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Fiction Fantasy

 “Here you go, it’s yours now,” a man I vaguely recognize opens the door to my room and throws a small parcel onto my bed. He turns to leave, starting to shut my door. I quickly interject, “who are you? I think I might know you, but I’m not sure.”

“Yeah, I’m your uncle Jim.”

“Oh right… uncle Jim, don’t you live in the South West corridor?”

“Yes I do, I assume you know what that is.”

“Yes, more or less.”

“Okay, great, enjoy.” He starts shutting the door again, but I interrupt one more time, annoyed, he turns around and lets out a sigh as I say, “what do I do with it.”

“Uh, I don’t really know, you’ll figure it out.” Once again he starts to shut the door, but before he can I ask, “when do I pass it along.”

“There’s no exact time, you’ll know. Can I go now,” he asks in an exasperated voice. It’s kind of annoying me that he’s so put out with answering my questions, he should have known that I would have questions, I mean children in this family don’t exactly get a briefing on what this is.

“Yes, you can go.” Immediately he shuts the door and walks away. I turn to the parcel on my bed. It’s a small velvet bag with what appears to be a box inside of it. I pick up the smooth, soft bag, and reach my hand in, grab the box inside, and pull it out. The box is wooden, and rough, it hasn’t been sanded. Why hasn’t it been sanded? If the plan was to pass this around the family for who knows how long, might as well sand it. I digress, time to open the box.

The lid rotates upwards easily on two hinges. Inside, nestled gently in a felt cloth, is a key. All this fuss and it’s just a key? I reach down into the box, and wrap my fingers around the middle of it, and slowly lift it out. The metal is smooth to the touch, it’s well detailed and decorated. The head of it is made to look like a dragon breathing fire, the red fire travels and wraps around the middle portion of the key and at the tip it turns into ice, and suddenly halts leaving the untouched tip of the key shaped like whatever keyhole it’s supposed to go in. Odd. Even stranger the dragon, the fire, and the ice are detailed, and intricately colored in, while the parts that are not detailed with this scene just look like any old key. Once again, odd. What key is in color like this? And what key has such intricate decoration. I assume it’s important. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s just… different.

I go to put the key back, wanting to get a shower before bed, but as I go to put the key I notice a piece of paper at the bottom of the box. I set the key aside, and pick up the paper. The paper is definitely old and worn, it’s probably been around a while. The edges are ripped, and have turned yellow, but the center, which posses a mass of writing, is in relatively good condition. In long scrawly handwriting, the note reads as follows:

Dear proprietor May 6, 1870

Here is a summation of the events and knowledge you need for your essential endeavor. There are many realms, the weakest of which is earth. Entities from one realm aren’t permitted to interact with other realms. The mediators from the mediator realm make sure this doesn’t happen, if it does, they expel them. Mediators walk a realm surmise if there are any intruders, as they aren’t completely clairvoyant. To achieve this, they inhabit a host. I am a host. They orchestrated me to meet with a friend, so they could be close enough to me to inhabit me. I skipped, and they couldn’t banish the entities that reside on earth. The entities have blocked the mediators out. They are a menace to us. If a creature is killed by an entity from another realm, their soul roam the realms. Eventually The Reaper obtains their soul, and tortures them for all of time in a realm that is akin to hell. Be that as it may, we still have a chance, you. The house you live in is imbued with magical properties, which you will discover with time. I don’t know what the key is for, you will figure that out. Good luck.

My head hurts. All of this. What? How? Nothing is. Where? Reaper? I haven’t seen. These disjointed things run through my head. I feel as if I can’t move, I can only let my body go limp, fall back onto my bed, and go to sleep, clutching the key and the note.

I am awoken by my mothers voice calling out, “Leona, come down for breakfast!” The first thing I notice is I feel tired, like I just ran a mile, my body shakes as I feebly lift myself out of my bed. Did what I think happened last night really happen? “Leona!” My mom calls again.

“Coming,” I weakly respond, there’s no way she heard me, I could barely hear myself. I look around, and of course. There it is, the key and the note on the bed. The box and bag are at the end of the bed. Wonderful, so this is real. I sigh and hop out of bed, well more like stumble out of bed. I groggily go downstairs, but not before stopping in the bathroom. I know I shouldn’t, but I do anyways, I take a look in the mirror. Yep, I look terrible, as if I just got into a fight. Wow last night must have been really rough when I was sleeping.

I wander downstairs, and take a seat in the kitchen, one of many, just like it. Our house is extraordinarily big, and everyone gets their own little wing of it. This is how I didn’t immediately recognize my uncle. He lived in such a foreign part of the house that I didn’t recognize him. My mom walks in at that moment, “you don’t look so great.”

“I got the key” I mumble.

“Ah, I see. Well go get it and follow me.” I did as she said, and follow her through the winding hallways until we reach a door glowing in blue, at the end of a long corridor. “Go in,” she says indicating to the door. I give a confused look, but as I am too tired to argue, I shakily make my way over to the door. I put the key up to it, but finding no keyhole, I try opening it without the key and to my surprise it opens. As soon as I look inside, I feel an irresistible pull into the room. Unable to control it, I follow it into the room, the massive expanse, there is no light, save for the glowing door. Why’s the door shutting? How am I still walking. What is this? Stop walking! But answers, I want answers. Still so much I don’t understand, so much I feel obligated to do. It’s my destiny. Now I’m sitting on a black platform, in a black room. I can’t see, the blue light from the door went out. Are those stars? I feel like I’m in space. Wait am I in space? I must be, because I’m… floating? I’m surrounded by the stars. No not stars, light in the distance. The concepts of up and down, erased. I know not where the floor is. The sensation, incredible, the peace, I wish I could do this forever. How did this even get here? The lights are approaching, coming towards me with increasing speed. Until. They are gone. My eyes shut automatically. In my head I see our realm beside many others, and at the end I see a red scorched realm. That must by the Hell spoken of in the letter.

My eyes open, or I should say, a force opens my eyes. The lights are back. I hear a soothing, otherworldly voice say, “I see you have the key,” the voice sounds as if were not one voice, but many of the same voices layered on top of each other. It echoes through the otherwise silent chamber. “I am one of the mediators spoken of in that note of yours.”

“What am I supposed to do with the key?” I ask, now fully awake because of the shock from all of this.

“Restore balance and order to the realms. The creatures that have invaded earth do not belong in your realm, they have to go. They have unfortunately stopped us from getting into your realm. You must undo what they did, so we can come and banish them.”

“How do I do that?”

“I’m not sure as I don’t know exactly what they did. However, I am sure you can figure it out and reverse it. Unfortunately, until now it was necessary to wait to undo what they did. But now, now we have to act, and you are the one to restore the natural order. Do not fail us, everything is counting on you. You can start your quest in the library attached to this room.”

July 14, 2022 19:27

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9 comments

19:27 Jul 18, 2022

Hi Cole, this is an interesting read and it sounds like there is more of the story to come. I agree with the other comments about trying to make the note sound more of its time and not slowing down the action so much with details. I'd also suggest that you try to make the note less chatty, and so shorter. I found it difficult to keep my attention on it for so long and I admit I did skip some bits. Can you cut anything that is redundant to tighten it up a bit? Otherwise it's a really interesting story. Congratulations on your first submissi...

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Cole Hiller
19:56 Jul 18, 2022

Thank you! I do agree with you about the note being too long. When I was writing it I did not like how long it was, I can't blame you for skipping some parts. I would imagine that there are some parts I can shorten, I will take a look at that. Thanks again!

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Cole Hiller
20:33 Jul 18, 2022

Just fixed the letter, would you mind looking at it?

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20:37 Jul 18, 2022

Hi Cole, it is better, much better. It does need a thorough proof read for punctuation and a check over for wording that could be better suited to the time. I often find when I make big edits like this that if I sleep on it after and reread the next day I pick things up better. Also, reading it word by word out loud often helps me to catch any errors. Maybe you could try that tomorrow?

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Cole Hiller
20:39 Jul 18, 2022

Yeah, that's a good idea, I will be sure to do that tomorrow, thanks for the tip!

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Amanda Fox
14:48 Jul 17, 2022

You're off to a great start of what looks to be an epic quest! You have a knack for descriptions - I can picture that key in my mind in detail. Leona has an interesting narrative voice - she seems like she will be a fun protagonist with her curiosity and sarcasm as a lens we use to view your world. Two quick critiques: sometimes, you give a play-by-play of action (put hand in bag, pulled out thing, etc.), but that amount of detail I don't think is necessary, and I think it slows down the action. That being said, it's a great technique if...

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Cole Hiller
15:19 Jul 17, 2022

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! Your critiques are very helpful, I did not think about when to use and when not to use that level of detail, so that's very eye opening, and something I will have to think about when writing. When I was writing the letter, I did not think to use era appropriate language, I will be sure to pay attention to that in the future!

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L. E. Scott
19:02 Jul 16, 2022

Interesting. A couple tweaks. I noticed in the letter there were two sentences in quick succession that began with "in fact", might try using a synonym there, and one time you switched from present to past tense. Other than that, good work. I enjoyed reading and camt wait to see where you take this.

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Cole Hiller
19:08 Jul 16, 2022

Thank you! I will take a look at those things

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