A few moments passed… Or days? I didn’t know. What I knew at that time was I was wandering through my worst nightmare. Well, It wasn’t exactly a nightmare but it reminded me of my darkest secret…. I was walking through a garden, a beautiful one indeed. Colourful flowers- Rose, Iris, Lavender, Marigold, Lily and every kind of beautiful flower present in the world. I roamed around as if I knew the place very well, touching the flowers wearing a flowing, silk, white Greek gown. My strawberry blonde hair braided up to my back, enclosed by golden ornaments. There were several paths spiralling all around the garden but I walked on the one that seemed the longest one. I walked and walked and walked not worrying about anything, lost in my dream world. After what seemed like a perpetuity, I stepped inside a picturesque chamber. It was surrounded by tall and white column; its interior was also as white as snow embedded with gold coiling around the room in various patterns. Two pairs of black coloured chairs resting on the four directions- North, East, West, South. On the chair in the North, sat two people, a man in blue shirt and black jeans, strawberry blonde hair and a spectacle on his nose plus a woman in pink robes, black hair tied up in a neat bun her Grey eyes eyeing the man with love and affection. “Dear.. I love you so much you know that. But now as you know about me and well… Where I belong to and you even dared to visit that place risking your life, knowing that you won’t be spared for that mistake. To visit our child and me you faced the wrath of the king. You are braver than any man I ever met; I love you-” she was interrupted by a booming voice “Time of the punishment! He has to die! Do it now yourself or else he along with that girl will face my wrath!!” the younger me flinched and ran to the man to hug him. But as soon as I hugged him he whispered “I will miss you.” And looked at the woman, she smiled faintly and took the hand of that man. As soon as she touched him, he began to vaporise. His legs first turned into a blue coloured pure form of vapour and then followed by his rest of the body. The younger me cried and hugged the woman and kept on sobbing.. The scene changed, I felt as if it was raining, drops of water pouring over me and a white dazzling light filling my head, when I realised that it was no dream instead someone was sprinkling water on my face. I gradually opened my eyes and found the very face I was dreading to see- Charlotte. Then I remembered of the trip and the plane and… “A-are we dead Charlotte? Are we in heavens?” I managed to ask but I regretted opening my mouth, as soon as I spoke, my head hurt badly. The spirit of Charlotte beside me said “No dear, we aren’t dead. We landed safely in New Jersey, with a few bumps though. Everyone is waiting out there, get up girl. Help her up Grace.” Just then I realised that Grace was also there, I wanted to get up myself but I could hardly speak, so I let him and Charlotte pull me up. But my weight was too much for Charlotte, as soon as I got up she staggered and fell on the seat nearby, me on top of her. “Charlotte! Be careful! Do one thing I will carry Amy and you lead the way out. No- its ok. I can carry this 2 kg easily.” He joked, I tried to protest but before I could say anything, I was in her arms. It felt so awkward! A prince carrying her in his arms is always a dream for a girl but me! Never! I-I just don’t like those fairytale-ish life. And thinking about a boy, I would die first. But there was I letting myself to get carried by Grace is his arms like a handbag or a cat or whatever. I looked at Charlotte and gave her “I will see you later” type of look. She smirked and led the way, as soon as we got off the plane I was surrounded by my classmates and teachers. Grace put me down on the ground, panting (Carrying a 2kg girl alone…. An exhausting thing.) Ms. Shelley and Ms. Chelsia took me to a nearby resting place and gave me some tablets. I ate them, took rest for a few minutes and Ta-da! I was ready to go, fit and fine. I breathed in a fresh air, exhaled deeply, took Charlotte’s hand smiled at my group and headed forward behind Ms. Shelley. We were heading out of the airport but before that we had to collect our bags so we went towards the conveyer belt and I waited for my bag. As soon as I found it I went forward to take it but Charlotte stopped me “No Amy! You just blacked out and you wanna carry that heavy bag of yours? Of course not you don’t want to…. So lemme go and grab it.” She went forward and was about to grab my black bag when she tripped and fell on the conveyer belt “Charlotte! No!” I ran towards her but it wasn’t me who could help her, after all I was too weak to even walk. She was nearest to Grace who was busy in his phone “Grace! Go and get Charlotte off the belt or else she…..” ‘would get crushed in there!’ I completed my sentence in my head. Grace looked up in alarm and as he was the nearest to her he ran to help out but before he could reach the belt, some boy from our college only no doubt, reached exactly where Charlotte was moaning from her head injury. He extended his hands and grasped Charlotte by her arm and pulled her away from the belt, my bag dangling in her hand. The boy and my bestie were thrown to the floor during the process of pulling her off the conveyer belt. And just then I noticed that Charlotte was on top the boy close to him and staring into his eyes as if lost somewhere in there, I cleared my throat and she came back to her senses. She looked at the boy sheepishly and smiled, then stood up on the floor but with a limp. The crowd parted away to see how was my bestie and that’s when I noticed the person who saved her, he had black hair with purple highlight, sea green eyes, he was wearing a red sweatshirt….. Well you got the idea who it was “Th-thomas?” I stammered. I literally was in shock to know that he helped Charlotte out of this trouble, I thought of him as a troublemaker which he is…. Leave it. “Are you fine? What happened there? How did you trip?” She was still looking at Thomas while replying “I don’t know I just think that I tripped on some furry thing. Probably some bag.” I was confused, Furry-bag? Weird……. “Uh whatever. Let’s just go and say thank you to t-Thomas.” I never thought that I would thank him but there was I, thanking him. I noticed that Charlotte was staring at him with a different expression which was never there, at least for him. And I guessed he sensed that too and changed the topic “Ms. Loony, why did you have to trip onto that conveyer belt? Seriously! Why do you invite danger and problems to you? First Ms. Whiney and then Ms. Loony…. Ha!” She replied to him “Why did you have to save me? Grace was there….” He looked at her with a grim expression “Oh, so you mean that I shouldn’t have helped you out. Mr. Grace would have been there for you? Ok.. So go back to that conveyer belt and lie there then Mr. Saver will come and save you.” Grace showed up “Mr. Saver?” Thomas rolled his eyes and strolled back to his older self and group. He was the hero of the day…. He was, at least for me. We all then started to head out of the airport with Ms. Chelsia leading and Ms. Shelley beside me and Charlotte for assistance. “The day is harsh on you two…. Better be careful girls.” Day? How could she know that not only the day… but it was our whole life harsher to us? I smiled and with Charlotte and madame on either side I went forward to the group. Ms. Chelsia stopped us “It was a long flight so you all must have been tired. Let’s have a quick snack in that café and then we will move on. Till then me and Ms. Shelley will book a hotel and try to find a flight to Washington.” We went into Roller’s café and drank some coffee plus a short meal of noodles was good enough for all of us. We sat there and laughed, talked and basically… had fun. Clara was talking about how the plane landed “And then the plane went down at such an angle that I felt as if I was being sucked by a giant black hole! That was when Amy fainted. But really man, you missed the fun. We then glided upwards so suddenly and then downwards and on and on that it felt as if a massive giant was playing with our plane. I even saw an eye outside but I know that was a cloud. There were so many ups and down episode then these tumbling sensations. With a few bumps and BAM! we landed! In one piece.” And we kept on gossiping on and on. Thomas was…. Uh, back to normal, no more heroic stuff just stuck back to teasing people. And for once he kept distance from me and Charlotte, and I was thankful for that, his taunts was the last thing I wanted after this exhausting day. It was almost nightfall and we were out of the stock for talks so we began to wonder that when will we go to our hotel. “Its late guys. Lemme ask madame about the hotel thing. Afterall those losers won’t even think to ask her. I am her favourite you know..” Roselle said loudly from the nearby table. I rolled my eyes but I didn’t even have that strength for that simple thing. She stood up and was about to walk towards Ms. Shelley when Ms. Chelsia spoke up “Sit down Roselle, I know you want to ask about the hotel. We’ve got a good news and a bad news. Good news is that we finally found a hotel, named Mystic Lake Inn. The bad news is that it’s about a mile or so away from here and there is no transport system available at this time. So, we have to walk all the way to the hotel.” The whole lot began murmuring and whining when Grace and Thomas called out “Guys! Stop it…. Whining-” but of course, Grace had to be interrupted by that idiot “Won’t help.. We have to go and that’s it. Allons-y!” Everyone moaned “D’accord.” And we moved forward. I lent Ms. Shelley my GPS and with that, we moved on. We moved for what was like a day? No…. But it seemed that long. There weren’t even good sights around that we might enjoy something, everything was pitch-black the only thing illuminating the streets were the street lights that too in green colour. ’This place has a weird fashion for green. Who makes a green streetlight!’ I thought, my muscles complained and pained as if they were punishing me for making them work so much, my throat was parched (even though I had water in my bag, I didn’t have that strength to take it out), my brain was still aching with that blackout and how could my stomach leave me? It was rumbling on and on. However, where were we? Yup we walked and finally stopped at a place. Usually in movies, what happens is in the dead of night, we reach a completely vacant hotel which is quite old about a century old… Then comes Mr. Watchman and says “Sir, nobody has been living here for years! Go away. This is the home of Annabelle the spirit. Go!” But no, this hotel was not that case in fact, it was a complete contrast of it. It was not on the main road, instead we had to walk through various small and narrow streets. It was a quite tall building of grey colour of about five storeys? Yes, then there were modern looking windows and LED lights inside. The whole hotel looked quite full, even though it was thirty years old, still it looked quite modern. “This our hotel guys! We are sleeping here tonight!” Ms. Shelley announced. Everyone oohed and aahed at the sight, the hotel seemed so mesmerising it was quite obvious that all the kids ran in. I smiled at Charlotte and we walked slowly to it. The door was automatic so it opened and a cool swish of air hit my face, oh how amazing it was to be back under AC. All of us queued at the counter and one by one took our room keys. In one room all the boys were sleeping and in the other all the girls. I of course went to the girls’ room and it was awesome! The beds were so soft and cosy, beside the beds was a small side table to keep our belongings there. I went straight into the bathroom in our room and freshened up, changed my travel clothes to red avengers top with black bottoms and there was I ready to sleep. I came out and from the four beds, I chose the bed nearest to table and collapsed on it. Before drifting off, I kept my bag under the bed, told Charlotte that I was off to sleep, witnessed a few girls making prank calls to the boys’ room, Roselle choosing the bed opposite to me and……… after that I couldn’t see what was happening as I placed an eye mask over my beautiful grey eyes and- zzzzzz! Zzzzzzzzz! I drifted off…….
Hey! Was it morning already? It seemed so, because the dreamworld strawberry field in which I was roaming and eating red, tasty and juicy strawberries under the shade of a coconut tree (combination of strawberry and coconut, not so good I know but that was how my dream was…) but suddenly a shot of green light hit my dream as if a meteor was coming towards me and actually it was! A meteorite was rushing towards me with a green tail and it is coming nearer to me and……… BOOM! I opened my eyes and jumped off my bed in such a way that I thought that I fell down from my bed well thankfully I didn’t but I surely I was on the edge of my bed. My eyes adjusted to the darkness and I found the door of our room open and the bed of Roselle was empty! “Wonder where she went.” I stood up and peeked out of the room and found Roselle glittering with green light walking outside. ‘Must be wearing glittery and sparkly green dress.’ II thought and went near her to ask her why was she outside but as soon as I touched her shoulder a green vapour flew upwards and she moved forward without even realising that I was behind her. It wasn’t like her, I was literally terrified after that smoke thingy so I did follow her but from a distance. ‘What the hell is she thinking she is doing?!’ I thought. Why was I following her even if she was my enemy? Come on guys! Even if she is an idiot still she is counted in our trip group, I have to see what she is up to. She was looking straight in the front as if she was hypnotised and knew exactly where she was going. Now this was becoming a bit creepy with all those candles glowing on the sides of the lobby, yes you heard it right candles those guys wanted their hotel to look traditional or even haunting at night even with those LED bright lights that they had, weird concept no? Those candles casted eerie shadows on the walls and whenever one of them flickered I felt as if someone was whispering to me and encouraging me to go on and follow Roselle. And apart from those candles, there was Roselle covered with who-knew-what green vapour, hold on… Was it some kind of prank on me? That girl was really good in pranking you know so…. But there was this kind of gut feeling that it wasn’t a prank instead it was real. I didn’t know what to do so I took my guts as my priority and kept on following her. She walked down the stairs and then walked up to the counter, and surprisingly, there was no-one there not even a watchman. She walked out of the hotel with no restrictions or anything and so did I. It was bizarre that no-one was there to stop her not even a single person outside, I have heard that New Jersey was a lively city and most of the time half the city was out there wandering the streets. As soon as I kept my foot outside a swish of pleasant air hit me, I looked up at the star-studded sky and the moon. There was this streak of stars behind the full moon that it looked as if the moon was leading the stars to some other place, the stars were together in such a shape that it looked as if I was watching the milky way itself from Earth. I always admired the universe full of secrets, calm and beautiful. Then I looked down on the Earth, green and tall trees surrounding me, nice smooth road running along… Ah! I would have loved a night-time stroll but not tonight, not like this. My mind came back to the topic-Roselle, this was becoming severe now. I kept on following Roselle and calling out her name to stop her on those unknown grounds but Roselle wouldn’t even think to turn back. “Roselle! Stop right there! Come back!” I called out but nothing changed. I thought of using some offensive words so that she would at least look at me with disgust but she had pledged not to respond to me it seemed. After taking so many rights and lefts (Which I kept taking note of to return) she finally stopped. And before I could understand what was going on, a green coloured something erupted before that frenetic girl. It began to suck things into it except Roselle, just like a massive blackhole or shall I say greenhole? Oh leave it… I held out my hands as if to control it and remarkably the greenish black hole stopped sucking things. But Roselle was still standing in front of it not even worrying what was there before her. Till now, I used to think that she was foolish but today I got to know that she wasn’t foolish instead she was mad when she walked right through that green thing without even hesitating and ignoring my shouts and warnings. I wanted to move forward to stop Roselle but it looked like my feet were frozen to that point and right in front of my eyes she walked into the hole and vanished into thin air. As soon as she was in there somewhere, the hole closed and my feet unfroze. I stood there in shock I pinched myself to wake myself from this nightmare but whatever I just witnessed was true. I was feeling as if my chest was empty, no heart in it but of course it wasn’t true. “Calm down Amy. G o back wake up the teachers and try to find a solution. You are not a ‘panicked in crisis type of girl’….” I turned back still in shock though, and using my perfect memory skills I went back to the Inn. My eyes streamed for the first time for Roselle at least. I entered in the Inn to find Thomas, Grace, James and Charlotte standing there on the main gate. “Amy! Where in the world were you?” I didn’t reply to Charlotte’s question instead I said “Wake Ms. Shelley and Chelsia.” Grace knitted his brows “They won’t wake up.” Seeing my confused expression he added “Lemme tell you from the start, I dreamed about a green meteor flying right towards me and I woke up with a start to find Thomas and James awake. They told that they got similar dream of the meteor but all other boys were fast asleep. We heard some footsteps outside our room so we went out to find Charlotte there. She described the same nightmare and said that you were missing. We were confused and concerned. We went to madame’s room to wake them up but however much we tried they didn’t even budge. We came downstairs to ask the security that where were you but found not even a single person. We decided to wait here on the doorstep for someone from the staff to come but we waited for what seemed liked fifteen minutes no-one came. Then Charlotte with her computer skills literally hacked the CCTV cameras to see the footage and we saw you going out alone.” My eyes widened “Alone? No-one was with me? And we all got the same dream. Madame won’t wake… This is a sign. Come guys immediately!” Thomas narrowed his eyes “What’s going on Whiney?” I replied “Will explain on the way. All of you have to come with me. Its regarding Roselle.” At those words, everyone followed me. I led them to that place where that green black hole shot up, clearing all their doubts during the run. By the time we reached that place, everyone got the idea what had happened. “Here! This was the exact place where she vanished into the hole.” I exclaimed. “Are you sure it wasn’t a hallucination or something Amy?” James asked. “No James. When I say I saw her that means I did.” Thomas for the first time supported me “Whiney is right. There! There is this cottage. Let’s go there and ask whether anyone saw what happened here.” Thomas pointed to a place not far from that spot. Without any questions we marched up there. It was a bit odd to have a cottage right in the middle of a city. Still we went there and knocked. An old man wearing a white shirt and a blue lower, wrinkle on face, white hair, dull complexion, twinkle in his eyes and a warm expression on his face; answered the knock and introduced himself as Mr. Wallert. He invited us inside when he heard our reason to appear on his doorstep. “Come in dearies. I usually don’t have visitors and I am glad you showed up. Tell what you want to ask.” He said in a hoarse voice. We first of all introduced ourselves to him and I explained the story. I really didn’t want to recount that horrendous experience of mine but I couldn’t help it. “Mr. Wallert, as I told you earlier I came here following my colleague. She was covered with a peculiar green smoke and she walked up to here. Suddenly a green coloured blackhole kind of thing appeared and she straight forward walked through it. She vanished and so did the hole. We came here to ask if you noticed any such kind of activity here around? Do you know what is it all about?” I asked desperately. Somewhere deep down I felt that it was all my mistake that Roselle wasn’t there with us. Mr. Wallert made us a warm coffee and then comforted himself to the couch. “Hmm.. I haven’t seen anything like that but I think I have read about it somewhere. Lemme see…” He rummaged through a shelf nearby and took out a book which looked like a modern book. Yes, when I say modern I literally mean it. The book was turquoise in colour, had the title- ‘SECRETS OF THE WORLDS’ “This book has been passed onto my ancestors since like forever. Yes it does look modern but it is centuries old.” He then kept his right hand on the book and the it sprung open! “Modern technology…. However, see on this page 67, well you cannot see because you aren’t registered on this book. Its ok I will read this out. It says- Quartz Portal, it is a green type of blackhole which transfers things and people from one world to another. Legends say that it occurs every second, everywhere on Earth and transports something or someone from one world to another. However there has been no such witnesses who claim to see it since a past few decades.” He spoke. “That’s all? No more information? Why did Roselle walk into it intentionally?” I was frustrated. The man replied “Probably she was hypnotised like this-” he clicked his fingers and there was this BANG! And I blacked out. Did I actually black out? Probably not. But what I could remember was that I followed every instruction given by the man. He said to stand up I stood, he said to follow him and I did. My mind had my all senses working, that is I knew everything what was going on around me but even if it was not right my body didn’t resist to do it. In simple words, if that man would have ordered me to kill someone, my mind would know that I was killing a person, my eyes could see the blood, my ears could here the wails (well, you got the idea, all my senses were working) but even if I knew that I was doing a murder, my body wouldn’t hesitate instead it would pierce the knife through the person as if I was cutting an apple. I hope you got it, I can’t explain my sensation any further. So where was I? yeah, the old man ordered us to follow him and by us I mean all of us (Charlotte, Thomas, everyone). He took the carpet on the floor of the cottage off and there was a trapdoor on the floor. He opened it and ordered us to jump in. One by one all of the others jumped, mine was the last chance after Charlotte. My mind screamed “Stop! Don’t go!” But my body ignored and walked forward. I bent down a bit and jumped into the trapdoor or better words would be a pit? So I jumped in and found my self falling through an endless and dark pit. My mind ordered me to scream but my mouth didn’t open. At this time in ordinary conditions, adrenaline must have been rushing up and down in my body but like other parts of my body it wasn’t working. I fell down emotionlessly and then what seemed like forever I saw a light below me. When I looked down I found myself looking at a large stretch of glittering water. It grew nearer and nearer to me and as soon as my toe touched the water, my body came back to my senses and of course adrenaline rushed in my body and I started to scream, my heart pounded, my head ached and my arms and legs were flailing. Gradually, my whole body went under the water and thankfully I didn’t know how to swim I began to drown. I tried to keep myself to the surface and for the first time in forever I wished to swim. But nothing worked out, I kept on sinking deeper down in the water. I gasped to inhale in air but no oxygen entered my lungs instead it was water which entered my nose. I coughed and began to feel dizzy. Finally, my body gave up and my brain decided to take a long nap, what happened afterwards I didn’t know I just let myself sink deep into the crystal-clear water, would I die? I didn’t know but what mattered the most at that moment was drowning successfully………..
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