Chapter 7 Part 2
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 7 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:
Elozar looked at Josh, Frank, and Amanda and nodded seriously. Josh stepped back, and Amanda and Frank approached their daughter gently.
“Sweetie,” Frank said. “Mom and I are going to leave you. We’re going to go somewhere safe - safe from The Chiefs of Leisata.”
“But,” Amanda added, “we will be able to see you if you truly need us. And we hope to visit you in ForeverLand when the final mission is completed.”
Sarah looked from one to the other in confusion. She knew about the mission to stop Hadoo, but she didn’t understand where her parents were going or when she would see them again. Although, she hadn’t really thought she would be able to see them again when she left Leisata the first time, so the promise that they would be reunited filled her with hope. She had to be brave. She had to do everything she could to save ForeverLand. She didn’t want others like her - others with powers - to suffer the wrath of the Chiefs. There had to be a safe haven for people with magical abilities. What was the alternative? Obviously, the perfect solution would be to allow benders to live in harmony with nonmagical beings in Leisata, but until they could overpower the Chiefs, that wasn’t an option. So, for now, as Sarah saw it, they had to protect the place where the benders could hide. And if she could play a major role in the protection of ForeverLand, she would certainly accept that responsibility.
Sarah hadn’t realized she was just standing still in silence as she considered everything. Then she saw that the others were staring at her, obviously waiting to hear what she would say.
Sarah lifted her chin up, an attempt at appearing confident. When she finally spoke, no one, not even Sarah, knew what she would say.
She looked at all her companions in turn and said, “I trust you. Let’s go.”
She could see their eyes light up. It was like they didn’t expect her to agree to the plan, but they were so happy that she did. Elozar was the first to speak.
“We need to move quickly. The Chiefs will realize we are here soon. But first…”
Elozar walked over to the corner of the room. “But first,” he said. “You must know what the Chiefs have planned for any bender that they find.”
He reached over the desk and picked up a piece of paper. Sarah didn’t know what it was, but she assumed it must explain something.
“This,” Elozar said, “is the Chiefs’ creation. Their creation to destroy all magical beings.” He said.
Sarah gasped, but no one else seemed to notice. They must already know,
Elozar looked only at Sarah. “The Chiefs have developed a new technology. Something that can destroy all magical beings. They call it, the xMachina.”
Sarah stared at Elozar, still unsure about the severity of the moment. But when she saw his eyes go black and his mouth turn to a grimace, she knew this was a dire situation.
“What will the xMachina do?” Sarah asked, expecting the worst.
Elozar breathed in deeply, preparing himself for what he was about to say. “The xMachina, is a tool that the Chiefs have designed that will absorb magical powers and kill the being in which those powers originally inhabited.” He paused when he saw Sarah’s face go blank. “Essentially, The Chiefs will take away any magical powers and store them for his own use, and at the same time, kill the once magical being.”
“But what do they want to do with the powers?” Sarah asked, frightened. Elozar hesitated, and then he said, “That, we do not know…yet. But we
hope to find out soon. And we are assuming that whatever The Chiefs are plotting cannot be good for the citizens of Leisata, so we need to stop them!”
Sarah was taken aback. Her eyes were wide with fear. Would Elozar become violent? Would he force her to do something that she didn’t want to do?
Elozar regained his composure. His eyes were soft once again, friendly even. “I apologize,” he said. Then he walked to the wall and at once a portal appeared. “It is time for us to go,” he said, looking at Josh and Sarah.
“But what about my mom and dad?” Sarah asked frantically.
“I will take them where they need to go. Do not worry. They will be safe.”
Amanda and Frank looked calm, serene, after Elozar made his announcement. They both smiled at Sarah and Amanda said, “Goodbye, sweetheart.”
And then Frank added, “We’ll see you soon!”
And that was it. Josh grabbed Sarah’s left arm and dragged her through the portal before she could even realize what was happening. There was the rush of a burning sensation, much like the other two times that Sarah portaled, but it was over in an instant. And then, as she looked around, she realized she had returned to ForeverLand. But where are Josh and Elozar? She wondered.
She looked left, right, up, down, as fast as she could, searching every corner of her field of vision for her companions, but they were nowhere in sight.
Sarah was in cave #13, but she was all alone. “Elozar! Josh?”
It was pitch black in the cave. Sarah’s voice echoed as she continued to call out for her trainer and her mentor. She could hear her own footsteps against the rock below, the only sound she could pick up. Sarah, though nervous, determinedly walked to where she supposed the entrance was to the cave, continuing straight and then to the left when she believed she had reached the last turn.
Then, Sarah saw the moon shining in the dark sky. She guessed it was the middle of the night, though that still wouldn’t explain where everyone else was. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, no stars, nothing other than the bright, white sphere contrasting against the velvety black. It was almost peaceful, Sarah thought, if only she wasn’t worried about where everyone was.
Where were Josh and Elozar? Josh had pulled Sarah through the portal himself - he couldn’t be far. She decided to follow the path down to the bottom of the mountain range. Not another soul on the path, she tread undeterred by anything else. But then she began to hear the voices.
Soft at first, like a whisper, but somehow carrying from wherever the sound originated, Sarah stopped dead in her tracks as she began to comprehend what the voices were saying.
“She’s not ready!”
Sarah recognized the far away yell - she would know his voice anywhere. “We have no more time,” Elozar replied calmly.
Sarah followed Josh and Elozar’s voices to the back of cave #1 at the bottom of the mountain range. She didn’t want to be noticed yet, so she tried to remain silent as she crept along the side of the cave wall in the dark, pressing her back flat against the stone along the bend, hoping that neither Josh nor Elozar would be privy to her presence.
“What am I supposed to tell her?” Josh asked.
“The truth…that she is at the forefront of the fight against Hadoo - that she needs to start using her powers.”
“She’s barely been trained.” Josh started to say, but Elozar cut him off. “Let’s stop talking about Sarah like she can’t hear us,” he said knowingly.
“Sarah? Why don’t you come in here and join the conversation? You deserve to know what you have to do.”
Sarah sighed. Of course, Elozar would somehow know she was hiding. She waited a minute to decide whether she should reveal herself, and then figured there wasn’t really another option, so she stepped into the light of the lantern, in the center of the cave. She was standing between her trainer and her mentor, eyes wide, teeth chattering, anxiously awaiting her fate.
Elozar was looming right above her, and Sarah flinched, expecting to experience his wrath once more, but what followed was the gentleness of a father figure. Placing both hands on Sarah’s shoulders, Elozar looked into her eyes with what could only be described as awe.
“You,” he said seriously, “are a powerful bender - a dualbender no less! And it is time that you joined the ranks who guard the Edge of ForeverLand.” He paused when Sarah opened her mouth to speak.
“As of today, you have been promoted to a lead Protector,” Elozar stated
before the girl could reply. “Josh will explain everything tomorrow. But for now, you will go back to your cave and sleep. You’ll need your strength for your first day of work tomorrow.”
Josh cleared his throat suddenly, and Sarah almost jumped, completely forgetting that he was there. He reached out his hand towards Sarah, and without hesitation, she took it, smiling wide, for once, feeling proud of herself. She didn’t know what tomorrow would have in store for her, but for tonight, she could at least feel like she accomplished something worthwhile.
They began to walk along the path, not another soul outside their cave in ForeverLand this late at night. Sarah looked up and immediately noticed how bright the stars were. She stopped to admire the night sky and it took Josh a few steps to realize Sarah was no longer following him. Then he stopped, and as if he could read her mind, he explained. “The stars, the moons, nature - they all know when times are changing. They foresee the challenges we will face shortly, and they are here to guide us.” Then Josh stepped closer to Sarah and took her other hand, looking directly into her eyes.
Sarah was entranced. Time stopped, or at least that’s how Sarah experienced the moment. She knew what it felt like to stop time when she was intentionally bending, but this was completely different, yet somehow the same. Nothing around her existed other than Josh. It was just the two of them.
He didn’t have to say anything; Sarah could feel the connection between them in that moment - like she couldn’t move, couldn’t look away. Just when she was about to break the growing silence, Josh leaned in, ran his hand through her hair, and kissed her. It was gentle, innocent, and Sarah had every opportunity to pull away, but instead, she folded her hands behind Josh’s neck and let her body take over.
Sarah could feel the adrenaline pumping. What if someone saw them?
What if Elozar saw them?
She tried to separate her lips from his, ready to voice her fears, when Josh spoke first.
“Let’s go somewhere else.” Sarah nodded and silently followed Josh to a small corner between two caves. The space was secluded enough to give them their privacy, but also close enough to their home cave to ensure they wouldn’t take things too far - Ava and Peter were right inside Cave #13, a mere 20 feet away. Like two average teenagers trying to pull one over on their parents, Sarah and Josh felt unstoppable.
In their little stone corner, it was dark and it was quiet, but Sarah could hear Josh’s soft breathing right in front of her. She didn’t need to see him - she knew he was there, and she knew what she wanted to do. Heart racing faster than she thought was possible, Sarah tried to speak.
“Josh?” she whispered.
“Shhhh,” he said, placing his hands back on her shoulders, grounding her, and then he pulled her close, kissing her more forcefully, passionately.
This has to be a dream, Sarah thought. But then, she let go of the doubt and explored Josh’s mouth with her own, as if she couldn’t breathe without him. Josh’s hands ran through Sarah’s hair, down her back and landed right around her waist. I feel safe, Sarah thought, grateful for this moment that was completely separate from the dangerous journey they were both embarking on. It was like Hadoo didn’t exist. There was no threat to ForeverLand tonight- only Josh and Sarah, carefree and full of desire.
She didn’t know how long they continued kissing, but eventually Sarah pulled away. Smiling, she put her hands on the front of Josh’s shirt, holding him at bay. She saw the hunger in his eyes, and though it excited her, she knew she needed to set some limits tonight.
“I think it’s time for us to turn it,” she whispered. Josh’s face fell, but then he nodded. Sarah appreciated that he didn’t try to convince her to stay, though he did lean in for one more light kiss. “Goodnight Sarah.”
And so, the two benders walked back over to Cave #13, parting ways when they reached their own room. Sarah slid her door closed and fell back onto her bed. Wow. She thought. Before she could think any more about the events of the night, she drifted off to sleep.
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