Alisa Edwards was a typical teenage girl. Brown hair, green eyes, working at a coffee joint while attempting to make ends meet while also taking college classes to get a better job, youngest team captain of the high school volleyball team, and not to mention somehow finding time to study for the big test in high school coming up. Dual credit was starting to look like it was more work than it was worth. However, it was free of charge to her, so it was saving money in the end. With a huff, she leans forward against the counter of the local cafe in her hometown. Her eyes were worn, and dark circles were masked under her make-up. Hearing footsteps near, Alisa carefully stands and stretches, releasing a mighty yawn before slapping a smile on and pretending to look alive.
"Hello! Welcome to StarDoes. What would you like today?" The line she has had memorized for nearly two years now was nearly a knee jerk reaction, and the person in front of her laughs. "Tired, are we, Alisa?" The girl smiles and drops the facade while grabbing a medium cup. "You could say that again, Mrs. Swan. One mid-sized white chocolate hazelnut and two chocolate croissants coming right up." The short, plump, brown haired lady smiles and places down exact change. However, while Alisa's back is turned, she drops something in the jar labeled 'tips'. It was a piece of paper, and one could have sworn blue glitter like particles left her fingers as she dropped it, but they vanish in an instant.
Alisa gets the coffee started and the croissants in the oven before taking the money and placing the order. Out pops the register drawer and she puts the money away just as the oven dings and the machine stops steaming the milk. In less than a minute, the pastries are in a bag and the coffee is completed. Mrs. Swan nears the counter and takes it with a big smile. "I hope your day gets better sweetheart. And go ahead and put that paper in your pocket... You'll need it very soon."
Confused, Alisa turns and spots the paper in the jar. Reaching in, she takes it out and opens it. It was blank... at first. As footsteps approach, a symbol begins to appear as if by magic. Two swirls start opposite of each other on separate corners of the paper. Slowly they come together in the middle, where two dashes cross over. Three dots are above the middle line, one right between the two dashes. Nothing makes sense, especially when the symbol finishes just as the footsteps cease in front of her.
Shaking her head, Alisa shoves the paper into her back pocket and looks up. "Hi, welcome to-" She stops as she gets a look at the stranger before her, her breath hitching in her throat.
He was wearing a long, dark purple trench coat, covering most of what the rest of the shop may have seen. Gloves were on his hands, and his eyes were piercing through her own. They were a baby blue and glowing.
Not only that, but his skin was a greyish white. Pointed ears poked out from under his ruffled grey-blue hair, and his smile held two abnormally sharp canines. Alisa's eyes wander around, shocked no one else seems to notice this totally villainy character before her. As if knowing her thoughts, his smile widens. "No one can seem me except for you, dear Alisa." She steps back in fear and shock, which makes him laugh darkly. "Don't worry... I mean you no harm... yet." He raises his hand and holds it out towards her with his palm facing Alisa. With her heart rate flying through the roof, Alisa can't think straight until her back pocket starts burning.
"Don't move... or things might get messy."
Alisa looks back at the villainy man, but she can barely see him as a bright light floods her vision and wind whips around her. She holds back her scream, but slightly lets it out as the floor under her feet vanishes. The sensation of falling fills her, but when she opens her eyes, all she can see is grey and white, as if she was falling through some sort of portal.
Her back pocket burns again, and she quickly remembers the paper! The instant her hand touches the paper in her pocket, the whole tunnel thing she was in flashes orange. A scream of rage could be heard, but before she can react, Alisa feels the ground slam against her back. It wasn't as painful as she was expecting, but it was a nice cushion either. Sunlight murders her eyes, and she blinks rapidly while moving her hands over the smooth grass.
As her eyes open, Alisa finds herself staring at a bright red and pink sky. White clouds lightly littered it, but what makes her sit up is the grass.
It was blue!
With a gasp, she shoots up into a sitting position, startled and scared, and slightly sore. Glancing around, Alisa finds herself in the middle of an open field, surrounded by trees with cyan barks and leaves of all different colors. Some were even nearly see through! Confusion sets in, turning the emotions within her into chaos. There was no way any of this was real! It couldn't be! And yet...
Slowly, Alisa stands. She pulls the piece of paper out and unfolds it. The symbol was still there, but now it was glowing a cyan blue, and slightly pulsating like a signal. One of the three dots was orange, but the others were white. Just as she was trying to understand, a voice nearly makes her scream.
Jumping out of her skin and turning around, Alisa finds herself face to face with a short, plump lady with brown hair, holding a StarDoes cup in her hand. "Mrs. Swan?!" Memory sparks in Alisa's mind as to who gave her the paper. The lady simply nods, then speaks. "I am sorry you had to go through that, but let me properly introduce myself." The short lady suddenly begins to glow. Her whole body becomes like a lightbulb, and all Alisa can see after shielding her eyes is a slight silhouette. The plump legs slim out and Alisa can barely keep herself standing in one place as the light fades.
Before her now was a tall, elegant woman with grey-blue skin and flowing light blue hair. She was wearing a lovely dress that was seemingly a part of her. It was cyan blue as well, and appears to be strapless, ending in gemstones that lined her collar bone. Her ears were pointed as well, but feather piercings dangle from one. A crown was upon her head, and her eyes were a brilliant silver. "I apologize for deceiving you all these years, but I had to make sure you were the one." Finally finding her voice, Alisa shakes her head. "Woah, wait. The one? What are you talking about? What even are you? Where am I? What's going on?!" Slight panic begins to set in, and Mrs. Swan move closer to rest a hand on the teen's shoulder. "Be calm, Alisa. You are in my world, called Return. I am queen of the Highlanders, a tribe of what you would call 'elvish people'. My true name is Swanalia, but you may continue to call me Mrs. Swan."
Alisa slightly calms herself, but her eyes wander around in fear and curiosity. Swanalia notices this and straightens her stance. "Please, come with me. We cannot stay here or he might show up." This gets the young girl's attention, and she whips her head around to look at the queen, who was already walking away. "Wait, he? As in the crazed weirdo that sent me here?" The queen simply nods, and as Alisa gets closer, she realize she was also quite sorrowful. Afraid she said something wrong, Alisa starts to form a sentence when the queen stops her. "It's quite alright. He is the one I need your help against, and the reason I have been watching over you and guarding you these past few years." Alisa nods, and turns towards the direction they were walking. The pair were nearing the tree line, and Alisa finally starts to realize this was actually real. She turns to the queen again. "What does he want with me?"
The queen stops, just as they are about to enter this enchanted forest. She slightly turns to face the young girl, and sigh. "You are part of a prophecy that will turn all of his hard work into ash and save this planet.... He refuses to turn from his ways, knowing they are endangering the very essence of our home..." Alisa doesn't quite understand why he would want her at first. However, her eyes slowly widen as the truth dawns on her. "He... was going to take me out of the equation.... He was going to kill me." The queen is quickly in her line of sight, kneeling to get eye level with her. Her hand is back on Alisa's shoulder, and her touch calms the girl. Their eyes lock, and the queen vows, "I will never let him harm you as long as my hearts beat and my veins flow. You are safe with me, young Alisa." The teen feels her heart rate slow, and she takes a deep breath. Despite the queen having parade around as someone else, she had saved Alisa's life twice now, once in the shop and another right now by making that vow. The queen stands and turns back to the woods.
"Now please, come quickly. I will tell you everything I can once we return to my home." Alisa can only nod and follow, and the two disappear into the woods. A few hundred yards away, a pair of baby blue glowing eyes glare at their backs. "You may have saved her now, but even you can't protect her forever, my beloved...." The male Highlander growls, but then he suddenly vanishes in a puff of black smoke that causes the nearby vegetation to wither and wilt.