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Zakiah Adara: Year One

By dragonazul85 All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Part One: Dark Clouds

She hated him.

Somewhere, amongst the crowd, she sat with sorrow in her eyes. It was clear that she must be waiting for someone, but no one dared to ask if she was alright or lonely. Rumor had it that she had been sitting there for almost an hour now. No one said anything to her, but she didn’t care. All she cared about was being abandoned by the one she was supposed to trust.

She was waiting at a small local carnival. Most of the kids her age were having fun on the rides or with their friends. Instead, she was alone… again. She hated it. Sighing, she dropped her head, trying to hide the tears in her eyes. The tough persona that she had tried to build up around her was quickly falling to pieces.

Her parents had tried to warn her about him and about most boys in general. They said, “All boys think about is sex.” But, she thought that he was different. She thought that he would wait for her. He told her that he would wait for her. But…her parents were right, again. If only she had actually taken their advice. Instead, she listened, pushed it from her thoughts, and never brought him up again. She tried her best not to upset her parents. They had enough stress over her two siblings to worry about her. For once, she went against their wishes, and this was how it paid off?

She dreaded the inevitable, “I told you so.”

Still, she waited. She was hopeful that her fortune would change. That he would sweep her off her feet and carry her away to her destiny. Of course that was a dream and would never come true. Not for her. She didn’t know why, but every time she liked a guy, someone else always stole him away.

Of course it was the worse when she actually learned that Mark and Kimmy were more than just close friends. There had been many rumors going around that Mark was cheating on her, but no one knew who with, or at least no one would say. Besides that, she never wanted to believe it. She finally had a boyfriend and there was no way she was just going to let him go so easily.

That was until she ran straight into her greatest fear come true. Falling down the stairs that day not only hurt her head, but her pride, as well as her heart. It was from her spot on the floor that she saw a disgusting sight. Mark had Kimmy pushed up against the lockers and his mouth was all over hers along with his hands all over her body. She wasn’t quite sure how they didn’t hear her fall, but all she knew was she had to get away as fast as she could.

So now, here she was, quietly waiting for Mark to finally show up for their date. She had even dressed up for the night: new jeans, a black mid-drift, and the kaki jacket that her grandma had given her for Christmas. It wasn’t anything fancy, but she had secretly hoped to impress him. She was praying that he would really come. But, as of now, he was already an hour late and he had said something about seeing someone beforehand. Her heart grieved from the ache that was reaching her soul. There was nothing else she could do except break up with him.

Already she had decided this would be the night. This was it, she was finally going to end it…but she couldn’t carry out her plan if he didn’t show up.

She sighed heavily and lay down on the bench. Her eyes were watching the stars, hoping that they would answer her prayers. There was no answer. They were just watching her in pain.

Giving up on hope, she closed her eyes. With that, she tried her best to hide away from the world. From that pain that was clouding her heart.

Attendance was high for such an event. There were so many fun rides to experience that no child could refuse. Neither could the children at heart whose imaginations were full of expectations of cotton candy, caramel apples, love, and even…deceit? 

Somewhere, within the carnival, a romance was continuing to blossom and was growing into a full blown affair. Though the consummation of their relationship had already taken place, it was only now that their hearts were starting to fall for each other. If only his girlfriend knew that.

A petite teenager with tan skin and dyed purple hair looked around the carnival from her position. She and her lover had been riding the Ferris Wheel and had stopped with them at the top. She could see all of the people below that had come out to the local carnival that were eager to experience the events. She smiled, knowing there was one girl down there who came to the carnival with certain intensions that would never be fulfilled.  


The name brought a bitter taste to her mouth. She was still reminding herself that Devona was Mark’s girlfriend…according to the laws of dating anyway. Mark asked Devona out, Devona said yes, they kissed, held hands, hugged and that was it. However, she was the one that really brought Mark true pleasure. What he wanted and what he needed.

But, once again, according to the laws of dating, Mark was still attached to Devona. Kimmy didn’t know if he ever would break up with Devona. He seemed to be enjoying this sad game, and, honestly, Kimmy had enjoyed it at first as well.

A strong gust of wind blew her purple hair into her face, blocking the people of the carnival from her view. She struggled to shake the hair from her eyes, but a strong hand quickly pushed it aside for her. It was then that her attention was brought back to the reason she was here in the first place: Mark.

“What are you looking at? You should be looking at me,” said the jock with a very cocky smile.

Kimmy was disgusted for a second, but it was quickly replaced by her own cocky smile. She reached over and gently squeezed the inside of his leg. Mark gasped and leaned closer to her.

She smirked and whispered in his ear, “Remember Mark, you’re the one who is really gaining from this whole thing. Don’t piss me off or you’ll be back to being deprived.”

Before he could even think of a response, her hand was gone from his leg. She leaned back into the bucket seat with evil intentions in her eyes. Their depths spoke of what she and Mark had done right before attending the carnival. That thought alone sent shivers down Kimmy’s spine.

He couldn’t help himself, she could tell by the desperate look on his face. He quickly slipped his arm lower down her back and around her waist. He pulled her close to him. He lowered his lips to her neck and started to give her his ultimate form of praise.

“God, you’re so hot,” he whispered.

She was unimpressed. She knew this whole thing was fun. She loved playing with Devona’s heart, since they had never seen eye to eye, but this was getting old. Before he could take his adventure any further, Kimmy pushed him away from her. The shocked look on his face asked the question before he could

“Damn it, Mark! You can’t keep doing this to me.”

“Doing what?”  he asked.

She gave an exasperated sigh, crossing her arms firmly over her chest. With a roll of her light brown eyes she answered him. “This whole cheating thing, it’s really getting old. If I’m so damn hot, why don’t you dump that dumb blonde and just go out with me?”

He looked confused, “I thought you liked this.”

She corrected him, “I don’t like the fact that she is going out with you. I was the one you were supposed to ask out in the first place. If that had happened, then you wouldn’t have been with Devona and we never would have to keep pretending like this isn’t really happening. Why did you go out with her in the first place? You knew you weren’t going to get any.”

“Any what?”

She rolled her eyes again, “Oh, don’t play stupid.”

Sorrow quickly appeared on his face, which was something that Kimmy really wasn’t expecting. He sighed and put his hands on his head, hiding his face from her. Kimmy was shocked. This was not what was supposed to happen. He was supposed to say, “You’re right, I’ll break up with her tonight.” Not have a nervous breakdown over her finally pointing out the truth.

After a few moments of her attempting to catch her breath she asked, “Why?”

“I honestly don’t know,” was his only reply.

The bitter taste returned to Kimmy’s mouth and her face revealed the same bitterness. “Don’t tell me you actually love her?”

Silence was his only response. Kimmy could feel her heart breaking. This must have been how Devona would have felt if she had known the truth. Either way, it was all over now. Kimmy couldn’t wait to get off of that stupid ride.

“Devona?” a voice asked.

Devona slowly opened her blue eyes to find a pair of brown ones gazing down on her. She gasped and quickly sat up on the bench. She hadn’t meant to fall asleep. Devona turned her attention back to the girl who had woken her up. Above her stood a small Asian girl, looking down at her with worried eyes.

Rose. She was Devona’s best friend, even if her sister was evil. It just so happened that Rose and Kimmy were siblings, though they both often denied it. Kimmy was older by two years, making her the same age as Mark. So of course she was pissed when Mark picked a sophomore over her. Or at least, that was what Devona had assumed.

Eventually Devona came back to reality and began to listen to what her friend had to say.

“Devona? Are you okay?” asked Rose.

Devona tried her best to just laugh it off, but Rose’s eyes still watched her with concern. Devona stopped laughing and answered her friend’s question.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I was just waiting for Mark to show up. I guess he’s really not going to. What time is it?”

Rose pulled out her cell phone and illuminated the screen, “It’s almost 11:00.”

Devona’s jaw dropped, “Are you serious!”


Forming her hands into fists Devona leapt to her feet with fire blazing in her eyes. “Mark was supposed to meet me here, right here, at 9 o’clock sharp! He promised he would be here exactly at 9, but is he here? No! Did he ever show up? No!”

 Rose jumped to stand next to her, “Maybe he did and you were sleeping so you missed him,” she said, trying to dampen the situation.

“Really Rose? You think a good boyfriend would just let his girlfriend sleep on a bench while she was waiting for him to show up and not even bother to wake her?”

Rose bit her lip, “Well, I think we have already determined that Mark is not the best boyfriend .”

Devona sat down on the bench and sighed. “Yeah, well your sister isn’t the greatest person in the world either.”

“Hey,” Rose angrily sat next to her, “don’t bring Kimmy into this. Maybe she’s not actually with him right now…maybe he…uh…”

“Got stuck in traffic…at 9 o’clock at night?”

“They were doing some road work.”

“They are always doing road work Rose. It never makes anyone two hours late!”

Rose sighed and leaned against the back of the bench. “I’m really sorry Devona,” she whispered. Devona looked over at her friend to find Rose hanging her head in shame. “I wish that this whole thing went better for you. You were so excited when Mark first asked you out. Now, it might be ove—”

“Oh no, I’m definitely dumping him.”

Rose looked up at her, “I’m really sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“But she’s my sister. I just hope she really isn’t helping him cheat on you.”

“I’m pretty sure she is.” Considering I saw them making out in the hallway…

“Well,” Rose said as she got back up to her feet, “I’m heading home and I suggest that you do the same.”

“How are you getting home?” inquired Devona.

Rose giggled, “The guy that works at my booth with me offered me a ride home…he is really hot.”

“How old is he?”


“I don’t think he’s interested in a seventeen year old Rose.”

“Hey, I can still look. What about you?”

“I drove here, in my car. You know, since I actually got my license last year when I turned sixteen.”

“Ha ha, you think you’re so great with your car, but maybe, I don’t want to drive.”

Devona smiled, “Or maybe your dad won’t let you.”

Rose shook her head and smiled, “Good night, Devona. I think you should probably get home too. Just give up on Mark for now. Call him up and dump him later…or just text him. I don’t think he deserved anything more.”

Devona laughed quietly and stood up as well, “I think I’m going to have to. Thanks for waking me up Rose. You’re a good friend.”

Rose smirked and hugged her quickly, “No problem, I didn’t want you to get raped or anything.”

Devona’s smile faded as she slowly let go of Rose. “Such a concerned friend.”

Rose laughed. “Hey, I was just joking. Go on, go home.” Then, she paused. “Are you sure you’re okay to drive? You still seem tired.”

“I’m fine. Don’t treat me like a baby.”

“Sorry…I just don’t want you to die.”

“I’m not going to die!”

“Okay, okay, sorry, just hurry up and get home, okay?”

“Good night Rose, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Night Devona, be safe.”

Devona watched as her friend ran over to the guy she had spoken of. He was really cute with light tousled blond hair and a great build and height, but of course way too old for either of them. Devona couldn’t help but wonder if she should have been the one reminding Rose to be safe. Rose had never had a boyfriend before and was eagerly looking for one…even one that might be unattainable. Devona just hoped that this random carni could be trusted. She had forgotten about Rose’s job at a gaming booth. Devona was supposed to stop by and see Rose before she met up with Mark…but Devona was more concerned about seeing Mark than checking in with her own best friend.

She pressed her hand to her forehead, attempting to suppress the newly forming headache. “Relationships are stupid,” she whispered. Devona sighed and turned to where she parked her car. 

Elsewhere in the carnival, a group with peering eyes watched from a distance. They had a mission and were eager to see it through. A few people stopped and stared at them, noticing their strange clothes, but they soon continued on. None of the people had any idea of what these peoples’ presence in this world represented. They didn’t know of the darkness that clouded the space between Heaven and Earth. Hopefully, if all went according to plan, they never would.

Each of the group set out in search of their destiny. They paid off, all but one. More determined than the rest, he took off, desperate to find who he was looking for. 

Devona yawned as she walked, trying to find her way out of the carnival. Maybe it would have helped if she actually could remember where she parked. But, she had been too worried about Mark to even care about that at the time. She parked, marched in, found her bench in front of the balloon dart game and waited. Now she was really regretting her carelessness.

It seemed as though this carnival was getting larger every year. They were always adding to the labyrinth of rides and gaming tents. Perhaps, she should have taken Rose up on that offer to have random guy drive her home. But Devona was never so careless. She didn’t trust “random guy.” Maybe she should have tried harder to convince Rose to come with her. That would have probably been the most logical solution. At least they would have been lost together…and safe.

Devona pulled out her cell phone, hoping she had some missed calls or a few texts from Mark. Nothing. She thought about calling Rose, begging her to let Devona give her a ride home. But, as much as Devona didn’t trust “random guy,” Rose did. She didn’t want to spoil Rose’s attempt at love, even if he was “random guy.”

Devona sighed and put her phone away as she came to another intersection between gaming booths and rides. This was all just too much for her to handle tonight and her brain wasn’t working properly. She forced herself to concentrate on the scenery around her.

To the left were the swings, she knew for sure she did not park by them, she always hated those swings. In front of her were the kiddy rides bright with color and held no interest to her. However, to the right were some of the bigger rides including a tilt-a-whirl and Chaos. From what she remembered she heard a lot of people screaming when she first arrived. Maybe that was where she parked! Maybe…

 “Hopefully I can finally blow this popsicle stand,” Devona laughed.

“Would you like a popsicle?”  a voice asked from behind her.

Slowly Devona turned to see a small metal stand behind her with a cranky looking old lady running it. Above her was a sign that read, “Ice Cold Popsicles.”

Devona shook her head, “Well, you know it’s a saying…I was lost…” The woman looked confused and reached into the metal cart in front of her to look for a popsicle. Devona raised her hands quickly and waved in a stopping motion. The woman realized her mistake and stood up tall in silence. Devona laughed a bit and walked away whispering. “That’s not even funny...”

Devona made her way toward where she thought her car was parked. In her mind danced dreams of sleep, hot single boys and even more sleep. She was looking forward to going home and crashing for the weekend. This whole relationship was putting far too much pressure on her and she couldn’t take it anymore. Though she was dreading having to break up with Mark, even after all the crap that he put her through, it wasn’t going to be easy. But there was no way she could keep this up any longer. She had to break up with him as soon as possible.

Devona shook her head and whispered to herself, “Don’t think about that right now.  Just think about getting home and sleeping, that’s all that matters.”

As she was walking along, she heard the footsteps of someone running toward her. She didn’t pay any attention, assuming that it was some kids who were eager for the next ride. But as the footsteps got louder they demanded her attention.  

She glanced up just in time to see a tall dark man running straight at her. She gasped, and tried to move out of the way, but it was too late. The man ran into her at full speed, catching them both off guard. Devona cried out as the man’s body slammed into her and she lost her balance. Next thing she knew, she was lying in the dirt with the man on top of her.

Oddly enough, it felt nice to have this him so close to her. She blushed trying to remind herself that a random stranger had just knocked her down and that he could be the ugliest thing she had ever seen…but she hadn’t seen his face yet.

Slowly, she opened her eyes to find the man’s own eyes watching her intently. After one peek at him, her eyes flew open in shock.

Oh no…he was definitely not the ugliest thing ever.

The man had brown hair that was just a little too long. His bangs fell down in front of his face, but she could see enough to know he was probably one of the hottest guys she had ever seen. His skin was tan and she could tell he probably worked outside a lot, or just worked out a lot. She could feel his chest muscles pushed against her and that only caused her to blush even more.

Probably his most striking features though were his deep yellow eyes. They were something that Devona would expect to find on a predator, something that she had never seen before on a human. Those eyes were just simply amazing. She couldn’t look away from them.

She could feel the man’s breathe on her face and that made her shudder. Never before had a guy had this affect on her. She felt as if she were falling into an abyss that she never wanted to get out of. Then again, it could just be the fact that she had never been this close to a guy before, not even Mark. Now that was sad.

Eventually the man began to push himself off of her. At first, she was a little upset by the sudden loss of contact. Then she came crashing back down to reality. She didn’t even know this guy and he just came running from nowhere and knocked her flat on her ass.

Her anger was building and she glared up at him. He looked confused and opened his mouth to speak but she interrupted him.

“Hey sir, do you think you could at least watch where you’re going?” Devona yelled at the man as loud as she could. She was sure that someone around had heard her. But with quick glances in every direction she noticed that there was no one around. She then got worried. Oh great…Rose was right…I am going to get raped.

The man’s shocked eyes quickly turned angry and Devona suddenly regretted yelling at him. Without another word the man jumped to his feet, leaving Devona lying on the ground. She now got a good look at him. He was tall, probably over six feet tall, and slightly muscular, but not too much, just the way Devona liked guys to be. She could easily tell that his chest was defined through that button up silver shirt…wait, what the hell was he wearing?

Sure, the shirt wasn’t quite too far out, but it was rather weird. It wasn’t baggy like the shirts that most guys wear. It was tight and tucked into his blue bell bottoms? Not to mention his white platform shoes. Devona was beginning to reconsider the hotness of this guy.

She looked back up at his face to see he was still angry. When their eyes met again, he quickly looked away, as if he were looking for someone. After a few seconds, he looked back down at Devona to find her still staring at him. He sighed and lowered his hand toward her.

“Do you need a hand?” he asked. She could tell that he was really annoyed, but it was one of the sweetest things that anyone had ever done for her. She didn’t waste a second and grabbed his hand tightly. Another blush lit her cheeks as she watched him intently.

With a slight tug he was able to pull her back up to her feet. The pull, as slight as it was, was still a little too strong for Devona. She found herself pressed up against his chest again.

Their eyes found each other once more and she couldn’t turn away if her life depended on it. There was just something about this man that called her soul to pay attention to him and only him. She forgot all about her anger and fear of this man and only remembered the passion that she felt right at that moment.

Their lips were so close, but since he was taller than her, he would have to lean down to seal the deal. As lucky as Devona had been up to this point, she knew there was no way that her luck could be quite that good tonight.

They both realized just how close they were and stepped back from each other. Devona blushed and looked down at the ground as the man shook his head as if he were trying to remember something.

Slowly their eyes met once more, finally ready to discover why they had run into each other.

“Sorry,” they both said at the same time. Devona laughed and the man just smirked, she could tell it wasn’t a common occurrence for him.

Before Devona could say anything else, the man began to talk again.

“I’m really sorry about all of this. I’m…in a hurry, I didn’t see you. This isn’t good, because I’m supposed to be looking for someone. I’m really sorry,” he seemed to be trying to over explain himself. She wasn’t quite sure why, but she didn’t really care.

She smiled and waved her hand a bit, “Oh, don’t worry about it, hot guys knock me down all the time.” After she said that she noticed the confused look on his face. She gasped and put her hands over her mouth, realizing the negative connotation that could go with such a line. “Oh no…they don’t…I mean…” Now she was the one babbling.

Oh, I hope he doesn’t think that I was serious…hot guys never randomly run into me unless they are pushing me out of the way in the halls. Oh God…what if he took that to be a sexual metaphor! What if he thinks I’m a slut! Oh no! What am I going to do! I probably just ruined any chance I could ever have with this guy!

As her brain continued to fight amongst its self, the man watched her with questioning eyes. It was as if he were trying to read her and find out who she really was. 

He was trying to figure out the meaning of her words, but he was still really confused. Hot guys? He put his hand to his face, he was a little flush from running and the whole encounter, but he didn’t think that he was hot. She seemed too upset for her to only mean that he was hot. There must have been something else to what she said that he didn’t understand.

However, this girl made his heart beat in ways it never had before. He could still feel her pressed up against his body.  It was something he hadn’t felt in years. For the first time since before the whole “incident” he felt like a teenager, almost innocent…

Her unique smell was something mixed with vanilla and strawberries. Even though she now stood six feet away from him he could still smell her, every inch of her…

He shook his head, trying to return his heart rate back to normal. The Princess was still out there somewhere and he had to find her. Since he didn’t really trust the others to do so, the burden fell upon him.

He looked back at her. He was ready to give her one last apology and push her from his life forever just as she had entered it. Then he noticed something else about her. It was something that he wasn’t quite sure how he had missed before.  

As she laughed at her own stupidity, she was surrounded with a light blue glow that only could be explained as heavenly. His jaw dropped as visions entered his head of a woman dressed entirely in white and gold holding a sword. She had her back to him as her long blonde hair blew in the wind. Slowly, she turned her head to face him and gave him a smile as the vision vanished.

He couldn’t breathe…

Just as the Princess will recognize the location of her Star Point, you will recognize her.

She’s…this girl…is the Princess?

Finally she was over her embarrassment and found him simply staring at her. He could tell that she was a little uneasy from his gaze. He just couldn’t help but stare. This blonde beauty that smelled of vanilla and strawberries was actually the Princess he had been looking for.

Of course, he thought, she has to be beautiful…she’s a Princess.

“Um…” said the girl, bringing him back to reality. She slowly took a step back from him, but he couldn’t allow that to happen, so he stepped even closer to her. She blushed once again and finished what she was going to say. “I…uh…I have to get going. It’s getting really late and I was supposed to be home an hour ago. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime.”

“No,” was his only response.

Her face suddenly became scared and she took another step away from him, “No?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t let you go Princess.”

Now her face just turned to one of shock mixed with horror. She wasn’t sure what he was thinking, but she knew that it couldn’t be good. Devona was frantic and turned to run away, but he was one step ahead of her. He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her to a firm stop.

She turned to face him, sending her hair flying in the wind only to meet his very serious eyes. Her jaw fell open as she struggled to get her hand free from his.

“Please…let me go…I just want to go home,” cried Devona.

He must have sensed the fear in her voice and noticed the tears building in her eyes. But there was no reaction to her plea and Devona knew she was screwed. With her free hand she beat against his chest and tried to pull away from him. However, he was too strong, immediately she was regretting being so attracted to those muscles. 

He pulled her close to him again so that his mouth rested directly above her ear. She continued to struggle against him and continued to hit him. He grabbed her fist and shushed her.

“Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to harm you. There is no time to explain right now, but please just cooperate with me and you won’t get hurt.” Oh great, as if that didn’t sound like something a crook would say.

Without another word, he released her hand and reached under her to lift her up into his arms. As she was cradled in his arms, part of her almost felt safe for some reason. Right, almost…but she wasn’t going to be kidnapped or raped with out a fight!


Before she could shout anymore, his hand clamped over her mouth. She wanted to bite him so badly, but he held her too tightly to allow that. Devona glared up at him and he looked confused. How could he be so confused about her fighting for her life?

She struggled, tried to punch, kick, wiggle free, but it was all for naught. Eventually, he dumped her off on a bench. Another bench…and under close examination it was the same one from earlier. Oh great…

Just as she prepared to scream again, she heard a small voice.

“You found her!”

Devona turned to see a young girl running toward her. She looked like she was probably around nine, with straight brown hair just above her shoulders and electric green eyes. Her smile was so inviting that Devona couldn’t help but calm down.

The little girl giggled and waved at Devona with hands that under were hidden under the sleeves of her denim shirt that hung over them. How could a man that was trying to kidnap her be involved with such a cute little girl? Maybe he was telling the truth and maybe he wasn’t going to hurt her.

“Good work Ulric.”

It was then that Devona noticed the large man behind the girl wearing a bright orange shirt with pink peace signs on it. Even if his shirt spoke of peace, his body language did not. He crossed his arms over his muscular chest and watched her from under long black hair with curious blue eyes.

“She is the Princess,” said the man whose name apparently was Ulric.

Why did he insist on calling her that? The only person who ever was allowed to call her that was her father and he would kill these men if he were here now. Devona was ready to scream again when the little girl put her hand on Devona’s leg. Devona looked up to see the girl smiling at her.

“It’s going to be alright!”

“I’m glad you think so,” whispered Devona.

Devona looked around, besides the people in the small group there was no one around. All the tents were closed and the rides were quiet. The only sound was the hum of traffic leaving. Had she spent so much time trying to find her way out? There literally was no one to hear her scream. She prayed that this little girl was right.

“I should have known that you would be the one to find her,” said another female’s voice. Devona turned to see a girl with long red hair wearing a blue and green tie dye shirt with blue bellbottoms. Another man stood next to her the girl wearing a shag green vest and Devona lost all hope. Why were they all dressed as if they had just stepped out of the seventies? 

“Yeah, good job, I guess,” said the man in shag.

“Excuse me.” They all looked over at Devona and for once she wished she wasn’t the center of attention. “Um…could you please tell me why you are trying to kidnap me?”

“Trying?” asked the man in peace signs. The hair on the back of her neck stood on ends as she looked up at him.

“We’re not kidnapping you,” said Ulric.

She looked up at him, “Then what would you say you’re doing?”

He was quiet for a long time and then finally he replied, “Recruiting?”

Her jaw dropped. Were they in some sort of cult? Oh great, she might not end up raped, but she was definitely dead! She nodded, pretending to be okay with the news. Just as Ulric looked away from her, Devona was on her feet and running. Too bad the red head grabbed her arm, practically knocking both of them off of their feet. The man in shag helped hold Devona in place.

“Let me go! I’m not ready to die! Please!” She was frantic. There had been too many amber alerts lately and she did not want to be one. Most teens who are kidnapped end up dead or missing for years. Devona was not going to be another statistic! “Please!”  

The girl in tie dye sighed, looking over at Ulric, “I think we should get out of here.”

“Good idea,” he replied

Devona immediately dug her heels into the ground, fighting for her position on Earth. There was still too much left to do and they were not going to take those opportunities away from her! She still needed to go to prom, get a real job, graduate, go to college, and fall in love…

“Unfortunately,” said one of the men holding her future in his hands, but she wasn’t sure which one, “you don’t have a choice in the matter. Neither do we.”

“We don’t want to put your through this, but if we don’t Mushin will kill us all!” cried the little girl.


“Who’s Mushin?” asked Devona.

“You’ll see soon enough,” said the girl in tie dye.

As Devona pulled against her captures, the rest of the group stepped in close around her. They each looked around and made sure no one else was around. Then the man named Ulric reached into his pocket. He was going to shoot her, right here and now! Devona’s heart fell to her feet and she braced herself for the pain.

Instead, he pulled out a gold coin. He looked at Devona one last time and whispered…

“I’m sorry.”

She couldn’t look away as he flipped the coin into the air. Her muscles froze and only her eyes could move and she followed every move of gold intently. The silence that surrounded her broke her concentration on the coin. She turned to see the carnival melting away into a dark layer of clouds. She found herself standing in the middle of a thunder cloud. Lightning lit the area, threatening to bite Devona’s heels.

“What the—”

Before she could finish, a harsh wind blew past her, forcing her to close her eyes. The world was being ripped apart around her. She couldn’t and no longer wanted to watch. Beads of rain crashed into her cheek. She balled her fists and stood her ground, hoping that would not fall away as well.

Then, it all stopped.

Still, she didn’t want to open her eyes. The two that had still been holding her let go and she nearly collapsed. Devona struggled to stay on her feet and forced her eyes to remain shut.

“You have finally returned,” said a new voice. The tone of the voice was like velvet touching her ears. It was so sweet and seemingly innocent she couldn’t help but open her eyes to see the most shocking sight of her life.

Devona, she thought, I don’t think you’re in Tampa anymore.

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