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Taylor was her name. A brown haired, green eyed, tall lanky girl. She was very pale, considering she lived in California. She lived with her mother and eight year old brother. Taylor herself was sixteen. She was popular, lots of friends, guys crazy about her. Never did anything wrong. Some people called her the Angelic Child. But one day, all her angelicness went away.
Her mother had to go to the market early one morning, and took the brother with her. As always, right before she left, she turned to Taylor and said, “Taylor, do not go into the basement while I’m gone. Do you understand?”
And as always, Taylor said, “But mom, what if I want something washed, or need to get something?”
“Taylor!” her mother would say. “If I find out you have gone down there without me, you’ll be in big trouble!” She would wag her finger at Taylor just to show how serious she was.
“Alright mom.” Then her mother would smile, kiss Taylor on the cheek, and leave. It was the same every time. That day turned out to be different though.
As soon as her mother left, Taylor ran to the basement, eager to finally know why her mother hated her down there alone. As she descended the staircase, it looked like the normal basement she’d grown up around. She walked around, looking for something different about the dirty floor or rugged walls. Noticing nothing, she started to turn back. As she turned, she saw a little hole in the wall. Taylor walked toward it, then saw an oddly shaped bug crawl out, and she shrieked.
She looked into the hole, at first seeing nothing. It was just a dark, grimy hole in the wall. Then she was sucked into it. She kept spinning around, until finally she landed on soft grass and dirt. Standing up and stretching, she almost fainted. In front of her were about five very large birds. Extremely large. Taylor started to scream and run away, but one of the birds grabbed her.
In all its red feathered, sharp clawed glory, it lifted her like she wasn’t even there.
As Taylor lied there, in the beast’s claws, she noticed how beautiful the land under her was. Mountains stretched for miles, grass plains never ended, villages looked perfectly organized. Everything was lit up beautifully.
As soon as the flight began, it ended. She was dropped to the ground, landing on a hard, cold surface. The bird flew away, and Taylor realized she was standing in front of an elf. No not a small creature. This elf was about five feet ten inches, and was very beautiful. His hair was fiery red, his skin a warm brown, his green eyes piercing her with every look he gave.
“Who are you?” he said simply. He tilted his head and raised his eyebrow, prompting Taylor to answer his question.
“Ta- Taylor. Who are you?” Taylor was hesitant in asking, but did against her better judgement.
“I,” the elf said proudly, “Am King Cal. Ruler of Arboria. What are you, Taylor, doing here?” Taylor looked around, scared. She knew she had to leave, but couldn’t find a way out. Guards surrounded the whole place. Minotaur guards.
“I don’t know. One minute I was at home, looking through a hole in my wall, the next I’m here.” King Cal laughed loudly. Then when she didn’t say anything else stopped.
“Child, are you serious?” Taylor nodded. “Is it possible that you came from another world?”
“I’m sorry, another world, did you say?” He had to be joking.
“Yes. Where are you from?”
“Where is California?” He said the word slowly, testing it on his tongue, like it was foreign to him.
“Is this a joke?” He cocked his head to the side, obviously not understanding. “Is this some cruel joke!? Mom! Where are you? Come on now! Jokes over!” The king walked over to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Oh dear, whatever shall I do with you?”
She shrugged him off. “Where’s my mom!? What have you done with her? This isn’t funny anymore!”
He just kept mumbling to himself. “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Strange. Very strange.”
After King Cal finally calmed her down and told her this wasn’t a joke, they had gone outside. Taylor was starting to like this place. She began to realize she probably couldn’t get home.
“King Cal, what did you say this place is called?”
“Arboria. How are you feeling?”
“Like I belong here. Do I?” All of her thoughts were fuzzy, twisted.
“Yes, my dear. You do.” He smiled down at me, not a friendly smile, but sly. “Is there anything you want to do?”
She thought for a moment, then finally said, “Explore.”
“Arboria or course. Can I please?”
He sighed in deeply then said, “If you must. Go ahead.” She smiled at him then ran off.
As Taylor ran through the fields, she met many friendly creatures. Centaurs, big half horse half man creatures. Minotaurs, giant hairy beast with huge axes, but very nice. Unicorns, white, brown, orange, you name it the color was there. Other creatures like huge birds, talking lions, and a ton of other animals.
The scenery changed though. Taylor stopped running when she realized she had wondered into a forest. The originally bright blue sky turned dark and bleak. The green grass turned to dirt and mud. Everything about the forest looked evil. Even the trees seemed to glare at her as she walked.
Suddenly the bushes rustled. “Hello?” Taylor said, knowing no one was there but just checking for the safe of her own sanity. She turned quickly, thinking she saw something. Red and purple dots blocked her vision. She had seen something. An animal.
“Hello?” Taylor said again, her voice quivering. “Who’s there?”
“Me.” The voice that spoke sounded innocent. But Taylor knew there was nothing innocent about it.
“Show yourself.” A dark, scaly, almost reptilian creature came in front of her. The eyes on it were like red slits, it had a long tale, huge thick claws, and a slit tongue. She stumbled backwards.
“How are you?” The creature said. She didn’t say anything, just stood there shocked. “My name is Brarn. You are?”
“My name is Taylor.” Her eyes were wide with shock and fear. “How do I get out of here?”
“The woods?” He asked, obviously confused.
“The woods, yea. How?” He cackled loudly.
“Child, you don’t get out of here! Once you come in this forest, you never get out.”
Taylor became very scared suddenly and got up. She ran, looking back several times and tripping. I can’t be stuck here, she thought. This can’t be happening. Taylor kept running and running around. She didn’t know what to do. She was stuck in there. That dark sky seemed to envelope her.
Taylor stopped running, sat down and started to cry. She started talking to herself. “Please, please let me get out of here.” She had wrapped her arms around her knees and began rocking back and forth. “Please, help me. Someone.”
Voices around her mocked her. “Please, please help me.” The voices were cruel and dark, menacing.
“Stop it!” Taylor yelled at them. “Help me!” Her entire body began to chill. Her face paled, eyes went bloodshot, mouth went slack. Taylor started to except the idea that she might-.
“Taylor? Taylor honey.” A woman’s voice sounded in her mind. “Taylor, wake up.” She began to shake, and the scene around her dissolved. The trees melted, the sky turned into a bright yellow light overhead, the voices stopped. “Taylor honey, are you ok?”
“Mom?” Taylor asked, opening her eyes and stretching. “What’s up?”
“I heard you screaming. Are you alright?”
Taylor looked around the room, obviously oblivious to what was going on. “Um... Oh right. It was just a dream.” Just to reassure herself she said it again. “It was just a dream.”?