Across the Barrier, fantasy, On-going Stories, World Weavers

Across the Barrier Chapter Three

‘I don’t like you.’ Luna’s Father’s voice was deep and gravelly.

He was also tiny. Considering moments ago, he had an eye the size of a whole roundabout.

‘Nice to meet you too, sir?’

Metior frowns at me and turns away to the old lady mermaid elf and the large dark skinned man.

For his tiny frame, he had a lot of white hair puffing around his head like fried wire. Thin frame under a baggy dress like garment covered with dozens of pockets in different sizes.

We were inside what looked like a church, but instead of pews, there was large scientific looking equipment.

He walks towards the front of the building beckoning the misfit group we were to follow him.

At the front where an altar could have been was a round door on the floor. The door opens upwards but there is no ladder or secret passageway but a misty portal sparkling.

He jumps in without a word and the others follow. I stand there pondering what I have gotten myself. If being dead was really that bad for this hallucination was getting out of hand.

A knobbly hand pops out of the portal, making it transparent, and I could see the other side of it. There was an ordinary home with a table, chairs, carpets, a fridge and a regular looking kitchen stove, not a fire pit or run by water or glowing electricity.

The hand grabs my leg and pulls before I could hop into the portal.

In seconds I’m in a familiar world. I was in the dining room beside an open kitchen. The side of a staircase rose in front of the dining area, its side wall covered in paintings and photographs.

The large man was tinkering in the kitchen with the old lady helping out.

I found myself sitting on the floor under the dining table on top of a worn carpet looking at the wobbly knees of Luna’s father sitting on a dining chair.

‘If you would like to remain there and be fed scraps, I would be glad to do so.’

I crawl out from under the table, he points at the seat beside him.

‘Your name, boy?’ He picks up a tablet and begins scrolling through it.

‘I’m Ben Hart, Sir.’

‘Yes, I see that, a college graduate with a degree in business. No pursuit in life, I see.’

He was not exactly wrong; I had never really gotten to choose my life’s purpose. Simply followed my parent’s orders.

‘Dabbled in being a pilot. The irony. How long have you known Luna?’ his voice drops into a whisper at the point he mentions her name.

‘For nearly five years, we had been friends at work.’

‘Luna would never have worked in a corporate company, it would have bored her.’ He admonishes.

Which was right, she found it utterly dull and had begun a little trade on the side of her own creating jewellery from scraps. Hoping to quit from a large company that she thought only cared about profits.

‘She was, eventually creating an online Jewellery shop.’ I say, he nods his head but as he opens his mouth a girl’s voice interrupts him.

‘Well hello Metior, Darya, Kai and stranger; Good morning!’

The girl was Luna’s age, but she had a wild look to her while Luna looked docile and sweet.

I stand to introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Ben Hart.’ I stick my hand out, and she laughs. She pats my hand and walks past me to the kitchen.

Hello Ben, I’m Kera. You don’t look like from another world. What could Metior want with you?’

She plugs in the water kettle and begins heating up water. Takes out a cup from a cabinet and wiggles a mug my way. I nod my head.

‘Thank you, I never thought I would get to drink coffee again.’

Kera shuts the cabinet and gives me a shocked face, ‘Coffee? What’s coffee?’

I look at Metior, and he shakes his head, ignoring the situation and continues to read from his tablet more about my life or me with Luna, I’m unsure.

Kera laughs, ‘Just kidding, I’ve been to three or four worlds now. I am always glad to come home for some coffee. They don’t seem to have it anywhere there. Which is crazy, I know.’

‘Worlds?’

She squints at me then at Metior.

‘He is from across the Barrier, nowhere else.’ he mumbles.

Her eyes go round, ‘I see why he needs the coffee. If I died, I would need ten cups.’

She quickly mixes the instant coffee for both of us and sits beside me, passing me a cup.

‘Well, what was being dead like?’ She gets comfortable with her elbow on the table with her chin cupped in her hand.

‘Nothing. Just emptiness.’ She nods her head, ‘Sounds deep.’

‘Sort of, cause I could see deep see fishes on the other side of this glass barrier. That’s where I saw Darya as a mermaid elf.’

She laughs out loud, ‘Darya! How come he got to see you in your original form? So jealous, right now!’

Darya slams a wooden spoon on the pan, ‘you will see it one day little Kera, do not worry.’ Darya seemed to be making scrambled eggs while Kai was tossing some sausages in the air. For a mermaid elf and a giant, they were quite comfortable in the kitchen.

Kera shrugs admittedly, ‘I’m sure we will, I just can’t wait to go to Metior though.’ She sips her cup, missing the glance Darya sends to Kai and Metior whose eyes stopped for a second scanning the tablet.

Kera gets up and heads to the kitchen to grab something lost in thought.

Kera looks ordinary, long curly dark brown hair with almond sharp light brown eyes on an oval, round face with a button-like nose and small plump lips. She returns from the kitchen with a slice of brownie.

‘Would you like some? Got to live in the moment, you never know when they’ll suck you through a portal and into a world with nothing but cold raw rabbit meat from a hunt.’

That was a little specific.

Kera chuckles, enjoying my awkward discomfort.

‘Just kidding, but it could happen. It happened to Misty.’

A groan comes from the staircase. Large male feet appear slowly going down the steps. He was lanky, dressed in a crumpled white t-shirt and black pants.

‘Hello, Misty, how was your sleep?’ Kera asks sweetly.

The boy enters the dining room space with messy black hair streaked with silver. He had bright ocean green eyes that now stared daggers at Kera.

‘When will you stop calling me that?’ He growls.

He looked exhausted, he had stubble that could be days old and dark shadows under his eyes. His clothes looked slept in and dirty like he hasn’t changed in days.

‘Ben Hart, Mr Grouchy over there is Lucian also known to me as Misty. He’s a partner in crime of a sort.’

‘More experienced than you, but you act like a know it all.’ Lucian passes by without a glance my way to the kitchen and makes himself a cup of coffee.

‘I like being better.’ Kera says smugly sipping her own.

‘Still can’t transform though.’ Lucian smirks.

Kera rolls her eyes, ‘I’ve been to more places than you.’

‘Enough.’ Interrupts Metior, just as Darya and Kia place breakfast on the table.

Lucian slips into the seat opposite me next to Metior while Darya and Kia take up the remaining two places.

I realise that in this world Darya and Kai seem unable to read my mind. I smile for the first time feeling comforted.

We can all hear your thoughts. That was Kera in my head.

We’re just being polite and try to ignore it.

Try imagining a barrier of a sort covering your thoughts.

Like a bubble around you.

In my head, she sounds kinder and gentler, less loud, a little like Luna.

I create an impenetrable wall surrounding my mind, like the barrier I had fallen through.

Can you hear me now? 

There’s no answer.

‘Let us eat,’ began Metior.

Kera smiles at me, making Lucian frown a little.

‘We shall reunite Luna with Ben today. Once together, I shall finally bring you to Metior City. It is time you learn your prophecy’s.’

Kera glances at Lucian, I could sense something between them. An understanding.

Luna, we’re coming.

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Across the Barrier, On-going Stories, Short Story

Across the Barrier Chapter Two

I burst out of the surface of the water. At my first gulp of air, I swallow a little water as a wave crashes on top of me. I propel myself back to the surface, but a hand grabs my ankle.

Dragging me through the murky water, the bubbles blurring my vision.

When it finally let’s go, I’m left floating in bubble residue.

Relax little one, or you’ll put yourself back to eternal sleep.  

I try to speak, but all I do is gargle salty water. I hear the mermaid elf’s chimes. She is laughing, but as the bubbles clear I see a naked old woman in her place.

I cover my eyes immediately and immediately hear the chimes, the naked old lady is the one laughing.

It is I, the one you call mermaid elf. I’ve transformed myself into my human form. Ack, I can still feel all my aching bones and muscles in the water.

I peek through my fingers, and the old lady wiggles her fingers my way. I notice she has the same catfish whiskers as the mermaid elf.

Comforts me to feel them. I do not like being in my human form. Bad history.  

How is she talking to me?

 In your head, of course, come on, let’s go up to the surface here. Earlier you would have been smashed against the rocks.

I look around, but I see no way we were anywhere near land. It was endless water on all sides. Returning back to the older lady whiskers to find she’s gone.

A hand grabs my shoulder from above and lifts me up through the water.

I break through the surface and get lifted through the air by a large dark skinned man. He holds me above his head, inspecting me.

‘I don’t see what is so special of this human boy. He is thin and fragile and looks like a seahorse. I could crush him into dust right now.’ The man squeezes my shoulder tightly, sure to leave a bruise or worse dislocate my shoulder, rendering me unable to swim. Bravo.

“Whoa, I only look small because you are enormous! Not fair to judge, don’t you think?’ I try to wiggle out of his grip, although looking down below me there is nothing but water.

Then I notice the man is standing on a transparent step that leads to a large round door the size of a cruise ship. It’s camouflaged against the sunset sky. We were surrounded by endless ocean at all corners except for a little island towards the east, not far away.

‘No point looking in that direction little Kampos, we are not going there, we are going in here.’ He carries me as he enters through the invincible doorway water lapping against his large log-like legs.

I am enormous and don’t you forget. If you hurt my mate, you are crushed into sand.

‘My love, stop scaring the boy. We need his help, try to be nice.’ The older lady had disappeared but is back, and this time she was dressed. Thankfully.

She is wrapped in a loose sheer white gown dusted with crystals that look like salt.

‘It’s not salt, it’s Stardust.’ The older lady pats her dress pleased with it.

‘It’s quite lovely; the Metiri women like to create them when the Astercentrum bursts. It leaves behind Stardust.’

I must be losing my mind. What the old lady was saying made no sense, and the fact I am dangling under the hold of a giant man as he walks through a crowded street in the middle of the ocean inside some kind of floating invincible city.

I think I died the second time, and I’m floating through the glass barrier lost forever.

All this had to be inspired by Luna, she did have an otherworldly look. Especially her glowing white hair and grey eyes that sometimes look silver. That makes sense. She always did inspire me. This city, not so realistic.

‘You are not dead little Kampos, you are in Metior, city of the fallen stars.’ The big man grins at me proudly like I should know what he was talking about.

The older woman pats my foot that is dangling dangerously close to her face.

Does that count as a danger to his mate?

They were somehow able to read my mind, the older lady moves a step away, and the man lifts me higher.

There was an advantage of being carried. Not like a baby mind you, more like a rat caught by the exterminator.

Metior City looks like the Egyptian and the Atlantean’s made babies and left them abandoned in the middle of the Ocean.

Everyone here was long but nimble and robust. Some had elongated ears like elf’s, just like the older woman. There were dark and light skinned folks with a few who had a mix of green and gold. Or maybe that was all makeup?

All the people look busy but happy. All protected under the invincible dome. Wouldn’t it be nice if Luna and I lived here? Get a little house on the edge far from other folks just enjoying the view of the ocean and sunset.

The man holding me starts chuckling.

I quickly erase it all and focus on my surroundings. Until I figure out what is happening. I’m supposed to be dead, but now I’m here. If this is a second chance to be with Luna. I will figure out a way to fly if I have too. I mean if this place exists. Surely I can fly.

The streets are clean; you could see the water streaming under the glass floors like jets of electricity.  There is another stream that intermingles with the water in its own current. It has a golden glow, like an endless stream of light. It’s intercrossing, a double network of energy. That must be what made the city work.

Some vehicles float inches from the ground, the golden light zigzagging across the top of the vehicles glass window, forming symbols like a code.

It’s all crazy, and it gets crazier.

We enter a large garden, and in the centre, I could see a large well where all the streams of light are flowing from.

Hooded figures surround the well chanting in a deep, haunting tune. Past the garden, we walk by buildings made of large crystal shards floating upwards in a cone-like formation.

The base looks like a massive fire was burning below the transparent floor. The entire base could fit four to five cars side by side.

As we move closer, I peek down and I see under the glass floor is a giant eye looking straight up at me. The pupil looking like a black hole. Symbols flash across its pupils and disappear. It follows us as we walk by it.

‘What is that?’ I point backwards, trying to look back over my shoulders.

‘That is Metior, Luna’s father.’

What?!

Second chances come with a price.

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