Between the Pages

In a magical world, Between the Pages, lives Sebastian and his twin Edmond. That is, until Edmond decides to work against the Queen and disappears to join the Queens brother, and setting a curse over the country. Concerned for his brother (and the world), Sebastian sets of to search after him. But he needs help.

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6. ....

The scenery around them was ever changing –or so it seemed. Although all roads were cobbled, some had trees planted along side of them, and every street was like stepping into a new era or a new part of the world. Sebastian was leading them in a labyrinth of streets of various sizes, yelling half-explanations of what they were seeing.

 Some of the houses looked like classic houses, as taken out of a storybook telling, red roof and white picket fences. Yet others looked like someone had thrown several cans of colour at them, and then there were those houses that stood out with one single colour.

 Cafés prided the streets, shop signs signalling on every corner and shop owners chatting with customers on the street. The stores were of various sizes, specializing in everything from tailoring to clocks to teaspoons. The most overwhelming were the number of bookstores, most having shelves of books outside the store, tempting people inside. And also those seemed to be specialized in a certain subject, Lina could tell. Readers interested in horses could get lost in the shop that advertised with a real pony outside; Readers interested in detectives were met with dark, narrow door with a golden handle and a great fingerprint imprinted upon. Bookshops that were so unclear, Lina could only guess what genre they belonged to, and some so scurrile, she was sure she had read the sign wrong.

 The streets were full of people talking, laughing and yelling. Some were riding by bike, but most were on foot, or on donkeys. The grey-brown animals were on almost every corner, and more than once Lina almost stepped on the lovely gifts they left on the street. And when it wasn’t the donkeys or people that filled the roads, it was railroads tracks. Not a single sign of a car, yet she could hear the soft sound of trains everywhere they went. And that was despite the fact that they hadn’t even walked past a train stop yet.

 Lina wished they could stop for a moment, so she could inspect something closer. Houses with strange doorknobs, bakeries that promised sensational pastries she had never heard of, and donkeys waiting for their owners, that looked longingly after them, wanting a treat.

 "What do you want to see first?" Sebastian turned to her, walking backwards and motioning towards obviously satisfied with her reaction. His attire didn’t seem as out of place here, as it did by the ice-cream shop. Everyone seemed to be dressed in a mix of materials. Jean shorts were paired with silk tunics, white linen dresses paired with sneakers. It was as if someone had taken all clothes of the world and time and put it in a snow globe, then shaken vigorously.

 "I -I don't know. What's your favourite place?"

 "The Marketplace it is," he roared, grabbed her by her right wrist and pulled her with him.  

 They ushered through crowds of people, unto streets that were almost eerily empty. Every time they walked past someone, she felt like they could feel that she didn’t belong to this magic place. It was the feeling she imagined belonged to the sole survivor of some alien species that had to fit in with the rest of the world.

 Naturally, no one even gave her a second glance.

 They ran past various street signs all embroidered with wonderful names such as "Queen of Hearts Boulevard". Some were written in English, others in French, or other languages hard to identify. Sebastian took a sharp turn to "Moonshine Ally”, always pointing out something new.

 The big, building on the left, that was finger-painted in 36 colours, was the school, he would explain.  A place where you were taught common knowledge until the age of 17, the age where it was time to find an internship and explore your future job.

“So where, do you intern?”

“Shoemaker.”

“And, do you like it? Are you going to be a shoemaker when you grow up?” she grinned.

“It’s OK.” He smiled, but Lina didn’t find it very sincere.

Although Lina usually didn’t have a problem keeping up a quick pace, Sebastians legs were longer and she thereby always landed a step behind. From time to time she’d run up and ask him about the different buildings.

There was the flower boutique that was said to behold flowers that could enchant your senses, the ally were sky coloured office buildings towered that, according to Sebastian, were the highest buildings in the city and the graveyard, which looked more like a magic garden than a place for sorrow, and came with a large, elegant brick building.

 Lina tried to glance through one of its white tinted windows, but they were too far away, and Sebastian was already on his way to the next street.  

 They kept walking, until they ended at a big road once again. The street sign provided no further illumination, it was written in a language she couldn't understand, and Sebastian didn’t bother explaining.

 She wanted to ask him but when she turned away from the wall, her thoughts were immediately occupied by something else. They had arrived by the Marketplace.

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