Before you read this, know that the MC can travel between worlds. This is a first chapter and I am still working on the prologue.
Ronan watched in fascination as the toy soldiers marched in circles.
“How do I get them to work?” His eyes were still fixed on them.
I laughed. “It’s simple really you just call their name. It’s listed at their heels.” Ronan held one of them by its foot and called its name. Moments later it began to dance.
Meanwhile, Ronan’s older brother Finn around my age looked in the small hidden part of the shop containing items of the dark arts. As Ronan was distracted I hurried over to Finn and blew out the match he held at his fingertips.
“Hey! What was that for?” Finn snapped.
“This is an Aprindle you idiot. It sets every organ of the lighter on fire. So they would literally burn to death.” Fortunately Ronan was not the type to get offended so easily. He scowled and continued to look at the items.
“Of course I knew that! In fact I bet I know loads more about this stuff than you do. Father brought them home from the army. He refused to tell me where he got them but I reckon he gambled it with one of those ruthless merchants.” I sighed. Finn was always talking about his father’s adventures.
“Another time he was in Espirise face to face with the king. He was about to be thrown into the gallows when he took out one of his flasks and turned into the king himself. Since there couldn’t be two kings and that defied one of the laws the original king began to disappear, and father came home with bags of gold still dressed as a king. It gave mother a ghastly shock. He used a different potion to turn himself right again.” There was a silence as I wondered how Mr. Aarons could have gotten into enough trouble to involve a king’s confrontation.
I took out my hourglass to see how much time was left. Three quarters of the sand were done with. I would soon be traveling through the depths of the universe back to the horrid place I am forced to call home. I never considered my life here with Father and his shop a dream. It was more reality to me than Earth itself was.
“What are you always looking at that thing for?”
I quickly put it away and glared at Finn. He should know when to stick his nose out of these matters.
“Well, I think it’s more of an efficient way to tell time.” I said firmly.
“I bet you use it because you don’t even know how to tell time properly.”
“I do too! And is that why my father carries it around with him as well? It was a family heirloom so I can’t help using it sometimes.” This was true but it wasn’t given to me for the purpose I use it for now. As a kid I found the hourglass to be useless. Once father found out my secret of disappearing between worlds he bewitched the hourglass so it could tell the time I had left wherever I was. I used it in both homes.
“With your family of magicians, explorers and conartists, I doubt that heirloom is as insignificant as it looks. Let me have a look at it.”
“No. That’s ridiculous.” I gave him a dark look.
“Fine. Then I demand a price for it. I borrowed some of my dad’s gold last time he went to Espirise and I think we could make a fair deal. It’s worth loads here! You just have to exchange it with one of the merchants in town and-”
Before Finn could finish his sentence, Ms. Higgins burst through the door nearly tripping on the mat and out of breath.
“Fallon, I-I don’t know what happened. I was just talking to your father and he was telling me about how he just got another order of Zingley potions. He ran to the meadow to get one of the ingredients a-and I heard a scream! I know your father’s scream Fallon don’t kid me b-but I went to look for him and well he’s gone.” Mrs. Higgins held out his hourglass.
There had never been a great deal of chaos here. There were never any murders or kidnappings in my time. People who came to buy some of the dark items were merchants or powerful magicians. They had no use staying in our small, cramped town and usually fled to great capital cities. I learned to come to this world and recognize it as a safe place compared to Earth’s cruelty. This sudden fate of my father burst that dream of its bubble.
My father and shop-keeping was my world. He was one of the only figures in my life that offered comfort and love. Throughout the years he helped me find purpose of my own outside of everything. It was like being hit by a bullet at a hundred different angles. That’s the shock I felt rising by the minute.
I stood petrified and still for a while, helpless and unsure of what to do. With shaking hands my hands grasped the hourglass and I compared it with my own. His was out of time whilst mine had a few flecks of sand falling gracefully to the bottom.
I looked up to Finn and Mrs. Higgins’ distressed expressions and put a hand to my forehead saluting them with a forced smile. Without looking back I walked to the back of the shop and into the chest to travel away from the horrors that found my father.