Reya’s Disappearance

Written in response to: Write about a person or object vanishing into thin air.... view prompt

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Fantasy Fiction

Author’s note: This story is a small part of the book I’ve been working on, Guardians of Legendaria. I wanted to share it here because I thought it was perfect for the prompt! I’m planning on publishing it once I finish it (which will probably be a long time from now lol), so as far as feedback goes, feel free to give me everything you’ve got! I’ll probably be posting more of these in the future, too. Enjoy!

*****

The city of Havencrest was a bright, beautiful place that bustled with activity. It featured tall, colorful, gleaming buildings made of solarbrick—a material that absorbed light from the sun, which was used as the main source of energy in Valeron. The sounds of clip-clopping hooves and fluttering wings filled the air as some people rode unicornback through the streets and others flitted through the air.

“Stay close to me,” Zeno instructed Reya. “Mom and Dad’ll kill me if you get lost.”

He reached into his satchel and pulled out the stack of papers, passing some to his sister. “Okay, let’s get these up.”

They hung the posters everywhere they could, mostly in various store windows. When they were down to the last one, Zeno asked Reya where she wanted to put it up.

Her eyes darted around for a moment as she tried to decide. “The pet store!” she announced, pointing to a building with a golden awning and a sign over it that read, “Paws ‘n’ Claws.” She grabbed her brother’s hand and pulled him towards it. “Come on, let’s go!”

After getting permission from the store manager to tape their poster in the window, Reya asked, “Can we stay and look around for a little bit? Pleeeease?”

Zeno looked at his watch. “I told Mom we wouldn’t be out for too long, but I guess we still have some time, so sure. But only for a few minutes.”

“Yay!” Reya dashed over to the section labeled “Feathers, Fur, and Fins,” which featured live pets. Zeno followed her.

“Aww,” Reya cooed, staring into a glass enclosure where five baby jackalopes hopped around inside. “Zeno, look! Baby Buckys! They don’t have their antlers yet. Jackalopes get their antlers when they’re grown up.”

“That’s right.” Zeno smiled at his sister. She loved showing off what she knew about animals.

Suddenly Reya looked sad. “Do you think Bucky ran away because he was lonely and needed a friend? Maybe if he had another jackalope to play with, he wouldn’t have gone missing.”

Zeno sighed, searching for the right words to cheer her up. “Honestly, I don’t know why Bucky ran away, Reya.” He snapped his fingers and grinned. “Hey, you know what, I think he went on vacation. He’s probably chilling on a beach somewhere, hanging out with his jackalope buddies. Or maybe he’s going on a quest, to find the legendary starcarrot!”

Reya perked up, giggling. “Yeah!”

“He’ll be back after that, you’ll see. Then you can ask him all about his adventures.”

She smiled and darted over to another display, this one containing a small, wingless dragon with shimmering blue scales. “Wow, he’s cool! Isn’t he, Zeno?”

“He is,” Zeno replied. But he wasn’t looking at the dragon. He was looking at the display next to the dragon’s.

Inside was a grifflet—a much smaller, tamer version of a griffin, and one of the rarest pets. Its body and wings were a rich tawny color, while its head and mane were a lighter tan with darker brown markings. The way it was sitting in the corner of its enclosure—with its haunches neatly folded underneath, its tufted tail curled around its paws, its wings halfway folded, and its pointed ears pricked alertly—gave it a regal, majestic appearance. Its piercing golden eyes held Zeno’s gaze with an intense stare. Then, slowly, the grifflet stood up and crept to the front of the enclosure, placing a paw on the glass window, as if saying hello.

Zeno put his hand up to the window, right over the spot where the grifflet’s paw was. “Hey there, fella.”

Suddenly, the grifflet arched its back, spread its wings, opened its beak, and hissed. At the same time, Zeno felt a strange prickling on the back of his neck.

He jumped back, suddenly feeling like something was wrong. He turned away from the grifflet’s display. “Okay, come on, Reya, we have to leave,” he called.

His sister wasn’t there.

“Reya? Where are you?”

He wandered the pet store, calling Reya’s name and pausing in each aisle to see if she was there. The pet store wasn’t that big, so he knew she couldn’t be too far. Unless she had left the store by herself—but she knew better, didn’t she?

“Reya, if you’re trying to play hide-and-seek, stop it now. I mean it—this isn’t a game.”

He felt a stab of fear after searching the entire store, twice, and not finding Reya anywhere.

He approached the front counter. “Excuse me, did you see my little sister leave the store? She’s a petite eight-year old girl with dark brown hair and green eyes, wearing a pink tunic and a black capelet,” he described to the sales clerk.

The man furrowed his brow and then shook his head. “I’m sorry, but no, I haven’t.”

Zeno ran a hand through his hair. If his sister hadn’t left the store, then she had to be in here somewhere.

But she wasn’t. He combed the entire place one more time, just to be sure. She was nowhere to be found.

Reya had disappeared.

****

“Reya WHAT?” Zeno’s mom shrieked when he called his parents on his Orb—a spherical, fist-sized telecommunication device—to tell them what had happened to Reya. “Zeno Alexander Reubyn Viridian, where is your sister?”

Zeno swallowed hard. His parents only used his full name when he was in big trouble. “I don’t know! I’ve looked everywhere for her. It’s like she just…vanished!”

Zeno’s mom opened her mouth to say something else, but Dad placed a hand on her shoulder and then looked at Zeno through the Orb. “Son, come home now. I’ll call the police. It’s possible Reya was…kidnapped.”

Kidnapped? Who would kidnap his little sister? And why?

After finishing the call with his parents on the Orb, he located the nearest transportal and portaled home.

*****

“All right, tell me exactly what happened, from the beginning,” Officer Jyrus Brinx instructed as he, Zeno, Mom, Dad, and the twins were all seated in the living room at home.

Zeno took a deep breath and then explained everything, from agreeing to take Reya into the city to put up posters for Bucky, to Reya going missing at Paws ‘n’ Claws.

Officer Brinx scribbled furiously in his notebook. “Did you see Reya go missing? For instance, do you know if she ran off?” he asked Zeno.

“No. She was next to me at first, but when I turned back to tell her it was time to leave, she was gone.”

“What exactly were you doing when she disappeared?”

“I was looking at one of the animals on display,” Zeno admitted.

“What kind of animal was it?”

“A grifflet.”

“And how long were you observing this grifflet before you noticed your sister was missing?”

Zeno’s brow scrunched as he tried to remember. “I’m…not sure. But I don’t think it was that long. Probably a minute, at the most.”

Officer Brinx made some more notes. “Did you notice any unusual activity around the time Reya went missing?”

Zeno shook his head. “I didn’t even hear her make a sound. Like I said before, it’s like she just disappeared into thin air.”

“Hmm.” The officer wrote in his notebook again, then looked at Zeno’s parents. “How old is your youngest daughter, again?”

“She’s eight,” Dad replied.

“So I assume she hasn’t displayed a talent yet, correct?”

“No, of course not,” Mom said, her brow furrowed.

“Not as far as we know,” Dad clarified.

Officer Brinx nodded. “Have you or anyone else in your family developed a talent before turning thirteen?”

Zeno’s parents shook their heads.

“And do you or anyone in your family have a talent for disappearing or turning invisible?”

They shook their heads again. “What are you getting at, Officer?” Mom asked. “You think Reya developed an ability to disappear?”

“It is a possibility. A very slim one, given her age, but a possibility nonetheless.”

“But then she still would have heard me when I called her name,” Zeno pointed out. “And if she saw me leave the pet store, she would have followed me. She wouldn’t have wanted to be left behind.”

Elsie chimed in. “Besides, even if she does have a talent for invisibility, it shouldn’t be that strong for her age, should it? It takes months and years for anyone to strengthen a talent, much less someone who’s developed early. She wouldn’t be able to stay invisible for that long, so Zeno should have seen her.”

Officer Brinx sighed. “Well, we do have to face the other, more likely possibility—that your daughter was kidnapped,” he said quietly.

Zeno’s mother covered her mouth with her hand, fighting back a sob. His father wrapped his arms around her. “But who in the world would do something like that?” he wondered.

“And why would someone kidnap Reya?” Luke asked, voicing the same question Zeno had been wondering.

Officer Brinx took a deep breath. “Well, I hate to say it, but being from a noble family, she—or any one of you kids, for that matter—would be an ideal target for kidnapping. But I’ll look into it,” Officer Brinx promised, standing up. “Well then, I’d better get back to headquarters. I can assure you, Lord and Lady Viridian, we will do everything we can to get your daughter back.”

“We appreciate it, Officer Brinx,” Dad said as he showed the officer to the door. “Have a good day.”

“So…what do we do now?” Elsie asked quietly.

“What can we do?” Luke said.

Dad sighed, rubbing his forehead. “All we can do is wait and hope the Valeronian Guard finds Reya in time.”

Mom left the room, crying softly.

WaitHope. There had to be something more they could do than that. Especially since Zeno couldn’t help feeling that this whole thing was his fault. It was his fault. He should have been keeping an eye on his sister instead of on the grifflet at the pet store.

What was it about that creature in particular that had been so interesting to him, anyway?

He recalled the way the grifflet had seemed to mesmerize him with its intense stare.

Could griffins hypnotize people? Was that why he hadn’t noticed the moment Reya went missing? After all, she’d been standing right next to him.

He also remembered that prickling feeling he’d gotten at the same time the grifflet at the pet store had hissed. Had the grifflet done something to him?

“You okay there, son?” Dad asked him, snapping Zeno out of his thoughts. “You’ve been pretty quiet.”

“Just…thinking,” Zeno mumbled.

Dad raised his eyebrows. “So I’m assuming you didn’t hear what I just told you and the twins?” he asked.

“Not really,” Zeno admitted.

“Well, I was saying that until we get Reya back and figure out why she was taken in the first place, none of you kids are to leave the house by youselves. Understand?”

“Yes, Dad.” Zeno sighed. “I’ll be in my room.”

*****

Sitting on the edge of his bed, Zeno twirled the golden griffin feather between his thumb and forefinger, replaying the events of the day over and over in his mind.

He still couldn’t believe Reya had been kidnapped. And while he was right there! Had he really been so distracted that he hadn’t noticed anyone come up behind him and take his sister?

Then again, why hadn’t Reya screamed or put up a fight when her kidnapper grabbed her?

Or maybe she had, and he hadn’t even heard her—though that seemed highly unlikely. He would have heard something.

But even if he hadn’t, everyone else in the pet store should have, right? A kidnapping wasn’t the kind of thing anyone could just ignore.

Maybe his sister really had just disappeared. The idea wasn’t completely impossible.

He put down the feather and tore both of his hands through his hair. First the talent thing, now this. Not to mention the constant nightmares he’d already been dealing with every night. Why did his life have to be so…messed up?

He sighed and got under his covers, reaching over to turn off the lamp on his nightstand—although he was pretty sure that he wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep.

He lay there in the darkness, listening to the melodic chirping of the nightcallers outside.

But the more he listened, the more he realized that it wasn’t just the nightcallers he was hearing—it was something else.

A voice.

But somehow, the way he was hearing the voice felt different from the way he was hearing the nightcallers outside. It felt more…internal. Like thoughts, almost—but he knew they weren’t his.

The voice was whispering, I can help you.

August 27, 2021 22:54

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40 comments

Dhwani Jain
17:09 Apr 22, 2022

The Dream DJ Podcast, now available!!! Join the community of Dream DJ listeners now!!! https://anchor.fm/the-dream-dj/episodes/The-Dream-DJ-Podcast---Trailer-e1hhb8f

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Palak Shah
17:41 Dec 11, 2021

I love the plot and the story is amazingly written and the construction is fabulous. Well done :)) Could you please read my latest story if possible? :)) Thanks :))

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18:54 Dec 11, 2021

Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it :DD Of course, I'd be happy to! :)))

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Palak Shah
21:13 Dec 11, 2021

Thanks :))

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TJ Squared
16:42 Nov 25, 2021

if you were to be any animal in a story, what would you be? also, Happy Thanksgiving :D

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18:03 Nov 25, 2021

Hmm, well...a black cat of course XDD Happy Thanksgiving to you too! :DD

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TJ Squared
18:28 Nov 25, 2021

great thanks lol :DDDDD

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20:42 Nov 25, 2021

Np! Will I find out what it’s for? XD :)))))

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TJ Squared
22:15 Nov 25, 2021

Prolly eventually lolll :]]]]

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22:45 Nov 25, 2021

XD oki lol :DDDD

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Dhwani Jain
12:47 Nov 15, 2021

Hello all! https://wp.me/pd3y1A-fD Please check out my latest post, THE VIRUS, YOU AND ME, a podcast. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did writing it! Dhwani Jain Dream DJ {https://djdhwanijain.wordpress.com/}

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Dhwani Jain
03:12 Nov 15, 2021

https://awards.storymirror.com/program/a34cda60-d779-4a08-97c3-061fa2b8f801/english/author/13djd0wt/story Please click on this link and CLAP for me so that I can win the AUTHOR OF THE WEEK AWARD!!!!!!!!!! Thank you

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Dhwani Jain
06:16 Nov 09, 2021

Bio updated!

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Dhwani Jain
08:20 Oct 02, 2021

The post is out guys! I can’t believe it the number of views it has gotten! Please do check it out! I am really happy with the response and would love it if you guys too check the post out!!! ~ Dhwani Jain {02-10-2021}

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Dhwani Jain
14:01 Sep 16, 2021

Hello BC! How are you?

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17:24 Sep 19, 2021

Hey DJ, it’s been a while! :D I’m great, been pretty busy lately but otherwise doing good :) How’ve you been?

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Dhwani Jain
03:11 Sep 20, 2021

Okay! I am really good too!

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13:54 Sep 20, 2021

:D

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Unknown User
22:43 Aug 29, 2021

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23:16 Aug 29, 2021

Aw, thank you so much Sienna! I have been using KOTLC as inspiration for this as you can tell XD The funny thing is though, I actually got the idea for this story way before reading KOTLC, so it was cool to see the similarity! Oh yeah, thanks for catching that! I just fixed it lol. Thanks so much for reading! :DD

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Unknown User
23:49 Aug 29, 2021

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23:53 Aug 29, 2021

:))) Hey, speaking of KOTLC, have you read Unlocked yet?

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Unknown User
00:11 Aug 30, 2021

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00:30 Aug 30, 2021

Nice! Did you like it? I finished it about a month ago. It was great, but I actually cried at the ending lol

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Unknown User
12:55 Oct 06, 2021

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19:12 Oct 06, 2021

Aw, tysm Abigail! :))))

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Unknown User
19:23 Oct 06, 2021

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19:51 Oct 06, 2021

:DD Btw I haven’t forgotten the rest of your Roommate series, I’ll be reading the ones I missed soon ;)

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23:07 Oct 06, 2021

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