This is a modified version from a scene in an MG novel I've been working on.
|The Herald Returns|
“This can’t be it,” K’eth doubted of Ayla, studying the tiny blue and green planet from the bridge of their starship. “They aren’t even spacefaring.”
“The Key is the way,” Ayla said, producing the small, glowing cube from her pocket. It shimmered, more brilliantly now than ever, its energy pulling to an edge closest the world below them.
“After a thousand lifetimes? I hope you’re right.”
“I’m sure of it,” she replied, just as a streak of fire tore through the upper atmosphere. “They’re here!”
Running. Liam Hollander tore through the evening forest, fleeing a monster. He never really saw it, but a distant reverberating growl and the sense of life threatening dread compelled him. So, he ran. Through the forest between his school and his family’s old farmhouse, he knew every rock and fallen tree, even in the darkness, never slowing…never relenting to the beast. Limbs snapped and the ground crunched, a desperate fury closing in behind him.
Finally, Liam reached the clearing, his feet hitting the old boards of his front porch just before frigid darkness enveloped him, a shadow of teeth and claws. Terrified, Liam staggered backwards.
Then, the whole world exploded.
Crickets hummed their soothing rhythm, dusk settling upon the farmstead, and Christopher Hollander worked at the old mule post which had loosened itself over the years.
“How’s it going, Dad?” Owen asked, charging down the stairs and using the post to pivot before heading into the dining room. It creaked and shifted again, his father dropping his head, defeated.
Kim Hollander smiled. “You’ll get it one of these days,” she said, helping her daughter, Emma, transfer an overgrown houseplant into a larger pot.
“Yeah, maybe when the kids move out,” he chuckled.
Suddenly, blinding light burst through all the windows at once, bathing the house in the brightness of daylight. “The heck is that?” Owen shielded his eyes.
“A car up the driveway, maybe?” Kim supposed.
The house shuddered.
“That’s no car,” Christopher doubted, approaching the front door with hammer in hand, his wife tepidly behind him. He’d no sooner reached the knob when the doorway exploded inward, tossing the two back. Both hit the far wall, slumping over unconscious.
The door landed hard, Liam dropping down upon it in a fetal position, covered in bits and goo. Then, through the haze, a slender human-like female stepped inside, holstering her pistol. With glistening cobalt skin and deep obsidian eyes, she said, “G’thek uk no,” extending her hand.
Without consideration, Emma raced to their parents, who were thankfully still alive.
Then, the being produced a small glowing box, light pulsing in three separate directions, one for each child, upon its surface. Puzzled, the visitor turned the object in hand, but no matter the position, the signal remained true.
Owen grabbed for a baseball bat kept in the corner, and instantly charged.
A beam from the stranger’s wrist caught him immediate and he froze. “G’thek uk no,” it repeated.
“We don’t know what you want?” Emma cried.
The visitor pressed behind her ear. “Sorry,” Ayla explained, “I’ve reset my translator. You need to come with me.”
“We’re not going anywhere!”
“The fate of the universe is at stake, little one,” Ayla pleaded. “Reject your destiny, and your planet, along with every other world, will be destroyed.”
Liam groaned, and Ayla helped him up. “I’m here as a friend.” She released Owen and he reluctantly lowered his bat. “Curious, there’s never been more than one,” she marveled. “I don’t fully understand, but you three are the Ketzolk N’or – the Herald returned. It’s said you will save the universe.”
“I saw something,” Liam said. “Something terrible. She’s right. I can feel it.”
“Me too,” Owen agreed with sudden realization.
“How can three kids from Nebraska possibly save the universe?” Emma wondered.
Ayla explained, “You’ve yet to unlock your power. This cube is the key. Hidden within each of you, is the power of creation. You were born to save this reality.”
An explosion from overhead and K’eth announce from the ship, “Ayla, more just arrived! Time’s up!”
“What about our parents?” Liam wondered, comforting Emma.
Ayla scanned each of them. “They’ll be fine, and the Grelx are only after you. If you truly love them, we have to go, now. We’ll contact them later.” She placed a small device upon the floor.
“You sure about this,” Owen asked Liam.
“Probably shouldn’t be, but I am,” he answered.
So, they followed Ayla out into the light.