Kiara woke up early in the morning. She looked around her, not sure where she was. Then it all came back to her and with the memory of where she was, came the memory of the horror of last nights’ experience. She shivered at the thought and cuddled deeper into her blankets. Never had she had something so terrible happen to her. Surely it would haunt her for much of her life. That night had been full of nightmares of piercing eyes drilling holes in her thoughts.
After a while Kiara got out
of bed. When she opened her small closet she noticed a whole new set of clothing. The clothes were strange. Most were light weight and easy to move around in.
She picked some off white leotards and a long, long off white shirt to go over it. She picked out a beautiful red belt to go around her waist and did her hair up in a simple French braid. When she looked in the mirror she laughed. This was exactly how she had imagined Robin Hood, except his outfit was green and he wore a strange hat with a feather in it.
Kiara felt out of the ordinary in the old fashioned outfit, it was like she was dressing up for a play or she was in the world that she had only read about in books. She smiled to herself and stepped outside. She ran off to the dining room. Right in front of the door she remembered that Casper was going to be in there.
Her joy died and she paused before going in. Finally she pushed the door open. All eyes turned towards her. She smiled and stood awkwardly in front of the door.
Casper walked over to where she stood and brought her to a table. She never met his eyes once and didn’t make a single sound.
The whole ship’s crew was there. The sailors seemed friendly and a couple of them sat with her at the table before Casper chased them off to their duties.
Hilary was complaining to Casper the whole time about her new wardrobe. She had been given simple dresses and she hated them. Ivan now wore a similar outfit to Casper and Winda wore a plain brown dress which looked quite funny on her. Kiara wondered why she did not have a proper dress. She soon decided it might have to do with age.
Casper growled at Hilary when she complained and soon they got into a verbal war. Hilary appeared to have abandoned her fear of Casper because she threw the rudest insults at him.
Casper probably didn’t even know what half of them meant.
After a while Casper ordered Winda, Ivan, Hilary, and Kiara to go ask the sailors to teach them how to sail the ship.
“You need to know.” He said, “It will help you in the future for sure.”
Ivan made a face and walked up to Casper right while Casper was taking another bit of his food and spat in his plate, “I am not going to take orders from YOU! I go single all the time and I don’t want to listen to you or anybody else. I’m here to help you for money not to take lessons from trash like those sailors.”
Casper looked surprised that Ivan would be so rebellious over one little thing. Casper stood up angrily, “You will do as I say! Now go and do it!”
Ivan laughed but then wiped the smile off his face when he saw that Casper was completely serious and very angry. He balled up his fist and threw a skull-breaking punch at Casper.
Casper took the blow. Kiara, Winda and Hilary all gasped at the same time. They all knew he could’ve dodged it easily.
He seemed unharmed but anyone could see rage cast all over his face. He stood up sluggishly while seizing Ivan’s gaze and taking control of him. Ivan strived to look away. The girls could see his eyes were straining desperately to divert his gaze, but the flashing blue eyes gripped him. They forced themselves deep into Ivan’s inner most being. Ivan’s jaw worked fast fighting to keep him from crying out. A groan escaped his lips. Casper forced Ivan down on his knees; his eyes were giving off sparks that ignited a painful fire inside Ivan’s mind.
Ivan’s face filled with panic and helplessness as he realized that he had been beaten very easily by eyes alone.
Ivan cried out in an agonized voice, “I give up, I give up! I will do what you ask!” Casper pushed him down further making Ivan feel the raw, scorching pain in his mind. Then after what seemed like forever Casper released him. Ivan fell the rest of the way, to the ground like a limp rag doll, unconscious and completely defenseless.
Kiara stared at Casper with fear. Winda had her arm around Kiara’s trembling shoulders. Casper glanced at the girls and then turned away quickly as though he was almost ashamed of himself.
Winda looked surprised by Casper’s strength and Hilary was just drowning in her own tears. Kiara turned away from the scene and went to follow the sailors who, strangely, didn’t seem bothered by Casper’s show of power. Hilary and Winda followed her without a word, eager to get out of Casper’s way.
Casper called for the ship’s doctor to take care of Ivan. Though honestly, he wished the jerk would stay unconscious.
The days passed slowly. The company of four was educated on everything there was to do with sailing. Hilary picked it up the fastest. Quite a bit of it was even a review for her, even though this was an old fashioned ship.
Ivan seemed very reserved yet agreeable for an army officer, not demanding at all. He never talked to Kiara or Casper, but he talked to Hilary and Winda all the time. He thought Kiara was just a little pest who happened to be lucky enough to tag along on this journey, which didn’t seem like much anyways.
He was very protective of his stuff and defensive when people insulted him. He never let anyone near his machine gun. Soon it was taken away from him anyways. He walked around sulking for a few days after but he had to live with it. He was not as mean as Hilary but Kiara thought he was a bit too serious about war and death.
After the incident with Casper, Ivan became extra silent and sober. He was weak for two weeks whole and then he began to regain his strength. But even as he regained his strength he didn’t seem to regain any of his self-esteem.
Whenever his eyes fell on Casper they would fill with pure hatred.
Winda acted very nice and sweet to everyone. Kiara hadn’t expected sweetness out of a girl who barely even looked at her the night they met. Winda heeded patiently when the sailors tried to explain complicated ideas and never made rude comments. She laughed and joked with Ivan and Hilary and even tried to include Kiara once in a while.
Casper never attempted to talk to Kiara because he realized she was more fearful of him then the rest of the group. Whenever he came to speak to her, Kiara would feel fainthearted and try to slip away.
After many weeks of sailing they finally arrived at a small island. It wasn’t like anything Kiara had ever seen. The grass was so stunningly green it seemed too perfect. Casper explained that no one besides him could find this island. Hilary laughed mockingly and Ivan gave her a warning nudge.
They explored the island finding a few fresh water streams, fruit trees and a perfect relaxing beach. They rested there for a few days. Hilary took her time to tan on the beach while all the others worked hard to gather fruit and fresh water. Eventually they returned to the ship and sailed around the island into a gigantic cave. Inside the cave there were sparkling purple, emerald green, blood red, and deep blue gems. Kiara loved the blue gems. They reminded her of Casper’s eyes, only Caper’s eyes, were more beautiful. Kiara glanced curiously at Casper. His eyes reflected the colorful gems, painting a picture full of unique colors that flickered and danced. Casper’s eyes shifted to Kiara. His eyebrows knotted and he tilted his head questionably. Kiara suddenly realized she had her mouth wide open and she was staring at him as though he were an angle. Well, Kiara wouldn’t be surprised if he was an angle. That picture that was dancing in front of her eyes was breath taking, far more beautiful than the gems themselves. Kiara turned back to the rail and stared at the gems, noticing how dull they looked when they weren’t flickering in Casper’s deep oceans of blue.
Hilary begged Casper to let her take some gems, but Casper ignored her. Kiara was enjoying the view, when suddenly the world seemed to whirl around. The colors smeared into each other as though a pail of water had been dumped over a fresh canvas painting. It became a puke colored green. But the puke colored green faded, and then they were floating gently out of the cave.
The water below looked like dark blue Gatorade. Kiara could see lights in the water and strange green fish swam around the ship without any fear, jumping as though in joy for the return of the ship. Some fish had arms and legs and huge eyes like dragon fly eyes. Kiara reached out to touch one that leaped from the water. She could almost touch it when a hand grabbed hers and pulled her back. Casper shook his head disapprovingly, “Do not touch the fish. They are not to be praised or played with. They are only used as food for very special occasions. And if you touch one of them, the mermaids will be after you. They prefer for our worlds to not mingle.”
“There are mermaids here? Oh! You’ve got to be joking!”
Casper’s eyes darkened, “They are not to be trifled with. They follow evil, and hate Sorlurns...” He paused, “Or humans as you call them.”
Casper released her hand, “Stay away from the rail.”
Kiara ignored his warning and leaned against the rail again. She raised her eyes to the sky and gasped. It was all shades of green with a white sun giving off white and purplish light. She couldn’t believe how beautiful this world was.
In front of the ship was an old fashioned port city. The buildings were so fascinating and strange. They were not made of brick or wood, Kiara couldn’t see what they were made of. The roofs were flat as though they never had snow there and each house had a nice garden on top.
They sailed into port and unloaded. It had been 5 months since any of the people on the ship had touched ground. They had to struggle to get their land legs back. Kiara stumbled around and tripped over a few rocks landing face first on the ground. Winda would offer her hand every time. She was far too graceful to fall.
After they unloaded they walked around the organized and beautiful city. Every street was straight with emerald green symmetrical cobblestones. Kiara could see down the street for miles.
They went to the market place first. Casper told them of the city’s history, of how a man from Earth found his way to this world and was made the first king by a young Abrashian nomad princess. He told them that there were many battles between good and evil when the new king came, and those wars lasted for a thousand years. But fortunately there had been peace for the last hundred years. Kiara found this interesting. She couldn’t imagine having a war in her country for thousands of years.
Kiara noticed that the people used oversized unusual dogs to pull their carriages and not normal horses. She also noticed that each person had either brown or black eyes. Kiara glanced at Casper in confusion. She wondered where he got his unique eyes.
The city was the most powerful city in that entire world, Casper said. Its name was Sillvados and the world in which it was in, was also named Sillvados. Understandably, the city had the hugest port and the best trade.
Kiara forgot her fear of Casper for a while and asked why it wasn’t as modernized as the world she lived in. Casper answered eager to tell them about his world, “This world is not nearly as old as yours. It’s only around two thousand years old and the people here long for wisdom not so much technology as your people do.”
Kiara observed that all the older women who seemed to be above the age of sixteen wore the same kind of plain dresses like Hilary and Winda and the younger boys and girls walked around wearing clothes like Kiara. Kiara turned to Casper again, “Why are only the older women wearing dresses and girls my age wearing light weight clothes like me?”
“All the girls who are married wear dresses.” He said, “That’s how we tell them apart. We don’t wear rings here like the people in your world do.” He quickly added an extra fact, “The girls here usually get married at the age of sixteen.”
The men of course wore cloaks and clothes like Casper and Ivan. Casper explained that if the men had full beards then they were married and if they had just a faint beard or were clean shaven they were single. Kiara nodded, obviously Casper was single.
Casper’s eyes ran over the people of the city. He was proud, Kiara could tell. But he was also powerful.
Kiara watched him with admiration and fear. There was a royal air about him right then. He straightened up and walked through the street with his head held high. When the people saw him their eyes went wide. They quickly backed away from him and bowed their heads. Obviously Casper was supreme over them and his powers struck fear in their hearts. The whole market place fell deftly silent. Kiara felt very awkward as she followed Casper. She was careful to watch her step in case she got clumsy from her embarrassment.
Soon two carriages were brought for them. The men went in one and the girls went in the other. Hilary bragged the whole time about how she was going to charm Casper and make him fall in love with her, “He is so going to like me by the end of this adventure. I am a really likable character once you get to know me. You guys are very plain and ugly. Especially you, little girl, your eyes are so weird and your hair is even stranger. And you Winda, you have such a dark head, so boring. You also have no sense of fashion…”
Kiara rolled her eyes and turned towards the window watching the things, which were apparently trees, but looked more like huge white fluffy bushes, go by. She yawned, closed her eyes and fell asleep.
Kiara was startled awake when the carriage came to a jerking stop.
Winda and Hilary unloaded.
Kiara stepped out slowly, taking in the scenery around her. Her mouth fell open at the sight in front of her. It was a huge castle, pearly white, with grand oak doors. Gold decorated the palace. The style was like that of the Muslim mosques. Kiara stepped up the stairs dazed. Casper came up behind her, “It is quite the sight is it not?”
Kiara tripped over a soft mushy step. “Won’t you stop scaring me like that? I’m going to end up hurting myself.” Casper held out his hand to Kiara, to help her up.
Kiara looked at it for a few seconds and then glanced up at his face. His eyes were expressionless and hard. Kiara didn’t want to get anywhere near angering him so she reached out and took the strong, calloused hand. Casper pulled her up and smiled. Kiara didn’t even attempt to smile back, knowing it would look fake. She turned her attention to the mushy step and stomped on it. Casper stared at her, appalled, “What are you doing?!”
Kiara looked up, “It’s so soft! What is it made out of?”
Casper looked upset, “It’s a very strong material that comes from special trees. You should never stomp on it! That is rude!”
“You mean your wood is mushy??!” Kiara’s mouth fell open.
Casper took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “Yes, lots of things are different in this world. For instance, no one has green eyes, or hazel. Very few have blue like mine, but the main colors are brown and black. We also have very different animals and plants. We have Taseliae which are kind of like humans in your world. You have African people and Chinese people… right?” Kiara nodded. Casper smiled, proud of how well he was doing, “We have Paelliy, Diltrens, Taultiens and Sorlurns. They are all Taseliae. I am a Sorlurn which is the most like humans from Earth. Paelliy are the most comforting and affectionate, Diltrens are blood thirsty and stupid. Taultiens which prefer to be called Phantoms are violent but very kind and just. We Sorlurns are the smartest and we have the most problems amongst our people. There isn’t much of a difference between the Sorlurns and Humans from your earth. We think alike and look alike. White hair is common here though and red hair is never seen. Your hair is very unique and beautiful. Auburn do they call it?”
Kiara nodded, “Yeah. How did you know?”
“Our king comes from your world. He taught many of the officials English just to communicate. He has tried hard not to influence us with the things of your world but he has learnt many wise things from your mistakes.”
Kiara’s brow scrunched up, “Why did you pick a king from our world, why didn’t you pick some guy who wouldn’t make this world exactly like ours?”
Casper’s eyes flashed, “Our world is not the same as yours!”
“Yes it is! You use money, you talk English, and your culture is basically the same! The only thing that isn’t the same is that you have different kinds of humans, animals and plant.”
“No! We do not use money. We trade things. Very few of us speak English. Didn’t you notice that the sailors spoke very bad English! Our official language is Silldosic. We wear very different clothes and we do not have an obsession with technology, instead we yearn for wisdom and power. All the leaders have powers unlike your leaders. And we do not have the same culture!”
“What do you believe in then?”
“We never talk about our culture!”
“So you don’t have a culture?”
“What? Everyone has a culture! In this world everyone has the same culture unlike your world. We follow either good or evil. There is a witch who helps lead the evil but she even has a master and an unknown thing leads the good. It speaks to use through prophesies. We don’t have a name for it though all we say is good and evil, except in our own language. Some of your people follow nothing but themselves… which is senseless!”
Kiara snapped back at him, “Will you please stop talking about how stupid our world is! We are far more advanced then you! And by the way, your culture still sounds the same as ours. We believe in good and evil. You just sound like you’re from our bible times.”
Casper sighed, “Go ahead and think that way, but our worlds are not the same… It just doesn’t make sense why the people of your world do what they do. Your world has such complicity that my brain hurts whenever I think of it. I have studied it for years and I have to constantly catch up with the newest technology.”
Kiara looked around and noticed that they were the only two outside of the castle. She frowned and walked up the steps. Casper followed her muttering something about senseless people.
They went into the castle and Kiara’s breathe was taken away once again. Beams of golden light came from the windows high in the dom. Kiara had never seen such a sight. Casper smiled at her amazement, his frustration vanished.
Hilary tried to sneak a golden ornament into the pocket of her apron that went over her dress but Casper slapped it out of her hand and caught it before hit the floor. Hilary pouted and Casper just glared at her. It was a glare without pain but still it was enough to make her stop her childish behavior.
Casper guided the four people upstairs, through halls, doors, and more halls.
Finally after much walking they made it to where they would stay for the night. Casper stopped them before they left to freshen up and told them in a harsh voice, “You are free to roam anywhere you like in the west side of the castle but never go to the east side. The east side is darker and more complicated. If anyone goes into the east side without me or someone who has lived here many, many years, they often get lost and never found. On the east side, that is where the throne room is but I doubt if you tried you could find it.”
“Will we ever get to meet the King?” Kiara asked.
Casper frowned and for a moment the thick, unbreakable gates that guarded his thoughts swung open and Kiara could see desperate worry. Then as though they had never been open, the gates were closed. Casper shook his head, “No, not yet.”
Then he let them go off to their rooms. They each had their own.
The rooms were not as extraordinary as others; they did not have golden decorations but it did have silk sheets and feather pillows, as well as huge feather blankets. After the company had all freshened up they followed a maid to one of the many dining rooms. They had a delicious dinner and then went off to bed. Kiara was very glad to have such a comfortable bed to sleep in for the night; she had grown weary of the stiff beds on the ship. As soon as her head touched the pillow she fell into a deep impenetrable sleep.