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About dianjin

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  1. dianjin


    This is not going to be a story. It is not going to be anything fancy, or very interesting as a matter of fact. Just a collection of thoughts the word “autumn” evokes for me. The first thing that comes to mind, for me, is not the leaves. It is not the cold either, or the short days. No, to me autumn starts with an end. It is the natural end of summer. It signals the end of beach parties, of frolicking in the ocean, of shorts and t-shirts, of midnight swims with only the waves and moon as witness, and of summer flings. But I am never sad from it. For one, I know these times will come back, but the true worth of these intense, passionate months comes from being able to relive them in my mind. After a season of making vivid memories, to take the time to cool down, to appreciate, to savor them brings me intense comfort and pleasure. Leisurely strolls in the woods are the best to achieve this. Of course, I also love the colors the different trees give as they wither away for the next couple of months. Orange, yellow, fiery red. To see them twirling gently in the wind, I cannot think of a dance more beautiful, more pure, or more natural. Summer brings expands our horizons. It blows up our comfort zone. People come and go in a never ending, never slowing flurry. In a word, it is exhilarating. The calm after is that much more valuable, it brings us closer to our loved ones. It lets us rest. Americans have Thanksgiving to crystallize this idea. Where I am from, France, we must wait until Christmas. I feel the transition is much gentler than with Thanksgiving. It is less jarring to have that extra month to finish cooling down. That also is Autumn: preparation for Christmas. When you think about it, Christmas is barely four days into winter, just four days after the solstice. And to the French, no single day in the year is as important as Christmas, but that is a topic for another day perhaps. I could go on and on. I could talk about the cold, and how we fight it. The fires we build and talk softly around, the cups of steaming tea we wrap our hands around. The scarves, the gloves we dig out of the back of our closets. All the little comforts, the little things that also make up autumn.
  2. dianjin


    “Where the fuck did you hide it you little piece of shit?” I hate it when people remind me of how small I am, it’s not like I had a choice in the matter… “I buried it in there,” I answered shakily. “You bloody idiot, it’s almost night, and you want us to go in that forest and dig? How the hell did you get your forensics diploma? Why didn’t you keep the package in your car?” his face was distorted in anger, a vein popping over his eyebrow. “I… I… I don’t know, I panicked, I thought it would be safer!” I stammered, unable to meet his eyes. He growled and stomped under the trees. “Take the bloody shovel!!” he shouted back at me. Even though it wasn’t that late, night was falling fast, and with it, the temperature. Already our breaths misted before us, and my teeth started chattering. Was it only from the cold though? The trees cast long shadows around us, inky black and ominous. Birds stopped chirping, and, slowly, almost imperceptibly, silence, heavy, as if our ears had been stuffed full of wool. All I could hear was the twigs that snapped under our feet, and an errant wind that shuffled the orange leaves. After a while, even he stopped cursing and just followed me. I knew this forest well, and I knew where I was going. I had been there just a few hours ago. See, he had given me a package. A brick of drugs he had taken out of evidence, I was to hide it until tonight. He was cruel man, always making me do things for him. I had no choice, he knew. I couldn’t risk anyone else knowing, so I obeyed. The air was now damp and the ground soggy. The woods had become deathly silent, the trees were so much thicker in these parts. Light had no chance of reaching us, not that there was much anymore, the sun must have set. We both had out phones out and were using them as flashlights. Not far now, but the path was just getting harder. It slopped up harshly. He started cursing again. Panting I pressed forward, sweat beaded on my forehead. At one point I slipped and fell face first in the mud. That got a good laugh out of him. At the top of the slope I stopped, my lungs needed a breather. “Why the fuck are you stopping?” I couldn’t answer. I was out of breath. Against the oppressive silence of the forest I heard the distinctive sound of the safety of his gun. “Move.” “No, no please! I just need a minute!” “Move,” he repeated. Panic set in. I knew he wasn’t above murdering innocents. I’d heard the rumors. He was cruel, and he loved the pain he caused. I could see it in his smile when he hurt me. When he’d push me against a wall that first time, fetid mouth inches from my face, and how he’d threatened me. I could feel his excitement. He had this wild look in his eyes, like he was high. Every time since he had that same gleam in his eyes. He’d made me his unwilling accomplice, and I hated every moment of it. I could see the clearing ahead. Almost there. “Right here,” I told him, you could see where I had dug. “Well?? Get to it!” He still had his gun out and was waving it around in front of my nose. “Ye-yes officer!” Steadily, I started digging up the hole I’d made and covered earlier that day. After maybe ten shovels I took off my coat. Even in the damp night air it was hot. He kept his phone on me as I worked. I didn’t need it though, the moon had risen, casting a pale silver glow to the undergrowth around us. My mind was blank as I dug, numb from the pain in my shoulders, in my back. For how long did I work? I don’t know, an hour? Two? “Faster runt!” Blood boiled in my veins, but I pressed on. I was now about four feet deep. “Why the fuck did you bury it so deep? This isn’t Pirates of the Caribbean…” “I’m sorry, please can I have a break?” “Yeah sure whatever, how much more do you need to dig?” “Maybe another inch or so it should be there” I climbed out and fell exhausted on the dead leaves strewn about on the ground. To my surprise, he jumped in and started digging with his hands. Was he that desperate? How much was that package worth? Whatever, this simplified things in a way. He’d put away his phone to dig. “Are you sure it’s here?” he asked without looking. “Should be, I’m sure of it!” He grunted. I got up and took the shovel back in hand. He started standing up, I could hear him take a breath to say something. I swung. He fell. Ten feet from the hole, under a pile of leaves, I retrieved the rope I’d left earlier. I tied his hands and feet together. One can never be too careful. He was heavy, but I managed to turn him face up. A small filet of blood trickled down the side of his horrid face. Smiling this time, I started putting the dirt back in place. The wind had picked up and kept me company as I worked. By the time I was finished, the sky was slowly turning golden. For good measure, and because it felt so good, so freeing, I jumped a few times on him, to pack down the dirt. I kicked some leaves to cover my handiwork, and whistling I started the trek home. Shovel on my shoulder.
  3. dianjin

    Chapter 29

    This made me so happy ! Welcome back Krista ! This is one of my all time favorites, and even just a chapter is just so awesome ! Thank you so much for posting this !
  4. dianjin

    A Harmless Prank

    I don't like the Billy bashing, but it's a good analogy to life. We all see people very differently, we have no idea who they really are, what they went through. If Aiden got to know Billy, really got to know him like we did through you, maybe he'd understand. It'll be nice if this isn't centered on Billy and Brett but them popping in once in a while could be nice.
  5. Some deductions I  made: You are of French extraction, but Continental French or Canadienne I am unable to determine. Though the "City of Light" location is a strong hint. You are very young, eighteen seems only a child to me as I was born in 1932. You are very brave to attempt to write a story in a language which is not your 'milk' language, though it is obvious that you are familiar with English, the requirement that stories submitted to GA be written in English is a stiff threshold for you. You do well in English, not perfect;y as you are well aware, but, in the main, understandably.

    So, here we have a young man, still a little bit unsure of his sexuality, writing stories for submittal to a gay stories site in a language in which he is marginally fluent. You have guts, boy, Congratulations. I would never undertake such a project.

  6. dianjin

    Independence Day

    Feels so weird to be this close to the end, we've followed Billy and Brett for so long... Would you please consider going on after the last chapter? ><' College and so on...
  7. dianjin

    Everybody Hurts

    The more the story goes on, the less I like Billy... He had this coming, he deserved it, and he whines about 50 dollars? seriously? Some one needs to slap some sense into him pronto (Emily please, punch him one more time) I really really like Brett now and even Joey has gone from "detestable" to "he's not so bad"
  8. "Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much." -Oscar Wilde

  9. dianjin

    Chapter 3

    I didn’t know what to expect really, I just hoped that we could get along. Most of all though I really hoped he wouldn’t just help me in front of the teachers then just ignore me completely at any other time. “Bonjour, excusez-moi du retard.” Hello, sorry I’m late. “Tu es parfaitement à l’heure Hugo, ne t’inquiète pas.” You’re perfectly on time Hugo, don’t worry. I turned in my seat at the newcomer, my supposed “buddy” who I had now guessed was named Hugo. My eyes first fell on a plain white t-shirt, and blue skinny jeans, then they went up until I met his gaze. Honestly, I don’t know even to this day who was more surprised him or me. It was the guy I had been fantasizing about the last two days, even jerking off to. Oops TMI! There was a second where time seemed to stand still, we just looked at each other silently. I don’t think it was for very long as Ms. Le Collen continued. “James, this is Hugo, your buddy, he will be showing you around and helping you in any way he can. I hope you two will get along.” I got up from my chair and extended my hand, still in a sort of daze. “Eum… Hi Hugo.” “Hey,” he responded calmly, shaking my hand. “You two better get going unless you want to be late to class!” interrupted Ms. Le Collen. I took my bag, slung it over my shoulder, gathered the pieces of paper the teacher and the CPE had given me and took off with Hugo. “We have Math first, the teacher is cool, but I don’t know if you will be able to follow, no offence, I just had trouble when I came back from LA to adjust back to my native system,” he told me in a perfect accent. I nodded but stayed silent, still not over the fact that my walking wet dream was walking right next to me. We meandered through packed corridors to a room with students inside, some already in their seats, some sitting on desks, but all chatting with each other. There was a palpable good mood in the room, even though it was the beginning of the week and the day. Probably a leftover from the Weekend. Hugo took us to the side of the classroom against a line of windows that showed the busy street below. He motioned for me to put my stuff down, and then he tapped a guy in front of us on the shoulder. “Salut François, passé un bon weekend?” Hey François, how was your Weekend? “Super et toi?” responded the guy. Great and you? “Impec, je te présente James, tu sais l’Américain qui rejoins notre classe, on nous en a parlé la semaine dernière.” Good, this is James, you know the American that’s joining our class. The teachers talked to us about it last week. “Ah oui c’est vrai!” Oh yeah, I remember! The guy, who I suppose was named François turned to me and spoke in a heavily accented English while extending his hand. “Hey, I’m François, good to meet you James.” I shook his hand, smiled and answered. “Good to meet you too.” Our little exchange in English hadn’t gone unnoticed in the classroom, and students turned to us before making their way over. They all started giving me their names at once, I caught a few here and there but most were lost to the general raucous. Hugo tried to calm them down, but it was the timely arrival of the teacher that probably saved me from embarrassing myself on my first day. “Retournez à vos places et taisez-vous !!” Return to your seats and be quiet! He looked us over with stern eyes, but they seemed to soften as he went. Suddenly he took notice of me, he smiled and gestured towards me. “Je vois que notre ami de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique est arrivé, j’espère qu’il sera bien accueilli. Pour rappelle il parle que peu le Français, donc je, et le reste de vos enseignants, comptons sur vous pour l’aider.” I see that our friend from across the Atlantic has arrived, I hope you will make him feel welcomed. As a reminder, he doesn’t speak a lot of French, so I, and the rest of your teachers, count on all of you to help him. All eyes were on me, making me blush a little. The teacher however started the lesson. Thankfully, this was something I had done last year, so following was easy, it was interesting to note the difference in the notation of certain things, but what baffled me the most was when the teacher did a division on the board for one of the calculations. The way he did it confused me more than anything, totally different from what I’m used to (look it up it’s freaky, but seems to work well). From time to time Hugo would look at me to see if I needed help, and I would smile and shake my head, so far so good. After an hour, the bell rang, and we moved to our next class over in the science building. We had what they caller SVT, which regroups biology, and geology. This I had a harder time to follow, and struggled with the concepts, this being the second week didn’t help, I was missing a week’s worth of material. Hugo assured me he would translate it with me to help. This class lasted two hours, we then had an hour of study hall, but it being an hour before lunch we didn’t get much work done before as a class it was decided that we would not eat at the school cafeteria. There was a vote held to choose what we would all eat. By a slim margin the local Kebab was chosen. Thankfully it was sizable enough to hold about 30 students, the wait was ok too. I was the main attraction for the duration of lunch, everyone wanted to talk to me. I was the circus freak in a way, but at least they were all very nice to me, just very curious. At first, they wanted to talk in English, but some struggled and the conversation transitioned in French, which I tried my best to stay in. Though from time to time I would ask a translation from Hugo. It was really fun. After lunch, we went back to school, we had only three hours of class that afternoon, two of which were French and one English. The French teacher, Mrs. Silvereanne had the class working on something while she sat with me in a corner of the class and evaluated me on my French as to help me as best she could. She had me do grammar exercises, a small “dictée” (she read me a text and I had to transcribe it on paper), and she just talked to me. At the end of class, she gave me some homework for the next day, a little grammar sheet I had to complete, nothing too fancy. The rest of the class however got a sizable reading and a question sheet about said reading. A lot of them groaned, even Hugo which made me grin. Our last class, English was really fun, Ms. Le Collen was a cool and fun teacher. She made me introduce myself formally to the class, I was to be an example of what they should all sound like. I blushed so hard I must have looked like a ripe tomato. Hugo gently made fun of me the rest of the hour. “Hugo, why don’t you stop having fun in your corner over there and read to the class?” came the gentle rebuke from Ms. Le Collen. It made both of us jump, and when I looked at her she had a smirk on her face. Hugo, who had been too busy goading me, had fallen behind in the reading and had no idea where the others were. A girl, Sarah (I think that was her name) helped him by pointing at the correct paragraph. The rest of class was uneventful, and when the bell rand we happily packed our things and mingled in the tightly packed crowd in the hallway. “Do you want to come over?” Hugo asked me. I looked at him, my confusion clear in my eyes. “To study, I need to get you up to date on our classes!” he added. I nodded gratefully and followed him out. He took me down a few streets to an old looking building (like a lot they had here in Paris), after three flights of stairs, he opened the door to his place. “Coucou maman !” he called out. Hey Mom ! “Coucou mon chérie, tu as passé une bonne journée ?” came a woman’s response. Hey dear, did you have a good day? “Ouaip, j’ai invité James, tu sais l’Américain qui a rejoint notre classe, pour travailler.” Yeah, I invited James over, you know the American that joined my class, for homework. “Tu as eu une bonne idée, par contre je file, je dois récupérer ton frère et ta sœur, puis les emmenés au Judo. Vous avez de quoi gouter dans la cuisine.” You had a good idea, I have to go though. I need to pick up your brother and sister, then take them to Judo. You have snacks in the kitchen. “Merci maman !” We migrated to his kitchen where I met his mom, though I had seen her the other night at the restaurant, I hadn’t, at the time, realized how much he looked like her. After some quick introductions (basically her name was Marie), she rushed out. Hugo made us some Nutella sandwiches and he motioned me to follow him to his room. He flopped down on his bed to eat, while I awkwardly stood, looking around his room. When you came in, you had a small window that overlooked the street, to the left his desk and a shelf with a lot of books, mostly big fantasy novels, on it. On top of the shelf there four trophies and ribbons. To the right was his bed, at the foot of his bed and against the wall sat a low console with a TV on it. I saw two Wii remotes, so I guessed he either had the Wii or the Wii U. All in all, it was a nice room. After we quietly finished our snack, he took his bag and got his stuff out. “You can take the desk if you want, I usually work from my bed anyways.” “Thanks,” I flashed him a smile. I took my pad out, and started out on the grammar sheet Mrs. Silvereanne had given me. After I was done, I asked him for his notes on SVT, which he gladly handed over, and helped me go over them, translating as we went, and looking up technical terms on his phone. After two hours, we were done with SVT and Math. I got a text from Mom asking me to come home. Marie and Hugo’s siblings hadn’t returned when I left for home. He accompanied me to make sure that I knew the way back. “Thanks dude for today, I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for you!” I told him as we got in front of my building. “No problem dude! I forgot, here’s my phone number like that if you have any questions or want to chat, just send me a text!” We traded phone numbers, said our goodbyes, and I went up. “Hi sweetie, so? How was your first day?” “It was great, they assigned me a ‘buddy’ to help me get around the place and stuff. He’s really nice, he even invited me over to his place after class so we could do our homework together.” “That was kind of him. Dinner will be ready soon, go wash your hands.” After dinner, I went to my room and got my computer out, I surfed the internet for a while before sending a message to Hugo, thanking him again for today. “No worries man! Oh by the way, tomorrow afternoon we have gym so bring a bag with a t-shirt, shorts and some running shoes!” “Will do thanks mate!” “Goodnight James :)” “Night Hugo :P”
  10. dianjin

    Chapter 44

    I had missed Evan and the gang Really happy that you came back to continue this truly wonderful tale!! It's nice to see Isaac and Molly finally getting back together (Thanks Clara ) Keep up the awesome work!!
  11. Happy Birthday, Dianjin! :) I hope you're having a great day! :)

  12. Although Cheshire understood that being left behind during the week was necessary, he could not tolerate the fact that Ethan and Chris had the nerve to go out on this beautiful, sunny Saturday. He sat atop the window sill, his eyes scanning the street for any sign of his owners, his tail twitching angrily behind him. After an eternity, he saw them coming. Their hands were tightly woven, and they seemed to be having a wonderful time. “Unacceptable” was the only word that described this situation (from Cheshire’s point of view). When finally he heard the key turn in the lock and the door open, Cheshire’s tail twitched even more impatiently. He did not come down from his vantage point, and superbly ignored the two men as they came in. Ethan came over to pet him, but Cheshire shunned him and stiffly walked away, to the surprise of his owner. “What’s wrong Cheshire?” asked Ethan. Cheshire meowed his annoyance and left the room. Ethan found his cat’s behavior very curious, and when the cat left, he followed him in the bedroom. Knowing his cat, he would be hiding under the bed. He knelt and sure enough, two glowing green eyes stared back at him. “What’s wrong buddy?” he said softly. Cheshire did nothing. “Oh I know, you’re angry we left you alone eh?” Cheshire meowed. Ethan sighed and got up, he knew better than try to argue with his cat. “What’s wrong with his Majesty?” asked Chris as Ethan came back in the living room. “He’s angry we left him alone on a weekend.” “Oh, and?” “He’ll pout a while but come around at dinner time.” Chris snickered. “Mind if I try to reason him?” “Be my guest, I gave up long ago.” Chris tip toed in the bedroom, he got down on the floor. Lying on his stomach, his chin on the back of his hands, he looked at the two glowing eyes under the bed. He started humming an old tune of when he was a boy. A song his mother hummed as she worked, a song he used to hum when he needed to think. Cheshire’s ears perked up, the tune was soft, gentle, comforting, and, without meaning to, Cheshire started to purr. His purring, it resonated with Chris’ song as it vibrating through his fur. Very slowly he crept forward, intrigued by this strange connection. Chris closed his eyes and continued. Chris remembered his mother, and happy thoughts flowed through his mind in a warm, glowing stream of pictures and sounds. He had not sung this tune in quite a few years, not since… not since the day he had come out. The warm stream turned dark and bitter as he remembered his father now. He could still feel his father’s hand on his cheek, the hate in the eyes of a man he once respected above all. He did not remember the exact words, but he did remember their sting, no, their burn as they seared his father’s hate for his only son in his young teenager’s mind. But the anger turned to sadness, his mother was crying. Through the torment he had seen her leave the room, tears streaming down her rosy cheeks. Tears coming from eyes his had crossed one last time. Even now he still doubted that what he saw in them. After all these years, he still could not decide whether he saw disappointment or fear. He had left his home that day broken and alone. He had wandered on the streets the whole night, going to school the next day as if nothing had happened. He had crossed his twin sister in the halls. Together, they had snuck out of school to cry and talk. Their father had made it clear Chris was not to come back to their home, otherwise he would “wake up with the Lord” the next day as the man had said. Lily had not seen their mother, but had received a text from her in the morning: “Call your uncle.” Uncle Frank was their mother’s brother, he and their father hated each other, and since the passing of Chris and Lily’s grandparents, the twins had not seen him. Lily had called him on the way to school. Frank was infuriated with his sister’s husband, and had told Lily he was on his way. During lunch break they had isolated themselves and had called Frank again. He was in the car and still infuriated, but he promised to meet them both after school. After the final bell, they had found him in the parking lot. Tears were shed, lots of tears, and on that day both twins left with Frank. Ever since then, Frank became their father, took care of them, but no news ever came from Chris and Lily’s parents. Both of them disappeared. Every time the twins talked, a question was always never asked, but always answered: no. Years went by, Lily and Chris both attended college, both now worked, and they were still closer than any siblings in existence. They talked at least once every two days. Lily was going to get married soon, and she had invited Chris and Ethan to attend the wedding. She had yet to meet or even speak to Ethan, but she was very happy for her brother. In college, she had been there to pick up the pieces and put them back together gently, carefully. Uncle Frank also talked to the twins often, he fully supported them both, and he did his best to be a parent. Frank had never married, never had kids. He was a tremendously busy man, CEO of his own company that had expanded overseas. He took his niece and nephew on quite a few trips with him, showing them the world, sharing his insight on life as he knew it. “It takes all kinds to make a world,” as he used to say. Cheshire gently licked Chris’ nose, trying to comfort the man as he cried over his past, the tune still painting arabesques in the air. Chris opened his eyes in surprise, and smiled at the cat, who grinned in return. Chris got up and gently took Cheshire in his arms. The pair returned to the living room where they could see Ethan preparing Cheshire’s meal in the kitchen. The cat jumped and went to his owner. He lovingly rubbed himself against Ethan’s legs before jumping on the counter to wait for his food. When Ethan set the bowl down, Cheshire put his paw on his hand, and looked him in the eyes then turned his head towards Chris who was looking at them, arms crossed and leaning on the wall. Ethan surprised at first, looked at his boyfriend. He saw the pain in his eyes. He went over to him, and gently took him in his arms. Chris buried his head in Ethan’s chest. He was done crying, but the hurt was still there. Sunday afternoon, Chris got a call from Lily, surprised that she would call as they had spoken only the day before. After Ethan had soothed Chris with a warm cup of tea, some hugging and a lot of love, the latter had isolated himself to call her. For the first time in a few years they had talked of that day. The conversation had lasted over an hour, and had ended when she had had to leave to go with her fiancé to a restaurant they had a reservation at. “Chris? It’s Lily.” “I saw, what’s wrong?” he said, his voice thick with concern. “Uncle Frank got a call from the police this morning, mom… mom is in the hospital.” Chris remained silent, too stunned to fully process what his sister was saying. It was as if Fate had a cruel sense of timing. “She came in with a few broken ribs, bruises all over, and a knife wound in the stomach. Apparently… apparently she and he fought.” Words were hard to find for Lily, who was still under shock herself. “Neighbors heard them and called the cops, they got their in time to stop him from killing her. He’s dead, shot by the officers who were there.” Chris’ mind was working overtime, processing the information as Lily gave it to him, then going over it again and again, unable to truly believe it, and incapable of formulating a response. Lily knew her brother like herself, and she knew he usually needed time. However, she went on, as there was more to tell. “They moved the year we left. They… they told Frank that it seemed the abuse had been going on for quite some time.” Images flashed in front of Chris’ eyes, they were all smeared with hate and anger and violence, and all bore the face of one man. “She should be ok, the doctors are confident that she will make a full recovery.” “Where?” Chris croaked. It wasn’t far, barely an hour’s drive. Ethan was getting worried, Chris had been in the bedroom for a long time now, and he heard no noise from the other side of the door. Cheshire looked at him, nervous as well. “Well if even he is worried then something must be wrong,” Ethan thought. He went to the door and gently knocked, not hearing any response he slowly opened it. Cheshire slithered inside immediately, while Ethan poked his head in. Chris was sitting on the bed, looking out the window, his face pale, his eyes lost somewhere in the sea of time. Ethan gently went to his side, but when he went to touch his boyfriend, the latter flinched back and retreated far from him. For a moment Chris did not know who he was, or where he was, but when his gaze fell on Ethan’s worried face the numbness went away, leaving him raw, exposed to the pain that flooded over him like a tidal wave. Ethan was immediately at his side, raising his chin slightly, and kissing him with all the love he could gather. Chris leached on that love, pitting the tidal wave against the tsunami that was Ethan’s love. The conflicted tides clashed with deafening noise in Chris’ mind, shaking him to his core. However, once the waters settled, the dominant current was Ethan’s love. They rode under the setting sun in silence. Chris had told Ethan the whole story. It had taken time, and tears were shed once more. They shortly after had left without Cheshire, the latter, understanding the abnormality and gravity of the situation, had not protested, and had quietly gone to his spot, purring when they had come to say goodbye to him. Ethan and Chris would be there before Lily and her fiancé, as she was further than them by at least two hours. The sun was gone once they arrived, and the cold February night was fully upon them as they got out of the car. Ethan put an arm over Chris’ shoulders, and together they walked to front desk. “Good evening,” the lady at the reception said. “Hi, I’m… I’m looking for my mom: Claire Stamper.” The police officer that was standing nearby looked up from his phone. “Chris Stamper?” he asked. “Y…Yes,” Chris stuttered. “I’m officer Willis, we’ve been in contact with your uncle.” “Y…Yes my sister told me you had called him.” “Have you been informed of the… ah… conditions in which your mother was found?” he asked uncomfortably. Chris nodded, tears forming in his eyes. “I’m sorry for this, I know this must be difficult for you, but… we need to figure out what happened. Do you know anything about the cause of these tragic events?” Chris shook his head. “No, my sister and I we… well we… haven’t spoken to our parents in over eleven years.” “Oh… Well uh, would you like to see her? She is out of surgery and is resting in a room.” “Has she been awake?” Chris asked. “No sir, but it shouldn’t be long now,” said the lady, behind the counter. They followed a nurse to Chris’ mother’s room. Chris stopped dead in his tracks in front of the door, fear flashed in his eyes, but Ethan squeezed his hand gently. Taking a big breath he followed the nurse inside. His mother was just as he remembered if you omitted the bruises and tubes, the same thick brown hair, just like his, the gentle curve of her face, and her delicate body. Tears welled up in his eyes again, but he didn’t look away, and they weren’t sad tears. He had missed his mother terribly, when he was little he was a mommy’s boy while Lily was daddy’s little girl. Over the years the yearning had grown dull, but in came back, surging in his heart. Again, Fate had some sort of sense of timing, as his mother’s eyes opened ever so slightly. “Chris?” Claire managed, her voice full of hope. “Hi mom.” Tears streamed down his face now, and he went to her side and kissed her on her cheek. Mother and son cried, happy to be together again and grieving the time they were apart.
  13. The next few days were spent relaxing, exploring, and we also got to know one another. Liam knew the palace and all its secrets, which made exploring it much more fun. He showed me all the secret passages he knew of, all the secret hideouts he had as a kid, all the unused room full of old junk. In those few days, when we felt we were being hunted by nobles, officials, or just anyone actually, we would hide in one of the abandoned rooms. I had a favorite we went to a few times, I wondered why it was abandoned in the first place. The room was pretty big, circular, and had a high dome as a ceiling. The dome had a glass center that let in the light in a circle that moved around the room as the day progressed. On the floor there was a sort of clock, so you could tell the time depending on the position of the circle on the pattern. At midday however the beam of light shone down vertically on the center of the pattern, and this is the really cool part. The central pattern had been designed so that for a few minutes per day, at midday, mirrors sent rays of light to other mirrors all around the room, the light bounced everywhere before settling on four gems in the ceiling. The gems then illuminated the room in every color of the rainbow, and as you moved around in the room they would change. It was magical. "Why is this room not used? It's so cool!" I asked Liam one day. "Everyone has forgotten about it now, but from what I heard the lights were too distracting." "What a waste..." "I agree." He sighed then seemed to think for a while. "How about we keep this room a secret, and if we ever need to talk in private, or just calm down we come here?" "I can agree to that." "What should we name it?" he asked me all of a sudden. "You want to name a room?" "Why not? I was thinking of: The Room of rainbows." "Too girly for my ears, how about: The Thousand Colors Sanctum?" "A little long, but I like it!" "Well we can always say we go see the Thousand Colors, that's shorter." "I guess we could." "Then it's settled?" "I think it is." The Thousand Color Sanctum became our little haven of peace. The only place we could talk freely and without being disturbed. Avenia and Neltharion loved the room as well, as it was big enough for them to fly in, and the colors also enchanted them. The next few weeks were pretty dull, we were introduced personally to every noble in the capital, we were invited numerous times to parties, and we had to appear in public a lot. Everyone seemed to be fascinated by us (though I suspect it had more to do with Avenia and Neltharion than us). Finally though, it was decided that we would tour all the other islands, one by one. To say that Liam was excited is an understatement. For the first time since we had met, he got on my nerves, and we had our first disagreement. It was almost night outside, the day before we left, and we had returned to our underground cave, palace, thing... I was completely exhausted, and all I wanted was to go to bed. Of course Liam was still full of energy, and all he wanted to do was plan our trip (not that we could plan much ourselves, everything was to be decided by advisors). He kept going on and on and on about this thing on that island, and the things you could get on this other one. My brain had given up trying to follow him, but he couldn't see that. "Oh, and we can also go..." "Liam! Please, can I go to bed?" "But we still have so much to do! Pack, and stuff!" "As if," I threw at him. "What do you mean?" "Everything has been planned already by your uncle's advisors, and our things are already packed!" "No they're not!" "Look in your room!" "No! Because I want to pack them myself!" I then tried to explain to him the complete waste of time that was unpacking everything and doing it himself all over again. While he tried to get me to help him, I tried to explain how much of a waste of time that was. Our arguments were hallow and worthless. Once we had begun we just couldn't stop, like two little kids we fought for some time until finally I had enough. I slammed the door to my room on my way out. I sat down on my bed, and felt bad for some reason. I was just tired, Liam didn't deserve getting shouted at. For a long time I just sat there, just thinking about how much my life had changed. A few weeks ago I had been an orphan like so many others in the 6th. Then I had gotten Avenia, and now everyone wanted to know me. I went from living in sewers, eating rotten apples, to having my own bed and room, and eating fresh fruits, meat and pastries. "You should go apologize," told me Avenia, who had been sleeping already. I nodded, sighed, and got up. I opened my door on the small private living room that connected our two chambers. He obviously had left as every candle had been snuffed out. I crossed over to his door, and knocked softly. No answer. I slowly opened it, and poked my head in. Liam was on his bed, still dressed, and he was crying. Neltharion was wrapped around him gently. He was the first to see me, and he motioned to my friend that I was there. Liam looked up, tears still streaming down his soft, angelic face. He used the back of his hand to wipe them away before asking me: "What do you want?" His voice was soft and tired. "I'm sorry we fought, it was childish and pointless." He nodded. "Want me to help you? Pack I mean." "No thanks I'll do it in the morning, I'm tired." He stood up and closed his case to mark his point. "Well... good night then?" I asked as I crossed over to him my arms open for a hug. A thing that I had found that he really enjoyed, and that calmed him down quickly and efficiently. "Good night Irion." He took the last few steps and he came into my arms gently. A warm, fuzzy, feeling coursed through me. Like sunlight, it warmed me from the depth of my heart to the tips of my fingers. Slightly startled I broke the embrace and went to the door. "Good night Liam, good night Neltharion," I called out before quickly leaving. That night, sleep would not come to me. My mind was too busy for that. I kept going over every detail of what the next day would be. All the preparations, the small speech we had to give when we got to each island, and the fact that for the first time in at least two weeks I was going to see Emma again. I felt bad about that too, I had such busy days that I could just not find the time to go and see her. I had of course gone to see her often at first, still lost in the chaos that was the capital. I had taken Liam with me too, and they had gotten along well. She was so sweet with us both, and was, to me, the closest thing to a mom I had had in years. The next morning Liam came to wake me up in his usual cheerful mood, I reluctantly got out of bed as I had barely slept at all. We took a quick breakfast, and got ready. We were about done when the light suddenly dimmed in our cavern, and a huge noise reverberated on the walls. Intrigued, I looked out of my bedroom's window. My jaw hit the window sill, hard. The zeppelin that was to take us was slowly coming down and a gangplank was lowered to a sort of jetty I had never seen before. Liam excitedly took my hand and dragged me outside, all the while telling me how this was going to be great. This zeppelin was much bigger and ornate than the one that had brought me over to Capital Island. It also looked much faster with twin motors on each side of the aircraft (the ones at the origin of the cacophony). Archmage Beltiras greeted us onboard. “Good morning Dragon Masters. I hope you are ready for your journey across Elathia.” “Good morning Archmage,” I start. “Do you know what our first stop will be?” continues Liam. “Aladia, the island of Magic. You will officially be presented to the Mage community and a tutor will be assigned to you. I will, however, not get back aboard the Sky’s Vengeance with you two.” I frowned but understood that the Sky’s Vengeance was just the name of the ship. He then led us to the navigation room where we met Captain Odin, our captain for the duration of our trip. Liam seemed to know the captain, and they talked for a while as I looked around at the different instruments around the room and the midshipmen pulling, pressing, and pushing at levers and buttons. The Sky’s Vengeance slowly rose in the sky, motors blaring. During the short travel to Aladia I learned that the Sky’s vengeance was the airship of the Vesilius family, and apparently Liam and his family used it to travel from island to island. Captain Odin had been steering his “old girl” as he called it, around the sky for many years. He was a proud and fair man that was kind to his crew, but would not accept any disrespect or laziness aboard his ship. Of course Emma was also onboard, and I was able to catch up with her. “We fought last night…” I admitted at some point. “You two? Fight? Doesn’t seem very likely,” she joked. “It was a stupid fight too, he wanted to pack his things and wanted me to help, but I just wanted to go to bed. He can be so stubborn!!” I whined. “Because you aren’t?” she answers kindly. I shot her a glare, but understood what she meant. “Everyone fights once in a while, it’s normal. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner actually.” I smiled at her, then looked over to the front of the navigation room where Liam was looking out the large glass panels. He must felt me looking at him because he turned towards me and smiled his flashy white smile that made my heart miss a beat. Aladia was the nearest to Capital island of all the other islands. It was unique in the sense that it had been the last island to be created. The seven original islands had been made so long ago nobody really remembers why or how, but Aladia was made rather recently, only a few centuries ago. Little pieces of each island had been magically enchanted to float in the sky, and then had been brought together to make up Aladia. Then the mages had built upon the separate pieces and continually fed them magic to keep the spells active. As can be expected, Aladia was comprised of seven districts, one for each of the seven islands. They had even kept the names of the original islands, thus there was a Capital district where the Mage’s college had been built, a Hemrend district for alchemists, an Illumnia district for mages specialized in illusions and light, a Zarch district for Rune mages, a Menden district for Druids (mages that excelled in the art of talking to nature), a Lacryso district for mages specialized in water (very important mages, they were responsible for gathering the water that was then given to the population), and Eincrad district for the Administration of Magic. Archmage Beltiras tried to explain the history of the island, but he seemed preoccupied and was a little confusing. When we docked, he ushered us out to give our little speech to a crowd of mages that seemed ecstatic to see us. We were barely finished that he had us running after him to the Capitol District. Once there, he gave us a brief tour of the University before letting one of his subordinates take us around the city and leaving us in a hurry. The mage that took us around the island was of a certain age, thus the tour was done at a very slow and relaxed pace. He was very kind and answered any and all questions we had. We met a few mages from each district, visited a few shops, and then went back to the University. We were surprised to see the Archmage at our zeppelin at the end of the day. “I’m sorry Dragonmasters, but there has been a change of plans, you both need to get to the capital immediately.” “What happened?” Liam asked, visibly concerned. “There was an assassination attempt on the whole royal family, including your father and siblings Liam. They are all alive, but your they do not know if your brother will make it.” Liam’s eyes teared up. I took him in my arms to try and comfort him. “And that’s not all I’m afraid, Eincrad almost fell in the ocean.” We both looked at him in shock, as did most of the people around us. In the many centuries that had passed since the creation of the islands, this had never happened.
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