Twelve Years Before (prequel to Journey of the Star Bearers)

Fantasy story about a girl who lives on a planet called Starre. This is her life before the War...


11. Returning

I AWOKE AND SAT UP ABRUBTLY. I felt different, changed somehow. I knew several years had passed since my disappearance and I should probably go and tell my Master what had happened but I wanted to experiment. I searched deep inside myself and found several things that hadn’t been there before, the clearest was the ability to search inside people and read them like an open book.

Looking around my room, I spotted my mirror and walked over to it. I looked so different. For one thing, I was taller but my face and body shape was different. I was now more slender; I looked more like a fifteen year old then a ten year old. My golden brown hair was pulled back into a high ponytail down to my shoulders and my colour-changing eyes were framed with long dark lashes.

I stood there for several more minutes and then remembered what I was supposed to be doing. I turned my back on the mirror and walked out of the door and down the stairs. As I walked, I looked round the house I had grown up in. Everything was covered in dust and cobwebs but the freakiest thing was that everything was in the same place. The dishes which we had been eating off were still on the side and the chairs were in exactly the same place from when we had stood up. I found myself touching everything that I could, just to tell myself that it had actually happened. Eventually, I reached the front door and stepped outside into the dark night. I shivered from the cold, conjured a flame to keep me warm and hurried down the streets into town. There was no one on the roads or in the main square when I arrived so I wasn’t sure where to look for my Master. I decided that I would go into the school and wait for him there.

I entered the school gates and pushed open the heavy door that led to reception. Seeing the soft blue chair, I sat down and reflected on all that had happened. I had been kidnapped by the woman who had been like a mother to me, run halfway round my planet, hidden in my own bedroom, forced the aforementioned woman out of my bedroom, fallen unconscious, had a strange dream and woken up about five years later. I didn’t have a strange life at all, no the complete opposite. Bang! The door was flung open and I jumped up out of my seat to see my Master in the doorway.

“I was told that a young woman had been seen going into the school building so I came to investigate.” He said sternly “Where do you think you’ve been for the last five years. The whole planet was searching for you, we thought you were dead! It didn’t occur to you at any time in those five years to come and tell us you weren’t actually dead?”

“Well I would have done if I could and you know that.” I shouted back at him and then burst into floods of tears.

He softened and pulled me into a hug “I’m sorry. I guess I was really thinking about that. Tell me what happened from the beginning.”

So I did. He waited patiently for me to finish, letting me stop whenever I needed to and nodding in the right places. When I finished I sat down on the chair and put my head in my hands.

My master gently pulled my head up “I think it’s time to tell Danny that you’re back. She’s been suffering the worst. Ruby has been comforting her and the other two assuring her that you would come back but I don’t think she’ll believe that you’re actually back until she sees you.”

I just nodded and stood up, then followed him back out into the chilly night and the courtyard. We then crossed the courtyard and went down one of the little lanes that lead of from the square. Down we went until we reached a red brick house with three stories. This was where I would stay for the rest of my school life. There was one light on in a room on the third floor. I guessed that was were Danny was and immediately felt extremely guilty. I was keeping her awake at night, worrying. I hurried up to the door. My master unlocked the door and called up the stairs.

“Danny, there’s someone here to see you.”

“If it’s Fran, Ruby or Xena tell them that I’m not in the mood to talk.”

“She’s coming up.” My master gestured for me to go upstairs.

I walked up the stairs slowly and opened the door to her room to see her sitting on the floor with her back to me.

“I told you I want to be left alone.” She said.

“You’ve not got any less bossy in the last five years then.” I called softly.

Danny’s head snapped round and her hands flew up to mouth in surprise. Next thing I knew she was hugging me so ferociously you would think she was trying to kill me.

“Lack of air becoming a problem.” I gasped “Thanks. Um I’m back.”

“Where have you been? We’ve all been worried. I thought you were dead. How could you do that to me, I mean we’ve known each other like forever and you just disappear. I mean the others were worried as well but that was nothing compared to how I was feeling! Just think next time but I’m so glad you’re back. How long have you been back for? And where were you?” She demanded so fast that only people who knew her well would be able to understand.

“Slow down.” I laughed then changed to a more serious tone “I can’t answer most of your questions I’m really sorry but know that from now onwards I will never be out of your sight.”

But when I said that I actually meant that she would never be out of my sight but she couldn’t know that. We talked for hours on end until we were so exhausted that we had to stop. While we were getting ready for bed, Danny kept on talking, getting me up to date with all that had happened whilst I had been out. I realised that I had missed a lot, that the world didn’t revolve around me. Looking back, I realised I had always shown off and now I was older I had to stop drawing attention to myself, let other people step into the limelight occasionally. If I brought too much attention to myself, someone was more likely to try to silence me and I had been lucky that it had me who had been taken this time but it could have been Fran, Xena, Ruby or even Danny who was taken. So I had to start putting my friends’ safety ahead of my own or I would find one of them somewhere in danger because of me and I could never forgive myself if that happened. I knew that Fran and Xena could take care of themselves pretty well but I needed them with me to help me with overcoming Delilah and whoever she was working for.

I was selfish and I knew it but I couldn’t let them, wouldn’t let them anywhere but where they could fulfil their destinies and I believed that was right next to me. If I had to chain them there then I would but I supposed that I had to give them an option. I thought back to my dream and wondered how to get a message to the woman in my dream. I needed to know what I could tell Fran and Xena and what I couldn’t.

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