It had only been three weeks since they had last been inside The Crystal Kingdom but to Callum and his younger siblings Violette, Alex and Ruby it seemed like forever. They wanted to go back so badly, but even now, as they sat inside their parent’s car on the way home from their family holiday, with the rain pouring down outside and smashing on their Dad’s windscreen, they knew that going back was the most unlikely thing in the world.
It had been such a cool holiday for so many reasons. They had stayed in a nine bedroom mansion with their best friends, Rose, George and Issy along with their families and had stayed up late every night. They had played games and sang songs and had midnight feast after midnight feast. They had explored the woods, the seaside, crammed just about as much fun as they could wish for into their school summer holiday and were pretty much exhausted.
The coolest thing by far though had been finding the crystals hidden in the cave in the woods. Little did they know then how those magical crystals would change, not only their holiday but also their very lives forever! Surely there must be some way they could get back to The Crystal Kingdom, back to Velaro Fore.
As their car pulled into the drive of their house near Dartford in Kent, Callum let out a sigh.
“What’s the matter?” asked his Mum Kel.
“Oh nothing really. I just miss everyone I suppose. It’s so different here too from where we’ve just been.”
“Yeah I know what you mean” Kel replied with a smile. “Come on everyone let’s get everything inside quickly and maybe we can order some pizza as one last treat of the holiday.”
She didn’t need to ask twice as quick as a flash, the children all jumped out of the car and started relaying all of the bags to the front door.
Kel looked at her husband Christophe and they both laughed. They had never seen them move so fast and they too jumped out of the car and started bringing in the rest.
It didn’t take long before everything was inside and with the pizza ordered and promptly eaten, they all suddenly felt so tired that they decided to go to bed straight away.
It was while the children were upstairs in Callum’s room that he started whispering to them.
“Look what I found guys” he said. Indicating to them that they should keep as quiet as possible. “It’s some kind of package but it’s addressed to us four. I have no idea who it’s from. I don’t recognise the writing and I don’t even recognise the post mark. Shall I open it?”
“Where did you find it?” asked Violette, eager to find out.
“It was in with the other post downstairs and I took it out before Mum and Dad could see.”
“Yes quickly open it now” said Ruby excitedly.
“I wonder what it can be” said Alex looking at the others.
Callum tore at the packaging and inside there were three items. A rather elaborate hardback book entitled ‘The Land of Love or Fear’, a brief letter, handwritten on high quality note paper and last of all a small dark, sparkly crystal. All of the children looked at each other in wonder as Callum started reading the note.
’Dear Callum, Violette, Alex and Ruby,
I can’t give you too many details but we are in trouble. I knew that we hadn’t seen the last of Nerrez but I didn’t think he would be back quite so soon. Inside the book I have sent you on page twenty two, you will find a secret code that activates the portal crystal which I have also enclosed. Place the crystal on the ground and use the portal to come back to Velaro Fore and help us to stop Nerrez. I have sent similar instructions to Rose and George and to Issy too. Please hurry, there is no time to lose.
Your friend and loyal servant,
“Whoa guys, this is unbelievable” said Callum excitedly. “What shall we do?”
“I vote that we go back there right now” said Violette.
“Me too” said Alex and Ruby at the same time. Well they were twins after all!
“Callum go to page twenty two quickly and read what it says” cried Violette almost in a frenzy of excitement.
Callum found the page and started reading it out loud.
‘The children had wondered how they could get back to The Crystal Kingdom, back to Velaro Fore but it was actually quite easy. All they needed to do was to remember that fear can be strong’. Callum continued reading. ‘So all of the children held hands, closed their eyes and said out loud three times “fear is strong, Velaro Fore, love or fear”, and in an instant a portal opened up before them that led them back to The Crystal Kingdom.’
Callum stopped reading and looked at the others speechless. None of them said a word as Callum placed the crystal on the floor in front of them. One by one they held onto each others hands and closed their eyes.
“OK guys after three we’ll all say it together three times remember. One, Two, Three.”
They all stood there chanting the words three times over and when they finished they quickly opened their eyes and there it was. Another bright, shiny portal opening up right in front of them.
They all cheered and Violette ran straight through without hesitation, quickly followed by the other three very excited, happy children. The portal closed and all was quiet. Little did they know however, that this portal was not taking them back to The Crystal Kingdom.
Outside of Callum and Alex’s bedroom all was still. It was the middle of the night now and the sky was bright with the moon high up and the stars shining out everywhere. Suddenly there was a flash and a large portal opened up and out flew Rose and George heading towards Callum’s open bedroom window. If anyone could have seen them they would have probably passed out with fright or complete shock. After all, it’s not every day you see a flying, pink unicorn and a large, purple dragon circling over the skies of Kent.
Rose called out,
“Callum, Callum it’s us Rose and George. Wake up” she cried. There was no reply . “I don’t think he can hear us George. He must be sound asleep.”
“Let’s just go inside” said George as he held on to the window ledge.
“OK” said Rose as she held on too.
They closed their eyes and gradually started changing back into their human form again, giggling as they realised they were still in their pyjamas they quickly climbed through the window and tiptoed over to Callum and Alex’s bunk beds. That’s when they realised that the beds were empty and their giggles turned into concerned frowns when they found the book and the note laying on the floor which they quickly read.
Everything was moving so fast. What was going on? Rose had literally just got back from her holiday earlier that evening. A holiday in which she not only discovered magical crystals that transported her and her friends into another world, turned her into a horse, then a unicorn and then a flying unicorn as well as turning her brother George and their friends into various other creatures.
That would have been enough on its own but there was more. She also found out after a series of events that she had to save that world, The Crystal Kingdom from her evil Uncle Nerrez and Auntie Maura. Oh yeah and also that her real parents Abner and Alva were the true King and Queen of that land and that they had run for their lives when Rose was still inside her Mum’s tummy thirteen years ago.
Now, having discovered earlier that evening that she could go back into The Crystal Kingdom, back into Velaro Fore anytime she wanted to, Rose had told her brother George and they had come straight away to see their friends to tell them the good news, only to find them gone.
“We have to go straight away and help Sunny. If Nerrez is back already we need to be there. We need to go back right now” said Rose. “Hold on wait. What about Issy?” she suddenly asked.
“The note says that Sunny has sent a message to Issy so she’ll know to meet us there” replied George.
“Oh yeah, you’re right. Sorry I wasn’t thinking straight. She’ll probably be there already. Let’s go.” With that Rose opened up a large portal to Velaro Fore and as quickly as they had appeared in the night sky they disappeared again, heading back into The Crystal Kingdom.