Hidden Behind Glass

Charlie has been best friends with Maxwell ever since he was born. And ever since he was born, Maxwell could not shut up about getting into another part. So when a sudden clue to how to get out of Ebony and into Ivory, home of the mysterious Glass People, appears at his doorstep, Charlie is now fully convinced that out there somewhere somebody wants him to un-cover the truth. But it isn't as easy as walking through the gates, it takes agility, strength and courage and most of all intelligence. But as the journey continues, Charlie not only discovers more about the Glass People, he discovers more about himself and his past that has been covered up for years...

Cover credit goes to Crown Of Shadownight for her astounding cover!


1. Introduction

I’d heard about the Glass People and their mysterious, surprising ways. I never knew what these ways were, nor did I know I would find out. After all, what twelve year old boy ever thinks about whether or not they would discover the ways of the Glass People? In Ebony, twelve year olds are restricted to dusty books with mild violence, a variety of boring sports and video messaging the local children of the neighbourhood. Maxwell was thirteen, so he was allowed a lot more. Books with large amounts of violence, a wide range of sports which seem a lot more fun and the ability to video message the adults and local children of the neighbourhood. At the time, I was incredibly jealous, but we both grew older and wiser.

What use did we have for the Glass People? As far as we knew they were either a myth or they simply were just people. Not ordinary like you and I, but still people. They were not fairies or pixies or any of the silly little tales that the old people used to tell.

Perhaps I should move this story on. In fact, let me skip forward quite a few a month’s where I was the half way stage of being thirteen. Maxwell was nine months into thirteen and he had a far larger interest in exploring then me.

One day we were playing together outside, which is pretty normal. Maxwell bought up the subject of going on an adventure right there and then. I do not think he needed to persuade me to go, or even give me a choice, he simply took my arm and we ran off together. You see, Maxwell was incredibly un-predictable so I had no clue where he was taking me. It was only when all the busy towns and small villages disappeared and wild brambles began to appear that I knew we were far away from our village in Ebony. Of course we were still in Ebony, there was no way of getting into another part unless you knew the code which changed every month.

Anyway, we were shoving through snaking brambles and pushing away spiked thorns when we came to a steady stop. In front of us were huge gates, big solid metal pipes topped with barbed edges. They never put an electrical current through in case some inane idiot accidently touched it and then they could sue the Head. But no one ever sues the Head anyway, so I don’t understand why they don’t just put through a huge volt of electricity and be done with it.

Fortunately for us the rule of no electricity still applied and Maxwell pressed his head against the bars and gripped onto the metal, like a prisoner. I did the same, letting the cold material push against my skin.

“Look Charlie. Beyond this gate is another part. These metal bars are precisely three centimetres thick. We are three measly centimetres from entering another part. It’s so short! We can almost touch the other part.” I pushed my face further into the metal until the cold burnt so much it left red marks.

“Charlie kid, we are so close it’s unbearable. If these three centimetres weren’t here, we would be the first kids ever to pass onto another part!” His eyes shone bright and I could see the dreams flashing in his head, but something inside me told me not to dream like him. It was impossible for this to happen, for us to go through, to crack the code.

“But there are still three centimetres there,” I said, and the spark in his eye vanished. I’d just destroyed his dreams, crushed him back into reality.

“Yeah,” he said sadly and turned away.

“There are still those three centimetres there.” He began to walk away from the gates and back in the direction we came from, so I removed my face from the cold metal and walked with him. We didn’t utter another word as we walked, it was just silence, thick and cold like the gates. From that point on he never spoke of the gates, of our trip, but he still spoke of getting into another part. In fact, by the time I was one month into fourteen, he never stopped speaking about it.

It always fantasized me, how so obsessed he was, and how not obsessed I was. Maxwell would always pester me about taking an interest, but I never listened. Going into another part was stupid, we’d be caught instantly. So why even try?

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