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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It was amazing how many concerning and doubting thoughts one could have about an event that had not even occurred yet. Her thoughts kept going to the future, her future at least. How could she ignore everything that had happened in a day?

“You’ve been around a lot?” Lina asked in a try at breaking the silence. Sebastian smiled.

“Not really. I know other kids have though, they usually go out camping. Family trips, you know. I think sometimes there are parties outside here too.”

“And you don’t party?” Although Lina saw him more as the bonfire type, she had no problem imagining him at a party either. Even though she wasn’t sure exactly how parties went down here.

“And I don’t party,” Sebastian confirmed, slowing down so Belinda caught up and they rode beside each other.

Lina grinned at a memory and Sebastian looked at her. “What is it?” he asked. She shook her head and beamed at him.

“Nothing, just a thought; a memory.

Sebastian tilted his head, which paired together with the donkey’s movement caused his hair to flip to one side. Lina laughed and he sat straight up with a grin.

“So, that memory?”

She shook her head. “Really, you just made me think of a friend. At first I thought you were alike, but you’re really not.”

Lina smiled at the thought of . It was true that she had the same charming energy and was rather impulsive; however, she did not come across as a person who would flee from the royal army. Moreover, she would never let an opportunity to party pass.

“Ah,” Sebastian said and focused on the road before them again. There was again quiet, but it was not the same as inside his house, uncomfortable and wrong. The quiet was calming, leaving them both in their own minds for a small while; they would have plenty of time to talk later.

After some while the rows of trees stopped and they had reached the corner of the city. The trees were sparse here, and you could look straight through. There were back yards, and in some were kids playing, parents doing garden work and grandmother sitting and knitting.

A woman in a simple tunic opened the backdoor and ushered her kid inside to do homework. The woman had the same brown hair Lina had known since childhood and she was close to call out after her mom. Until she turned around and revealed a foreign face.

Her shoulders slumped. Lina quickly blinked before turning her head, making sure that Sebastian wouldn’t notice the tears in her eyes. Not that it really mattered, she was bound to feel sad, wasn’t she? Yet he seemed so unaffected by leaving, it almost scared her. His twin is out there, she reminded herself. He has a reason.

A twin, she had read, was like the mirror to yourself. When she was younger, she had always wanted a twin, one she could share secrets with, whit whom she could rant about their

family, make plans about where to go and what to see. Someone who knew what she was thinking, not that Lina herself believed in twin telepathy.

There were beginning to show trees around them, and the grass underneath the hooves of the donkeys was turning into forest floor.

A small trail led deeper into the forest and trees encircled the group. Lina was slowly getting tired. Due to the excitement and adrenaline in her body, she had not noticed it before. Now, where everything was silent and they only had one goal that seemed so far away, she could feel the exhaustion overwhelm her body.

Her shoulders were slouched and she snuck a glance at Sebastian. He didn’t show any sign of fatigue. He actually appeared ready to jump off and battle a few monsters any moment.

However, the sun was going down, so Sebastian slowed down a little. The donkeys were now going, at what Lina would call normal pace. She tried to sit up more comfortable, yet it didn’t work. Sebastian glanced at her and lifted an eyebrow, smirking.
“We’ll arrive in a few minutes.”

Lina sat bolt straight and tried to look as carefree and comfortable as possible. “Oh, it’s OK.”

Sebastian looked forward again, hiding a smile. Lina quickly changed the subject.

“Where are we going anyway? This path can’t go on forever!”

Sebastian shook his head. “It doesn’t. It stops by some picnic benches. We are then heading west,” he pointed to his right. “And there’ll be some meadow.”

“You don’t think the guards are after us?”

“It doesn’t seem like it, or maybe they just don’t know where we are.”

Lina nodded. Instead of focusing on her body’s craving for sleep or the uncomfortable thing that was also known as the back of a donkey, she took in her surroundings.

When she usually experienced nature, it was through books of ancient riddles in dark forests, or a mystery in the woods. Not counting the forced trips with her class, of course.

I should go out more often. All around her there were treetops bathed in golden light, squirrels fleeing from potential enemies and flowers in wild profusion. Lina closed her eyes for a few seconds, breathing in. When she opened them, Sebastian was looking at her, his head tilted.

“What?”

“Nothing,” he turned again. “Never mind me.”

“Stop smirking!” She blushed.

“I’m not smirking,” Sebastian said and, well, smirked. Lina rolled her eyes and turned her head to her left, were the only faces that greeted her where those of the trees.

 

After not too long they arrived to a little place. The gravel path under them expanded. In the little clearing, there were several of those bench-table sets. They had been red, probably, before the paint had peeled off and only left a few spots of colour.

Lina thought about the few times she had been picnicking out with her family. They seemed so far away, and thinking about them only made her worry. She glanced at Sebastian and wondered about his life.

She imagined them, Sebastian and Edmond play a game of tag. Alma would sit in the corner and paint them, she decided.

It was a long half hour before they finally reached the clearing. Lina had several times been close to asking Sebastian if he was sure that they weren’t lost, and had to bite her tongue to not. She did not feel like he would appreciate her doubting his abilities to find the way.

Sebastian jumped down immediately, tying Nate and Nellie to the nearest tree. The sky was a deep blue, and the sun was hiding somewhere that could not be seen from here. Lina stretched her tired arms and carefully got down. It was nice having solid ground under her feet again, and she had to take a few seconds, getting used to feel her legs after the long time she had been sitting.  

“You ready for putting up the tent?”

Sebastian was opening the bags and Linas smile wavered. “I’ve never tried it before.”

He got the camping equipment out and started building the tent. Lina drew closer and watched him.

“Here.” He gave her two stakes. “Dig these as deep down in the ground as you can.”

She took them and inspected the two wooden things. She raised an eyebrow.

“Are you going to teach me how to build a tent?”

Sebastian beamed back at her and started digging a little hole in the ground. “That is exactly what I am going to do.”

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