THE ANASSAN CROWN Book One: Ariadne

Ariadne was just a quirky second grade teacher in a small town in Montana. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. But one day, everything changes when she is taken to Greece and gets the surprise of her life.

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1. Chapter One

             I was curled up on the floor of my living room, soaking up the warmth of the fire. I had the seventh Harry Potter book open to chapter thirty one, The Battle of Hogwarts, and tears were streaming down my face, even though I had read the novel at least four times. I was a bit of a book nerd.

            The television was on, but muted so I didn't get distracted. I looked up when I noticed the words "Breaking News" flash on the screen. I grabbed the remote from the coffee table and turned the volume on. The news reporter's normally straight face had traces of worry written all over it.

            "Attention, everyone," she spoke to the camera. "There have been multiple reports of break-ins and murders in Valier, Montana the last 2 hours. Authorities warn anyone who is not safely at home, get somewhere safe and lock the doors."

            I didn't know what to think. Nothing bad ever happened in Valier. There were barely 500 people in the entire town. No one ever broke in anywhere, let alone murder someone. I quickly got up and locked my door. I leaned back against it and ran my fingers through my long red hair. I don't understand how this could've happened.

            I went back to the living room, grabbed my abandoned book from the floor and ran down the hall to my bedroom. I put the book back in its place on my perfect bookshelf. I was really picky about my books. Alphabetical order by author, order of series left to right, and if there were two books written by the same author that weren't part of a series, whichever one came out first came first in my collection. And if a book was broken, bent, or worn, I put it on my special shelf and bought a new one to go in its original place. I may have had OCD. Actually I had been clinically diagnosed with OCD. But, I was working through it.

            I laid back on my bed and close my eyes deep in thought. This must have been some road trip killer. No one is this town could have been a murderer. And I mean no one. We were a very close knit community. You'd kind of have to be with only a few hundred people. And I worked in Valier Elementary as a second grade teacher which means I knew even more people than almost anybody. Every child in the town passed through my class at some point, so I know any adult who has a child.

            Everybody knew me too. I was quirky Ms. Anassan to the children. To everyone else, I was Ariadne. Yeah, I know, lots of a's. And kinda funky sounding. My parents always told me we had Ancient Greek roots, but now, they're both in a nursing home for mentally estranged seniors. It breaks my heart, but they were always speaking of how we need to be fighting the monsters and the demons and so on and so forth.

            Wow, that got off topic. I forgot to mention that I along with the OCD, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I got away from the point pretty easily most of the time.

            But what I was saying, is that I was completely baffled as to how this could be happening. And I know I said that already, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that something very, very, strange was going on

 

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            The next day at school, there were police officers positioned in every hall of the building. The thought of someone hurting all of these children, some of whom I'd known for years, scared the crap out of me. We weren't allowed to go outside for recess and had to go to the gym. The gym was ratty, old and utterly disgusting. The kids hated having recess in the gym. It didn't happen often though; only when it rained. I hated it for them as much as they did. So, I straightened my shirt and walked over to the sheriff to see if I could change his mind. I'd been told that I was a highly persuasive person.

            "Excuse me, sir?" I said. I always started off sweet. "Would it be at all possible to let the children have recess outside? Everything about the gym is a safety hazard and the kids never have fun in there."

            "Oh really?" he questioned, a rude tone in his voice. "Well, it may have escaped your notice, but we have a murderer on the loose. Do you really want to risk the lives of all of these children?"

            "Of course not, sir," I replied. "But I don't think a murderer is going to come to an elementary school full of cops in broad daylight."

            "I don't care," is all the sheriff said.

            "Just let the freaking kids play outside!" I had completely lost my temper. I expected him to yell back or something, but what he did next astounded me.

            "Yes ma'am," he replied calmly. "Of course." He then gestured at the officers escorting the children to take them to the playground the back of the school.

            "Thank you..." I replied with wide eyes and mouth gaping. He smiled, nodded, and walked towards the playground. I followed a few steps behind, still completely oblivious to what just happened.

            As I stepped up to the big field with the swing sets and jungle gyms, I saw Mason supervising the kids. Mason was my best friend. We met on the first day of school five years before. He was the only other second grade teacher at the school. He taught Math and Science to his class while I taught English and History to mine. Then after lunch and recess, we switched classes. We hit it off from the start. And might I say, he was very attractive. But, I had no interest in him like that. We were just naturally platonic.

            "Well," Mason started. "Someone knows how to handle a persuasion."

            "Yeah..." I trailed off. "It's just... This is going to sound weird... I mean, I didn't really do anything." He looked just as confused as I was.

            "What do you mean you didn't do anything?" he sounded skeptical of what I was saying. "Ari, I saw you talking to him."

            "Well, I talked to him," I had no idea where I was going with this. "But, it was odd. He was so bent on making the kids play inside, then I stopped being nice and just kind of... ordered him I guess. Then he stopped fighting and instantly complied. Just like that."

            Mason looked at me bewildered. Just then one of our students came running up to us.

            "Ms. Anassan! Mr. Worth!" Arden, one of our cutest little girls, yelled at us. "There's a horse over there! See? By the soccer goal!"

            I didn't think much of it. This was Montana for God's sake. There were lots of horses. But as I raised my head to check out the situation, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

            It wasn't just a horse. It was pure white. Like, legitimately white, without a single blemish. Reflecting the bright sun like a mirror. And that wasn't the kicker. The reflecting, white horse had wings. Gigantic, feathery, wings. This wasn't a horse. It was a pegasus.

            But that wasn't possible. Pegasi were just myth. None of that stuff was real. I must have been imagining something. Or maybe I ate something funny. I didn't know, but at that moment, I wasn't right in the head.

            "M-Mason," I stuttered. "What is that?" I felt feint, like I was going to throw up or pass out.

            "What do you mean?" he looked at me like I was completely insane. "It's just a horse, Ariadne. Ari? Are you okay? What are you doing?"

            I wasn't listening to him. Instead, I was walking slowly towards the animal. I had to get a closer look to see if what I was seeing was real. As I got closer, the creature seemed to reflect more and more light until it was almost blinding. I raised my hand to block the light in my face, and continued walking. I didn't know how, but it felt as though it was beckoning me to come closer.

            I finally came within arm's reach of the thing, whatever it was, and I reached out to touch its head. Right before I touched it, a hand grabbed the wrist of the arm I was using as a visor. I turned around confused, and saw Mason looking at me concerned.

             "Ari," he said, staring at me with worried eyes. "What are you doing?"

            "I want... no, need," I corrected myself.. "I need to touch it." I reached out, and with Mason's hand still wrapped around my wrist, lightly touched the creature's snout. As soon as I did, there was a burst of heat and light that seemed like it was emanating from the animal. Then, I felt myself slowly drift into darkness.

 

A/N

Ok so I started this story recently and I wasn't planning on doing anything with it until I was done, but I decided that it would be nice to have some feedback while I'm writing so I can see what I'm doing well and what I need to work on. Comments are very much appreciated. I enjoy constructive criticism! Chapter Two is about halfway done and should be up either later today or tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

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