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 him.
“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
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 wanted.
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 Ramen.
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 collectors.
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 us in.”
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 trap.
“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 Starships.
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. Walker."
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
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 home.”
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 it.”
“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
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
“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 marry him.”
“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 to?”
“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 still.
“I didn’t mean what I said at dinner. I think you can do it.”
“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
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 husband.
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. Thank you,”
“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 meet her.”
“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 slowly fading.
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 of them.
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 produce.
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
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 night.
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
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 them away.
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 simply... wild.
"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 their custody."
"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 that way."
"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
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
"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."
"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 Genevieve snapped.
"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 gaze.
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 hand.
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
"I can't believe you did that! He could have killed you!"
"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 go now!"
"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 looked terrifying.
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 mountain.
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 colors.
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 right.
"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
"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 planted. "No!"
"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 William."
"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
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 other's eyes.
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 my daughter."
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 down.
"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 duties here.
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 outside.
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 playing.
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.
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