The sound of his cell phone ringing woke Sean up, and he vainly tried to put it under his pillow and go back to sleep but no success. Sean groggily took it out and pressed it to his ear.
“Hey Sean!” the familiar voice on the other line exclaimed. “What do you say to a day at Waterworld?”
“Matt,” he flopped to his side looking at the watch on his nightstand. “It’s seven am.”
“Hey, it’s a Saturday. We need to go early and beat the lines. I’ll drive if you want to go.”
Sean groaned a moment, but then answered, “I will be ready in twenty minutes.”
“Great! See you then!”
Sean knew Liz was Matt’s brother, and if she knew Sean were coming along, she would want to accompany them. If she did, he would have to give an answer to her offer.
Sean climbed out of bed lazily and dressed in his swim trunks placing a black top and khakis over himself. He combed his thick hair and walked down the stairs to grab some cereal, but saw his mom making pancakes.
“Where are you off to today?” she asked.
“Matt and I are going to Waterworld,” he stuffed the delicious pancakes in his mouth.
“Just make sure you’re home by nine.”
“Yes, Mom,” Sean replied in a completely non-sarcastic way and spread more maple syrup on the cakes.
Sean had been raised by his mother for ten years ever since his father left when he was eight. He turned out to be the perfect gentleman, though he easily took on the arrogant side at times. Normally, he was sweet, kind, and always handsome, which is why a number of girls were flocking to him. Yet, Sean never cared for any of them. He feared he was falling in love with a dream.
Sean heard a horn outside and quickly finished up his meal. Kissing his mothers cheek and grabbing his wallet, Sean hurried out the door to Matt’s 2000 GT only to discover another passenger had come along.
“She insisted,” Matt shrugged. “And Mom made me bring her.”
In the back of the car sat a blond haired blue eyed Liz in the back seat. Sean climbed into the passenger seat noticing the huge grin she gave him.
Much of the drive was spent in silence, and Sean was glad it only took ten minutes to reach Waterworld. Matt parked the car, and Sean pulled out his sunglasses. Liz finally worked up the courage to ask him a question.
“Have you made your decision about Prom?” she asked as they walked toward the front entrance.
“Not yet,” answered Sean.
“Are you waiting for some other girl to ask you or perhaps you’re waiting to ask another girl?” she pressed rudely.
“I wouldn’t do that,” he replied truthfully. “I’m just thinking about it still.”
“Well, alright,” she said unenthusiastically.
“Let’s just enjoy the day with your brother.”
She corrected, “Stepbrother.”
“Matt,” he grinned arrogantly.
“Hey, you two coming!?” Matt called a good distance ahead of them.
Sean quickened his pace glad to end the conversation with Liz. The trio entered the ticket office and then to the water park. He didn’t realize how much time it had been since he was last here. The place had changed offering more rides and newer editions. There were now at least ten waterslides with new and different twists, a beach with a wave pool called The Breaker, and the lazy river was expanded.
“Pretty neat eh Sean?” Matt glanced around.
“It’s different,” he answered.
The trio headed for the pool first to drop off their belongings and change. It seemed Liz had bought an expensive bikini to show off even though Sean wasn’t too impressed. Matt left quickly making for the Twirling Terror a five thousand foot high waterslide a recent acquisition for Waterworld. Liz went over to the Dripper, which was more like a self activity not a slide where a person tried to make it from one end of the pool to the other without swimming but crossing a series of devices. You would have to move fast, however to avoid being caught by the Dripper, which plopped you right back into the pool.
Sean decided to check out the wave pool called the Breaker, and see how crowded it was. He wanted to get used to the water first before attempting any of the larger rides like the Twirling Terror or the Surging Shock another waterslide, which took you down at a 90 degree angle and then shot you into a pool. He couldn’t count the times people lost their suits on that one. The Adrenaline rush was interesting as well as people’s ambition of racing toward it. Sean had his share of adrenaline rush though he preferred to rock climb or sky dive. One of the most popular slides there for the Adrenaline rush was the Waterfall one of the tallest free fall slides in the world where a person was plummeted vertically for a hundred feet in just seconds.
Sean reached the Wave Pool and was glad it wasn’t very full. The waves once set off reached heights of fifteen feet, and the depth of the pool was nine feet. Sean loved to swim into the deep end, and when the wave came crashing down, he would quickly slip under the water and let the motion take him back. He saw people already in the deep end waiting for the wave to come so they could be floated on their tubes back to the beginning. Sean preferred to stay in the deep end and brave the waves.
Sean was a good swimmer and reached the end of the 30,000 square feet pool in a minute despite the people blocking him. Just as he reached the end, he heard the metal banging sound of the waves beginning to form. Sean observed the fifteen-foot wall of water approaching him for a moment and ducked quickly under the water. The motion took him back just as he thought, but suddenly he noticed something or rather someone. Another person was under the water. Their eyes met in the clear blue liquid, and he was instantly captivated by them; violet surrounded by a silver ring of light. She did not have tan skin like most girls. Hers was fair, and her hair was dark streaked with silver. Sean could hold his breath no longer and came up for air. When he ducked under the water again to find the girl, she was gone….
Lira knew she would not have to see Carion if she were not at the feast. So, she opened the window to her room looking at the two-story drop. She wrinkled her nose and climbed out slowly hoping her shoes would hold up. She saw her father’s light on in his room and hoped he wouldn’t see her as she made her escape. Lira held onto the roof of the window and found her foothold and slowly dropped her hands to the base of the window. She continued to find more footholds until she stopped to look into her father’s room. He was satiated happily holding a wine bottle in his hand with his back turned. Lira jumped to the balcony, which led into his room her feet barely making a sound. She froze fearing he had heard her, but then quickly climbed over the balcony and gripped the small pillars while finding a foothold.
Lira dropped to the ground and retreated hastily. She knew the guards would have the city tightly sealed, and her presence leaving would not go unnoticed. She had no rope to climb over the city walls now, but she would think of something. Lira could not ride a horse. Whenever she neared them, they would rear up and whinny to no end. It seemed they feared her presence, and it was with all horses she had ever met not simply one.
Lira approached the city gates. She knew one of the guards well; his name was Finbon, and he had long admired her. Lira threw the hood over her head and neared the gates, and the guards raised their spears as were their orders.
“Who goes there?” Finbon called.
“It is I, Lira,” she replied.
“My lady,” he bowed. “What are you doing here so late at night?”
“I actually wanted to take a little walk in the woods if you please,” she sucked up.
“My apologies lady, but nay. Wild beasts live within the forest, and you cannot go when it is this late out as well as this dark.”
“But I shall keep within good distance, and you can watch me if you wish. I just need some fresh air,” she sounded convincing.
“Why do you not at least ride then?” he asked.
“No horse will have me,” she replied. “I also wish to see my wolf. Remember?”
He knew the story of when she saved the small silver wolf when it was a pup. He narrowed his eyes.
“Are you certain the wolf still protects you? It has grown and perhaps forgotten you.”
“No,” she answered truthfully. “Wolf will never forget me.”
“I will allow you to leave if I may watch you.”
She rolled her eyes but he could not see. Lira knew this would be the only way he would let her leave, and then she could miss the feast. Lira nodded her head, and he opened the gates. She instantly took off running into the woods near Minas Tirith, and Finbon kept her in his sight. She entered the forest and whistled for her wolf, which met her within minutes. She instantly fell to the ground as he pranced upon her and licked her face.
“Alright, boy!” she laughed and began to play with him.
A few drops fell upon her face, and she looked up at the sky. Dark clouds hovered in the sky, and she welcomed the refreshing raindrops. She loved the dark, and this was an exceptional joyous time when it rained during the night. The rain fell harder in thick sheets, and she stood raising her arms to the sky letting it drench her and seep into her clothes. Wolf shook off the rain from his fur, but she loved it. Suddenly, Lira dropped to her knees from an over familiar feeling.
Before her stood, a beautiful young man with golden hair and gleaming blue eyes. His face was fair like hers, and upon his wrist was the same mark she had upon hers, two dragons one black the other white met in a ball of fire. It seemed the darkness had disappeared and shining droplets fell about him making his face seem even more radiant. Who was he? She reached up a hand to touch him, but her skin only touched rain. The raindrops flooded around him, and he melted away like a forgotten dream.
“My lady, Alira!” she heard Finbon calling her back to reality.
She stood up. “Aye?”
“I thought you were ill when you dropped to your knees.”
“No,” she looked in the direction where the beautiful young man stood, “no I am not ill.”
“I believe it is time for you to return now.”
“Yes, I believe I shall go back,” she rustled Wolf’s silver fur again and gave him the sign that she was leaving, but she was not eager to meet with her father.
Sean held the key in his hand until he had reached the end of the tunnel, and as soon as the light touched the sapphire upon the key, the entrance opened. He had discovered the passage to the different world, but he had kept it a secret for a year. Sean was intelligent, and he had seen many odd things. He already perceived this in a dream, and it came true. During the night, he would often ride his horse through the tunnel and journey into the silver forest beyond. He even collected pieces of silver bark and the golden leaves upon the tall trees. So far, he had not met anyone yet, but the things he found within the endless enchanting forest were stunning. His mother often became worried when he continued to fall asleep during the day. She finally discovered he has been sneaking out during the night, and he begged her to understand. She might have sold his horse as punishment if she did not love him dearly. Jex, Sean’s white Arabian was his dearest friend. The only time he could journey into the silver forest was before the sun rose. He normally went there after the dreams began….
“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS!?” her father’s slurring voice boomed.
He had quite a bit of wine, and at times Lira was afraid of him. When she was younger, he would strike her. He did not hit her often since she was a grown young woman now and strong. Yet, when he was drunk, he was not in his right mind..
Lira backed up against the window and replied, “Can you blame me, father? Carion is a disgusting swine, and I will not marry him! Not for him and not for you,” she said firmly.
“Alira! You shall or I shall disown you from my family!”
“And break your family line? I don’t think so.”
“I still have a son,” he narrowed his eyes, and she nearly whimpered when thinking of her older brother who was called to war to battle against the Easterlings.
He continued. “I will have you do my will or I shall ensure you are banished from Fierah!”
Her father stormed out and slammed the door locking it behind him. Lira sighed and looked out the window at the raindrops pouring down. Despite the fact that her father was odious, foolish, and drunk, he was her father. And Gondor was her homeland. It was where her mother had born her and where she had grown up. It was where Wolf rescued her from drowning years ago. Memories of her homeland filled her thoughts…
She opened the window and touched the raindrops. They were dark and cold not silver and light like other raindrops. She wished she could see silver and light. What if she could escape for a short time? Escape to Lorien…the perfect place to hide and think…and perhaps meet her beautiful young man who haunted her dreams.
She saw him every night. He was fixed within her mind during the day and troubled her dreams at night. He was an angel and always smiled when they met each other. When she was with him, she loved him, and he loved her. He also bore the same mark she had upon her skin, but whenever they tried connecting the mark, a great barrier came between them. Though the barrier taunted her and weakened her, he remained strong. Through his strength, her angel uplifted her and kissed her tears away. Then they would come together in a great burst of pure light.
Other dreams were different. But he was in them all. The dreams, which occurred the most were in the silver forest. He was there touching the trees, the wind blowing through his gold hair. She knew the forest was Lothlorien, but only elves lived there. All the elves had departed. He was not even an elf. Lira continued to ignore the dreams, but the more she tried, the more she wished she could go to Lorien and see if he was truly there.
Lira was changing, growing too beautiful but not beautiful in the eyes of Gondor. The women were tan with sandy brown skin, light green eyes, and brown mousy hair or dirty blonde. For this reason, she was mocked, rejected, and ashamed by not only the Gondor women but by her father. She sought in vain to change her appearance by keeping her face and hair veiled but it was no use. She was an outcast. This was another reason she sought to journey to Lorien.