Prologue

Prologue

A Chapter by Kerri Hart
"

The First of Stephanie's Travels

"

The first time I travelled I was 10. I had been fighting with my mom. That's not important; of course, it was just a normal fight between mother and daughter. It's the result that was important.

 Okay, story, back to the story Steph.  After the fight I had fallen to onto my bed. It was themed, then. I had been going through my "moon faze." The walls were dark blue, covered with swirls of light, and stars, with one big moon hanging over my bed.

 I remember hitting my head on the bed posts when I threw myself onto the pillows. I kicked around a bit, yelled about how I deserved more respect, and how I wished I were anywhere but there.

 Eventually, the screaming wore me out, and I fell into nothingness. I was never one for sleep. It seemed to evade me no matter how hard I tried. Doctors evaluated me, and came to the conclusion of Insomnia, as expected. But it wasn't insomnia, it was never that I couldn't sleep, just that my body never reached that place of peace, of happiness, of complete bliss. My body, conscience, mind, soul, we just sort of hovered in-between the lines.

 Even worse, the lines allowed me to escape bliss, but made me endure nightmares. But when I told my mother what my nightmares were of, she looked at me like I was crazy. So I stopped telling, kept myself from screaming.

 But the nightmares, they were horrible. It was so hard to wake myself up. I would just fall into... Fear. I can't think, can't breathe, can't feel, nothing but total and complete fear. Fear, and hatred. Such a strong feeling of hatred. So much hate, such strong feelings.

 I feel like I'm Pandora, and I just opened the box. All those awful feelings, attacking me, flooding me, filling my ears, my nose, my mouth, with one exception, from the story, there's no hope.

 That night, as usual, my body transported, but I didn't reach bliss. The bliss talked about in books, movies, talk shows. Instead I reached a different land. It was so subtle, so unnoticeable that my mind dismissed it. But my body didn't.

 It started with his voice. One word, one name, mine.

 "Steph." His voice was young, he was just a child, like me. "Steph?" Part of my mind couldn't help but register the voice. But I forced myself to ignore it. Maybe if I ignored it, the nightmare would go away, vanish, and leave me alone, just this once. Maybe, just maybe, I could sleep normally. If I had been awake I would have laughed at the thought.

 But then he grabbed me. He grabbed me. And it wasn't fake. It was real. I could feel his calloused hands brushing the bare flesh, exposed on my shoulders from my nightgown. His breath fluttered over my face as he grabbed my shoulders in a hard grip, and shook me making my neck thrash. And he yelled, he yelled loud, so loud, right in my ear. "Stephanie!"

 And it was his touch, his grip, that sent a shock through me.  And too this day I know it was his touch that brought me to his world. Completed the "submergence" as he called it. Just his touch, such a simple thing.

 His touch brought me alive, and I opened my eyes to stare into his sparkling green ones, hovered just over my face.

 I remember it so well. His eyes had crinkled at the corners, the sparkle growing when he saw my eyes open. He had gotten up from over me, sitting back on his heels, grinning like an idiot. He stood up quickly, and grabbed my hand, pulling me up with him in the process.

 I had immediately backed away from him, fearful of this new place, new boy, new world. It didn't make sense at the time. I had achieved some sort of world travel, through a dream. That I knew. That was all I knew. But I was sure of it, I was in a new world. My mind didn't want to believe it. But deep down, deep in the pit of my heart, I knew it was real. I was Dorothy, confused, lost, scared. And I most definitely wasn't in Kansas anymore.

 I faintly remember thinking,"Shouldn't I be talking to a dog?" Before I passed out.

                                 •

 I woke up in a meadow. I was able to establish that within seconds. It was daylight, the grass was tickling my toes, and bare legs and arms. But it was special, softer, lusher. I found myself stroking the ground, the earth, the grass. I allowed my eyes to wander, as I stroked. I was in a meadow, this much I was sure of. It was dotted with flowers, pink, yellow, blue, purple. The colors were vibrant, popping on the green back-round. It was surrounded by trees. So many trees. A faint smell of pine filled my nose, but the trees, they weren't pine. They were fluffier, less sharp looking. I stumble to my feet, and trip over to one. I lay my hand upon the bark, and close my eyes.

 "They're alive, you know."

 I spun around, the surprise making my mouth turn into a small "o." And there he was.

 "Who're you?" I crossed my arms across my chest, trying to seem less scared than I was.

 "If you listen enough, they speak to you." His voice was so calm, unglazed by me.

 And I can't help but listen. I c**k my head into the wind, "Stephanie." So beautiful. The sound of wind chimes swaying in the breeze, rain dropping on a pond, a little girl humming, under a rainbow.

 "They know my name!" The "O" grew larger.

 "Of course! We've been waiting for you."

 "What?" I back away,"What do you mean? How did you know I was coming?"

 "I'm not allowed to tell you that, Steph."

 "Well who are you?  Surely you can tell me your name."

 He looks surprised,"Right, of course. My name." He extends a hand,"Hunter Borak! Ten years old."

 "Why are you waiting for me if you're ten?"

 "I don't know that much..." He gives me a confused look.

 He shrugs,"They said I'm your protector." He makes air quotes around the word.

 "Them?"

 "All in good time Steph."

“Well why are you so… smart.”

“Well, I’ve been prepared for this all my life, waiting for you. I’m happy you’re finally here, though. I’ve been so bored.”

 I lean back on the tree and slide down the trunk. Someone had been waiting. For me. He crosses the meadow towards me. As he neared I got a better view of him. His hair is a dar bron, that seems togo on forever. It's springing out from his a black ball cap, and when he smiles he has dimples. He has a splash of freckles across his nose and big ears poking out from the rim of his hat, dwarfing his head.

 He finally gets to my body sprawled out, and offers his hand to me. I curl my knees to my chest and glare at it. I sling my arms over my knees and tilt my head up to peer at him, as he curls his hand into a limp fist at his side. He flops in front of me, onto his stomach.

 "Where am I?" I demanded.

 Hunter gave me a quizzical look,"What? You don't know?"

 And odd as it seemed then, something in me did  know where I was. But I refused to admit it. Instead I simply stared at Hunter Borak, putting on my stupidest face, with my chin jutted out.

 And yet again, he seems unmoved by my resistance. He smiles, again,"You're in EtherWise."

                                  •

 That was my first memory of EtherWise. Eventually I learned more. I was able to travel between Earth and EtherWise during my sleep. Hunter said it's because I am a "natural born."  According to him, this meant I was born in EtherWise, but he refused to tell me why I was taken to earth. He always just closed up, changed the subject. But because I was natural, I had all the "perks."

 "Every Ether, a girl member of this world, has their own ability." He had patiently explained one time. "Because you're a natural born, yours get to come naturally. But males, called Wises,  get enhanced strengths. Me, for example. I'm extremely fast, and in-wiserly strong."

 "But how do I know what I can do?" I had whined in exasperation. I was 11 at this point, and completely irritated that I was still only just learning about this new world.

 Hunter smiles, and presses a cool piece of metal into my hand. When I look down I realized that it was a dagger, it was small, I was able to close my fist around it without any trouble, or danger of hurting myself.

 "Hunt," I whined again,"What am I going to do with this?"

 Hunter gave me a lopsided grin. "Throw it."

 I rubbed my forefinger against the butt of the knife. This was crazy, but a part of me was curious. And plus, Hunter never gives up, on anything.

 I heave a sigh,"At what?"

 Hunter points at a bug, flying from flower from flower. I laugh at him,"Seriously?"

 He grins largely,"Through the wing!"

 I shake my head and take aim. I arch my back and throw the n=knife at the bug, I don’t even graze the dumb thing. Hunter huffs at me.

 "No no no! You're doing it wrong! You have to imagine what you want to do. You have to... Enunciate your thoughts into your actions. Really want it."

 I huff back at him, and glare. But a part of me was itching, itching to do something. Not throw the knife, but to feel it, to control it.

 Slowly, to Hunter's complete annoyance, I slid my two feet together, and grabbed the handle of the knife. I rubbed my thumb over the design on the handle, memorizing every groove, ridge, and bump. I had to figure out this want before I feel better. It was itching scratching, tearing itself at my stomach, trying trying trying  to claw itself out. I turned to Hunter desperately, "I don't get it."

 He smiled,"The pit of your stomach?"

 I nod my head with wide eyes.

 He smiled largely,"That's the same with me. I was only 8 then...."

 He drew the word out.

 "Focus on it. And relax. Just let it consume you, control you."

 "Oh jeez, Hunter. You sound ridiculous."

 "Just do it." He sounds exasperated.

 I rolled my eyes at him, but the itching persisted, so I closed my eyes.

 I started at my toes. Imagine that the itching was just a ball of energy and it was slowly filling my body. As it came up it soothed my muscles, relaxed them, and by the time it reached the top of my head, I was completely lax.

 I had felt Hunter's presence beside me, but didn't move. Quietly he murmured into my ear,"Let it guide you." Quieter still, as to avoid disturbing me,"Allow it to take over your senses. Your ability is a part of your body, it won't hurt you, only help you. It will help."

 And I felt his presence drift backwards.  But I barely register his absence. My body is tingling, and I'm so peaceful. All I feel, sense, smell are the trees around me, the breeze swaying my hair, the grass tickling my toes. I can't help but wonder if this is what it's like to sleep peacefully. If you're sent to a world, a place of happiness, peace, warmth. I can't help but wonder. What if... What if... What if... What if you're transported every night to a new world, a new place. A place where chocolate rains from the sky, and the world is flat. And another where green people roam the planet, and the clouds are made from cotton candy. But unlike me, you don't get to stay. At the end of the night you go home.

 The tingling intensifies and I'm warm so, so warm. If I get any warmer I'm going to be too warm. I'm going to burn up. Burn burn burn. But then, it ended. And a strange sharpness took its place. Everything around me was sharper. I could see every blade of grass sticking up from the soil they were sewed in. I could trace the out line of every leaf of every tree and lining in every petal. It allowed me to feel the breeze slinking through my hair and finger, that clutched the blade. It was raising in the air, as if someone were pulling it up, propping it up. And too my great astonishment, my fingers were peeled off of the knife.

 And just like that, I dropped it. I dropped the knife, but as it plummeted to the earth, the itching at the bottom of my stomach, surged through me, and out of my long fingers from my outstretched hand. And the knife stopped its fall, in mid-air.

 I turn towards Hunter, who has grin is huge I fear it will take up his entire face, and ask him what to do next.

 He answers simply,"Think about what you want. And make it happen."

 I'm pumping full of adrenaline now, but I force my eyes closed, hand still outstretched and feel around me. The breeze, so soft, oh so soft. And the sky, so blue, so blue.

 Using my mind I probe around me, feel around me, like Hunter said to.  And there was a disturbance in the wind. My mind, body, instantly told me it was the bug, still flying around. I imagine my knife puncturing the wing and hanging it to the tree behind  it.

 When I open my eyes, I see Hunter with huge eyes, and a bug, with a knife protruding from its wing struggling to climb off of the tree.

 "Remind me to never get you angry."

 I could only nod in amazement.

                               •

 It was still five more years until I learned about the prophecy, killed my best friend, and ultimately change EtherWise. This, is that story.



© 2013 Kerri Hart


Author's Note

Kerri Hart
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Its a nice concept, very creative. I really like the narrative voice. You created a likeable and realistic narrator in Stephanie. It would great if you could write this in a word processing document them paste it one WC, it will just make it look neater and therefore easier to read. But its a very good start.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Kerri Hart

7 Years Ago

thank you so much for your tips :) may I ask though what you mean by a "word processing document"?
Hester Vane

7 Years Ago

Microsoft word or whatever the apple version is! Ha.
Kerri Hart

7 Years Ago

haha yes i actually did type on that :)

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Added on July 28, 2013
Last Updated on July 28, 2013


Author

Kerri Hart
Kerri Hart

LA, CA



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I suppose there is a reason your reading my bio, yes? I don't know why... I am quite awful at them, but I'll make sure it can't be too boring. So: AT 11:11 tonight look into your closet, there will .. more..

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