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Chapter Eight: A Whole New World

Once dressed out of his swimwear, Damien gathers a few items into his backpack, grabs his allowance from his piggybank and calls a cab to pick him, Evelyn and Ming up from his home. As they waite on the swing bench on the front porch, Evelyn eats a little snack.

“What you got there?” Damien asks staring at the purple and blue fruit in the girl’s hands.

“A tartberry. It’s a fruit from my land. Very yummy.” Evelyn bites into the large plume like fruit. “Would you like to try it?”

“No thank you. Not really hungry right now.” Damien smiles.

The cab pulls up to Damien’s house and gives a small honk. Approaching the cab, Damien, Evelyn and Ming (who was on Evelyn’s shoulder) enters the back seat of the cab. The cab driver drive off out of the lakeside and heads back into town where the cab drops them off at the local McDonalds that stands right across the street from the factory.

Damien pays the driver, and escorts Evelyn and Ming into the fast food restaurant where they proceed to the front counter/ There stands a young lady with black hair pulled in a high ponytail wearing a visor and a name tag that read “Mandy” waiting.

“Welcome to McDonalds. What can I get ya today?” the waitress asks.

“Two McDoubles and two Cokes please.” Damien places his money on the counter.

“Six seventy five please.” the waitress grabs the money on the counter and gives Damien his change.

“Damien what are we doing here?” Evelyn asks.

“Getting dinner of course.” Damien gives a smirk. “You’ll like what I’ve ordered. I promise.”

The waitress hands Damien a paper bag with two empty plastic cups to fill with whatever soda they desire to drink from the soda machine. Damien escorts Evelyn to the machine that stands on a counter to the side, fills the cups with ice, and then with regular Coca-Cola. Evelyn follows Damien to a seated area where the young preteen hands her a wrapped sandwich and one of the drinks with a straw in it.

“Eat. You’ll like it.” Damien unwraps his cheeseburger and takes a bite.

Evelyn unwrapped her burger and looks at it strangely, “I guess it looks appealing.” She takes a bite and a sudden sigh of glee sounds from her lips.“Mmmm. This is good. What is this called again?”

“It’s a cheeseburger. Made from cow.” Damien giggles. “Do you not have burgers from where you’re from?”

“Not really. We have beef but mostly we eat slabs of it. Nothing like this.” Evelyn bites down a huge chunk of the burger.

The two finish their meal, and exits out of the McDonalds and crosses the street over to the factory where Evelyn leads Damien to the back, there Seamore lies fast asleep. With his first glance over at Seamore, Damien’s eyes widen.

“It’s a lion.” Damien’s face goes pale. “We should call the zoo or something.”

“Relax Damien.” Evelyn pulls out a small brown pouch from her satchel and pours some gold dust into her hand.

“What’s that? More magic?” Damien asks.

“This is pixie dust.” Evelyn shows the dust to Damien.

“You mean like Tinkerbell’s fairy dust? Peter Pan, and Captain Hook kind of magic?” Damien asks.

Yes, It’s fairy dust.” Evelyn nods then blows the dust into Damien’s eyes. “It’ll help you see things more clearly.”

As the pixie dust hits Damien’s eyes, the image of the sleeping lion suddenly dissolve into a large hybrid creature. A creature of a brown eagle and a lion mixed together.

“Is…is that a … gryphon?” Damien stutters with fear in his voice.

“It is.” Evelyn smile. “That’s Seamore. Would you like to meet him?”

“I think my eyes are playing tricks on me.” Damien rubs his eyes and then looks over at the majestic hybrid. “This can’t be real.”

“I did tell you that my world is magic.” Evelyn giggles. “What did you expect for transport?”

“I don’t know a flying carpet maybe.” Damien replies.

“Come on. Let me introduce you. I think you’ll like him.” Evelyn pulls on Damien’s sleeve forcing the preteen to come with her.

As they approach the gryphon, Seamore raises his head and looks over at the two young children and Ming. “Well if it isn’t the young king.” He rose to his feet and gives a slight bow towards Damien. “It’s an honor to finally make your acquaintance your majesty.”

“It talks.” Damien’s eyes widen more.

“Of course he can talk silly.” Evelyn widely smiles. “How else were you two going to meet?”

“Don’t be frightened my king, I am a friend.” Seamore tilts his head.

“This is all so weird.” Damien shakes his head. “I feel like I’m in Narnia.”

“Narnia, my lord?” Seamore asks. “Where is that?”

“It’s a world that I have read in a book.” Damien replies. “Not sure if it is a real place or not, but anything I guess is possible.”

“Not to be the one who is a stick in the back, but shouldn’t we get going?” Ming asks. “After all who knows how long that potion will last on his Aunt.”

“The ferret has a good point. Not to mention my sisters. They can never keep a secret for long.” Damien agreed with Ming.

“Very well.” Seamore squats down. “Everyone climb aboard.”

Evelyn mounts up onto Seamore’s back first, follow by the hesitant Damien, who immediately wraps his arms around Evelyn’s waist tightly. Standing tall on all fours, Seamore flaps his mighty eagle wings and lifts up into the sky with an eagle’s cry circling over the factory, before soaring higher into the white puffy clouds.

As the gryphon steadily transport the youngsters high in the clouds, Evelyn pulls out another small vile of green potion in which she used to open the portal before. With a toss, the portal suddenly appeared once more, and Seamore flies straight into the green and blue twister like black hole. They enter the portal and to Damien’s surprise he was no longer anywhere near his home but riding on a gryphon over a vast land of rolling hills, deep forests, and flowing rivers. Straight out before him he could see mountains, cliff sides, and canyons.

“Welcome to Granderhill.” Evelyn calls out with a smile on her face.

The sight was like seeing a fairytale come to life for the first time. It was like looking at a landscape painting. The sun’s beams shine on top of the mountain side, birds chirp and chase one another in the blue skies, and the grass below was bright with green color.

“This is amazing.” Damien smiles.

Soaring lower, Seamore is joined by a few fellow gryphons that tumble, free-fall, and soar around him. Damien smiles wide with giggles as we looks around the area. Seeing things more clearly, the young preteen could spot creatures roaming the grounds below.

On the rolling plains Damien spots a herd of humanoid horsemen riding together. He spots grayish purple skinned creatures on top of a hill in which he knows he has seen before in a movie. He then spots a large shirtless giant with one eye roaming in marshlands, and then to his eyes he sees a large city surrounded by a large wall, and a great White castle sitting with in.

“What’s that?” Damien points to the city.

“That’s Torman. That’s your new home.” Ming calls out.

Circling above the city, Seamore slowly descends down into the castle’s courtyard where he lands. “Here we are.” the gryphon squats down letting Damien and Evelyn slide down off his back.

Evelyn walks up to Seamore’s head and pats him, “Thanks again Seamore.”

“It was a pleasure milady.” Seamore gives a slight nod and bow to Evelyn.

As Evelyn leads Damien towards the castle’s front double doors, the great black panther Rumla approaches the teens and the large talking ferret. With her a cheetah, and the ocelot Ollie who stood next to her on each side.

“Greetings Damien Foxx. Welcome to Granderhill.” Rulma nods with a smile.

“Hello.” Damien softly answers.

“Damien this is Rumla, Lady of the Whispering Woods. She is one of the advisors to the White Pearl.” Evelyn points out. “She will answer any and all questions you may have. Much more experienced in that subject than I am.”

“Come young king. We have much to discuss.” Rumla tilts her head.

Damien follows Rumla down a side cobblestone street back into the large royal gardens. There many trees stand tall with blossomed flowers of many colors, hedged bushes grows nicely like a fence, and beds of flowers grew all around. As they walk the foyer of the garden Damien notices a large round cast stone fountain with a statue of a majestic knight sitting on the back of a great unicorn. There Damien sits on the fountain’s ledge as Rumla sits on the cobblestone walkway next to the fountain.

“Damien I am sure you have tons of questions that you feel needed to be answered. But to help eliminate some of those questions let me start by telling you about why you are here.” Rumla looks up at Damien. “Many years ago, way before you were even born, this land was once ruled by a loving, caring and responsible king. King Aldimous loved his people, and loved ruling Granderhill. Although there was darkness in this land, your great grandfather was hopeful in which he hoped that someday the treaty of old would bring total peace amongst everyone who lived in this world.”

“Sounds kinda crazy to me.” Damien scuffs. “Was my great grandfather blind? No evil thing would ever want peace. In all my years of reading fantasy novels, I have never read anything in which evil sided with good.”

“Yes, your great grandfather was very hopeful, and not very realistic at times. But still he was king and the treaty stood.” Rumla comments. “The treaty did it’s job in keeping peace for a long period of time, until three wicked individuals decided that it was time that your grandfather to stand down from his throne. They released a great evil into this world. The King of Shadows was freed from his prison, and after that all chaos grew rapidly. Goblins, orcs, wild men and many other dark shadow creatures scattered across the lands and took what they wanted. Shadow spread, and the king went missing.”

“And no one knows what happened to him?” Damien asks.

“What we found out was that King Aldimous was killed, as were many others who traveled with him, including Evelyn’s mother.” Rumla replies. “Torman fell, many sanctions went into hiding or became independent.”

“And so now I am the only one who can change this? Was there no one else who could have done the job? I can’t believe that I am the only one who can change things. What of those before me? Did King Aldimous not have others to take his place?” Damien questions.

“There were others, but none who took the throne. King Aldimous’ son was a traitor, and his wife was one as well. His daughters were not up for the job to rule such a world, and to be completely honest no one was really qualified to take the throne.” Rumla comments with a lowered head.

“And how am I related to your so called perfect king? How am I the next heir?” Damien looks at the panther.

Rumla sighs, “You’re his great grandson Damien. Your parents were not from the world known as Earth. They were born here. Your mother was the daughter to one of the King’s own daughters. Princess Jaquline was your grandmother. She brought your mother into the world. And your father, well lets just say he was royalty at one point as well.”

“Wait, how is that possible? How did my parents leave Granderhill? When did they leave?” Damien asks.

“That I do not have an answer too. Princess Jaquline fled Torman not long after Torman was ambushed. And your father and mother met way later in time. No one knows their origin story. Not truly anyways.” Rumla responds.

“Then how in the world did you know of me? I wasn’t even born when Torman got hit. My mother wasn’t even born.” Damien asks.

“A prophecy. A prophecy in which referred by the great wizard Dorlius.” Rumla expressed. “That is all we have been able to go on.”

“And so you go by what an old man tells you?” Damien asks. “This is so crazy.”

“Crazy or not, the prophecy seems to line up well, young king. You are real and you are here none-the-less.” Rumla looks up at Damien with her starry purple eyes. “Master Dorlius was a great wizard, and he did what he to. He placed Evelyn into a deep sleep so that she would be safe and one day wake up to find you and bring you home. It is your duty now to take your place upon the throne, reclaim the land, and bring the sanctions back together so we can stand and face the Demon King of Shadows. You Damien Foxx is our only chance to bring peace to Granderhill. You must do this.”

“This is way too much for a boy. I’m only twelve. I can’t rule a whole world, let alone stay home by myself.” Damien sighs. “You’re placing your trust into the wrong person. I’m just a kid.”

“You Damien Foxx are not the wrong person. You will save us. The prophecy states that it takes three. Three who will charge a great power and defeat the Demon King of Shadows. A young king from a far off land, a beast trainer of great light, and the source of pure magic.” Rumla states. “You are the young king Damien. As for the others we do not have answers to yet, but I am sure they will be known sooner or later. You must take your place with in the prophecy. You must become the next king of Torman.”

“And if I refuse to do this?” Damien asks.

“Then I fear that Granderhill will be taken by the shadow for good, and the Demon King will rule this world. Light magic will dissolve into nothing and darkness will spread like wild fire.” Rumla eyes Damien.

“But how do I become king? Am I even old enough to take the throne at this moment? I do not know nothing about this world, and I do not know how to rule.” Damien asks.

“You’re time as king isn’t instant my young Damien. Yes the age is not right for one to take the throne yet. But you can still gather the sanctions, you still can prepare for your rule. And we, who stand with you, will guide and help you on your journey. You are not alone Damien. That I promise you.” Rumla comments.

“What of my sisters, my Aunt Janice? That potion can’t stick forever. Evelyn said that it only worked for a short period of time. Won’t they be worried?” Damien asks.

“When the time comes, we will deal with your Aunt and sisters. They too won’t stay in that world for too much longer. They belong here with you.” Rumla nods at Damien.

With a large smile on her face, wearing fresh clothes of navy blue and red, Evelyn approaches Damien and Rumla. Her outfit was real similar to her last only her corset was tighter and tied by black strings in the front. Her satchel strung over her chest, her bow and quiver on her back, and her hair was now in a messy bun on her head.

“That outfit looks uncomfortable.” Damien looks at Evelyn’s corset. “You really wear that stuff?”

“It’s not as bad as you think.” Evelyn giggles.

“What’s the pleasure of your visit Evelyn?” Rumla asks.

“Oh just checking in. Saw that you have convinced the Brownies and Kobolds to return and fix up the place.” Evelyn smiles. “The castle really needed some help.”

“Yes, the Brownies and Kobolds are back at work, as are a few others.” Rumlas nods.

“Have you decided on what you are going to do Damien?” Evelyn asks the preteen.

“Well….I have spoken with Rumla here, and although this is a whole lot to take in all at once, and that it sounds just crazy for me to take the throne, I have decided to help in anyway I can at this moment. Not sure if actually being king is what I want to do, but I feel that I must help in some way. So I will help bring the sanctions back together.” Damien tells Evelyn.

“Well at least it’s a start.” Evelyn pats Damien’s back. “I’m glad you are coming around. Once you and I meet up with some of the sanctions I feel you’ll grow to love this place. But first we got to get you a new wardrobe.”

“What’s wrong with what I am wearing?” Damien questions.

“Well it’s not traveling appropriate for one, and second you look like you don’t belong here. Don’t want unwanted attention.” Evelyn tells Damien straight.

“Fine, but I’m not wearing anything ridiculous or uncomfortable.” Damien sighs.

“I promise you’ll like what I picked out for you.” Evelyn gestures Damien to follow her.

“I hope so.” Damien stands to his feet and follows Evelyn.

Entering the White Pearl, Evelyn escorts Damien up to his quarters. Entering the foyer of the chambers Damien finds himself standing in a lobby with a fireplace with large marble statues of beautiful women on each side, a large lounge sofa and matching chairs sat around the fireplace. A large round oak table with carvings of unique design sit center in the room with a large display of flowers.

To the left of the lounge area Damien notices a large double door with gold trim in which was wide open revealing a bedroom. Inside a large king size bed with red curtains, a bench that sits in front made from an old chest, a divider and a large wardrobe made of chestnut wood. Spread out on the bed is an outfit. Laying there Damien notice a long navy blue waistcoat, a white lace shirt, black breeches, and leather boots. next to the wardrobe on a coatrack hangs a black hooded cape of wool.

“Hopefully this will work nicely, Damien.” Evelyn smiles. “It’s not too fancy but shows that you are of great importance. The cape is part of it. Wear it; you will need it on this journey.”

As Evelyn steps out of the room, closing the door behind her, Damien changes his attire into the 15th century style outfit. Everything seem to fit fine, though it wasn’t shaped great with his body. Opening the door with the cape flung on his arm, Damien walks out to the lounge area where Evelyn sits on the sofa waiting patiently.

“Well don’t you look dashing?” Evelyn smiles.

“It’s not too bad. I can get use to it. Though not sure this cape will do the job. It’s too bulky for my taste.” Damien comments.

“Like I said, the cape will be needed. ”Evelyn stands to her feet. “Now come, we must get you armed for our journey.”

“Armed?” Damien asks.

“Yes, Damien, armed. You can’t just run around Granderhill without a sword or bow. It’s way too dangerous.” Evelyn tells Damien as she leads them out of the royal chambers and down the castle hall.

Walking down the hall, Damien takes out his Iphone and looks at it. “No signal, low battery. This sucks.”

“What’s that?” Evelyn asks looking at the strange device in Damien’s hands.

“It’s my cell phone.” Damien answers.

“What’s it for?” Evelyn asks.

“Many things. Calling people, looking up stuff, getting directions.” Damien points out.

“Hmmm. Never knew one device could do so much. We don’t have anything like that here.” Evelyn comments.

“No I guess you wouldn’t. But it doesn’t matter. Seems electricity isn’t a thing here.” Damien puts the phone in his waistcoat pocket.

Down the main staircase, Evelyn leads Damien to a set of double white doors, where they enter a large throne room. The room itself is of marble mostly, with large white pillar columns scattered about, a large dais sitting at the far end centered in the room in which a navy blue carpet with gold trim lead from the double doors up to the dais where a large stone throne sits carved with great statues of gryphons. This room was just like the room in his dream. Next to the throne sits smaller throne chairs meant for the queen and princesses of the old. One large throne for the queen sits on the left, while five smaller thrones of pure elven wood sit on the right side. Next to the king’s throne on a stand a large straight 31 inches double-edged arming sword with a single-handed hilt of red and gold stands alone. Evelyn and Damien approach the dais to the king’s throne.

“That is Spine. King Aldimous’ sword. It was brought back here when found by the centaur knight Mimfus. The sword now belongs to you.” Evelyn points out the great arming sword.

“I can’t take that. I’m no king.” Damien tells Evelyn.

“Like it or not Damien, the sword is yours. It belongs with the great royal family in which you are part of.” Evelyn confirms. “Now take the sword. It is yours.”

Damien walks up to the sword and picks it up with his right hand, gripping the hilt tightly as he gazes at the blade. “This must have been in many battles.”

“Yes, including the great Demon Battle in which King Aldimous has lead.” Evelyn tells Damien. “And now it will cut once more in your hands.”

“Lord Damien, how marvelous you look.” Rumla speaks as she enters the room.

Damien looks over at the panther, which was not alone at the time. Ming the ferret was next to her.

“Sharp and handsome for sure.” Evelyn agreed.

“Lady Evelyn are you ready for your journey? Have you collected all you need for you and Lord Damien to depart?” Rumla asks.

“I think I have everything I need.” Evelyn nods her head to the panther.

“Everything except me.” Ming points out. “I’m going with. After all I am your conscious. Who’s going to keep you two out of trouble if not me?”

“Ming you are most welcome to join us. You have been a good guide and a great friend.” Evelyn smiles down at the ferret.

“Where will we head first Milady?” Ming asks.

“We will visit the minotaur first. Although it would not be everyone’s first choice to speak with bullmen, I believe they will be much needed for our war at hand and I for one don’t want them on the wrong side.” Evelyn expressed.

“Are you sure we should visit them first? Perhaps we should visit the centaurs first, or the Smith Elves.” Ming suggests.

“No, the minotaur will be our first stop.” Evelyn confidently comments.

“Aren’t the minotaur stubborn and thickheaded creatures? I heard they aren’t very nice.” Damien asks. “At least any book I’ve read they aren’t.”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover Damien. Hasn’t anyone ever taught you that?” Evelyn asks. “Minotaur are hardheaded creatures but for a good reason. Trust will be hard to gain from them, but once they trust us, we dare not to not have them turn to the other side.”

“I’m afraid Lady Evelyn is right on the matter. The minotaur is one race we want on our side.” Rumla agreed.

“Then to the Forgetful Valley we will go.” Ming climbs up Evelyn to her left shoulder with a large grin on his face.

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BJ Swabb
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