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Author's note: This was a writing assignment in my 7th grade Writers Workshop class. I loved that class, but I thought it was sort of difficult to write.
“Bye Carter!” my best friend, Alyssa, called as she got on her school bus home.
“Bye Alyssa!” I called back.
I’m Carter Cast, but most of my friends call me C-C. Most everyone likes me at my school; I’m funny, kind, smart and beautiful.
My jet black hair falls in curls past my shoulders. My naturally red lips are kind of thick, but not Brat doll fat. My silver eyes can hide or portray my emotions and my pale skin was freckle and blemish free.
I was walking home from school, alone. It’s about a half-mile from my house to school (and vise-versa.) But I didn’t mind. I liked to walk; it gave me time to think about what ever.
I was walking past the park when I heard voices. Now I’m not usually the one to eavesdrop, but sometimes you can’t help it. I peeked through the bushes and saw two boys, around my age, standing under a tree talking.
“When are we goanna meet?” one asked.
“Tomorrow at noon.” The one to the left answered.
“1800s?” the first one asked.
“Like always!” the second boy answered. They shook hands and walked off.
That was strange; I thought, oh well, probably just a costume party or a stupid game. I kept walking down the street, and then I heard saw something else strange.
Two girls were standing on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. One of them was holding what I thought was a marble or bead. The other one was holding a watch talking to it.
The girl with the marble threw it on the ground and smoke flew up, when it cleared, one girl was gone! The other girl laughed and put away her watch. With another giggle, she ran off.
I quickly walked away, not sure why it bothered me so. As I went over what I had just seen, I thought, Probably just a childish magic trick. I tried to reassure myself, but I kept thinking it was something more.
When I got home, I locked my front door and ran up to my bedroom. I locked my bedroom door when I got in. I had a very simple room, nothing to spazy or crazy.
My room had grey walls, tan carpet, oak furniture and a queen sized bed with maroon comforter. It had a cat bed next to it on the floor where my cat would be if she slept during the day.
Just the thought of my cat made him trot into my bedroom through his cat door. My tabby cat, Prince, lazily walked in and hopped up onto my bed. I walked over and started petting him.
Prince purred and stretched against my finger tips. I moved my fingers to the side of his rib cage and he plopped down on my pillow.
I let him be, so I walked over to my desk to do my homework. I pulled my chair over and sat down. Prince, needing attention, walked under my chair and curled up in between my feet.
I had math, reading and an essay to finish on Benjamin Franklin. Ugh. I worked on (and finished) my math and reading by the time my mom got home from work.
My mom and I lived in a small home alone, I had no siblings and my dad died in a car crash eight years ago. I’m 16. My mom works as the marketing producer for McDonalds.
I knew my mom knew I was up here, so I didn’t bother to yell down. I finished re-reading the last chapter of my book and checking over my review questions. I packed up my stuff and went downstairs.
I found my mom cooking in the kitchen, making Hamburger Helper for dinner. She had her brown hair tied up in a bun and her glasses sat low on her thin nose. Her green eyes were fixed on the hamburger.
Her perfect body made her boring white blouse and red suit skirt look H-O-T hot! I even noticed that she was wearing her new 3 inch black heels, making her 8 inches taller than me.
I sat down at our small circular table and messed with the salt and pepper shakers. After a while, I got up and set the table for my mom.
It wasn’t hard; I only had to set two napkins and two sets of silverware. And then I got out two bowls for my mom to put the Hamburger Helper into.
Afterwards, I went to watch TV. I channel surfed for a while. I finally stopped on channel 136, which was showing Die Hard with a Vengeance. Channel 138 was having a “Movies That Don’t Suck” marathon.
I loved Die Hard with a Vengeance, I like action and cussing. But I really like Jeremy Irons (the bad guy) in the movie. I wasn’t really paying attention, but I could still say every line in the movie.
“Time for dinner, Carter!” my mom called. I turned off the TV and ran to the kitchen. I sat down and blew on my steaming bowl of cheesy noodles and beef.
We didn’t talk at all during dinner, except for asking for seconds and stuff. I ate three helpings (which I only did for meals like this) and then I cleared my plate.
After dinner, I went up to my bedroom, and I found Prince snoozing on my pillow. I sighed and lay down on my bed. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.
I was almost asleep when I heard my phone ringing my ringtone: From Yesterday by 30 Seconds to Mars. I sat up and rubbed my eyes while I answered.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Hey Carter, it Alyssa.” Alyssa’s too perky voice chirped.
“Oh hey!” I said. “What’s up?”
“Nothing much… Whatcha up to?” she practically sang.
“I was trying to sleep.” I said.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Alyssa said quickly.
“Don’t worry; I couldn’t get to sleep anyway.” I sighed.
“So…What are you doing over fall break?” she asked.
“I-D-K.” I said. “Swimming, movies, sleeping?”
“L-O-L.” Alyssa laughed into the phone. “Wanna hang out tomorrow? At the pool or something?”
“Sure, how bout the pool, tomorrow at 4?” I asked her.
“Sure.” She said. “Bye!”
“Bye.” I hung up. I put my phone on my nightstand and pushed Prince onto his cat bed. I got under the covers still in my clothes and looked at my clock; 7:30pm.
I sighed and put my arm over my eyes. I tossed and turned for a bit, but ended up falling asleep.
I woke up groggy and in a big poofy bed with blue sheets. I sat up and looked around; I was in a round room with red walls and gold stars. Across the room from me was a dresser; to my left was a wardrobe. To my right was a door. In between the dresser and the door was a desk.
Next to my bed was a nightstand with my phone and a clock. I got out of bed and went to the door; locked. I looked down at myself and saw I was still in my clothes from yesterday.
Prince crawled out from under the bed and ran over to me. I picked him up and scratched his head. I paced the room (although there wasn’t much to pace, small room).
I kept asking myself where we were, who took me, so many questions crowded my head. I was too deep in thought to notice that there was someone now in my room.
“Carter Cast.” One of the people said. I looked up and saw them; four people in cloaks, there was no hood and they had skull heads.
“Y-Yes?” I stammered.
“Do you know where you are?” they asked simultaneously.
“N-No.” I said.
“Very well, you are at The School.” One of them said.
“Where?” I asked, completely confused. Had my mom sent me to an overnight reformatory school? (I’m not that bad! Jeesh)
“The School is a place where we,” he gestured to the other cloaked people. “Train teenagers to be Travelers.”
“Travelers?” I asked.
“We will explain later.” One said. “But for now, get dressed; we will be back in 10 minutes.” They all turned and left the room.
I set Prince down on the bed and looked through the dresser and wardrobe. I pulled a jean mini skirt, white tights and a white tank top out of the dresser. I pulled a jean jacket and purple converse with orange laces out of the wardrobe.
I got dressed and brushed through my hair with the old style bristle brush on the nightstand. I put my cell phone in my jacket pocket and picked Prince up. I left and walked down the little hallway.
I found the four men-skeleton head people standing in the hall. They looked up at me, turned and walked away. I had to jog, disturbing Prince, to keep up with their fluid glide.
We took many secret passageways and lots of winding staircases on the way to wherever we were going. We came to a large metal door with lots of locks. The elders unlocked the door and stepped inside the room.
I followed them in and gaped at what I saw. Even though I was in an old, ancient castle place, this room was so modern. It had huge monitors and generators. There were so many things that I didn’t know what they were.
“Carter, the world you grew up in is not, was never, the only world in existence.” The men said.
“Here at The School, we train teenagers to travel from world to world, communicating and upholding peace.” One continued.
“There are two types of worlds.” The shortest one said. “Harvesting and Traveling. Harvesting worlds are normal worlds where we take people to be Travelers. Traveling worlds are where the Travelers, well, travel. They are the supernatural, magical worlds.”
“We chose you because you have a very unique ability that all Travelers need.” The oldest, most bony one said.
“What is that ability?” I asked.
“When you watch a movie, and then you go to bed, you can tweak the details in the story to fit yourself into a certain role. You love doing this, and you always have a background and what happens after.” The old one explained.
“So I’m not the only one who can do that?” I asked. All of my friends would think me weird if I told them I did that.
“Every Traveler needs to be able to do that.” The short one said. “Otherwise, they will have a hard time getting their parts straight.”
“And each Traveler has certain powers like enhanced senses; some stronger than others, agility and teleporting.” One said from the back of the room.
“But there are other powers that only some Travelers have.” The old one said.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“We are the mentors of The School, also known as Elders.” The tallest one said.
“What about my other friends? Are they Travelers?” I asked.
“No. They cannot put themselves into stories, they never have been able to.” The old one said.
“Oh…Ok…” I said.
“Before we get off track.” The small one piped in. “Carter shall need to take the test to determine her partner.”
“Ah…” the old one sighed. “Carter, you have a partner in The School, but you must take an exam to decide who that person will be.”
“And then at the end of your training, you will move into three new worlds to live in.” the short one said.
“Come and sit.” The tall one said. I walked forward and sat Prince down. I sat down at one of the desks and took the pen that they gave me. I looked down at the test and sighed.
The test was asking simple questions like: What is your favorite color? (Black, red, white, silver, purple and pink) and: What is your favorite country (Germany).
I took only a few minutes to take the three page “exam”. I gave the Elders my test and pen. They nodded and the small one took me back to my room.
“We will evaluate you exam and then take you to see your partner.” He said when we got to the room. I went in and lay down on my bed.
It felt like hours for the Elders to evaluate my exam. I had started to think that they had forgotten me. I was just starting to fall asleep when Prince meowed and woke me up.
I yawned and started pacing. I paced from the door to the wardrobe; Prince following behind me. After a while, Prince fell asleep in the middle of the room. So I walked around him in circles.
The Elders finally came in and motioned for me to follow them. I scooped up Prince and followed them to a cafeteria. When we got there, the Elders spoke in a loud voice. “Danny! James!” Two boys at opposite ends of the room stood up and came to the Elders.
We walked back to the high-tech room. I noticed that both Danny and James were taller than me, but other than that they were very different in appearance.
One boy was tan with short black hair and green eyes. He smiled a crooked smile showing off straight, white teeth. He was muscular and looked 17.
The other boy had blonde hair with red streaks. He was very pale with brown eyes. He wasn’t extremely muscular, but he had good build. He had a cute, but shy smile.
All three of us followed the Elders back into the tech room silently. The Elders closed the door and stood in front of us.
“Carter, come.” The older one said. I walked forward and turned around.
“This is James.” The short one said pointing to the tan, muscular one.
“And this is Danny.” The tall one gestured to the blonde boy.
“Hi Carter.” They both said.
“Hey.” I waved at them.
“One of these boys will be your partner.” The quieter one said. “But you musts choose which one.”
“How am I supposed to choose?” I asked.
“Use your instinct.” One said. “Just follow your gut.”
I sighed and closed my eyes. They had to be similar to me. I thought, but how similar? I opened my eyes and looked at them. Both smiling and nice. But I had to choose him.
“James.” I said. “I want James.”
James’ face lit up as he ran to hug me, but I saw Danny frown. I mouthed at him Sorry and he shrugged.
“Thank you Danny.” The old Elder said. “You may go.”
Danny trudged out of the room and closed the door behind him. James let me out of his hug, but draped his arm across my shoulder.
“Carter Cast, this is James Koreloh.” The small Elder said.
“Hey.” We both said at the same time and started to laugh.
“What do we do now?” I asked the Elders.
“You will start class on Monday.” The Elders said together. “For now you will get to know each other. James, would you show Carter around The School?”
“My pleasure.” He smiled. James took my hand and we walked into the hallway and out into The School.
“What day is it, James?” I asked.
“Saturday.” James said.
“Do all worlds have the same time and stuff?” I asked.
“Yep.” James said.
“I was supposed to go swimming with my friends today…” I said.
“Oh well, you can do loads of stuffs here.” James said.
“Yeah.” I said. James led me back to the cafeteria, then to the classrooms, then to the boys’ dorms and then to the girls’ dorms. He took me to room 666 and opened the door.
“This is your room.” James said.
“Really?” I asked. It was exactly like the room I had woken up in. Literally.
“Yep.” James said.
“Is that all?” I asked him.
“Nope, we still got the Entertainment Centre.” James pulled me down the hall like and eager two-year-old.
We came to a huge room with loads of couches and beanbags, TVs, computers, video games, swirly slides and a soda/slushy bar. I walked in and looked around. It was a-maz-ing!!! I don’t even think our arcade has that much stuff.
“What do you want to-” James started.
“SWIRLY SLIDE!!” I yelled. I ran to the ladder, climbed up and jumped in; I sped down so fast I didn’t even have time to time myself.
“I see you like swirly slides.” James laughed.
“Hecks yeah.” I said.
“Want to get on the TV-Computer?” James asked.
“Wireless keyboard?” I asked.
“You got it.” James said.
We got onto the TV-Comp, logged on to World 26 (my world) and started surfing the World Wide Web. We looked at a lot of fake celeb stuff, but ended up on YouTube.
We spent a lot of time on YouTube. But we just watched funny videos like ‘Is it a good idea to microwave this?’ or ‘Annoying Orange.’ We were laughing so hard when we logged off.
“What is your favorite movie?” James asked me.
“Die Hard series.” I said. “What world are you from?”
“World 26, like you.” James said. “If you could kiss any actor, who would you kiss?”
“Awkward.” I said. “But I have to say Josh Hutcherson or Jeremy Irons.”
“Ew… Jeremy Irons is so old!!” James laughed.
“Well, what actress would you kiss?” I asked.
“Selena Gomez or Keira Knightly.” James said matter-of-factly.
“Selena Gomez is a fake and Keira is old too.” I said.
“What ever, you’re just jealous.” James said.
“Why would I be jealous? They should be jealous of this!” I gestured to my perfect body.
“And you’re modest, too.” James teased sarcastically.
“What ever!” I threw a pillow at him.
A loud, alarm like bell rang and a huge wave of kids ran down the hallway, laughing and screaming. I knew lunch was over and was sorry that it was, I was hungry.
“Want some lunch?” James asked, reading my mind.
“But I thought the bell meant lunch was over.” I said.
“It does, but they keep the lunchroom open.” James pulled me to my feet and walked out of the room. I followed behind him, Prince followed me.
In the cafeteria, we both walked to one of the buffet-style counters and grabbed a tray. I got a pepperoni pizza and chocolate milk (chocolate!). James got a roll and orange juice.
We ate in the empty cafeteria, we just picked at our food really, I ate half of my pizza and James had the rest, along with his roll. After that we just sat there for a while.
After lunch, we went back to the girls’ dorm hallway. I walked down the hall looking at the numbers carved into the doors. I found mine and walked in.
My room was a bit bigger and had a laptop on the desk. In the back was another door with a robe hanging on it. I walked around and sat down on the bed.
James sat next to me and sighed. I looked at him; he looked tired and exhausted. I nudged him a bit and he looked at me.
“Why don’t you go to your room and rest?” I said.
“I might.” He shrugged.
“You should.” I said. “Just come get me when it’s dinner time.”
“’Kay.” He said. “See ya later.” He walked out of the room. Prince squeezed through the partially ajar door. I lay on my back and tried to fall asleep. Prince hopped up on the bed and walked all over my chest and stomach before settling on the part of my bed not occupied my pillow.
It felt like I had just closed my eyes when James shook me awake. I sat up and looked at him; he looked better, but not great. I rubbed my eyes and stood up.
We walked to the cafeteria in silence. There were three long lines of people getting dinner. James and I went to the shortest and grabbed a tray. Prince, startled by the crowd, jumped onto my back and dug her front paws into my jean jacket shoulder.
I petted his head as I got dinner. I got a hot dog, baked beans and a Diet Vanilla Coke (yum…). James got a cheeseburger and Pepsi (eh.)
I followed him to a small table near the stairs. There were two people sitting there; a short, white boy with red hair and freckles (ginger) and a black girl with blonde hair and purple eyes.
We sat down and James introduced us. He smiled at us and said. “Guys, this is Carter Cast.” I waved at the two kids.
“And Carter, this is Kevin.” James pointed to the ginger. “And Sarah.” He pointed to the blonde African.
“We’re partners!” Kevin said, he might be small, but his voice was nowhere near squeaky.
“Yeah.” Sarah nodded. “And currently going out. We’ve been here two weeks.”
“How long do you stay here?” I asked.
“Six weeks.” Kevin said.
“Uh…Carter?” Sarah said hesitantly.
“Yeah?” I asked.
“You got somethin’…” she pointed to her shoulder.
“Oh!” I said quickly. I pulled Prince into my lap. “This is my cat, Prince.”
“Oh cool!” Kevin said. “I wish I had a cat, but my parents were allergic.
“Does everyone have pets here?” I asked.
“Only some.” James said.
“So you turned Danny down?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah.” I said.
“I know Danny isn’t all that nice, but he is some fine looking man.” Sarah said breathlessly.
“Awkward…” James said.
“Danny’s been here a week.” Kevin said. “He already has a rep.”
“A rep for what?” I asked.
“Attitude.” James said simply.
“Here comes Mr. Attitude.” Kevin said. And sure enough, Danny came up, flanked by two burly Mexicans.
“Hey Carter.” He smiled.
“Hey Danny.” I said.
“So, I know we aren’t partners and all, but I just want you to know that I don’t want no hard feelings or nothing. Okay?”
“Got it Danny.” I said quickly, hoping he would leave.
“Cool!” he said. “And I was wondrin’ if we could, you know, hang out a bit after dinner. That cool wit you?”
“I already said I would hang with Sarah and Kevin, sorry.” I said.
“Oh.” He sounded stunned, like I had slapped him. “Oh, okay. See ya ‘round.”
“Okay. See ya.” I said. He turned to walk away and I finally relaxed.
“Danny has finally left the vicinity!” James said.
“You like him?” I asked Sarah.
“Yeah, why?” she sounded protective.
“He has such bad grammar!” I said. “He sounds like a hick!”
“Don’t hate him ‘cause you ain’t him, Carter!” Sarah laughed at me.
“Besides.” James cut in. “Hanging out with him is bad for your grammar, and your health.”
“Fer sure man!” Kevin agreed.
After dinner, we ate (drank) slushies and soda in the Entertainment Centre. We lounged on the couches and watched other kids play. We talked a lot, Sarah and I were both 16, Kevin was 15 and James was 17.
We sat on the couch and watched kids play Guitar Hero III, Halo and other stuff. I realized that most of the kids play almost all the games from my world. I thought about it for a bit, but then decided to let it go.
Sarah and Kevin left to play digital hearts on one of the TV-Comps. James turned to watch them from the couch and I started to focus on two stupid boys. They were fighting over a football. (Can’t one just get another, come on, IMATURE!)
Prince padded cautiously around the couch and I pulled him into my lap. I scratched his head and he began to purr. I smile and drank my coke/orange slushy mix.
James sighed and went over to settle Sarah and Kevin’s argument over the TV-Comp. I laughed at them quietly while Prince curled up in my lap.
Danny jumped over the back of the couch and sat next to me. Prince jumped up, arched his back and hissed loudly at Danny. I pulled him back and apologized to Danny.
“Hey Danny.” I said when Prince was back asleep.
“Hey Carter.” Danny smiled. James walked over and tried to smile. But his face turned serious quickly.
He addressed me like Danny wasn’t there. “The Elders need us.”
I nodded and said “Goodbye” to Danny. I picked up Prince and followed James out of the large and crowded room. When we were in the hallway, James turned to me and smirked.
“Danny likes you. Like, likes you.” James said.
“What ever.” I said. I smacked his shoulder playfully.
“What ever nothing, I think he’s goanna flirt with you.” James smacked my hand away.
“Why do the Elders need us?” I asked obviously changing the subject.
“They didn’t.” James said. I smiled at him and we walked down the hall.
When we started class on Monday, I felt totally freaked and nervous about the classes. But James calmed me down at breakfast. I avoided Danny all morning and was glad when the bell rang for our first class.
Our first class was History of the Traveler taught by some young, tall brunet. It was interesting because we sat at tables with a few other people instead of desks. We had the same teacher for all of our classes.
“Leonardo Di Vinci.” Our teacher wrote on the board. “Created a simpler version of this.” She held up a grey, metallic marble. “This allows Travelers to commute from world to world. It does not, however, allow Travelers to commute within the same world at once.”
We learned about a lot of famous artists’ designs for Travelers devises, most of which did not work because it did not contain one important item. Oxfamian: A powerful mineral that allows items or persons to travel across spectrum (fancy word for world areas) boundaries.
My next class was Technology of the Traveler we moved from our classroom to a large metal room. There were four items; a watch, a mirror and a pair of glasses. We settled around the watch’s podium and the teacher explained.
“The watch,” she started. “Allows the Traveler to communicate in three different ways.
“The red button allows said Traveler to talk only by voice, like a phone call. The black button allows the Traveler to text or e-mail another Traveler. And the Silver button allows the Traveler to have a voice communication with another Traveler, but it also shows an image of the other Travelers face.
“Each time you press one of the buttons.” She continued. “You will hear this.”
She pressed one of the buttons and the watch asked, “Name of Traveler please.”
“And then you say or type the name of the Traveler. And don’t worry about last names, the watch will know who you are talking about.” My teacher concluded.
We moved on to the mirror. She picked it up gently and showed it to us. She took a deep breath and said. “This is a very simple, but sometimes useful tool. It allows you to send an image of an item or person to another Traveler.
“Again, you need to press the button on the back,” she showed us a covered green button, “And you will need to say the name of the Traveler you are sending the picture to.”
“How does it work?” I asked.
“Well, you press the button, and it will call the other Traveler. When they pick up, you will see their face, like it was a reflection, then you can show them the item. Unfortunately, there is no sound with the mirror.” She set it down and moved to the last one, the glasses.
“The glasses are what you see in spy movies.” She laughed to herself. “They allow you to see beside/behind you. They also allow you to see things like updates by text message, they show up on the lenses, and when you are done, press the small red button on the left side and it will go away.
“Do you all understand?” she asked.
We nodded yes.
“Good. Over the next few weeks, we will learn how to use these tools so that when you all are true Travelers, you can survive in the three worlds you choose.”
Lunch was okay; I ate PB&Js, baby carrots, Gatorade and a “fun-sized” Twix. James, Sarah and Kevin were talking about God knows what. I wasn’t paying attention; I would sometimes catch stuff like “No way!” and “O-M-G!” or “To Die For!”
In our last class (Training) I learned how to teleport, communicate with the watch and other stuff and use my agility to get through obstacle courses. For teleporting, I stood in a glass box (yes, a real one) and concentrated on getting out. Then we would throw down one of the bead, marble things and a cloud of smoke would erupt.
I made it four out of the ten times I did it. The other times, I just made a lot of smoke and moved about an inch or so closer to the glass. James made it out six out of the ten. I felt kind of weak and stupid not being able to do this, but I was new.
At dinner, I didn’t eat much; I just played with my salad and sipped on my juice. James, Kevin and Sarah talked about their day and how well it went. I was so absent minded that at the end of dinner, Prince had eaten my roll.
Over the next 6 weeks, James and I learned a good chunk of the Traveler history, hoe to use the watch, mirror and glasses and how to teleport. We had half a week left and today was our final.
We had to go into a virtual world and use what we learned to escape. Sarah and Kevin had already graduated, so I didn’t expect it to be that long or hard.
James and I stood there, on the levitating platform in the middle of an abandoned warehouse. We jumped down and walked around. There was no one there, but we were on edge.
There was a loud CRACK! And a huge metal wall fell in between James and me. I ran to it and tried to bust it, but it didn’t crack at all. I thought for a second and then screamed, “JAMES!” my cry echoed through my part of the warehouse.
But I knew James didn’t hear me, because I couldn’t hear his calls. I paced for a bit and than snapped my fingers. I pulled my mirror out of my bag and called James.
He answered and I pointed to me. He made the “oaky” gesture and I pulled out a marble. He nodded and I hung up. I threw down the bead and the next thing I knew I was next to James.
We turned and walked toward the exit but a huge obstacle course popped up; it had spinning wheels, swinging wrecking balls and spike shooters. I gulped as James took off. He swung in between the balls and dodged the spikes, he landed on the other side and waved for me to come.
I took a few steps back and ran forward. I jumped off the spinning logs, used the wrecking balls to propel myself and barely missed the spikes. But I landed in one piece; on one hand, I twisted my arm and landed on my feet.
James and I walked toward the door and I kicked it open. Fresh air hit me like a sweet wave. I took a deep breath but stopped short when I noticed what was missing.
The Elders weren’t there…
We stood there, dumbfounded, why weren’t the Elders there? We passed, we did it! Why weren’t they there. I walked around and looked everywhere, but all there was, was an open prairie going for miles.
“Where are they?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” James said. “I thought they’d be here.”
“Wait! Did you see that?” I pointed off in the distance and I saw it again. A blue light orb. It bounced through the tall grass.
“What?” James asked. “I didn’t see a thing.”
“Come one! Follow me.” I started to wade through the tall and scratchy grass. James grabbed my wrist and pulled me back.
“What?” I asked him.
“We don’t know what that is…” he said. “I don’t think it’s good.”
“Just trust me…I feel like it’s going to lead us to the elders.” I said. “You trust me, right?”
“Of course!” he said. He let go of my wrist and followed me slowly through the grass. We found the light in a small clearing in the prairie.
“What now?” James asked.
“I don’t-” I started. The light orb got brighter and beeped. I looked at in and it turned into the watch. I pulled out my watch and nodded. The watch/orb thing turned silver. I pressed the button and the orb turned into Danny’s face.
“Name of Traveler, please.” The watch asked.
“Danny.” I said quietly.
It rung for a while and then he picked up.
“Hey Carter!” Danny said.
“Hey Danny.” James said.
“What can I do for you, Carter?” Danny said, ignoring James.
“We’re in our final, but we can’t find the Elders, how do we get to them?” I asked.
“Simple.” Danny said. “You teleport to them.”
“Oh, oaky. Thanks a bunch Danny.” I said. I hung up before he could go on to the “You owe me” blah, blah, blah shpeel.
We each took out a bead and thought; I need to get to the Elders. I threw my bead down and I nearly choked in the smoke (as I always do…). I landed on a glass floor. The Elders were across from us.
I took a step forward, but the glass cracked and threatened to break. I stepped back and the crack healed. I turned to James and worriedly asked, “What now?”
“I don’t know?” James asked. He was stiff and paler than usual. I looked around but there was nothing to hold on to.
“I got it!” I said.
“Tell me!” James demanded.
“Some Travelers have special abilities, right?” I asked.
“Yeah, so?” James asked, clearly not getting what I was saying.
“So maybe one of us can fly or float or something!” I said.
“I get it…” James mumbled. “But how would we know?”
“Do this…” I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I spread my feet shoulder length apart, put my hands at my side, palm faced down. I concentrated on flying, a majestic bird. I didn’t feel myself rise, but I heard James gasp.
I looked at him and gasped too. He was floating, flying! I ran quickly over to him, avoiding the large cracking sounds. I grabbed his wrist and he pulled me up. I wrapped my arm around his waist as he started to move slowly across the floor.
I closed my eyes and kept thinking; Just keep going….Just. Keep. Going.
“Are you talking?” James asked.
“No…” I said. “Why?”
“I can hear you inside my head…” James said slowly. “Oh My Goodness! You’re a telepath!”
“O-M-G!” I said as we landed on the opposite side of the floor, in front of the elders.
“You two have showed great power and skill.” They Elders said. “And you have discovered your special abilities.”
“So did we pass?” James asked nervously.
“For now.” The old Elder said. “But now you must face our King…” The Elders stepped aside and two double doors opened to a large, dark room.
I followed closely behind James as we walked through the doors and into the other room. The room was large with high ceilings. One wall was occupied my stairs that led up to a platform with a throne. On the throne was a pale, wrinkled blob. (Jaba the Hut, anyone?)
James and I walked up the stairs. I heard a meow and Prince materialized from the darkness. I picked him up and he purred. We continued to climb the stairs until we reached the top.
When we reached the top, I realized that the blob (Jaba the Hut) was actually a very large, malformed, hairless ape. He stirred in his (what I think was) sleep. He looked at us and smiled.
“James Koreloh.” He boomed. “Step forth.”
James shakily stepped forward and bowed a deep bow. “Yes?” he stuttered.
“In your final, you showed great skill in communicating with Carter as well as your new skill in levitation.” The king congratulated.
“Thank you sir.” James said, a bit less tense.
“But,” he said firmly. “You were hesitant to follow Carter, why?”
“I was hesitant because I did not trust the blue orb.” James said clearly. “I did not want to risk our safety.”
“Did you not trust her judgment?” the king asked.
“No sir.” James said quickly. “I did not want either of us to get hurt if the orb was bad.”
“Very well…” the king pondered something for a moment. “I hereby name you James Koreloh, Master Traveler and Levitator. Use your gifts wisely.”
“Thank you king.” James bowed and stepped back.
“Carter Cast. Step forth.” I stepped forward at his command and bowed.
“You showed excellent communication skills as well as courage and agility. Your quick thinking and trust made it possible to find the Elders.”
“Thanks.” I said. “I mean, thank you.”
“You are a natural leader, Carter, do not forget it.” The king said softly. “Your most powerful sense is the sense of feeling. You sensed something odd with the girls walking home from school.
“As well as you felt a gut feeling about James and the Orb. Always trust your gut, and you will get there in the end.”
“I will sir.” I said.
“I hereby name you Carter Cast, Master Traveler and Telepath.” He smiled at both of us and then said. “Now go choose your worlds. And good luck!”
Back at The School, we looked at a whole bunch of (only 128) worlds. James and I decided to share 2 out of the 3 worlds and have 1 to ourselves. It took a while to decide, but in the end, we were happy.
We were sharing a 1700s world in Europe and a 1982 world in New York. We would be boyfriend and girlfriend in each world and live alone in a small house. We were still figuring out the back-story a bit.
I was having a 2010 Massachusetts world in a small town as a book-worm, shy girl (whoopee) I would live with my mom and dad who worked at the post office. I would be single and only have Prince as my pet.
James was going to have a 1945 Post-WW2 world. He would be a young soldier who survived, but lost his dad and brother in the war (sad life, kid). He would live alone and work in a factory.
We packed our things and said our goodbyes to everyone, even the Elders. We said our second goodbyes and then left for our new lives.
Our new lives, our new futures. As Travelers.