They collapsed to the ground - they were in the middle of the woods, on an incline, out of view of Earthians - on the other side in an instant. Unda yelped as she Alasdair gasped, seeing a hand reach outside of the portal. “They are trying to come through!”
“Close the portal!”
He was about to lift the jewel, but it slipped from his hands and started rolling down the incline. A man had already passed through, with a large sword to match his enormous size.
Alasdair pulled out his sword, much smaller in comparison. As they began to duel, Unda knelt to the ground in search of the jewel. The color caught her eye under some leaves. She grasped it. “Push him back in! We need to close the portal before more come in!” She yelled, frantically.
“Pulsus!” He shouted, eyes illuminating with color, shoving his opponent back into the portal.
Unda carefully handed the jewel to Alasdair, who, again, said the phrase. The portal closed. Both let out heavy sighs of relief.
“Well, I guess we’ve made it,” Alasdair sheathed his sword.
Unda gulped, making out the landscape. Fog draped hills as the small hints of daylight signaled that it was dawn.
“Is this a dream?” She asked Alasdair, taking in the new landscape.
He joined her in looking at the view. “Whether it is or isn’t, we should still continue on.”
“But why don’t we just stay here? Live out in these hills where no one can ever find us?”
Noises wailed in the distance. Sirens. “What is that?” Unda shrieked.
Alasdair narrowed his eyes. “I’m not sure -“
Helicopter blades beat overhead. They ducked. “My word, what is that thing flying in the sky?”
Alasdair shook his head. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“We need to find other humans. We need to make sense of this land. It would be nice if we had Earth guidelines,” Unda shrugged.
~ ~ ~
Meanwhile, one of the four was just waking up from a good night’s sleep. This boy was average height with forest green eyes, dark brown curly hair, and beautiful olive skin. He was born in Italy, but, as destiny would have it, his family moved to the United States when he was six years old. His father worked as a doctor at the Seton Medical Center since they had lived there.
He yawned, stretching out his entire body then hopping out of bed and into his bathroom to brush his teeth. Afterwards, he began to work out a bit before throwing on clothes and making breakfast. He got two eggs out and some bacon and started cooking. He fried the bacon then used the grease from the slices to fry the eggs. After this, he sat down and ate. His dad stormed in the room.
“Tony, what the hell are you doing?”
Tony looked up from his breakfast innocently. With a mouth full of food, he said, “Eating…”
“You idiot! Don’t you remember? Football practice started an hour ago! Didn’t you set your clock back for daylight savings?”
Tony’s eyes widened, he cursed under his breath, and then he scarfed down the rest of his meal. “Sorry Dad. I’ll be right out.”
His dad yelled in frustration, but Tony ignored it per usual. His dad always got like this. Nothing was ever good enough for him, even when Tony did go to football - or as Americans call it, soccer - practice.
He grabbed his things and sprinted out the front door and scrambled into his hybrid car. He took a deep breath and sped to practice.
~ ~ ~
The two foreigners made their way through the hills of Austin, Texas to the city itself. They gawked at the city skyline with childlike wonder.
“Wow that is magnificent,” Alasdair sighed. Unda nodded in agreement.
“This place is so strange. And what are all these vehicles on the roadways? They are a bit like carriages, yet they emit a terrible odor and have no horses to move them. They must be enchanted or something…”
“From what I’ve heard, Earth doesn’t have magic. They are, however, very technologically advanced.”
“Ah, I see.”
An hour later, they were walking on the sidewalk in the city. In their attire, they thought they may get strange looks since they appeared so different from everyone else, but people paid little to no attention to them at all. Save for one guy with fake, black-rimmed glasses who was like, “Keep Austin weird y’all,” he laughed and put up a peace sign as he walked past them. Both of them exchanged confused glances.
“Do we know where we are going?” Unda asked.
“I feel a pull in this general direction so I’m just going with it.”
“Okay…should we get new clothes to fit in with the masses?” She nodded to a store with mannequins wearing gorgeous, expensive looking dresses.
They went into the store and Unda picked through a bunch of clothes, picking out the most beautiful shirts, pants, and dresses she could find. She realized that day that she loved sparkles and sequins. She walked out the door with her findings and a worker rushed to her.
“Hey! Ma’am, you aren’t allowed to take those out the store until you’ve paid for them,” they explained.
Unda shrugged. “How much?”
“Come back in the store and I’ll show you.”
She scanned all 28 items Unda had acquired. They totaled over $5,800. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend what that meant. Alasdair rushed beside her with some clothes of his own.
“So we aren’t from around here. What kind of currency do you take?” Alasdair asked politely.
“Um, American money. Cash or credit. Are y’all from the UK?”
“The UK? Um, yes, of course. American money? I don’t think we have any of that.”
“I can’t help you if you don’t have money, but, if you come back later, I can hold your stuff for you while you go to the bank to transfer your money.”
“No need. I think we are probably fine.”
“Okay, have a nice day!”
They left. “Alasdair! You could’ve made fake money out of thin air!”
“It wouldn’t have been right. Besides, I can make us clothes like that out of thin air. Though it was a fun little side-trip.”
“So where are we off to?”
“Oh good, I actually have heard of that! But don’t we need money for that?”
“Well, that I will need to make money for…” He lifted his hand and suddenly money appeared. “Just this once.”
~ ~ ~
Aly closed her eyes and focused on the sound waves. She could hear from a good distance away with her air powers through the air in the house, and especially well outside when there weren’t any walls. Her father’s voice came, but it almost sounded like interference on a telephone - or like sirens out in the distance that you could hear loud and soft in and out.
“I just don... it…Steven… we need money…broke…I don’t think I’ll be able to pay the…”
Aly frowned. Her family - consisting of her dad and her - had been struggling with financials the past few years. Steven was her uncle on her late mother’s side. He wasn’t very well off either, but he hadn’t been laid off like Aly’s dad.
“Okay, well…I know, but…Wh…I’m trying the best I can.”
Aly shrugged and wrote on her blog:
Looks like yet another fumble in life. We are having more financial issues and it isn’t looking good. I wish I could help him out in some way. I have a job but I get paid very little for it. It’s bad times… But at least I have this website as an outlet. Not that anyone is even reading this because I don’t have any followers, but at least I can get it out. Again, this is Aly Williams, super-powered freak. Thanks for not reading my boring life.
She posted it and sighed, blinking her grey eyes as a ping signaled her that a message popped up on the screen: You have one new follower. She immediately clicked the button that said See Followers, and, while she waited for it to load, she put her curly auburn hair into a bun. The one-person list popped up with one name: methaddict47. Aly laughed and shook her head as she closed out of the window.
She put on a heather grey T-shirt and some black leggings. She applied some makeup then left to catch the bus. “Bye Dad!” She waved to him as she walked out. He was standing in the kitchen, looking intensely at a sheet of paper. He waved and gave her a half-hearted smile.