I lay on the fluffy sheepskin rug in my room with Harry ten minutes later, having recounted most of what my parents had told me as we ascended the stairs, reading the journal from my birth parents had left for me.
There was a “This Journal Belongs To” page which had my true name written in blue calligraphy on the dotted line.
Overleaf, were a faded colour photo and a carefully handwritten note.
In the photo, a man and a woman with oddly elongated ears, two beautiful crowns sat elegantly on their heads looked up at me with smiling faces. They were garbed in fine clothes that gave them the appearance of royalty from Ancient Greece and between them, cradled in the woman’s arms was a baby me, gazing dreamily up at them both and wearing a copy of my mother’s dress, a tiny tiara perched on my little head.
‘Aw! You look so cute, and your parents look like kind people’ Harry observed, a smile spreading across his face.
Our dearest Oraelia,
We are so sorry for sending you to a world in which you don’t belong but – we had to, to keep you safe. Ascevos, the Uaea Ki who rules over the largest of a number of unnamed kingdoms on an island far off the West Coast, Kier Inias Uaea Beiht’ Kiena (The Island of Terrible Beasts and Beings) has learnt of your recent birth – Éja 15th 1997 – and is determined to kill you before you reach your first year because he fears the future, when you reach your eighteenth birthday.
There is a prophecy written about you, Oraelia.
You are destined to destroy Ascevos and his kind not long after you turn eighteen, and this is the reason he wants to kill you. It is the reason we must send you to the human world.We love you, and await the day we can see you again.
Your loving parents,Queen Pheonala and King Thäro of Ledoran, Elandrea.
Two pages after my birth parents’ message to me, was one titled Uaea Beiht.
The pages overleaf depicted detailed drawings of various unusual and terrifying creatures, one of which was called a “Renborad”, which had thick red horns and brown shaggy fur, dark grey eyes, and horrible jagged teeth. Its maximum height, which was almost eight feet written alongside it.When we reached the Uaea Kiena section, I started to become anxious.
This was where a picture and description of Ascevos would be. They seemed to go up in alphabetical order, which meant Ascevos was one of the first, and boy was he ugly!
He had pale grey skin spotted with scars; crimson eyes more frightening than a vampire’s; spiky black hair, and crooked yellow teeth. There was a brief paragraph on him from my parents, telling me that if I ever saw him when I arrived back home I was to either hide from him or kill him.
Not long later, we came to a page with one word carefully handwritten.
The next page over featured the illustrations of six pieces of jewellery, each with a small curved, teardrop shaped stone dangling from them; each silver casing engraved with a symbol.
Written beneath each was a caption in italics: Love, Kindness, Friendship, Hope, Strength and Happiness, and beneath that a short description.
Love was an earring and represented by the heart; Kindness was a necklace, represented by two lines curling around each other; Friendship a bracelet represented by two circles linked together; Hope an anklet, and represented by a flower (a Snowdrop, one of the first signs of spring); a bangle engraved with three rings linked together represented Strength and last was Happiness, an armlet, and represented by the sun.
‘Wow, these illustrations are beautiful. Do you think one of your parents drew them, or an artist of the court?’ Harry asked.I shrugged.
‘I guess I’ll discover who the illustrator is when I find my birth parents…if we ever find a way to get to them, that is.’ I let my chin fall onto the palm of my hand. I feel rather dejected.
‘Come on Elle, don’t give up yet. We haven’t read the rest of the journal, and there is sure to be something on how to find the other portal in here somewhere’ he replied, placing his hand on my shoulder.
My mood uplifted, I turned to him and smiled.
‘You’re right Harry, let’s keep reading’ I agreed, and returned my eyes to the journal.
The two of us exclaimed in surprise and awe, as our eyes alighted on the page overleaf. The illustration showed a young woman, possibly my mother, holding the earring up to a window as moonlight streamed in.
“When the night skies are clear and the moon is shining hold the stone up to the light, and the location of the next piece of the portal will appear” was written below the illustration. On the page opposite was an example of what I would see when I looked through the stone.
It depicted rays of moonlight illuminating the faint outline of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and looked like some sort of photo which had somehow been put into the stone without breaking it.
Now, Harry and I aren’t Chemistry experts, to the contrary both of us struggled with the subject at school, but both of us knew that it would be impossible to put any sort of photo into a precious stone (no matter how thin or small). Not without causing some kind of damage….so how had the creator of the portal pieces done it? I guess we’ll find out once we reach Elandrea. Forty-five minutes later, Harry and I were sat in front of Mum and Dad, the journal lying open in the middle of the dining room table on the two pages we had been looking at upstairs before dinner, with the earring lying next to it.
‘So this is how you find the next portal piece, and so on and so forth – but you can only find their location on a cloudless night?’ Mum asked as she and Dad closely studied the two pages.
The two of us nodded simultaneously, and then I asked Dad, ‘if it’s okay with his parents, can Harry stay the night?’
‘If it’s okay with Adam and Hannah, I see no problem with it, Sally?’ he answered, glancing at Mum.
Mum smiled. ‘It’s fine with me.’
Harry and I whooped, high-fiving each other.
‘Go and phone your parents Harry, and if they need confirmation I’m happy to talk to them. You may be eighteen now, but I’m sure they’ll still want to know where you are’ Dad told Harry, who nodded and left the table to make his call.
‘Ellie, I’m sure once you’ve discovered the location of the next item of jewellery you’ll want to retrieve it as soon as you can, but we want you to concentrate on your exams first’ Mum advised me as she gathered up the plates and took them over to the kitchen.
‘It’s all right Mum, we were going to wait until after our exams are over to start looking’ I responded simply.
‘That’s my girl,’ she smiled lovingly as she gently stroked my cheek. ‘Go on.’
‘Thanks, Mum’ I smiled, kissing her on the cheek before heading back upstairs.
When I got back to my room Harry was lying on the large fluffy rug that filled most of the pale hardwood floor, the earring lying on my desk.
Unfortunately, it was overcast tonight with chances of rain, so we weren’t going to have the chance to discover the location of the next part of the portal today.
‘So, what did your parents say?’ I asked him, collapsing onto my bed with a soft flump.
‘They’re cool with it,’ he responded, groaning as he got up and coming over to the bed and flopping down beside me.
‘Why were you lying on the floor?’
‘What will happen once we’ve found all the sections of the portal?’
I thought for a moment and then replied, ‘don’t worry about that now. Concentrate on the matter at hand.’
Getting up, I went over to the open window and stood with my back against the wide sill.
‘Yeah, you’re right’ he agreed, and then he was beside me, looking out into the starry night sky as I was.
‘Did you ever…I don’t know, have a feeling your parents weren’t your parents. I mean, before they gave you your journal?’ he asked.
‘Well, a few years ago I did notice that we were slightly different. They both have dark hair, and mine has always been a light brown, and I was in disbelief that I’d never noticed that while my eyes are hazel, theirs are grey-blue,’ I replied, gazing out of the window ‘but I didn’t say anything, and I haven’t since. They raised me and even now, knowing that they aren’t the ones who brought me into the world…they’ll always be Mum and Dad to me.’
I saw Harry smile out of the corner of my eye, ‘remember that family isn’t just about blood Ellie, it’s about the love that people share. They will always be your parents, and you will always be the miracle they were hoping for, and needed. You’ll always be their daughter’
Touched by his beautiful words, I felt my eyes tear up a little as I turned to him. ‘Thank you Harry, that means a lot’ I smiled, taking his hand and squeezing it gently.
He returned the smile bashfully, squeezing back with the same softness, ‘I’ve only ever told you the truth Ellie, and I’m not going to stop now.’
We stood like this, smiling at each other and holding hands, for a few moments – until both of us suddenly realised what we were doing and broke away from each other.
‘I-I’ll go and call my parents to check if they’re on their way over with my overnight bag’ Harry stammered, and hastily exited the room.
Hey everyone, hoping you’ve been enjoying the chapters so far, the posting will continue after the weekend. Keep an eye on the blog for the chapter posting schedule coming in the next few hours.
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.