Chapter 10 Part 2
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 10 Part 2 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:
Josh stepped closer to him, taking the lead.
“We need to know the whole story. I know this has been a long day for everyone, but every detail counts.”
One man stepped forward. Omor recognized that it was the first to be freed from the soundbending curse. Taller than Josh, but still a few inches below Omor’s large stature, the man cleared his throat before beginning to speak. “I am Andrew,” he began, “one of the Chief Protectors, and I will speak for the group,” he said softly but surely. “I was in charge today, and I am partly to blame for what has occurred. If I had been more aware of my surroundings and quicker to react - if I had called for help sooner - maybe we could have prevented so many from being trapped here.”
Omor noticed that the group of TimeBenders behind Andrew looked down at the ground as he spoke, but no one interrupted the leader.
Andrew’s green eyes grew wider as the silence continued for several seconds. He put his hand on the back of his neck as if he were trying to get a kink out. With a deep breath, he continued his tale.
“We arrived at work as usual around dawn, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We reached our posts and the first shift stood guard, but soon after that, all hell broke loose.” He shook his head as if trying to remove the memories of the day. “I started to move around to monitor the locations when I realized that there were no benders at the silent cove. As I walked closer, that’s when I started to hear the voices.” Andrew’s face turned white as he recalled the next series of events. “It just sounded like a whisper, but the fact that any noise was coming from the Silent Cove should have been enough of a reason for me to raise the alarm. Instead, I thought I could handle it on my own and I ran toward the water to investigate.”
Omor watched Andrew’s mouth turn to a deep frown, clearly a display of sadness and disappointment in himself that no one would be able to assuage. He waited for the man to explain what had happened next, but was surprised by what followed.
“And that’s all I remember,” Andrew finished. “The next thing I knew I was down here. I saw a few others trapped down here with me, but their eyes were closed. I wondered if they were sleeping, but then I tried to speak, and no sound came out. When I realized that the magical chains were keeping me from moving more than an inch or two, I panicked.”
“As anyone would in that situation,” Josh interrupted carefully.
Andrew looked from Josh to Omor, then back at the ground. “I suppose,” he said, though Omor could hear the self-judgment coming from the Chief Protector.
“I struggled against the bindings, and that must have caught his attention…” “Caught whose attention?” Omor and Josh asked in unison.
“Hadoo,” Andrew muttered. “He was over there,” he said, pointing to the wall where the others had been trapped just a while ago. “I didn’t notice him until he appeared from behind me, dragging two other TimeBenders with him. They looked like they were asleep, but Hadoo must have used the same curse on all of us so that we wouldn’t remember being taken here. When he saw me with my eyes open, he nearly dropped the two people he was
“Something must not have gone according to plan,” Omor said at once. “He wasn’t expecting you to be awake.”
“That’s what I assumed, but then his eyes lit up like a child’s after receiving a bunch of presents. He smiled, and I could tell he was pleased.” He shuddered. “As soon as I blinked, he was gone. After that, TimeBenders appeared down here - chained, silenced, and unconscious. It was like they were thrown through a portal, and there was nothing I could do to save them.” Omor noticed a lone tear fall from Andrew’s eye and flow down his cheek. The Chief Protector quickly used the back of his right hand to wipe his face dry before going on. “It felt like days had passed before Josh arrived. But then it was very shortly after that when we heard you call out to us, Omor. It’s almost like Hadoo planned on you finding us here.”
“Of course he did,” Josh said. “He wanted to show us that he could break through our forces. He wanted to scare us with some new magic, and he certainly succeeded.”
“We have to go to Elozar,” Omor announced. “Me and you, Josh. The rest of them need to go home and rest.”
The lead Centaur stepped forward to make a portal back to ForeverLand. As the light brightened, a silent swirl of colors, he gestured for the line of TimeBenders to come forward. “This will take you back by your caves,” he said.
Without further ado, the line of people disappeared into the portal, with Omor and Josh following at the end of the line. Before they stepped through, Josh put his hand on Omor’s back. “Thanks for everything,” he said. “I can take it from here if you want…”
“No,” Omor stopped him. “Together. We’re in this together now.” Omor and Josh walked through the portal side-by-side, two comrades heading into battle. The last thing Omor thought before the portal hugged his body tight was What is Elozar going to think of this?
When Omor and Josh appeared on the other side, they waited as the others slowly made their way up the path winding around the main mountain, each disappearing into one of the caves. Omor turned to Josh. “Where do you think he is?”
“I have a feeling we’re not going to need to look too far,” Josh said knowingly. “Elozar always does have a way of turning up in the right place at the right time.”
“How can you even say that?” Omor asked incredulously. “If he was always in the right place, he would have been at The Edge when Hadoo attacked - he would have stopped this from happening!”
Josh flinched as Omor finished his rant, and the Centaur was suddenly ashamed of his outburst.
“I’m sorry,” he said sincerely. “I just can’t believe that Elozar allowed this to happen.”
“He didn’t allow it to happen,” Josh countered. “You and I both know this is why we need to find Sarah - fast. I’m hoping we find her when we run into Elozar, but I’m starting to doubt whether she didn’t get herself into just as much trouble as us today.”
Omor decided to start walking - there was no use continuing this conversation. He didn’t look back, but he heard Josh follow him, his shoes scraping against the hard trail below with each step. As Omor turned a corner, he collided with something that was making its way down the mountain range.
After he regained his footing and straightened up to his full height, he realized that he had in fact, quite literally, run into Elozar. The leader of ForeverLand appeared fully composed, yet Omor could see a flicker of fear in his eyes.
“He got through, didn’t he?” Elozar asked. Elozar, voice slightly trembling. Josh answered first. “Yes,” he said simply.
“Where is Sarah?” Elozar looked behind Omor and Josh, as if he was expecting the DualBender to appear right then and there. When he seemed to realize she was not with them, his frown deepened. “Follow me,” Elozar instructed, galloping up the path towards Cave #1. Josh and Elozar entered the cave first, and Omor followed, unsure of why they were there. When he was ready to voice his concern, he heard a soft cry come from the back of the cave, which made him hold back any sound. The girl’s cry echoed louder through the cave as Omor, Elozar, and Josh continued inside. Though it was pitch-black, and Omor couldn’t make out the shape huddled in a ball in the corner, he had no doubt that it was Sarah. What happened to her? Is she hurt?
Elozar cleared his throat, making enough noise for the girl to notice that she was no longer alone. “Who’s there!?” she called into the darkness. It was Elozar who spoke up, and when he did, it was with a father's concern for his child.
“Sarah, it’s me, Elozar. I’m with Josh and Omor. Please,” he begged, “tell us what happened.”
The next few seconds of silence passed like hours for Omor. Sarah was the key to saving ForeverLand - that was what Elozar had ingrained in them for the past year. If something was directing her away from the cause, they had to put a stop to it now. Finally, she broke the silence.
“You know why Hadoo is trying to destroy ForeverLand, don’t you?” It wasn’t a question; it was an accusation. Unsure of who was supposed to answer, Omor turned toward Elozar, though he was fairly certain his leader couldn’t detect his gaze. Suddenly it was light again - small flames had sprouted from the candles placed on the lanterns around Cave #1. Omor didn’t have time to question the sudden change, because all that registered was the look on Sarah’s face.
Though there were a few stray tears falling, her eyes were filled with rage. She knows, Omor realized at once. He turned back to Elozar, hoping that he had a plan to get them out of this.
“Yes, Sarah - there is a reason that Hadoo went bad, but it doesn’t justify his actions now”-
“What did you do to him?” She asked before Elozar could finish his sentence. “I saw him; I heard him. I don’t know everything, but I do know there’s more to the story than you shared when I got here.”
“Please,” Elozar tried, “let me explain.”
Sarah’s eyes were like lasers, focusing first on Elozar, but then quickly shifting over to Josh. “Did you know?” she asked. “Did you know that he was hiding something from me?”
Omor didn’t understand why Sarah was so angry with Josh at first, but then as he watched the boy’s face change, he knew - Josh and Sarah were more than just trainer and student. The emotion that seemed to pass between the two teens was stronger than any magic Omor had witnessed in a long time. Knowing this wasn’t his place, he started to step back, hoping to leave before they noticed him.
Then the laser gaze flew wildly to Omor. He stopped dead in his tracks, ready to take some of the blame for the situation, seeing as he was the only other one privy to all the past events.
But right when Sarah’s eyes met Omor’s, she lowered her gaze. “You all knew,” she mumbled. “I’m such an idiot.” She kicked the stone sitting by her foot, sending it flying toward the entrance of the cave. Omor watched as the girl turned to the back of the cave and ran. A portal appeared as she was fleeing and Sarah disappeared through it before they could stop her. She was angry- rightfully so after being lied to - but that didn’t change the fact that they had a mission.
“Find her,” Elozar said loudly, echoing through the cave. Omor and Josh both jumped as their leader galloped out of Cave #1, leaving them alone.
“What are we supposed to do now?” Josh cried. Omor wanted so badly to comfort the boy, but all he could say were the facts.
“We have to find her; we have to explain, and we have to bring her back before it’s too late.”
Things are moving along well with The Great Substack Story Challenge! Check out the table of contents on the Fictionista’s site, which lists all the newsletters/writers participating. If you want to catch up on Joey’s plight, click the link below: