Chapter 9 Part 1
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 9 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:
The suns were just peeking through the curtains in Hadoo’s bedroom as he opened his eyes and stretched to wake up. Wiping the sleep from his eyes, Hadoo sat up in his queen bed, throwing the comforter and sheet off his body. It was 8am, but typically he liked to start his day by 7am. It’s ok, he thought. Today’s my day to relax. He smiled to himself as he sat up in bed, his bare feet just brushing the floor below. Hadoo had grown accustomed to his nomadic nature. This was his home for today, but tomorrow it might be different. Traveling from world to world, Hadoo wanted to make sure the Benders could never track him down. That was his advantage. Despite being outnumbered by the citizens of ForeverLand, he had the element of surprise. They never knew when or where he would turn up. They live in fear of me, Hadoo boasted to himself.
He looked around the room and sighed in relief. Another day, another step towards taking them down. This has been his goal for the past 50 years - ever since he left ForeverLand for good. Every time he thought about his time there years ago, he cringed. Shaking with anger, as he remembered the torture he went through as a child - the torture they caused - he vowed to make things right.
Hadoo decided that it was time for some breakfast. Maybe some food would lessen his fury. Doubt it. Even so, we walked out of the bedroom area and into the small kitchen that had been the reason he chose his current dwelling. Gotta be able to cook some food. Gotta keep up my strength, he assured himself.
In Gladerin, the houses were not usually like this. As the world was inhabited mostly by water creatures, a small cottage on the beach was a rarity, but Hadoo was grateful for this sanctuary. He was hidden, safe, and ready to strike. Walking into the kitchen, Hadoo felt his bare feet hit the smooth floor and noticed the soft patter of each step in the quiet home.
He reflected on his arrival in Gladerin as he sat down with his bowl of cereal. Every time he portals out of a world, Hadoo is unsure of where he’ll end up - this time was no different. Though he had mastered his spacebending long ago, he didn’t believe in using his powers more than absolutely necessary for his master plan. Therefore, he let his instinct guide him, rather than his bending. Gladerin was one of the worlds that Hadoo seemed to gravitate towards regularly. Maybe it was because 90% of the creatures lived underwater, so he didn’t have to witness their abnormal powers. Those that lived on land, like himself, were the shape shifters. They were born as water creatures but made the decision to leave their tribes and become human - no magic. The mundane environment made him feel peaceful. He looked out the closest window and opened it. As he stuck his head outside, he looked around quickly, noticed no one was in sight, and sighed in relief. I have the place to myself, as usual.
It was almost like Hadoo never left Leisata. Although, he had to recognize that Leisata had changed very much since his youth. When Hadoo grew up there, the Chiefs were just taking over. As he considered this, Hadoo reached into his pocket and took out the old picture. It was his family - their last picture together before everything changed.
Feeling the emotions rise inside him, Hadoo turned his attention to the far past. Before the Chiefs, there was a Democracy in Leisata - the citizens voted on how their government would be run. Apparently, this had been the way things were run in the nonmagical worlds for hundreds of years. Seems logical. Looking back on his time living in the Leisata Democracy, Hadoo couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. But when Hadoo turned 14, there was a huge riot at the Office, where the elected officials worked to come up with different laws by which all citizens of Leisata would abide. He remembered seeing them on the screen in his home - the rioters, fighting to take control of the world that he so loved. Everything was great up until that day - the day the Chiefs stormed the Office and took power - but Hadoo was taken from Leisata shortly after the revolt.
It wasn’t that bad, he thought, half convinced, half trying to justify what happened later. With only a month of dealing with The Chiefs, Hadoo found the world just as serene as it always had been. He had his mom, dad, and sister living with him in a nice home right on the main strip of shops. He turned his attention to the tattered picture in his lap. Hadoo was happy with his ordinary life, and looking down at the only reminder of his past life, he focused on the brick walls and black door of his home, his parents, Hadoo, and his sister Ellen sitting outside on the front porch. Then he jumped ahead to the last day. The day he was taken, everything was playing out like normal - his family was home waiting for him to return from school, and as far as Hadoo knew, nothing was wrong.
Anthony went to school and then rode his bike to the park to meet some friends in the afternoon. They played a few games of basketball, and as it was dreadfully hot and humid that day, they left the park drenched in sweat, panting for breath. Hadoo struggled to pedal his bike home as the sun set, but he smiled the whole way - it was a good day until he walked in the door of his home.
His mom and dad were waiting for him right inside the door, faces white as a sheet.
“Anthony,” his mom said, “we have to tell you someth-”
But she couldn’t finish. Instead, his mom’s voice was overpowered by a noise coming from right outside the door.
His mom waved him inside, toward the basement. Anthony looked around frantically, but when his dad nudged him forward, he began to follow. After going down a few steps of the basement stairs, Anthony’s dad slammed the door shut, and locked it.
“Dad, what are you doing?”
“There’s no time,” he told his son, wiping a nervous sweat from his forehead. “We have to go - now.”
“M-Mom?” Anthony stammered, “what’s g-going on?”
While Anthony looked terrified, his mom and dad stood across from him looking confident.
“We’re going to save you, honey,” was all his mom said before she placed her palm on the wall and revealed a passageway that Anthony had not known existed. “Follow us,” she continued. “The day has come; you have to leave Leisata.”
Anthony’s dad grabbed his son’s hand urgently and tugged him down the dark tunnel at a sprint. In just a minute, all three reached a clearing. It looked deserted, stone walls surrounding them with bare rock ground, but then a burst of light appeared.
It happened so fast - but when the swirl of rainbow grew to the size of a door, a large creature appeared out of it.
“Anthony,” the creature spoke carefully, “you must come with me.”
Anthony was overwhelmed and confused at that moment. He turned to his mom, then his dad, searching for answers.
“Son,” his dad started, “your life is in danger. This creature, Elozar, is going to take you somewhere that will keep you safe.”
“You have to trust us, honey,” his mom said.
“But,” Anthony faltered, “when will I come home? When will I see you again? And Ellen - can I say goodbye?”
“There’s no time,” his mom said. “Elozar will explain everything when you get there, but you have to go - now!”
Anthony could hear loud footsteps approaching. Someone else was in this tunnel. His eyes were wide and glossed over with tears, but he held them in. His parents always knew what was best for him. They had never steered him wrong so far, and that was enough for Anthony. Nodding his agreement, he followed the thing - Elozar - into the rainbow swirl of light, looking back one last time to see his mom and dad, assuming he’d be reunited with his family sooner rather than later, but he quickly learned his life as he knew it was over.
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Chapter 2: The Grisly Ghosts of Gruesome Time
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