An Unwelcome Homecoming
Chapter 7 Part 1
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 7 Part 1 of Saving ForeverLand.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous chapters, remember to check those out. I’ve included the links below:
What did I do? Sarah wondered as she stood up from where she had fallen face down on the ground. She dusted off her clothes and then looked around. But once she heard the alarm, she was brought to her senses. Somehow, she had portaled to Leisata.
“Beep! Beeeeeeeeeeeep!” The alarm continued to blare throughout the city. There were no people in sight - in fact, it looked like she had appeared in her old backyard. Thankfully, just as she saw no one, no one noticed her sudden appearance…yet. Though she was sure that The Chiefs would be searching for her in minutes now that the magic tracking alarm was set off. She didn’t have much time; she had to get back to ForeverLand, or at least, she had to get out of Leisata.
But I don’t even know how I made the portal to get here. How do I get back if I don’t know how I got here in the first place? She asked herself, heart racing with fear as she heard the announcement begin.
“Attention all citizens of Leisata. This is your Chief, Gary Luis. This is not a drill. Please return to your homes and remain inside until further instructions have been given. I repeat this is not a drill. Thank you.”
Sarah was hit with deja vu as she listened to the exact same message that triggered her new life as a bender. She could hear the doors of houses slamming shut nearby, and it was only a matter of time before The Chiefs found her outside alone. So Sarah did the first thing she could think of - she hid. She toppled through the back door of the house and began to make her way to the passageway that she had been introduced to only days ago when she hesitated.
Where are Mom and Dad?
Her hand was on the switch to open the passageway, but she was suddenly consumed by the silence that made up her old home. Sarah tried to check all the rooms for any sign of her mom or dad, but the place was deserted. Returning to the switch, Sarah noticed that the passageway wasn’t closed all the way. There was a small sliver of rock that she could see where the wall should have been.
Someone’s been in here.
She twisted a strand of her hair around her finger as she considered her options. Maybe Mom and Dad are in there. She hoped.
But then the more cautious side of her wondered whether this was a trap set by The Chiefs. Then the knob on the front door began to turn. Someone was coming. She had to decide, so she yanked the passageway open enough for her to slide inside and then closed it nearly all the way, just as it had been before, praying that she could find a way to escape before The Chiefs discovered where she was hiding.
Sarah ran down the tunnel as fast as she could, not knowing what exactly she was looking for, or where she planned to end up. Keep moving. She told herself - that’s all she could do. The tunnel was silent besides the sound of her own footsteps and breath, so after a few minutes when Sarah heard a loud bang, she knew someone else was there. It sounded like it was coming from back by the house. Are The Chiefs in here? Terrified, but not knowing what else to do, she continued to sprint forward, toward the clearing where she had last seen her parents.
It was dark, but the glimmer of light from the lanterns up ahead was just visible to Sarah now. The thundering footsteps behind her were closing in. It has to be all three of The Chiefs, she thought. But she was so close - the light ahead was getting brighter and the tunnel was widening. When she entered the clearing and saw that it was deserted, her heart sank. The hole in the wall where Elozar broke through was still there, but no sign of anyone or anything else.
Just before Sarah could admit defeat and turn herself into The Chiefs, she noticed a shimmering light through the hole in the wall. Deciding she had nothing left to lose, Sarah quit her sulking and quickly made her way through the hole and into the small hideaway where she had been with Elozar the other day, though it felt like it was years ago.
As she climbed over the rubble and got a clear view of what was there, she recognized it at once - a portal. But who created this? How did a portal just appear when there’s no one else here? Unless…
Sarah nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw the hand appear from the center of the portal, reaching out toward her.
“Sarah,” her mom whispered. “We’re here.” Then her father’s arm was emerging from the portal too. “Elozar has a plan - come with us,” her dad instructed.
Both of the floating arms waved Sarah towards the portal. Without a second thought, Sarah dove through the portal, just as the loud footsteps were approaching. She looked back and caught a glimpse of the three Chiefs in their stiff, black uniforms. Chief Luis was carrying some sort of machine with him. Sarah didn’t get a close look at it, but she knew it couldn’t be anything good. Thankfully she was just out of reach and she passed through the barrier to a destination unknown to Sarah.
But when she popped out of the vacuum that was the portal, Sarah was surprised to find that she was still in Leisata. Her parents were on either side, but as Sarah looked around the room, her heart started racing. They had portaled to the Chiefs’ office building in the heart of Leisata.
“What are we doing here!?” Sarah tried to calm herself down, but it was pretty hard when she and her parents were in the office of the men who were trying to capture them, maybe even kill them.
“I told you,” her dad said calmly, “Elozar has a plan…and he should be arriving here shortly.”
Sarah opened her mouth to argue but stopped when she saw the other portal appear against the wall by the desk. Now that she was looking closer, she noticed all the books lining the walls of the office.
When Elozar and Josh appeared out of the portal, Sarah was just realizing that every book on the shelves was related to magic, but she didn’t have a chance to bring this up, because when she saw Josh standing there, her heart stopped. Tall and toned, Josh flicked back his hair and then gave Sarah a brief smile. Then Sarah let herself relax a bit. She had an urge to run toward Josh and hug him, but her rational mind knew that was not the appropriate
response to seeing her trainer. Instead, she waved awkwardly at Josh and Elozar.
“So,” she started, “how’d you find me?”
Elozar motioned towards Josh. Josh cleared his throat and stepped forward. “We had a hunch. Based on the last dualbender’s actions.”
“Wait,” Sarah stopped him. “I’m a dualbender?” Her eyes were shining with pride. It was as if she had accomplished her greatest dream, though she did not actually aspire to achieve this status until now.
“Of course,” Elozar said matter-of-factly. “What else would you be?”
Sarah opened her mouth to speak, then closed it quickly, uncertain of what she should say if anything. Thankfully, Elozar saved her from the awkward silence.
“You can timebend and spacebend; therefore, you are a dualbender, Sarah. We knew you had immense power and I had suspicions about you, but today, you have confirmed them. Today, we know — you are our last hope.”
Elozar stepped closer and placed both hands on Sarah’s shoulders. “I could sense your power when you were born, but I couldn’t be sure about the extent of your abilities until recently. Your mom and dad are now aware of the situation, and it is time we inform you of your role in ForeverLand.”