Into the Dark
ForeverLand Chapter 4 Part 2
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s the second part of Chapter 4 of Saving ForeverLand.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous chapters, remember to check those out.
For those of you crunched for time, the estimated reading time for this post is only
“Get back here! We’re not done yet!” Marjo yelled at once. Anthony, realizing that he had been standing at the entryway for the past few minutes, shook his head to clear his thoughts and mentally prepare for the next beating.
“We’re gunna see if you can timebend,” Marjo said. “By the end of the day, one way or another, we’re getting an answer. I’m not so sure you’re as special as everyone thinks, but until we prove them wrong, I’m assuming you’re a dualbender, and we will make the most of your powers.”
Anthony slumped over to the center of the arena, back in position for his timebending test. But this time, he had a little hope that something might actually happen. I mean, I did just spacebend, he thought. Maybe I can keep it going.
He stood up a little taller, walking a little more deliberately with each step. Marjo noticed the difference in Anthony’s stride, and he smirked, expecting something great to happen. He could use this kid if it turned out he was really a duelbender. Anna had managed to find ForeverLand and basically start their civilization - now, 50 years later, the next duelbender would probably be capable of other amazing feats, if trained properly. Marjo didn’t want to let Anthony see the hope emerging on his face, so he cleared all expressed from it and returned to his stoic self, preparing to speed up time enough to scare Anthony into timebending. There would be no warning this time - that had worked with the spacebending.
Before Anthony even noticed that Marjo had picked up a larger rock, it was inches from his head. Marjo had no intention of taking it easy on the boy, no intention of sparing him pain. He would have to learn, and the pain would have to motivate him.
But Anthony was ready this time. He felt the swish of the air hitting him as the rock began to move towards him, and he knew at that moment that it wouldn’t hit him. He stared at Marjo’s hand as if he could tear it off with his eyes. Anthony had never been so focused before and he was determined to succeed. His fists were by his sides, shaking violently when Marjo’s arm just froze in midair.
The rock was less than an inch from Anthony’s head, but it wasn’t getting any closer - it wasn’t making contact with his bloody face again. Anthony quickly stepped out of the way and then let go of his focus, allowing Marjo to swing the rock through the air with no solid target.
Marjo dropped the rock as soon as he realized what had happened. He was looking from the rock on the ground to Anthony, and back again, trying to put two and two together.
“You,” Marjo stammered, “you can timebend…You really are the next dualbender.”
Anthony only had a minute to be proud of himself, because then all of a sudden he was stuck in place - he couldn’t move any part of his body.
“See?” Marjo laughed. “I can do it too. And I can do it for longer. So let’s get this straight - you will come with me to Elozar and together we will decide what to do with your newfound abilities.”
“What do you mean?” Anthony asked innocently. “What can you do with my abilities?”
“We will use them of course. We will train you until you are ready to take on Leisata and force the Chiefs to allow benders to remain in their world.”
“But,” Anthony was taken off guard, “I don’t want benders to live in Leisata. I want to go back to Leisata and I want to be normal again. There’s no reason for benders to exist!”
Marjo tossed the largest rock in the arena at Anthony’s head while he couldn’t move, breaking his nose and spurting a new stream of blood down his face.
Anthony remained standing, but barely. His legs were wobbling under him and threatened to give out any second.
“You are a dualbender,” Marjo said. “That is your destiny, and you must assist your fellow benders!”
Anthony knew it was no use arguing. He kept his mouth shut and nodded in agreement, making eye contact with Marjo.
“I understand,” Anthony said stoically. “I’ll do my part.”
“Good,” Marjo said, sighing his relief. He thought he might have to put up a bigger fight with the boy, but clearly, he had no ambition - he could be easily manipulated. Now Marjo just had to take Anthony to the lead Centaur, Elozar, to find out the next steps.
“We will go to Elozar now,” Marjo announced. He began walking toward the archway that was the entrance and exit to the arena, not even bothering to look back to make sure Anthony was following him.
Anthony hesitated for a moment, wondering what he could do. How am I going to get out of this? He thought. Sure, I’m a dualbender, but I just learned how to use some of my powers - there’s no way I can overtake Marjo or Elozar.
“Move!” Marjo screamed, sensing that Anthony was not close behind.
Anthony jumped in place and then resigned himself to following his trainer. They walked up the mountain, around the bend, to cave #13, where Elozar was waiting for them. He knew they were approaching.
The Centaur was staring at the ground, contemplating his next move, when the Marjo and Anthony entered the cave and he suddenly looked up, staring into Marjo’s eyes.
“It is true,” Marjo said. Elozar nodded, and Marjo returned the gesture, then stepped back, leaving Anthony standing in front of Elozar,
Elozar towered over the boy, yet he appeared friendly - it was his eyes, everyone said - the brown was just open and kind. But at that moment, Anthony was only aware of the fact that he was trapped between two powerful benders, who both desired control over his own abilities, with seemingly no escape.
“Anthony, if this is true, you have the power to save our kind. Do you understand?” Elozar asked suddenly.
Anthony kept his head down, but answered, “Yes, I understand…”
Elozar opened his mouth to begin to explain what would happen next, but then Anthony cut him off.
“But I don’t believe in your cause! Benders are not natural! We shouldn’t be forcing the Chiefs to accept us - we need to stop bending!” Marjo began to charge at the boy, ready to do whatever was necessary to get him to obey. But, there was a fire in Anthony’s eyes. His anger was boiling up and he couldn’t contain it any longer. He snapped, and that intense anger apparently triggered his bending.
Out of nowhere, a portal appeared - but it wasn’t like the other portals that SpaceBenders typically conjured. This portal was dark, pitch-black in fact, and it was quickly moving toward Marjo with each passing second. Before the trainer moved out of the way, Anthony targeted his gaze to where Marjo had just moved, and the black portal followed.
Before anyone knew what was happening, Marjo was gone, sucked up into the portal.
Elozar’s jaw dropped. “There’s no way,” he said to himself. “There’s no way this child could have conjured a black hole!”
Anthony’s eyes were still ablaze as Elozar tried to get a hold of reality. Before Elozar could say anything else, Anthony conjured another portal, also not like the typical ones that SpaceBenders make, but unlike the black hole, and the boy jumped through the blue swirl of light, disappearing from sight, leaving Elozar alone in cave #13, shocked, confused, wondering what he could do, if anything, to fix this.
His head in his hands, Elozar sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed. He wasn’t expecting this. This was probably the worst-case scenario. But he had to do something - he couldn’t let Anthony leave this world and do something rash. It was clear he was upset, and Elozar cursed himself as he thought about how he approached Anthony. He should have been kinder, and moved slower. But it still didn’t warrant Anthony’s reaction. Elozar felt the dark power exuding from the boy as he disappeared through the portal - something was not right about him. Elozar had to track him down and talk to him. He had to see if he could get him to return to ForeverLand, even if he didn’t want to help with the cause - Elozar had to ensure that Anthony would not cause the other benders harm.
He wasn’t sure what Anthony would do - but Elozar felt dread fall upon him as he sensed the dark energy growing in his own home - the world of the Centaurs - Hamo.
There was no time to waste - Elozar would have to portal there immediately and track down Anthony. There was no other option.
This week I wanted to highlight one of my favorite bookstagrammers:
I am a reader, a one-day hopefully writer, a wife, a mother of two adult daughters, and a retired dance studio owner. Reading has always been a passion of mine. It wasn't until I joined Bookstagram, that I found I wasn't the only one who is obsessed with books. I have lived in South East Queensland, Australia for my whole life. I am 50 +, so that is a long time. My husband and I have been married for nearly 30 years and our beautiful daughters are 23 and 26. Last year I sold my dance school and am now retired, helping my husband with his Bricklaying business (not laying bricks though). I spend as much time as I can reading and reviewing books for some wonderful Indie Authors I have met.
I was a Historical Fiction snob, but now am branching out and discovering lots of new stories and genres and enjoying so much more. Fantasy is another of my go-to genres, anything with magic, I love. Walking and going to the gym are other stress-relief strategies I have. I would love to own a treadmill, but at least I get out and visit people when I use the ones at the gym. I recently discovered audiobooks and now can combine exercise and reading!
Baking is something I also love to do. My favourite things to bake are Chocolate Brownies, Choc chip biscuits, or muffins. Chocolate in anything is good. I am not fond of housework, as it interferes with reading, but it has to be done. I love movies and watch Netflix series at night. Some of the recent shows I have watched are You, Bridgerton, Yellowstone, Pieces of Her, and The Last Kingdom (still watching with my husband). We have also enjoyed Superstore.