Abby opened her eyes. A blinding white mist engulfed her. She could see nothing through the haze. She squinted, her eyelids fluttering until she grew accustomed to the light. A hollow feeling inside gnawed at her gut—something wasn’t right. Where am I? Where are the others? Abby panicked when she realized her companions were no longer present. It seemed only minutes ago Finlay used his special powers to teleport the group from deep inside the mountain. What if those creepy faerie brothers escaped and captured them again? Please let this be a dream. She called out into the oppressive barrier, “Mom? Sage?” Whirling her head around, she continued, “Rory? Finlay? Agatha?” After several moments of quiet, she called for Finlay with her mind. Finlay? Can you hear me? Where are you? When no answer came, she wanted to run, to break free from the mist. I have to find them! She broke into a sprint but realized she wasn’t moving. Sensing no solid surface beneath her, Abby looked down into the mist and searched with her fingers. What the…where are my feet? Her heart raced. Where are my legs? Abby straightened and brought her hands in front of her face. She sighed with relief upon seeing them. I’m not going crazy, I’m just disoriented by this stupid mist. Abby stretched low again to verify her feet were there. When she felt nothing for the second time, she gasped, straightened up, and reached for her face. Again, her fingertips felt no sensation. This isn’t possible. I must be dreaming. Placing her hands in front of her face again, Abby attempted to calm herself. Get a grip, Abby. Freaking out won’t help anything. She held her hands still while watching the mist swirl. Abby drew a sharp breath as the haze curled around, and then through, her fingers. No way. I, I’m invisible or something? What the heck is happening? As she stood bewildered, a distant, ethereal voice called out to her. Abby craned her neck and listened, hoping the faint sound wasn’t her imagination. An eternity passed before the voice repeated itself. “Amaray, find your way home.”
Who’s Amaray? Battling her confusion, Abby called out. “Hello? Who’s there?”
“Amaray, all will be lost without you…” The wispy voice trailed off into the distance one last time.
Abby contemplated the strange words. Sure seemed like she was talking to me. Hate to disappoint though; no Amaray here. At least, not that I can see. Abby snorted. Speaking of seeing, what’s the deal with this mist? I’d like to know where I am so I can get out of here.
As Abby further inspected her surroundings, a familiar, rough accent made its way to her ear. “A-by?”
Her heart skipped a beat. Is that Rory? His voice beckoned to her again. Abby was certain he was not far.
“Rory!” She called out with fervor. “Rory. Where are you? Can you see me?” She spun around in search of her companion, her Red King. Because he now believed in the power coursing through his blood, confidence welled within Abby. He could help her find a way out of this void.
Rory called to her again. This time Abby swore he was standing right next to her. “A-by. A-by. Wake up.”
Abby paused. I knew it. I’m dreaming. But this mist looks so real. And that woman’s voice. As Abby called out again, she felt an unusual tugging from inside her belly button. The sensation strengthened, turning into a pinch. “Ouch!” Abby reached for her stomach, still surprised when her hand passed through her midsection.
“A-by. Come back to us.” Rory’s voice was full of emotion.
“Rory, I’m…” The tugging ended with a final, harsh pull that swept Abby from her feet. A wave of blackness washed over her as the misty prison disappeared.