Through The Portal

It is about three ordinary children who extra-ordinary things happen to.

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3. Abi

 

Chapter 3

       Abi wasn’t having the best day of her life. In the last twenty-four hours she had been sucked through a portal, captured by goblins, been told she was going to be sold to something or someone called Mowwa, spent the night in a dungeon, was woken up at the crack of dawn and at the moment she was tied to the back of a cart by a rope which was tied round her wrists and tied round her waist was a rope which was tied round Tanya’s wrists and in turn Tanya had a rope tied round her waist which was tied round Jonathan’s wrists. As you can see Abi had every right to be fed up. She couldn’t even get to the gum in her pocket!

       They were trudging through a valley when the cart stopped abruptly. “What now?” Abi thought as a goblin in a regal blue cape appeared into sight. He untied the end of the rope that was tied to the cart and led the three children to a slope of grass by the road and handed each of them a chunk of stale bread, “Eat! You will need the energy.” He said gruffly. Then he turned and started striding up and down the road keeping an eye on them as they ate. Abi didn’t really like the idea of eating stale bread, but it was the only food she had so she guessed she might as well eat it. Tanya and Jonathan started to talk together so Abi lay down on the grass and closed her eyes. She could smell Honeysuckle. She knew the scent because it was her mum’s favourite perfume. Her mum was missing, presumed dead. It had happened when she was eight. That was five years ago now and Abi missed her sorely.

        Abi was dreaming about her mum being back home, when she was woken by a scowling goblin.

         “Up!” He growled showing of vulgar yellow teeth. His breath was rancid and smelled like rotting flesh. She struggled to her feet and was immediately pulled, by the rope, towards the cart. Within minutes they were off again. Abi was still half-asleep. She tripped on a loose stone and the next thing she knew, she was lying face flat on the ground. She silently swore under her breath. Why was it always her ending up on the floor? She quickly scrambled to her feet. She didn’t want to attract any goblin attention if she could help it. Unfortunately she wasn’t quick enough, and before she knew it a goblin was upon her.

           “Anymore fooling around and I’ll slit you’re pretty little throat and leave you in a ditch to die!” The goblin snarled. Abi nodded her head. She felt, for once, too scared to speak. She didn’t like the idea of abandoning her friends and she liked the idea of dying even less.

*

             For the rest of the journey everything went well. Around midday they came to the top of a cliff and the sight was unbelievable. Spread below them was a vast gleaming city spread across the valley glittering in the late afternoon sunshine. Abi’s breath was taken away by this magnificent sight. She could tell by looking at their faces that Tanya and Jonathan were awed by what they saw as well.

                  “Get a move on!” A stumpy goblin snarled in her ear. She cringed. The smell of his breath was like the stench of the bins outside the kitchen at school where she had spent a rather unpleasant lunchtime with some particularly nasty bullies.

                   The walk down the cliff was very slippery and treacherously steep. But somehow they managed to get down with only a few grazes on their hands and knees. Abi looked up and found herself staring up at a pair of huge majestic gates. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. She looked behind her and tried to catch Tan’s eye but before she managed it the gates opened and once again they were on the move.

                   They were led through quiet streets and dark alleyways until they started to hear people shouting, calling, laughing, playing. “The whole town must be there!” Abi thought. And sure enough after going on for a couple more minutes they turned a corner and Abi could see what she assumed to be a market place and hundreds of people, young and old, buying and selling goods.

                   “Lucky us!” A goblin said just out of eyesight, “We’ve arrived on market day!” Abi wasn’t sure how this was lucky.

                    People were starting to stare and whisper to each other in hushed voices. Abi was beginning to feel uncomfortable. To her relief the cart, that had stopped moving a few minutes ago, was on the move again. In a matter of seconds the cart stopped again and one of the goblins came and untied the end of the rope that was attached to the cart. He marched them to the middle of a stone square and stopped so abruptly Abi would have fallen on top of him if Tanya hadn’t grabbed her arm and steadied her. She looked around. The market was full of bright colours and sold everything from ribbons to strawberries. Abi particularly wanted one of the strawberries. She was just daydreaming about the sweet juice squirting out of them when she bit into them when she noticed the square was surrounded by people all staring at them. Suddenly one of the goblins spread out his hands for silence and said in his horrible scratching voice, “Ladies and Gentlemen I am glad that so many of you have gathered this fine day.” This was met by shouts of, “just get on with it!” and “just give us a price!” Abi was now pretty scared. The goblin carried on, “You ask for a price? Ok here it is four hundred niks!” This was followed by many gasps from the crowd. Suddenly a boy stepped out of the throng of people. He wore an apron with a tool belt round his waist. He had short dark hair and looked around the age of sixteen.

                   “You will get your payment, goblin,” The boy said. His voice was confident and strong, but had a hint of kindness and respect in it too. He carried on, “Just hand them over and you shall get your payment in a few days time.” He strode over to the goblin who handed over the rope, got in the driver’s seat waited a few moments for the other goblins to get in and drove away whistling.

                  The boy turned to the trio, “sorry ‘bout that. I hate goblins. They’re a right nuisance. Anyway, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m Tom carpenter and believe it or not I’m a carpenter! Who are you?”

                  “I’m Abi and this is Tan and Jonathan.”

                   “Well Abi, Tan and Jonathan. How do you feel about meeting my best friend and princess Abigail Forget-Me-Not?”

                     Abi looked at Jonathan and mouthed, “Princess?” Jonathan shrugged, a look of puzzlement on his face, and turned his attention back to Tom. He was looking in the pockets of his tool belt and looked up holding a knife, “Let’s get you untied.”

                    Soon the three of them were standing massaging their wrists while Tom was at a nearby stall buying them all a hot drink. He came over carrying four jugs of a frothy liquid. He gave each of them one and said, “Go on then. Try it!” Bravely Abi brought the mug to her lips and took a sip. It tasted wonderful. It was unbelievably sweet like honey and the texture of the froth was spell-binding! She looked up. Tanya and Jonathan were looking at her expectantly, “Well?” Tom asked.

                      “Amazing!” She said beaming broadly. In seconds they had all finished and were smiling in satisfaction.

                     “How about we get you some new clothes?” Tom asked.

                     “Definitely!” Abi cried, “I must look terrible!”

                     “You all do,” Tom agreed, “So let’s get moving!”

*

                      Abi looked down at her new clothes. It was a deep emerald dress and quite plain. Her hair was now brushed and had beautiful flowers woven into it. Tanya’s dress was the same only a soft lilac colour and she had only purple flowers braided into her hair. Jonathan was wearing a loose baggy crimson shirt and brown baggy trousers.

                     “I love this dress!” Abi exclaimed excitedly.

                      “It does look much better than what you were wearing before,” Tom agreed, “I think you are finally clean and tidy enough to meet Abigail.”

                      “Are you sure? I mean she’s a princess after all,” Abi asked.

                    “Of course I’m sure! She’s my best friend after all,” and with that he turned and started walking away. The only thing the trio could do was follow him. Otherwise they would be left in the middle of a busy market in a place they did not know with only complete strangers around them.

                   Soon they were walking through gardens with every spice, herb or flower ever imaginable growing in them. Finally they came to a huge castle with massive oak doors. Tom pulled a handle and opened the door.

                   “Welcome to the castle of Mowwa!” He said walking backwards through the door with his arms spread wide. The trio walked in and gasped at the wonderfulness and beauty of the inside of the castle. They had to run to catch up with Tom who was already on the other side of the room climbing up a huge wooden staircase in the middle of the room. They got to the top of the staircase and walked through a set of doors into a room full of books and maps and globes with a roaring fire on one of the walls.

                   “A library!” Abi whispered to herself under her breath.

                   “Thought I might find you in here!” Tom said walking across the room. For the first time Abi noticed that they weren’t alone. Sitting beside the fireplace with a book in her lap was a girl about Tom’s age. The girl looked up and smiled when she heard Tom’s voice. Abi was awestricken by how beautiful she was. And by the fact she looked strikingly like Abi’s mum.

 

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