Real OR Surreal?
The Wondering Book of Wonders.
Chapter 40: Guardians of the Gates
Ancient scrolls claim that at the heart of each land is a gate through which beings and elements from another world may enter. A gate is commonly recognized as a body of water. Some identified gates are the River of Lapso (page 111), Borese Falls (page 128), Corpus Sea (page 137), River of Feliz (page 150), Gullible Lake (page 161), Swamp of the White Swan (page 168), Lake of the Gaila (page 177), and the Jasper Pool (page 184).
These gates must always be sealed to protect the order the lands, and only in the right time shall the gates be opened. The right time, however, remains a mystery.
With this in mind, the Great Creator has appointed a Guardian to each gate. The Lapso (page 119), Bora (page 130), Corpus (page 144), Feliza (page 155), Gull (page 163), White Swan (page 172), Gaila (page 180), and the Jasper (page 187) are the only ones identified to this date. Other guardians remain unidentified, but the scrolls say there are still plenty.
Chapter Two: Back to the Gate
Davinielle sat on the empty chair beside Dirvo Stipp. He pretended she wasn’t there.
“Hey Stipp,” she lightly elbowed him. “Have you been studying? I heard there will be a pop quiz…”
Great. The girl actually wanted to make friends.
“What’s it to you?” Dirvo replied nonchalantly, not giving the girl a single glance.
The girl stood and moved to the vacant seat at the other end of the room, but not before giving him a glare of daggers.
“A whole sheet of paper. Two seats apart,” came Mrs. Norton’s voice.
So the girl was actually telling the truth. Great.
I woke up with a searing pain in my head. I was surprised to find myself in the comfort of my own room, when I had no memory of getting home last night. All I could remember was the beautiful winged being, and then nothing else. It was a bad morning.
“Alysha is no more…” someone whispered from inside me. Impossible. I know she’s still alive. I know she wanted me to find her.
I searched the pockets of my coat for something that would remind me of my cause. It was still there. The feather that Alysha enclosed in my hand the night she left. Why she left me with this, I had no clue.
All I could remember then was the look in her eyes — determined and resolved, as if showing me it was the best decision she ever made.
But I could feel her broken heart beneath the strong facade.
I know our love is stronger than this.
I have to find her. I know she needs me.
I need her…
The strange bird was hiding Alysha from me. If only I could remember anything.
I would not lose hope. I love Alysha more than anything and I am going to find her.
Tonight, I’ll come back to the lake.
I swear I’ll get her back.
“Our top scorers…” the class waited silently for the names to be announced. “.. are Davinielle Stone and Dirvo Stipp. 102%”
Surprised, Davinielle turned her eyes to Stipp who just gave her a smirk. Since her first year in this school, never has there been anyone who tied scores with her. Never. Until now.
“Very good, you children. You may now get your papers here and distribute the rest to your classmates.”
I heard Alysha singing through the wind. I’d recognize that voice anywhere. It has captured me the first time I heard it… It still captures me now.
I felt my heart drum in my chest.
I rowed across the lake, as fast as I could.
“Alysha!” I yelled desperately.
“I’m here, you’re safe now!”
The singing stopped.
“What you are looking for is not here.” It was the voice of the strange bird whose eyes were boring into mine, daring me.
I was shaking.
“Alysha. I heard her voice. I know she’s here — I–”
I ran out of words.
“Please…” I begged. “Just tell me where she is, and I swear I won’t bother you again.”
I then I was crying. I knew I had to be strong, but my heart failed me.
“Please… I want to see her..”
“You are weak.
That is the reason why she left.” The creature told me.
Salt to my wound. Those words…
“For the information of everyone, all graduating students are required to accomplish a special History project before they bid their farewells to this school.”
“What sort of special project Ms. Gray?” asked the plump girl in front of the class.
“I’m about to explain it Ms. Cape, please listen very carefully.” Ms. Gray was peering through her class record while giving instructions. The girl put her hand down.
“For this class, the focus will be on Myths.” There was deafening silence as eyes fixed on the Professor. “You have the liberty to choose among the myths we’ve tackled, but no two projects should be of the same myth.”
About ten hands were raised.
“Yes Mr. Brent?”
The lad named Brent stood. “Ms. Gray, we’ve tackled only 10 myths. We are 21 in this class, if I’m not mistaken. It’s impossible not to duplicate.”
“That’s why you’re going to do it in pairs Mr.Brent, with one group of three members. I have already listed the groups.”
There was buzzing in the room.
Each head turned to its neighbor.
Davinielle, however, was crossing her fingers.