The Guardian: An Unfortunate Wish
Welcome to Deonion.
What I saw was incredible. It was a floating island. And not a small one. It was a huge one. A really, really big one. I was just standing there and staring at it. This island could not be real. I suddenly heard a sharp tone. It was Daiyn. He was holding a silver whistle. Deonion was written on it. After a few seconds, something came towards us from the island. I could not see it properly but it looked like a cabin, the one used to transport mine workers to the top of a mountain. The only thing off was that there was no cable. It was floating in the air like a gigantic island. It stopped right in front of us. The door opened. Daiyn stepped in and I followed him. The door closed behind us. The white cabin had sky blue seats and two big windows. It started moving. I was not comfortable standing so I sat down. Daiyn kept standing.
The cabin was moving towards the island. I could not get rid of the thought that this cabin could fall at any moment from the sky into the sea underneath us. I kept moving in my seat but stopped after realizing that Daiyn was staring at me. He looked amused. I was embarrassed and lowered my head.
As we were getting closer to the island I saw houses and streets. It looked a lot like the towns from my world. The cabin stopped. The door opened. Daiyn got out and I followed him again. I could hear the door closing and the cabin started moving again. We were standing on a platform.
“Grampa’s house is only a few streets away,” he said without looking at me.
We got off the platform and walked down the street. At the end of it, I saw a market. There were a lot of people walking around. All of them wore very different clothes than I was. I saw fruits and vegetables that I had never seen before. They were even having a pie contest. It looked nice.
Unfortunately, we turned right before we reached the market into a side road. Just before we went into the side street I saw a really big building surrounded by walls. I could not get a proper sight of it. I saw children playing in front of the houses. People were living their everyday lives. It looked peaceful.
We turned into another side road and were walking away from the main streets and people. Our end destination was a timber cottage. It looked old and was standing out from the other houses. Daiyn opened the door and we went inside.
I was sitting at the kitchen table. I tried to introduce myself, but the old man said that he already knew my name and who I was.
“Would you like some sugar in your tea?” he asked while he was pouring some into my cup.
I nodded. He grabbed a small pot and gave it to me.
“Thank you,” I said and added two teaspoons of sugar to my tea. “Where is Daiyn?” I asked him while I grabbed a biscuit from the plate in front of me.
“He is probably in his room,” the old man said seeming not so sure of himself.
He added sugar to his tea too and sat down on the chair opposite of me.
“Oh. I see. Where are his parents?” I asked.
He took a sip from his tea.
“His father died years ago, and we don't know the whereabouts of his mother,” he answered with a bitter smile.
I could see the pain on his face. Daiyn was just like me. Living in a world without parents. Only that he was luckier. He had his grandfather.
“I'm sorry,” I said feeling bad that I even asked.
“Don't be,” the old man said smiling.
I ate the biscuit and took a sip from my tea.
“About my mother,” I said looking at him patiently waiting for his reply.
“Ah. Yes. Your mother,” he only said.
“Where is she?” I asked with an excited voice.
“I don't know,” he answered.
His answer felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. My eyes started filling with tears. I was going to cry at any moment. I did not come here so he could tell me he did not know where my mother was.
“But you told me you know where my mother is,” I said as calmly as I could.
“I didn't say that,” he replied. I started to cry. I was not able to stop the tears from running down my cheeks.
“Then why did you push me into the mirror?” I asked him raising my voice with every word I said. He stood up and sat down on the chair next to me.
“Because you belong here. Your mother was born in this world and lived her whole life in this kingdom,” he said putting his hand on my shoulder.
I did not say anything. I did not even move a muscle. I could not believe what I was hearing.
“And what about my father. Is he from this world too?” I asked.
The old man took a while for answering my question.
“No and yes. He was born in the other world but lived his whole life in this world too,” he answered.
“In this kingdom?” I asked.
“Yes. That is how he got to know your mother,” he said taking his hand off my shoulder.
“Are you a friend of my parents?” I asked turning my head to face him. “Yes,” he said and I believed him. I calmed down and wiped away my tears.
“Then why don't you know where my mother is? Do you at least know where my father is?” I asked. I would not stop asking until I knew all the answers to my questions.
“No. I'm sorry,” he said.
“You told me you don't forget where your friends live,” I said getting angrier by the second. I was too emotional. Unable to control my emotions.
“I don't but they moved away from their old house without telling anyone and afterward their house was demolished,” he replied looking really tired.
“Was I born in this world?” I asked. He stood up and picked up my cup.
“Yes. Do you want to drink more tea?” he answered.
“No. Do you have any idea where they could be?” I asked back as I was getting more and more impatient.
He picked up his cup and drank his tea in one go. Then he put both cups in the sink. I thought about all the years I wasted to find my parents. I was a whole world far away from them. After all this time, I finally had the chance to find them. I stood up. He came back and sat down on the chair opposite of me.
“I might have a clue where your father is,” he said.
I put my hands on the table.
“Then tell me,” I demanded.
“I can't,” he said looking into my eyes.
“What the hell...? First, you convince me that I can find my mother. Then you bring me into this world and then you tell me you might know where my father is. Why on earth are you not telling me where he is?” I shouted at him.
My voice was shaky. I was furious.
“Because I can't,” he said thoughtfully. I sat down again.
“If this is a bad joke I'm not going to laugh,” I cried.
My eyes were again full of tears. I put my head down on the table. I did not want to cry. I had already faced so many disappointments in my life. I was used to it and I never cried. So why was I crying this time?
“My dear, don't cry. You didn't let me finish what I wanted to say,” he said in a soft voice. I did not lookup.
“Does it matter?” I asked.
“Yes, it does. What I was trying to say was I am not going to tell you where your father might be until you agree to take Daiyn and his friends with you,” he answered.
“Daiyn and his friends?” I asked puzzled.
“Yes. They are all mature but some are your age and others are older than you. Without them, you could get lost or hurt on the way, and as a friend of your parents I can't let that happen,” he replied.
I stopped crying and took my head off the table.
“Why couldn't you say this earlier?” I screamed.
“You didn't let me. But it’s fine. No harm was done. So, are you willing to take them with you?” he asked.
I thought about it for a moment and the old man was right. I could get lost but certainly not hurt. I lived almost alone all these years and survived the trickiest situations.
“Fine,” I said while nodding my head. He stood up and went to the kitchen door and opened it.
“Daiyn! Come down! And bring your sword with you!” he shouted.
“His sword?” I asked curiously.
“Yes, his sword. He will be needing it for the trip. Could you please open the door for me my dear?” he asked me.
He was pointing at the glass door. I stood up and walked towards it. I could see a garden through the glass door. It was divided into two halves. One side looked like a normal garden. The other one was a herb garden but I could not recognize any of them. I could hear steps from the corridor. I turned around and saw Daiyn. He was looking the same except for one thing. He was holding a sheath in his right hand.
“Is that a sword?” I asked him not believing it.
“Yes, it is. You never know who or what you’re going to meet on this journey,” the old man answered smiling.
“But is a sword really necessary? We are only looking for my father, not a fight,” I said hoping he would agree with me.
“Yes, it is. Like my grandfather said you never know who or what you are going to meet on the way,” Daiyn answered.
“Are other members of this group going to have weapons on them as well?” I asked them nervously.
Daiyn smiled. He was just like his grandfather. He did not even need to say anything. I knew the answer already.
The others came five minutes later through the glass door that I had opened. Our group was made out of eight people. We got to know each other. Everyone had a different weapon. Somehow, I had the feeling it was going to be more complicated than I thought. The old man told Daiyn where he thought my father would be and then he took me by my arm, and we went outside the kitchen. We were standing in the corridor near the stairs. He handed me a pocket knife.
“Don't ask why. Just take it,” he said.
The pocketknife was made from steel and looked graceful. Some initials were engraved on it. Two N's. I shoved it into one of my trouser pockets.
“Thank you. Before I go can I ask you a question?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said.
“Why are you helping me and why did you bring me back now?” I asked him.
He took my hand.
“You asked me two questions but I will answer both of them. Firstly, because you’re the daughter of my dear and close friend. Secondly, that makes you my daughter too. You are going to find the reason I brought you back yourself. I hope you’re not mad at me anymore,” he answered calmly.
I felt miserable. I behaved very inappropriately back at the kitchen table. If Cher would have been here she probably would have slapped me right in the face in front of the old man. I wondered what she was doing right now and if James had told her that I came to visit her. I hope she was not concerned because of my disappearance.
“No. I am not and I am really sorry for my behavior,” I apologized.
“Don't be. It was natural how you behaved. I would have reacted the same in such a situation. Everybody would have,” he said with a bright smile on his face.
“Thank you for everything,” I said and hugged him.
“Don't thank me yet. Thank me on the day when you are going to find your father,” he said giving me hope that I would find him for sure.
We both returned to the kitchen. Everybody seemed ready for this journey. I was too.
“Ready?” Daiyn asked me while he was fixing his sheath onto his back.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Take care of her,” I heard grandfather whisper to Daiyn as we were walking out of the front door.
We were heading back to the docks. I was walking behind the group and was looking at the pocketknife grandfather had given me. We took the floating cabin to get off the floating island known as the kingdom Deonion. When I got off the cabin I looked back to see the big sea. The sun was at its highest point. I turned around and saw the group waiting for me. I shoved the pocket knife back into my trouser pocket.
We started to walk in the direction of the forest. I remembered how I walked this path this morning to get to the island. There were still the beautiful flowers on one side of the path and the abandoned fields on the other side. We reached the forest. It was the same forest where the tree I was dangling from this morning belonged to. Daiyn walked over to me.
“Stay close to me. It is really easy to get lost in this forest and nobody knows what lies within the shadows,” he said.
At first, I thought he was joking but from his serious face, I could tell he was not.
“Okay,” I answered sounding a little scared.
“And be careful where you walk. The forest is full of swamps. And don't inhale too much of the air. It contains toxic gases,” he explained furthermore.
“Something else I should know?” I asked him while trying to force a smile on my face not to look too terrified.
He made a thinking face.
“Yes. Sometimes a heavy fog appears out of nowhere. If that occurs don't panic. Just stay calm and near the group. Got it?” he answered.
“Yes,” I stammered.
I was looking at the other members of our group. They seemed relaxed. They probably already knew it. It was not like they lived in another world for their entire life as I did.
We went into the forest, and I was walking right in the middle of the group. Two guys and one girl were walking in front of me and one guy and one girl behind me. Daiyn was walking next to me. It looked like a normal forest to me and it was in the middle of the day. You could see everything clearly and nothing seemed frightening. The forest consisted of giant trees which were entwined with each other. The black stems had white dots all over them. They looked like eyes. Some sunlight was passing through the leaves. Nonetheless, I was careful. I watched my steps and I was keeping an eye out for that nasty fog that could appear out of nowhere. After a while, I was feeling light-headed as if I took some medicine that makes you feel drowsy. Daiyn noticed it.
“Hey, are you alright?” he asked me.
“Yeah. I'm fine. Don't worry,” I assured him.
I could not see him clearly and felt dizzy. I stopped to look at my hands to see if I could focus on them. Then I remembered but it was too late. The fog was all around me but none of my group members. I stood still. It was the best thing to do. If I would walk around I would definitely get lost but if I would stay where I was they would come back looking for me.
Something made a cracking noise behind me. I turned around to see what it was and a hand came towards me out of the fog. Someone grabbed me by my arm and dragged me towards where the body should be. Before I could scream the same person put a hand over my mouth. I tried to escape but it was of no use. Whoever it was, he or she was strong.
“If I take my hand off your mouth promise me not to scream.”
It was Daiyn. My body relaxed. I nodded. He let go of my arm and took his hand off my mouth.
“What are you doing?” I asked him. The fog was thick, and I could barely see him even though he was right in front of me.
“We have to quickly get out of this forest,” he whispered.
I stepped closer to him to see his face and to hear him clearly. He was looking for something. I copied him and looked around too but I could not see a thing through the heavy and dense fog.
“What are you looking for? And why do we have to get out of the forest really fast?” I asked.
“I am looking for soldiers. And please whisper,” he whispered again.
“Soldiers?” I asked him this time with a low voice.
“Yeah. If they find us they won't hesitate and attack us and I am not looking for a fight. Especially not while you're with me,” he murmured.
“And why on earth would they do that? And what's wrong that I am with you?” I asked him offended.
“Citizens of Deonion are not allowed to enter or bypass this forest. It does belong to this kingdom but behind the forest is no man's land where crazy and dangerous people live. They are outcasts. The soldiers have the duty to protect it from that kind of people,” he answered.
“And the fog isn't really helping us,” I whispered.
He looked at me and nodded.
“Right and it would be annoying to get you involved in a fight,” he said.
“Annoying?” I asked.
“Yes. You can't fight, or can you?” he asked me back.
I shook my head.
“See. You would be a,” he said.
“Burden. I got it,” I interrupted him. I truly hated that word.
“Sorry,” he said.
“Don't be. You are right,” I replied.
He grabbed me by my hand.
“How fast can you run?” he asked me.
Now that was a perfect question for me to answer.
“Really fast,” I said proudly.
And I was not even lying. I was really fast. From my childhood, till now I needed to be fast at running. And I was not only fast but I could easily lose the one who would be chasing after me. And most of the time it was a shop owner who wanted to get the food or stuff back which I borrowed.
“Excellent,” he said. He started running.
At first, I was getting dragged behind him because of the sudden start but after a second, I was running next to him. He let go of my hand.
“What about the others?” I asked him.
“They are probably already waiting for us at the end of the forest,” he answered.
The fog lifted and I could see the end of the forest. Daiyn was right. Everybody was standing there waiting for us. I was not even out of breath, and neither was Daiyn when we came out of the forest but the view in front of us nearly took my breath away. It was shocking.
The no man's land.
It felt like I was standing in the desert. Everything was dried out. The plants, the ground, and even the animals. I could see some animal skeletons lying on the ground near me. It looked exactly like in a western movie. I was feeling sick. The sun was burning hot. I looked up.
“It is not a good idea to look straight into the sun but if you want to go blind go ahead.”
It was the voice of Gagan Moure. I tried to look at her but like she said I was blinded for a few seconds before my vision came back. She was nineteen years old. She had straight shoulder-length brown hair that was parted to the left side and light brown eyes. Her skin was fair. I was worried about her getting sunburned. She was handing me a bottle of water.
“Thank you. Not only for the water but also for the hint that I could get blind if I stare into the sun,” I said smiling at her.
She started laughing and went to hand a bottle of water to the others as well.
Jasmine Clarke was standing next to me. She had violet hair that was tied back into a messy bun and green eyes. She was sixteen years old, just like me. The youngest out of all of us.
The rest of the group were five guys including Daiyn. One of them was searching for something in his bag.
That was Reiker Levrick and he was twenty-one years old. He had blonde short hair and blue eyes. He was not only the oldest of all of us, but he was also the tallest. He was tanned brown from the sun.
Gagan was giving out a bottle of water to each one of the two guys who looked exactly the same. They were twins. Benjamin and Edwin Williams. Both had black hair like me, dark brown eyes, and fair skin like Gagan's. Benjamin's hair was straight and reached till his jaw and Edwin had his hair gelled back. Both were seventeen years old.
The other guy was standing a little bit away from the group. That was Ray Eden. He had short dark red hair and amber-colored eyes. If I remember correctly, he was twenty years old like Daiyn.
You could clearly see that all of them were physically and mentally prepared for journeys like this one. Even their clothes were similar to Daiyns. They told me that everyone was good at using a specific weapon. Daiyn had his sword. Gagan had an actual bow. The two twins had their automatic guns. Jasmine was amazingly talented in every combat sport. It was not a weapon but still pretty cool. Reiker had his baton made out of hard steel and Ray had his two broadswords. I only had the pocketknife that grandfather gave me and I did not even know how to use it.
Ray walked towards Daiyn.
“We should probably get going. It’s not good standing near the forest. The soldiers could see us,” he said to him.
“Your right. Let's go!” he ordered.
Gagan grabbed our water bottles to put them back into her bag. It was really hard and exhausting to walk through this dead land with the sun on top of you. I could not see anything that looked like a goal of ours. I did not even know what our goal was. Nobody knew it.
Grandfather only told Daiyn where we should go. I was wondering what my father was doing in such a place. Eventually, I saw a town on the horizon. I walked a little slower to be next to Daiyn.
“Can we have a rest at the upcoming town?” I asked him.
He was not listening to me. He looked concerned. I looked around and all of them had the same concerned expressions on their faces.
“What's the problem?” I asked everybody wondering what the problem was.
“People are usually walking around this town. Drunk and crazy people. But we are not seeing anyone and there is no noise coming from the town. Don't you think that's a little strange?”
It was Ray. I thought about it for a moment and he was right. The silence did not seem right. We were getting closer to the town but still could not hear a sound. It was really scary. I had a feeling we were alone in no man's land. We reached the entrance of the town and it was empty. I could see no one walking nor could I hear anyone talking.
“Something is wrong.”
This time, it was Jasmine. I started to panic. Was this the place grandfather thought my father would be? Daiyn grabbed me by my arm and forced me to look at him. He was shaking his head. I felt a sudden relief. It was like he read my mind. We searched the whole town but could not find anyone.
We rested in one of the houses for a couple of minutes and started walking again leaving the ghost town behind us. A few miles away we saw another building but it was surrounded by a fence made out of barbwire. We walked to the entrance and the gate was open. Next to the gate was a sign telling the visitors not to enter as it was private property. We followed the path made out of stone and stopped in front of the entrance of the building. It was made out of something similar to metal. I looked at Daiyn.
“Is this where your grandfather thinks my father is?” I asked him.
“Yes. He said that out here is a laboratory. A lot of scientists and researchers work here. That includes your father,” he explained.
It was an amazing feeling to actually know something about him.
“But why is it placed in no man's land? Would it not be too dangerous?” I asked.
“I don't know. My grandfather didn't tell me. He only knew that it was out here,” he answered.
We suddenly heard a sharp cry. It came from the inside of the building. Reiker tried to open the door but it was locked. The windows were made out of bulletproof glass. We could not break it.
“Leave it to us,” Benjamin and Edwin said simultaneously.
They pulled out their guns and shot at the lock of the door. Reiker then kicked the door open and we went in. It was really dark and dusty. After a few seconds, I saw that we were in a room that looked like the reception of this building. We assumed that it was abandoned and we split up into groups to search for clues on whether my father worked here or not and not find out where the scream came from. Gagan and I went together.
“Did you know your father?” she asked me.
She started questioning me about my father while we were in a room searching for some clues but everything looked very old and dusty. The computers were not working.
“I knew him but as the time went on, I started forgetting about him. I was four years old when I found myself on the streets after my mother and my father left me in the other world,” I answered.
“I see. Then why the sudden urge to find him now?” she asked. I smiled.
“It wasn't a sudden urge. I only have one goal in my life. To find my parents. Ever since I was young, I started looking for them everywhere. Daiyn's grandfather came to me and told me I was searching for them in the wrong world. He gave me the chance to find them, but I don't know why he came after sixteen long years but ultimately, I don't care anymore. I am just thankful that he came,” I explained.
Gagan spun her chair on which she was sitting in my direction.
“Don't worry. My gut tells me you’re a strong and stubborn girl that won't give up so easily. You will find them,” she said happily.
“Thanks,” I replied hoping she was right.
We continued our search. I found an old box of CDs. There was nothing written on them but Gagan still thought they could be useful in the future and she put all of them in her backpack. We couldn't find anything else and Gagan suggested we should probably go back to the reception room where our meeting point.
As we stepped out of the door we heard a scream coming from the center of the building. It was Jasmine who was screaming for help. We ran towards the direction from where the scream came from and found ourselves in the middle of a big hall. At the same time, the others of our group arrived. We were all looking for Jasmine. It was still dark but we had enough light from the small windows to see. Ray had checked the lights and told us in the reception room that there was no electricity running in this building.
Jasmine was standing against the wall of the hall and came to us running. I saw a big scratch on her left arm when she was finally standing in front of us. She was bleeding. Gagan took a bandage out of her backpack and aided her arm while she told us what happened.
“I was going through the hallway to this hall when I heard something from behind. I thought it would be one of you guys but when I turned around, I saw nobody. So, I started walking again. I heard something again but this time, it was louder. I turned around again, and something was running towards me. I could not see properly what it was, but it scratched me and kept running along the hallway. I followed it and arrived in this big hall. I looked for this thing which attacked me, but I lost it,” she explained.A very loud noise interrupted Jasmine. We looked around us to see where it came from and saw that the metal doors of the hall were shutting down. We were trapped.