Chapter 2 Part 1
Hi Everyone! Here’s the first part of Chapter 2 of Saving Foreverland. I decided to keep the posts shorter since it seems like the full chapter could be a little overwhelming.
If you didn’t get a chance to read Chapter 1 last week, check it out here:
Chapter 1: The Day She Left
Estimated time to read: 7 minutes
Sarah’s parents left her field of vision as she walked through the hole in the wall.
Elozar galloped through it - he was on a mission and nothing could stop him.
“Sarah, follow me quickly,” he said.
She picked up the pace and began to run after the mysterious Centaur. Sarah had nothing with her - only the clothes she was wearing. She didn’t know how long she would be gone - would she ever return to Leisata? Would she ever see her parents again? There were too many questions to even think through or voice at that moment, so Sarah just continued to run. She followed Elozar down the winding tunnel until they reached another clearing.
“Stand back,” Elozar instructed, holding his arm up as a barrier.
Then, he looked as if he was concentrating on something very difficult. Maybe he’s a timebender too, Sarah thought, wondering what would happen. But she wasn’t expecting what came next.
Out of nowhere, a swirling patch of rainbow light appeared on the wall before them, right where Elozar had been staring moments ago.
“This is the way to ForeverLand,” he said. “Unlike you, I am not a timebender, but I possess a different bending ability - I am a spacebender.”
“A what?” Sarah asked, confused. “I thought this was a land for timebending?”
“ForeverLand is not only for timebenders,” Elozar explained quickly. “Centaurs, like myself, are often spacebenders, and we also reside in ForeverLand. Mainly, we make portals between worlds. And the timebenders and spacebenders are working together towards a common goal, which I will have to explain to you when we reach our destination. I don’t want to spend any more time in Leisata.”
Elozar took a step towards the portal, turned back to face Sarah, and said, “Just follow me. You just have to walk right through the light, and you will be transported to ForeverLand.”
Sarah seemed to be rooted where she was standing, her legs were a mixture of jello and cement. Elozar waved her forward encouragingly - his eyes forcing her to trust him. And so she walked through the wall - or more aptly - through the portal, her eyes squeezed shut as she passed through to ForeverLand.
As she passed through the portal, she was overcome by a burning sensation - not painful exactly, but more of a dull burst of heat all over her body. She was being wrapped in a blanket - the world around her was shrinking, encasing her body in the lack of space. All the while, she kept her eyes closed. She didn’t want to see what was going on yet. Though she was curious, the fear of the unknown was even stronger.
Then all of a sudden, it was as if Sarah was dropped from 10 feet above the ground. She landed softly, somehow, but when she opened her eyes, she was shocked to see that she was standing on what appeared to be a giant rocky mountain.
She frantically searched for Elozar - the only being she knew in ForeverLand. As she turned in circles, taking in her surroundings, she noticed that she only saw teenagers around, just about her age. There were no adults or younger children anywhere to be seen. However, she did notice a pack of three Centaurs walking into a cave to her right. They were at the bottom of the mountain. She almost forgot what she was looking for, but then Elozar’s hand was on her shoulder.
“We have arrived,” he said, gesturing to the stone mountain range that made up ForeverLand.
“This is ForeverLand?” Sarah asked, in disbelief. “But it just looks like a bunch of rocky mountains.”
“I should start at the beginning,” Elozar said. “Walk with me and I will explain more to you about ForeverLand and the magic here.”
Sarah nodded and followed Elozar as he walked along the trail that went around the mountain, taking them up higher and higher by the minute. They walked in silence until they broke away from the crowd of teens that had been standing at the bottom of the mountain where they initially landed.
“Foreverland is its own world - a magical world. The only way to get here is by portaling like we just did. That is how I first arrived in ForeverLand. One hundred years ago, the founder of the world, Anna, portaled to my own world and invited all the Spacebenders to join her here. It was designed to be a sanctuary for benders, like Anna, myself, and now you.”
“What do you mean, ‘magical’? There is no such thing as magic!” Sarah assured him.
Elozar chuckled. “I know that is what you have been taught your whole life. I know that is what the Chiefs of Leisata have ingrained in you - but that is a lie,” Elozar said.
“But what does that have to do with me? Why does this world even exist?”
“As I said, ForeverLand was designed to be a sanctuary for magical beings, like timebenders and spacebenders. The founder of ForeverLand, Anna, was actually a dualbender, meaning she could bend both space and time. She discovered her powers in Leisata right about 100 years ago. Up until then, there had been other timebenders in Leisata but your government - the line of Chiefs - would capture them to get rid of all magic from the world. However, when they captured Anna, she was put in prison, where she realized she could also bend space. She unintentionally portaled here, and the rest is history.”
“Ok,” Sarah began, “that explains how and why ForeverLand was founded, but what has happened over the past 100 years?”
“Well, over the years, Anna learned to sense magic in Leisata, from ForeverLand. She worked with me, to build a signal system here to alert her when a new bender was born in Leisata so that she could travel back there and save them from the Chiefs. It all went fairly well until Anna was lost. She went back to Leisata one day to gather more timebenders, and then she was supposed to experiment with spacebending to find other worlds with magic. She was going to recruit others to join us in ForeverLand - but she never returned. Since then, I have governed ForeverLand and served as the messenger to retrieve new timebenders and recruit spacebenders from my homeland to join us here.” He paused. “ I understand this is a lot to take in, but unfortunately, this isn’t even the most important part about why you’re here. I will save our mission for when we arrive at your new home. But I do want to give you a little more information about how ForeverLand works.”
Sarah continued to walk in Elozar’s trail. They were getting higher up the mountain now - the path was narrowing and they were walking extremely close to the edge. Elozar stopped and faced Sarah. He held up one finger to begin his tale.
“First, time stops in ForeverLand— ”
“How can time stop?” Sarah interjected.
“Basically, when Anna discovered ForeverLand, it was just a giant rock. She noticed that when she stayed here, no matter how long, she wouldn’t age. That’s why you saw everyone down there was right about your age - 15 is the age at which we collect the benders from Leisata and bring them here to safety.”
Elozar held two fingers up. “Second, there were no other living things here - no plants, no animals, just the timebenders and spacebenders. This changed when the Spacebenders began to forage and the Timebenders worked to make new things grow here, despite no time passing. The only way time continues here is through the power of all the timebenders.”
“That’s impossible,” Sarah said automatically.
“According to what you’ve been taught, it’s impossible, but according to the truth, it is not,” he said firmly.
“Anyway,” he continued, “as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, the benders live in caves on this mountain range.”
“But why? If you all have magical powers, why not make a nicer place to live?”
“That is not our way,” Elozar tried to explain. “We only use our magic for what is necessary. This mountain range suffices as our home, and therefore we do not use spacebending to enhance it.”
“Now,” he mumbled, “if you’ll let me continue?”
“Of yes, of course,” Sarah said apologetically.
“Because all the benders were taken from other worlds, they are paired with an adopted family and a lead trainer to help them harness their powers,” Elozar stated matter-of-factly.
“So, am I getting an adopted family and a trainer?” Sarah asked, her voice shaking.
Elozar nodded, his face stoic.
There was so much information to take in. Sarah’s head felt like it would explode before her mind could comprehend what she just heard. Then the questions started popping up. “But how do timebending and spacebending work, Elozar?”
Elozar waved her forward, as he continued to walk up the trail. “Let’s walk and talk,” he instructed. Sarah nodded.
“Regarding timebending, you saw what you could do back in Leisata, but I suppose I need to explain more of the mechanics…”
Their trail was nearly flat now - they were almost at the top. Sarah caught a glimpse of the peak of the mountain, probably only 50 feet away. The last cave was coming up on the left, but Elozar still had more to explain.
“Timebenders do not travel in time. They - you - adjust the speed and experience of time, speeding it up, slowing it down. But the powers act in a vacuum, meaning they affect only the target. For instance, when we were in Leisata, the target of your powers was the egg, and therefore only the egg experienced the time bend, but you also can broaden your target depending on your intentions,” Elozar explained carefully, though not in a condescending way.
“Ok, so what about the spacebenders?” Sarah asked immediately.
“As I explained earlier, Centaurs are often spacebenders. I was the first spacebender brought to ForeverLand, 50 years ago, but my homeland is Tupia, another magical world inhabited only by Centaurs. We develop our powers in adulthood - typically spacebending, but some have the power of invisibility or telepathy. Spacebenders create portals between worlds, which I already demonstrated, but we can also create or remove space. Our role here is to retrieve the new timebenders from Leisata. Any other questions?”
“Umm…what about this ‘dualbending’ thing?” Sarah asked after some thought.
“Ahh, I’m glad you asked about that. Anna, the founder of ForeverLand, was a dualbender, meaning she had two bending abilities. She could bend time and space. Since then, there has only been one other dualbender in ForeverLand.”
But before Elozar could say any more, they had reached the opening to the cave that had to be their destination.
“The rest of the story, I must share after we have made proper introductions,” he stated firmly.
What did you think? Be brutally honest because I’m always looking for ways to build on my stories.
If you think you want to read more, make sure you look out part two on Friday at 5pm EST.
In the meantime, check out this week’s featured blog for more content:
Wendiann Alfieri writes all sorts of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She’s published two poetry books - "Stream of my Reality" and "Almost".