The trio drew some odd looks as they walked into the town. Elliot and Riley were out of place in their jeans. People stared at Tesla’s toolbelt as they walked down the road. The locals were dressed in clothing reminiscent of medieval times.

Most people avoided them. Elliot was rummaging through their packs, looking to see if they had picked up anything to trade for supplies. While Tesla waited for him to finish, she felt a tug on her sleeve. A little girl with stringy, brown hair stared up at her.

“Are you fae?” she asked softly.

“Sorry, am I what?” Tesla replied.

“Fae,” she repeated. “We have no babies for you to steal.”

“We’re not here to steal babies,” Tesla said, glancing at Riley with a look of pure confusion.

“Than are you here for your changeling? I’ve never heard of fae taking back a changeling, but Lucio’s always been odd…”

“Look, kid, we’re just—”

“Amber! Come back here at once!” the girl’s mother called.

The girl scurried away from Tesla. Tesla had never been so confused from such a small conversation. Riley looked just as confused.

“So, you didn’t understand any of that either?” Tesla guessed.

“Not really,” Riley admitted. “Elliot’s better at picking up the collo…colqu…the expressions.”

“Colloquialisms,” Elliot piped.

“Yeah, those.”

“I think she thought we were actually fae,” Elliot stated.

“You know what that means?” Tesla asked.

“Not really. I had a friend who was into those kinds of stories,” he explained. “I just remember a story about them stealing kids and replacing them with changelings.”

“She mentioned a kid named Lucio,” Tesla recalled. “Said he was one of those. Said he was odd.”

“Well, we’ve got nothing to trade with, and it’s getting late,” Elliot said with a sigh. “We need to meet up with the gang and make camp.”

They made their way back to the forest. A quick whistle called Buck, Ramrod and Spyke out of their hiding spots. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as they made camp under the trees. They had a small meal and then they gathered close, ready to fall asleep.

It was late into the night when Riley woke up. Their fire had long since died and Elliot and Tesla were deep asleep. For once, it wasn’t nightmares that had woken her up. It was just something inside of her that wanted her to be awake. Riley was content to stare up at the stars, sandwiched between Elliot and Tesla, and leaning against Buck. But her contentment was shattered when she heard something moving close by their camp. Months as a jumper had taught Riley to never ignore those noises, even if it wasn’t hunters.

Riley got to her feet and grabbed her rifle, following the sound of snapping twigs. She followed it until she lost the campsite. The noise stopped and Riley had no clue where she was.

“Why are you following us?”

Riley jumped and let out a small shriek. She turned towards the source of the voice and saw a boy with a dog that was about as tall as his knees. The moonlight reflected off of his sky-blue eyes and made his grey hair stand out. Riley’s eyes were drawn to the compass shaped birthmark between his eyebrows.

“Well…I heard you around our campsite,” Riley answered. “Why are you lurking around in the woods?”

“I like the forest,” he replied, tapping his hand against his leg. “It’s where we like to think.”

Riley turned her eyes to the boy’s dog. It was as fluffy as Spyke. She could tell that the main body was purple and its head was dark blue. There was a small patch of fur around its eye that was lighter than the blue of the head. Riley saw a green blur where the dog’s tail should have been. It certainly looked friendly.

“So, what are your names?” Riley asked.

“I’m Lucio,” he answered. “This is Whimsy.”

“I’m Riley.”

She extended a hand for Lucio. He hesitantly shook it.

“So, Whimsy doesn’t weird you out?” he asked.

“Nah. You should see Buck,” she replied with a shrug. “He’s a giant, beaver-fox hybrid.”

“You have one too?”

Riley nodded. “So do my friends. All of us travel together.”

“What does yours do?” Lucio asked.

Riley grinned and beckoned for him to lean in. “Buck can breathe fire.”

“Like a dragon?” he gasped.

“Mhm. But Buck is a lot more fluffy than a dragon. What about Whimsy?”

Lucio turned to Whimsy with a grin. “Go on, girl. Show her what you can do.”

Mist rolled off of Whimsy’s body. The mist began to take shape, turning into dozens of butterflies. They fluttered around the two children. Riley reached out to touch one of the butterflies, only for it to vanish in a puff of smoke.

“They’re just smoke,” Riley said, staring at the remaining butterflies. “But they look so real.”

“I know,” Lucio replied, bouncing on his feet. “She can make illusions of anything.”

Whimsy let out a small bark, causing the illusions to vanish. Riley couldn’t stop smiling at the dog.

“You wanna see other cool stuff?” Lucio asked.

“Like what?”

“I know all the secret spots around here,” he answered. “There’s all sorts of stuff to do. Wanna see?”

Riley nodded without a second thought. Lucio gestured for her to follow him through the forest. He showed her a hidden lake that reflected the sky perfectly. There wasn’t a ripple in it at all. He took her to a cave full of glowing crystals that bathed everything in rainbow light. He showed her where to watch certain animals and different kinds of rare flowers and all manner of wonders. Riley couldn’t remember the last time she’d had so much fun with someone her age.

Tesla and Elliot woke up the next morning and immediately panicked. Riley was nowhere to be found. Buck, Spyke and Ramrod watched as they paced around the camp.

“We would’ve known if it were hunters,” Elliot reasoned. “And neither of us had the feeling.”

“Could someone from the town have taken her?” Tesla asked, pulling at her hair. “I mean, they didn’t seem to like us.”

“But why aren’t there signs of a fight?” Elliot replied. “Riley’s not gonna go anywhere without putting up a fight.

Tesla let out a frustrated groan. “RILEY!” she exclaimed, her voice echoing through the trees.

“Riley!” Elliot called.

Buck’s head perked up when he heard movement near the camp. Elliot and Tesla noticed his sudden alertness. There was a moment of silence before Buck leapt into the bushes.

“Buck! What’s with the tackle?”

Buck came back out of the bushes, pulling Riley by her sleeve.

“Riley!” Tesla and Eliot chorused, wrapping her in a tight hug.

“Good morning,” she replied chipperly.

“What were you thinking?” Elliot asked sharply.

“Do you have any idea how worried we were?” Tesla added. “Great cogs, Riley! You can’t just wander off like that.”

“Sorry,” Riley replied sheepishly. “But I made a friend. We were exploring.”

“Who’s this friend?” Tesla inquired, releasing Riley from the hug.

“His name is Lucio,” Riley answered. “He’s got a dog, Whimsy, and she makes illusions.”

Elliot and Tesla exchanged glances. Sure, there were a few creatures around the area. It’d be hard to determine if Lucio and Whimsy were another jump pair. Tesla would need to look with her goggles.

“Riley, can you take us to meet Lucio?” Elliot asked.

“Sure,” she answered. “Follow me.”

Riley led them to a house at the edge of the town. Buck, Ramrod and Spyke stayed back in the trees while they approached it. The house looked like a traditional cottage. Sunflowers were planted around the house and there were a handful of wooden figurines dispersed throughout the yard and window boxes. Tesla knocked on the front door. A tall, wiry and stern looking woman opened the door. Her salt and pepper hair was pulled back in a tight braid.

“What can I do for you?” she asked sharply.

“Are you Lucio’s mother?” Elliot inquired.

“Yes. I’m Hannah,” she answered. “What has he done this time?”

“Nothing,” Tesla replied. “He met Riley and we just wanted to get a chance to know him.”

Hannah opened the door for them, muttering about sons always getting into trouble with people. Tesla tried not to be concerned by the muttering. They were led to a dining room where a man with grey hair sat with his shoulders hunched.

“Iago, these people are here to talk about Lucio,” Hannah said blankly.

“What did that changeling do this time?” he grumbled, heading to the stairs. “Boy! Get down here! We have visitors!”

Lucio came down the stairs silently, pausing when he noticed the three of them at the table. Riley gave him a big smile and a friendly wave. As he approached the table, Tesla started to clean her goggles. She quickly pressed them to her face and gave Elliot a nod when she let them hang at her neck again.

“I’m Elliot, and this is Tesla,” he said when the family sat down. “Lucio met Riley yesterday and we just wanted to get to know him.”

“There’s not much to know,” Iago replied. “The boy can’t do anything. Spends his time in the forest, messing with creatures instead of doing something useful.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” Riley piped, scowling at the man.

“It’s true,” Hannah stated with indifference. “It’s only by our compassion that we didn’t cast him out when it became clear that he was a changeling.”

Lucio shrank in his seat.

“That’s a pompous attitude to have towards your son,” Tesla growled.

“If he was your son, you’d be of the same opinion,” Iago said coldly.

“That’s not how being a parent works,” Elliot replied, his eyes narrowing.

“What could you know? You’re just a boy,” Hannah remarked. “You could never understand the shame a child like him brings.”

“He’s what?! Ten?!” Tesla exclaimed. “Do you even hear yourself? You’re shaming a literal child for no reason!”

Things quickly began to dissolve into a heated argument. Riley noticed Elliot watching Lucio closely. He gestured for Riley to lean closer so that she could hear him.

“Why don’t you take Lucio outside,” he suggested. “Things are getting loud and he looks like he needs an out.”

Riley hopped out of her chair and gestured for Lucio to follow her. As the two sneaked out the back, they heard Tesla let out a shout. They made their way into the trees and found Buck, Spyke and Ramrod. Riley pulled Lucio to sit down with her and had Buck lay down between them.

“Does that happen a lot?” Riley asked

Lucio nodded. “But only when people are over. They ignore me most of the time.”

“They just ignore you? But…that’s…that’s cruel,” Riley stammered.

“That’s just the way they are, and it’s better than the shouting.”

“That’s not how they should be,” Riley huffed. “Parents are supposed to love you and be there for you and never want you to be anyone but you.”

“I don’t have any other choice. It’s them or nothing,” Lucio replied.

“Those shouldn’t be your only choices,” she insisted. “I thought being all alone was my only choice, but Elliot told me it wasn’t. So there’s gotta be one for you.”

“I don’t have an Elliot. It’s just me and Whimsy.”

“No, you don’t,” Riley admitted. “You’ve got a Riley, and I’m going to help you find another option.”

“I can’t just leave and go on my own,” Lucio said, shaking his head. “This is all I know.”

“But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a jumper, then you can come with us. You can travel with me, Elliot, and Tesla,” she pointed out.

“What’s a jumper?”

Riley began to explain it, from their partners, to the hunters, to how she met Elliot and Tesla. Riley told Lucio all about their adventures together and the amazing places she’d seen and how Elliot and Tesla always looked out for her and never let her feel alone. Lucio’s eyes lit up with every story Riley told.

“Is it really that amazing?” he asked. “Do…do they really care that much?”

“Absolutely,” Riley assured him. “And it’s not just them. Tesla’s uncle, Enos, gave us a place to stay and gave us our weapons. He even told us to visit. It’s…it’s like family.”

“I want that,” Lucio stated, his eyes wide with hope. “Would they really want me?”

“Of course they would!” Riley cheered. “Let’s go tell them!”

They went running back to the house. The could hear the yelling as they got close. It ended abruptly when they opened the door.

“Can Lucio come with us?” Riley asked.

“Please?” Lucio added.

“Lucio!” Iago snapped. “How dare you pawn yourself off—”

“Of course he can,” Tesla interjected. “After all, our group is always growing.”

“Excuse me,” Hannah growled. “It is up to us if he can leave.”

“Great cogs,” Tesla hissed. “You two are by far the ab—”

Elliot stood up and quickly ran over to them. “Riley, cover his ears.”

“Are we playing a game?” she asked, covering Lucio’s ears.

“Yes. It’s called protect the little ears while Tesla lets loose,” Elliot answered, covering Riley’s ears.

“Hey!” she protested.

Elliot did not uncover her ears and Riley did not uncover Lucio’s. Riley watched as Tesla stood up and verbally ripped into Hannah and Iago, wondering what exactly Tesla was saying.

“Why don’t you cover your ears?” Lucio asked loudly, turning to Elliot.

“I’m sixteen,” Elliot replied. “And swear words are the same no matter what dimension you’re in.”

Tesla finished her rant and motioned for Lucio to get some of his things. It took him five minutes to pack a bag. Hannah and Iago said nothing as they left. They regrouped with their partners. Lucio called for Whimsy and they had some official introductions. Once everyone was acquainted, they positioned themselves for a jump. Riley gave Lucio a smile.

“Let the adventure begin,” she said.

Submitted: January 02, 2021

© Copyright 2021 cass stearns. All rights reserved.

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