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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“So you don’t mind him going and all?”

Almas face sunk and she shifted her weight on the chair.

In that moment Lina realised to things. Not only was it best to keep her mouth shut at all times when she had just woken up, six in the morning. It was also at all times to avoid asking a mother if she was okay sending away her kid. Had there ever been a better time for the magic void of awkwardness to swallow her, it was now.

Almas eyes were firmly planted on the ground and her thin arms slung around her, as if they were to keep her warm.

“Sebastian… He’s always wanted a quest. He thinks he knows where his brother is and… I can’t stop him, can I?” she looked up and saw Lina in the eyes with such desperation, that Lina just wanted to run around the small table and hug her.

What would her own parents say if she knew where Lina was going? It was as if she was trying to walk with a weight chained to her ankle. No matter what she plunged into and how hard she tried to enjoy this new world she never knew existed, there were always thoughts looming right over her.

The clock over the oven suddenly seemed uncomfortably loud, announcing every second passing, and every second that was slipping through their fingers.

Finally, Alma cleared her throat, and stood up. She was smiling so softly that Lina could have forgotten the pain in her eyes before.

“You might want to wake up Sebastian, if I do it he’ll just grunt and go back to sleep. I’ll go to town to get some things for you two.”

She made her way to the hallway, and, just before leaving, shouted,

“Don’t worry; I will be back before you two are going.”

The door closed and Lina was left alone. She hadn’t noticed she had been holding her breath until she exhaled. The house seemed weirdly huge, now that she was the only one awake.

At first Lina thought she might explore the house, but as soon as she stepped through the open kitchen door, she was overwhelmed with bad conscience.

She somehow wished she hadn’t ended the conversation so early; there were still so many things left to ask. Of course she could just ask Sebastian, but what she really longed to know was how he was, and Lina didn’t feel that asking him would provide her with a very clear answer.

There were still so many things left to discuss, and she needed the company of someone. She crept through the house like a thief, and felt like one too, up the stairs and into Sebastian’s bedroom.

He was snoring, not so much that it was annoying, but enough to stop Lina in her tracks. Now that she had invaded his privacy, she might as well look at the huge book collection he own.  Glancing at his bookshelf, she considered taking one and just sit in the kitchen reading.

But she wasn’t so sure that she could keep sitting still in a silent house, and who knew how long that boy could sleep anyway.

Now she was left with one last problem. How to wake him up?

It felt so silly to yell his name, and due to his snoring, she suspected it would be highly ineffective too, yet she didn’t know how he would react if she touched him.

Stop being so pathetic, Lina ordered herself. She strode to his bed, and it turned out that it was very possible to feel an awkward silence, even when she was alone. She was just standing there, feeling out of place. Outside birds were singing, and inside… Well, at least there was a sign that he wasn’t dead. He was lying on his back, arms spread out, head towards the wall and legs snugged in under the duvet. Had he too fallen asleep imagining conversations between him and his brother, she wondered.

Lina took a deep breath, and grabbed him by the shoulders. His skin felt hot underneath her cold fingertips, and she whispered his name. After not getting any response, she then cleared her throat and raised her voice a bit.

“Sebastian,” she hissed. “Wake up, I’m bored.”

She realised how silly that sounded, but refused to give up after the time she had taken to pluck up courage. Finally, he seemed to react. Sebastian made a small grunting noise, rolled to the other side, and then, much to Linas dismay, continued his slumber.

She sighed and rolled her eyes, realising that it didn’t matter, since he wasn’t awake to see it anyway. This time she yanked the duvet away from him, throwing it onto the ground and shook him again.

 “Wha-what is it?” Sebastian grunted and tried to open his eyes, but felt blinded by the light, and quickly closed them again. Still lying down, he let out a yawn, and Lina took a deep breath. “I’m bored.”

Sebastian yawned again and sat slowly up, looking as if it caused him actual physical pain.

 “That’s really great, but next time you’re bored can’t you… pick up a book or something? You are literally Between the Pages, it’s not like boredom is hard to resist.”

He looked around and shivered. “I can’t believe you’re letting me freeze like this so early in the morning.” He let out an overdramatic sigh and stared accusingly at her.

“No one forced you to go to sleep in boxers.”

He slumped down. “Ok I got it, I’m the bad guy, but look, I’m awake now.” He turned his head to both sides. “So, what’s for breakfast?”

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