Chapter 1: Sunrise
“Fraizer... Fraizer... Wake up...” a grown man whispers to a sleeping boy.
“Uncle Tarish...? What is it...?” Fraizer asks.
“You just got a letter...” uncle Tarish says.
He holds up a pristine white envelope. Fraizer is up right away and grabs for the letter.
“I want to see it! I want to see it!” Fraizer says.
“Uh uh uh! Let me read it to you,” uncle Tarish says.
He clears his throat as he rips the envelope open. Fraizer watches his uncle carefully, rubbing his tired blue eyes occasionally.
“Dear parents or guardians of the student Fraizer McNeil, we are writing to you to tell you that your son or daughter, Fraizer McNeil, has been accepted into The Tellis Academy. Please get your son or daughter, Fraizer McNeil, to the nearest train station to board the train to Tellis Kingdom,” uncle Tarish reads in a mechanical voice.
“Wow! That’s cool!” Fraizer cries out, changing his pajama shirt out for a green t-shirt he had waiting next to his bed.
“Aw, Fraizer... My nephew! I can’t believe it! You actually got accepted into The Tellis Academy! This is a great honor!” uncle Tarish says and cries.
“Why are you crying, uncle?” Fraizer asks.
“I don’t want to have to give you up! It’s a boarding school! I may never see you again!” uncle Tarish says.
“It’s okay, uncle! Really! I’ll try to visit you one day...” Fraizer says.
“Let’s get you to that train... I know you wouldn’t like it if you were late to your first day of school!” uncle Tarish says.
Fraizer hugs his uncle tightly.
Uncle Tarish quickly rushes his nephew to the train station and by the time they get there, the train is ready to board.
“Good bye my nephew! Good bye and good luck!” uncle Tarish cries.
“Bye!” Fraizer says, waving before getting into the train.
“Where ya headed to, shorty?!” the conductor asks as Fraizer gets in.
He has to raise his voice to be heard over the train’s noises.
“THE ACADEMY!” Fraizer calls out.
“Oh, you’re headed to Tellis! Alright! We’ll get there in no time at all!” the conductor calls out.
Fraizer tries to sit alone, but there are quite a few people in the train. With the invention of trains in the island kingdoms, the citizens are able to travel from kingdom to kingdom with ease. On Fraizer’s right is a fat sweaty man who is breathing heavily. His breath smells like garlic and his hair is a mess. On Fraizer’s left is a woman who keeps sneezing and wiping her runny nose on her sleeve.
The kingdom Fraizer is leaving now on the train is known as Mycono Kingdom, the kingdom of non-linear time. What this means is that what usually takes a long time to do can be done in less time, distances are either shorter or longer, and sometimes, events that occurred in history didn’t actually happen and something else happened instead. Nobody seems to notice, but there always is a few left who remember. The most notorious of them all is Scotty Hepburn, an evil wizard who thrives on the chaos of the non-linear time.
People from other kingdoms cannot fully comprehend the extent of the non-linearity within Mycono. One brace scientist went far enough into the theory to find that some of the rocks that make up the foundation of the island emit waves that mess up perception and memory. Of course, said scientist was discarded as insane.
The train roars across a bridge over the water. The wheels roll faster and faster and the whistle blows loudly.
“Oh darn it! I missed my stop!” one person on the train cries out, waking up abruptly from their nap.
Fraizer holds back the urge to laugh at this person’s foolishness. The train whistles again and Fraizer yawns. He peers out the window at the rising sun.
“With the rising of the sun comes many surprises... Secrets which have been kept from you are now revealed!” a voice whispers to Fraizer.
“Who’s there?!” Fraizer asks.
“’Smee...” the lady says before sneezing again.
“Me too,” the fat man says and starts breathing all over Fraizer again.
“No... I heard a whisper in my ear...” Fraizer says.
“’Twas my sneeze,” the sneezing lady says, snotting everywhere.
The train slows and the whistle blows again.
“HEY SHORTY PANTS!” the conductor calls.
“My name is Fraizer!” Fraizer cries out.
“Heh, but you’re so short!” the conductor calls.
Fraizer isn’t very short, but isn’t very tall. He is ten years old and will get taller eventually.
“ANYWAYS, WE ARE APPROACHING TELLIS KINGDOM!” the conductor says.
Tellis Kingdom is known as the kingdom of sorrows as most people who live there came to mourn either dead loved ones or the fact that they killed someone. The natives the offspring of mourners. Tellis Kingdom has very fertile soil and two rivers that crisscross across the land.
The train station is located in the first village, the Village of Sorrow. This is where most people tend to stay while currently mourning, after calming down, they disperse across the land. South of the Village of Sorrow is the Tellis Port Town where ships come through to trade for resources or currency. Diagonally from the Tellis Port Town is the First Tellis River. West of the Tellis Port Town is the Crafting Village which specializes in projects such as pottery and furniture building.
The Crafting Village is part of the Southern Quadrant of Tellis. Also in the Southern Quadrant is Tellis Field South to the west of the Crafting Village. To the west of the Tellis Field South is Farming Community 2 which specializes in grains, especially rice and boarders the Second Tellis River that runs diagonally across the kingdom from the southwest corner to the northeast corner. (The First Tellis River runs from the southeast to the northwest.) On the northern most section of the Southern Quadrant is Tellis Castle built strategically where invading would be very difficult. On the southeast part of the Southern Quadrant is Farming Community 1 which specializes in dairy products from cows and goats.
The Western Quadrant of Tellis is mostly made up of the Tellis Woods on the far west boarder. North of the Tellis Woods but still in the Western Quadrant is Farming Community 4 which specializes in fruit from trees. This is the Orchard Community. South of Farming Community 4 is the Tellis Field West. Farming Community 3 is located on the eastern most section of the Western Quadrant. This Community specializes in meat cows, pigs, and chickens that aren’t claimed as pets and become food.
The Northern Quadrant is where Fraizer needs to be. In the center of the Northern Quadrant is The Tellis Academy, sometimes known as the Tellis School of Arts. On the Southern portion of the Northern Quadrant is Farming Community 5 which specializes in berries of all kinds. In the far northeast corner is Farming Community 6 which specializes in food. Desserts and baked goods especially are produced here. The rest of the Northern Quadrant is the Tellis Field North.
There is just one quadrant left to discuss and that is the Eastern Quadrant. The Village of Sorrow is part of the Eastern Quadrant. Northwest from the Village of Sorrow is Farming Community 8 which specializes in vegetables. North of that is the Town of Time. A small center most Town devoted to a love for telling time. People here build clocks and other time-keeping devices. The passage of time is celebrated. On the far eastern part of the Eastern Quadrant is a cave called the Cave of the Unknown. This mysterious cave has never been explored entirely as all who enter meet a terrible fate. No one knows what fate. In the center of the Eastern Quadrant is Farming Community 7 which specializes in sugar cane and the production of candies that are mostly enjoyed by Myconians. The rest of the Eastern Quadrant is the Tellis Field East.
The train whistle blows again and the roaring quiets into a purr as the train pulls into the station.
“SHORT PANTS! HERE’S YOUR STOP!” the conductor calls.
“Bye!” Fraizer says.
He escapes from the fat stinky man and the snotty lady and gets off the train. The conductor chuckles as Fraizer stumbles in his hurry.
“Good luck, Shortie!” the conductor calls after Fraizer.
Fraizer angrily exits the station and gazed around the new kingdom.
“Wow...” Fraizer says, “So green! I love it!”
He picks up a map from the information desk and studies it.
“I need to go north... If only there were a quicker way...” Fraizer says.
“Need help?” a young lady asks.
“Uh, yeah... Can you tell me the quickest way to get to The Tellis Academy?” Fraizer asks.
“The fastest way isn’t by foot as there are two rivers in the way. I have a canoe if you want me to take you up the river,” the young lady says.
“Yes, thanks!” Fraizer says.
He hands the young lady a small bundle of coins known as bucks. The common currency for most of the Island Kingdoms.
“Thanks!” she says.
She leads Fraizer to a canoe big enough for both of them. The canoe is light blue with silver oars to paddle with. They get in and they begin to row the canoe up the river.
“So... What is your name?” the young lady asks Fraizer.
“I’m Fraizer McNeil,” Fraizer replies.
“Nice to meet you, I am Becca,” the young lady says.
About half way to the Northern Quadrant of Tellis, Fraizer’s arms get tired.
“Tired already?” Becca asks.
“Yeah... It’s taking a long time... Why is that?” Fraizer asks.
“Where are you from?” Becca asks.
“Mycono Kingdom,” Fraizer answers.
“That explains it then!” Becca says, “Time is flowing normally here! You are used to being able to skip over time to when you get somewhere!”
“Well, sounds reasonable, right?” Fraizer asks.
“No! Not at all!” Becca says.
“So you prefer having to row this much?” Fraizer asks.
“I got used to it,” Becca says.
“Have you ever seen The Tellis Academy?” Fraizer asks after a few minutes of silence.
“Yeah. I’ve never been in it, though. Only a few kids are chosen each year to join,” Becca says.
“Aw, that’s too bad... I wonder who my classmates will be...” Fraizer says.
“You’ll see when you get there,” Becca says.
They row for a long time before they finally reach the Northern Quadrant of Tellis.
“The school is just that way!” Becca says, pointing northeast of where they landed.
“Thanks, Becca!” Fraizer says and runs off.
“I hope he does well...” Becca says and returns to her canoe.
Fraizer runs faster and faster through the tall grass until her reaches The Tellis Academy. However, once he gets close enough, he ends up crashing right into three other boys who were also running to get to school. They all fall down.
“Ouch! I’m hurt!” one cries out.
“Could be worse...” another says.
“My ego hurts more than my head...” the third says.
“Uhngh... I... I’m so sorry...” Fraizer moans.
He gets up and when he opens his eyes, he gasps.