This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Ariel felt like there was a cannonball in her stomach. Her legs like jelly, feeling ready to just collapse.
She took a deep breath, let it fill her lungs, her entire body, then let it go. Almost all of her stress left with the breath. But a lot of it stayed with her.
Her hands gripped the straps of her duffel bag tightly. Biting down on her lower lip. Only now realising that she’d been standing in the same spot for at least a minute. Just as she summoned the courage to take a step she looked back.
Standing there, among a crowd of other people she could just make out her grandma. It was kind of easy. Her grandma was small, her white hair like a dollop of whipped cream and a purple cardigan.
But there was nobody else. No Mom or Dad, or even her brothers. Not even any of her friends from school. At least with the latter she could justify it by saying that they needed to get ready for their college courses. Even that was like she was making excuses for them.
That cannonball in her stomach felt a lot colder. Despite dozens of people surrounding her she felt totally alone.
Her grandma waved at her, although the distance made it fuzzy she could make out a smile on the wrinkled face. Well at least there was someone here to support her. That at least felt somewhat nice.
Taking and releasing another deep breath she walked forward. With each step she felt like she was stepping deeper and deeper into a dark pool. Strange and frightening, with no idea what to expect.
Ahead of her the building grew with each step. Not just because she was moving closer, but as if the entire building was actually growing independently. Looking like a massive stone pimple, getting ready to burst on the face of the earth.
Someone knocked into her shoulder.
All anxiety left her, replaced with anger.
She glared up at the person that still hadn’t apologised. The guy was a human-animal hybrid, covered in dull gold fur, a mouth of fangs, and pair of dark glasses sitting starkly on his face.
“Hey, watch it,” she said.
The guy huffed. “Watch yourself, lamb chop.” Then he just carried on.
She stayed, shooting daggers at the furry back. Noting that the guy only wore a pair of dark blue shorts.
“And they say chivalry’s dead,” someone said behind her in a Canadian accent.
She turned and saw a girl about her age wearing a leather jacket and aviator sunglasses. Long auburn hair running down her back. Unlike Ariel, who wore a simple tracksuit, the girl wore jeans and a black shirt with the logo for some band on it.
She felt a smile creep on her face. “I try and not to judge the whole gender based on one guy.”
“Ah, very open minded of you. Unfortunately I’m not so enlightened.”
“I hate to see such prejudice in this day and age.”
“Well, I figure if I assume that all guys are nice, as opposed to jerks, then I’m going to get my little heart broken one too many times.”
“Something along the lines of: can’t disappoint a pessimist?”
The girl tapped her nose, then held out her hand. “Name’s Rebecca by the way.”
Ariel shook the hand. “Ariel.”
“Oh, like the princess.”
“Yep, just minus the tail, singing voice and pale complexion.”
The two of them carried on forward. Around them the stream of people moving at a relative steady pace. One person zoomed with superhuman speed through the crowd. Running back and forth, mocking people for their slow pace.
A few people flew overhead, one of them dropping peanuts on the people below. Some others walked on inhuman legs, some of them weren’t even legs. Despite being surrounded by this world for her entire life she was still amazed at the sight of all these different abilities on display.
“So Ariel, my Yankee neighbour. What’s your deal?”
“Yeah, you know, super strength, acid breath, glow in the dark, what?”
Ariel almost answered, but right as her mouth opened she closed it and smiled. “It’s a secret.”
“Oh come on, I thought we were friends. I mean we’ve gone back all the way since a minute ago.”
“Well I hate to threaten a strong friendship such as this but I’d rather show it off inside.”
“Damn, I was hoping to get a leg up on the competition. Ah well, no harm. Can’t blame you for playing your cards close to your chest.”
Ariel expected Rebecca to walk away, her investigation thwarted and no need to talk to her. Instead Rebecca put her hands behind her head and carried on. She couldn’t help but find it funny. Not that long ago she was quivering in fear, now she made a friend.
She pointed to one other girl in the crowd, the girl looked Polynesian. “So what do you think her deal is then?”
Rebecca looked at the girl, hummed for a second then answered. “I’m fifty-fifty on either laser eyes or super jumping.”
“Yeah, jumping, but you know…super.”
Ariel laughed, a few people turned to look at her with raised eyebrows. She stopped and felt blood rush to her face. “Okay, how about you, what’s your guess for one million dollars?”
“American or Canadian dollars?”
Rebecca made a face like a half-hearted scowl. “Just answer the question.”
Ariel looked at the girl again, all the super powers that she’d seen running through her mind. “I’m…thinking…fire breath?”
Rebecca shrugged. “Good enough I guess. We’ll find out inside anyway.”
They were getting closer to the entrance. The stream getting closer together, the people in uniforms directing them inside like landing planes.
Ariel pointed to another person. A guy in a blue hoodie, reading a book as he walked. “With that guy I’m thinking he can move things with his mind.”
Rebecca looked at him, considered then said, “Nah, I’d say he’s like some super genius.”
“Oh, like a genius but…you know super?” Ariel said, resisting the urge to jab an elbow into Rebecca’s side.
“No, I’ve just got this skill called hearing,” the guy said, in an English accent. It made the pair of them jump. Just the fact that he didn’t even turn back to talk to them. “Unfortunately it comes with the side effect of hearing people gossip behind your back.”
The guy just carried on walking away, his face never leaving his book. The pair of them stopped, looked at one another and laughed.
Other people continued to stream past them. Giving the pair of them odd looks. When they finally finished Ariel noticed the end of the line was approaching them. The voices of the guys in uniform could actually be heard above the crowd.
“Would people please make their way quietly and orderly!” they shouted on repeat.
The two of them looked at each other.
“You know once we walk through those doors we’ll be enemies,” Rebecca said.
The smile still hadn’t left Ariel’s face. She held out a hand. “Well I hope that if I make any archenemies they’ll be as awesome as you are.”
Rebecca snickered at that and shook her outstretched hand. “I very much doubt that. But we can live in hope.”
After they finished shaking hands they turned and walked through the doors.
The world of superheroes awaited them.
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
Julia Summers PA: It's Prodigious, Shocking, Stunning, Unbelievably fascinating and enduring yet evil has a presence about it! Epic writing style! - Nook Books and More BlogRed that pulls you in. The characters have a way of pulling you in. They are all unique in a way that gives it a different appeal then the ave...
summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......
FateFellShort: I have read this story and have followed the writers on tumblr from the beginning. Its a wonderful story. Beautifully written with a really nice pace, that makes it enjoyable to read more than once. For me, fairy tail has very good characters but what the writers have done is give them more depth...
Tony Lee: Very interesting with good ideas! Would recommend it as a casual read. Been depressed for quite some time but this novel kept me occupied for about a week. If you enjoy fiction-thriller novels with some magic involved, then this is the novel for you.
Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."