Category Archives: 1: The Crusades

Inner Realm Chronicles Diaries: 1: The Crusaders

The Inner-Realm Chronicles:

As Seen through the Eyes of the Lady Guardian.

Rewritten in her own words by:

Lady Guardian Adellandra Dratianos,

As Lady Head-Chronicler of the Realms

Since there are so many of them so far, written as a Trilogy of Chronicle-Diaries.

The Dream Realm Crusades

The Battles in the Unknown

War of the Realms

1: The Dream Realm Crusades:

Part One: Untold Beginnings

Part Two: Young Guardian and the Dominionite, which includes Welcome to Your Destiny!, The Dracoran Advisor, Confessions, a couple of the Dream Realm Games (DWGames) and Dominionite’s Revenge.

Part One: Untold Beginnings:

Entry 1: Begin at the Beginning

Entry 2: Before the Young Guardian Saga Officially Began

Entry 3: Lord Guardian of the Realms and a Thing Called Destiny

Entry 4: The Discovery of an Ancient Mystic Lifetime

Entry 5: To Live, To Learn, To Love, To Grow

Young Guardian Trilogy: Young Guardian and the Dominionite

Entry 6: Birth of the Enchanted Child

Entry 7: The Vicious Cycle of Hate Begins

Entry 8: Magick of the System Agency

Entry 9: Earthly Protector and a True Love

Untold Beginnings:

Entry 1: Begin at the Beginning:

Sulheya, Kaetaa, and welcome to my Diary. I am the Lady Guardian, Adellandra Dranna Dratianos. I was born in the Dragon Nations as a DragonWolf, a wolf with dragon’s wings, as my Dratyr, Sir Airemus Dranna is a dragon and my Matéré, Katerina Mout’ella, is a wolf. I have a twin sister named Adarramena and a younger brother named Anton. Along with being Lady Guardian of the Realms, I am also the Ancient Mystic’s Goddess of Spirit, Lady Empress of the Dragon Nations, Dragon Goddess Lady SilverMoon, Alpha SheWolf of the Mountain Wolf Forest Packs, Queen of the Illunae, Goddess Silver of the Luna Throne, Head-Chronicler of the Realms, and many, many other titles. I’m known as the Woman of Many Names, Faces, Titles and Realms.

In this Diary, I will attempt to recall my Ancient Mystic life, both in the Mystic Realms, also known as the Inner Realms, and Outer-Realm, the Mortallan Realm. There is a lot to come, and hopefully I will be able to remember as much as possible. I have already written them as the Crusaders told me and within mine own words and experiences, but now, it’s going to be a challenge to do it all in mine own words. All who know me know how much I love a challenge. This Inner-Realm Chronicles Diary is the main Diary written by myself as Lady Guardian.

The beginning of the Young Guardian Trilogy, as I called it, didn’t officially begin until I was the Earthbound age of fifteen, when I met my Earthly Protector, so I will try to tell the story before the story. From the time I awoke as an Ancient Mystic, unbeknownst to what adventures were to come in my Earthbound life.

As I remember it, waking as an Ancient Mystic wasn’t the best kind of reawakening I could ask for. Then again, I never asked to be blooded by the Ancient Mystics. I never asked for anything. I was just found by Lord Guardian O’Dell and named his successor, Young Guardian when I was barely a child in the Mortallan Realm. Somehow, I was thrown from the Dragon Nations and the Inner-Realms to the Outer-Realm known for their Mortals and fear of magic.

I will begin where these stories all begin. At the Beginning.


Entry 2: Before the Young Guardian Trilogy Officially Began:

I awoke slowly, rising to find myself in a mortal woman’s arms. I was no longer aged my two-hundred plus years but a mere mortal babe. The shell was a mere mortal child’s, five years old. I was holding onto the mortal woman’s hand, curious and clueless. There was another girl the same age, just as curious and clueless as I.

I looked to my hands, and to the other girls’. We were the same, identical.

Who am I?

Before I could find or think of an answer, the woman with black hair and strange-colored eyes of a silvery-blue tugged me along, wishing me to follow. The other girl who looked like me stayed behind, sitting forlorn in the car.

“Come along, young one.” The woman whispered. When we reached the door, she knelt to my level and kissed each of my cheeks, hugging me. “Your name is now Ariana Moon. There is magic in your eyes and heart.”

How could I hear her thoughts in my head? They were spoken like a spell, a certain magical essence about her words made me believe that was who I was. I didn’t remember anything before the moment she grasped my hand. Who was I to argue? Obviously, she knew more of who I was than I did.

The building she took me to was an Orphanage, and the very place where the Hell of my Mystic Life began.

“Come along, Ariana Moon.” The raven-haired woman said softly. “This is for your own good.”

Right away, I could sense something wrong with this house. Pain, hurt, anger, despair, distress and fear were all my Empathic eyes and ears would feel. There were no feelings of love, hope, or home. No feelings of family, just hate.

I shook my little head, my reddish-blond curls whipping in my face. My head began to hurt with the emotions I were feeling through the other kids.

“I don’t wanna go.” I told her softly, holding onto her comforting hand. In that woman’s hand was warmth and love. In the building before me was nothing but fear and anger. “It doesn’t feel right.”

“Shut your empathy off, child.” The woman said gently, bending down to my level and brushing hairs from my face to behind my ears. “You won’t need it here.”

I didn’t listen. I kept it open for safety.

We came upon a door at the end of the hall. It was half-open, but I immediately felt horror as I walked ahead.

It was in that office I met Mrs. Gertrude, the mistress to Shore Point Home for Children. She had a mean but patient glare in her eyes, and my Empathic sensors told me she was bad news. She didn’t look a day over forty, but I knew she was older than that. Beside her was a tall, dark-haired man, who I later learned was her husband, Gerald Gertrude.

I saw nothing but kindness toward me in his eyes. His intentions were sincere, but his wife’s were not.

“Why do you bring her here, Mrs. Woods?” Mrs. Gertrude replied, staring at me. “She’s one of you, isn’t she?”

I didn’t listen to the conversation as I sat silently in a chair. I only knew what happened next by the stories they told me.

“In a way, yes. I have an explanation for you, Helen.” Mrs. Woods remarked. “You’ve met both my mother and aunt numerous times, correct?”

“What of it?”

“You know of a thing we call Destiny?”

Mrs. Gertrude sneered. “Of course. What’s to be destined about her?”

Mrs. Woods looked at me before turning to stare at Mrs. Gertrude.

Mrs. Gertrude kept her stare on me as she commanded. “Gerald, take her to the twins. They’ll show her the ropes.”

“Yes, dear.” Mr. Gertrude said, moving to take my hand. After a moment, I took it, looking up at him. “Come, I’ll introduce you.”

“Why am I here?” I asked, curious.

“Mrs. Woods sent you here to live with us for a while.” Mr. Gertrude remarked. “We’re gonna have lots of fun.”

I believed him, smiling. I followed him to a large tree in the backyard, where a boy and a girl were playing. Each had dark brown hair, the girl’s was down to her waist and the boy’s was messy.

“Amethyst, Aaron,” He called their names.

They looked up at him, frowning. My Empathy told me they were lonely, and needed a friend or two. They only had each other, which was sad, because there were so many kids around here.

“Hello, Mr. Gertrude.” They chorused in one voice.

“I’d like you to meet Ariana Moon.” Mr. Gertrude said. “Ariana, these are the twins, Amethyst Theresa and Aaron Theodore.”

Aaron Theodore and I stared at one another for a moment. I let go of Mr. Gertrude’s hand to take his. That made Aaron smile.

Before leaving, he warned. “I want you two to show her how we do things around here, understand?”

“Yes, sir.” They chorused again.

Mr. Gertrude left, nodding his head and smiling at me.

I looked at my two new friends.

“How old are you?” Aaron asked. I put up five fingers.

“So are we!” Amethyst cried, grabbing my other hand. She turned to her brother. “Let’s take her to the attic.”

“It’s our private place.” Aaron whispered, smiling at me. “We don’t want anyone to know, okay?”

I nodded my head ecstatically.

“Can’t you talk?” Amethyst asked.

I nodded my head, but thought. “I don’t trust people, that’s all.”

The twins looked at each other.

“How did you do that?” Aaron asked. I looked at him quizzically. “Your voice was in my head.”

“Yeah, mine too.” Amethyst said.

I shrugged. I did it again. This time, I thought. “I think it’s called telepathy.”

“Good name for it, whatever it is.” Aaron supplied.

“Watch out for Mrs. Gertrude, Ariana Moon.” Amethyst said softly, looking down. “She’s not as nice as she says she is.”

Aaron put his arm around my shoulders. “Don’t worry. We’ll protect you.”

I smiled at that, thinking. “I’ll protect you, too.”

I didn’t know how I could, but I did.

Entry 3: Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms and a Thing Called Destiny

Two years later, I awoke, alone and afraid. My orphanage siblings were sound asleep all around me, but I was wide awake. Something was on my mind. I thought over the past couple years. Amethyst, who wanted to be called Aimee, Aaron and I were together always. I found out soon enough the reasons for my feelings of pain and sadness. Mrs. Gertrude was beating the children. The three of us seemed to be her favorites, though I don’t know why. We couldn’t act like children without fear of being hit. Most of the time, Mr. Gertrude would shelter us from the abuse, but he’d died a little over a year after I met him.

That night, I met a male, a wizard, who would tell me of my Destiny. O’Dell, the Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms came to my bedside.  The Mystic Realms was a place I escaped to in my nightly hours, a place that felt like home.

There had been many a time I curled up in a ball and fell asleep by the sound of my own tears. That night was no exception.

Lord Guardian came to me when all was silent. “Hello, Young Guardian.”

I looked up but said nothing aloud. Since I knew how to send telepathic messages, I timidly asked in my mind. “Who’s there?”

I didn’t see anyone for a moment, but I Felt someone there with my Empathy.  A hand gently touched my head, but I wasn’t afraid.  That’s when I both saw and Felt him.  The vision of tall male with silver eyes and long black hair smiled at me. There was a glowing white light around him, almost magical. Somehow, it comforted me.

“I am called the Lord Guardian of the Mystic Realms, and you will be my successor.” He told me.

“Why did you call me, ‘Young Guardian’?” I asked him using telepathy. “My name is Ariana Moon.”

O’Dell smiled, and explained. “You are a very special girl, Ariana Moon, doing things most cannot. You know this already, or I would not be here.”

Using what little empathy I knew, I opened my mind to sense his intentions. I smiled when he was sincere, and O’Dell’s very words soothed me.

“I don’t know why, but I just can.” I reflected, relaxing. I wrapped my arms around my knees, smiling in the darkness. “I can read minds and tell futures. I don’t know if I can do anything else.”

“Ah, but you can; all you have to do is bring up the courage and try. You can do anything your heart desires.” O’Dell closed his hands, opening them again to reveal a necklace. “I come from a place called the Dream Realm, and you can go there anytime you want to escape.”

I looked away for a moment, thinking of the orphanage Mistress, Helen Gertrude. Escape from this hell would be the perfect thing to do. Until now, I had no means of escape.

It seems so unreal – like a dream! I thought, staring at the necklace in his hands as I gathered my thoughts.  Could this man help me escape this wretched world, or is he another breaker of promises like all the others who wanted me for slavery?

I took a deep breath and accepted the trinket he offered. It was a locket shaped like a crescent moon, with a star-shaped jewel hanging from the tip. The opalescent jewel was made of a kind of crystal I’ve never seen before.  The crescent moon itself was surrounded by a dream catcher’s webbing.  It was beautiful in a magical way, as it hung from its silver chain.

“Can anyone else see or hear you?” I thought to him, looking up from it.

O’Dell shook his head. “For now, only you can see and hear me in your mind and heart. Others will join you when the time comes.”

I smiled. “I can go to the Dream Realm anytime I want to?”

O’Dell nodded, smiling. “Come, I will take you now.” He pointed to the necklace. “All you have to do is close your eyes and I will do the rest.  I will teach you a special chant that will take you there on your own.”

I placed what was now called the Dream Locket around my neck and clutched it as I lay down and closed my eyes. As he promised, O’Dell took me to the Dream Realm and showed me things I’d never experienced before.  I felt free in a place with no pain, no anger, just beauty and warmth.

Finally, I am safe.

Entry 4: The Discovery of an Ancient Mystic Lifetime

The next morning, I woke to find the pretty necklace was still there. For the first time in a long time, I had hope for my future. I ran to show Aimee and Aaron the necklace, and tell them all about the things I’d seen, the places I’d been to in the Dream Realm, and the people I’d met.

I wish you could go there, too.” I thought to them telepathically.

“You’re not the only one,” Aaron replied at breakfast. His sister picked at her food, daydreaming about the Dream Realm.

“What if we could?” Aimee asked. “Wouldn’t it be great? I mean, no pain, no worries, no hassles, just fun.”

How?” I asked her.

“Tonight at curfew, when everyone’s asleep, we’ll make our move.” Aimee said.

“Have you been reading mysteries, Aim?”

Aimee smiled, silently telling her brother yes. I suppressed a giggle, not wanting Mrs. Gertrude or any of her slaves to hear me.

“We’ll go to the attic.” Aimee announced. “You’ll use that necklace to take us with you to the Dream Realm.”

“Like she said, how?” Aaron asked.

Even I stared at Aimee, waiting for her response. Instead of saying anything, she took each of our hands.

“Now you take her other hand, Aaron. Together, we’ll be linked in a circle.”

He obeyed, shrugging.

When he took my hand, I felt something in my mind, and gasped, tearing my hand away. That‘s when I knew, in time, he would come to love me. Question is, would I love him in return?

“What’s wrong?” Aimee teased us. “Don’t you like holding his hand?”

I shook my head, not wanting to tell them, especially Aaron, what I felt. “It was nothing.” I relayed.

The twins thankfully shrugged it off.

As always, we went everywhere together, Aimee, Aaron and I. We were playing in the backyard later that afternoon when she found out.

“Come and get me, Aaron!” I yelled, using my voice for one of the first times since arriving. “You cannot catch me!”

“Better watch out, Ari!” Aaron cried out playfully, running after me with his arms in the air. “I’m Superman!”

We were doing an innocent thing. We were having fun. That is, until we heard a dreadful voice of Mrs. Helen Gertrude.

“What’s going on here?” She yelled fiercely, making us stop in our tracks.

“We’re just having a little fun, Mrs. Gertrude.” Aaron ran to take my hand in comfort, hoping to shield me from any abuse.

In my mind, I told Aimee to make a run for it, before she was caught as well.

I admit; I was scared. I wished with all my heart and magic that something would come to Mrs. Gertrude, stopping her, if only for a short time. The new Locket around my neck grew warm. I used its warmth as strength.

Sure enough, as the wish finished, the mistress was frozen with amazement, widening her eyes as she stared at the necklace. The wish made Mrs. Gertrude frown, heading inside. I was about to cry when Aaron hugged me.

“Did you do that?” Aaron asked in my ear. When I nodded, he smiled, hugging me again. “That was a good one.”

I dried my tears and said softly, “Thanks, but I still do not know how I did it.”

“Right now, I’m just glad you did.” Aaron replied. “Race you to the attic!”

He began to run, and I followed.

“Aaron Theodore!” I replied, racing after my best friend.

I later learned Aimee was saved, and that made me feel better.

Later, Aaron and Aimee were on kitchen duty for dinner. I was alone in our tree house, pondering my new necklace.

How was I able to do what I did to Mrs. Gertrude? What about telepathy, and empathy? Why did I have those special abilities and the twins didn’t?

I dared to take it from my neck, examining it with my hands. Tired of thinking and asking myself questions I had yet to know the answers to, I closed my eyes, concentrating my mind on the image of the necklace’s special jewel.

Faintly, I could hear Mrs. Gertrude’s voice from afar, arguing with an older woman in her office.

“What do you want with me, Dixilynne?” Mrs. Gertrude demanded.

“I want to see her, Helen.” The woman said.

I could feel her sincerity, and hope of all hopes she was talking about me. She was kind, generous, caring, almost like the counselor who brought me here.

“Susan told me not to have any one of you see her or talk to her.”

“Why would my own daughter tell you that?” The woman, Dixilynne countered. “She is an Ancient Mystic now, and must be brought up as one.”

“So?”

“So?” Dixilynne cried. “I just want to see how she is doing. Aluna Star cries in her sleep, wondering what is happening to her.”

“How is it you have one sister but not the other?” Mrs. Gertrude supplied.

“Father tells us it is destiny.” Dixilynne said. “I am not one to go against my own father’s wishes.”

“Funny. That’s just what Susan said two years ago.” Mrs. Gertrude said. “She claimed her being here was for the sake of destiny.”

“It is, Helen.” Dixilynne said. “I cannot explain it, but it is.”

Mrs. Gertrude’s reaction to that was a “Harumph!”

“Can I at least see her?” Dixilynne asked. “I want to be able to tell Aluna what is going on.”

“Doesn’t this Aluna have the same gifts you have?”

“Aluna is not as developed in them as her sister.” Dixilynne said. “She is afraid of it. It was just a few months ago she learned to trust in her powers.”

“Powers.” Mrs. Gertrude scoffed. “I’ll believe it when I see it. So far, the girl-child has yet to show her so-called Magical powers.”

Silence. After a few moments, Dixilynne broke it. “Where is she, Helen?”

“You sense and find her. I’ve got work to do.” Mrs. Gertrude responded.

It was then I opened my eyes and stared at the necklace.

Who were they talking about? Who was Dixilynne? Why did I feel so close to someone I didn’t even know?

I shook my head in wonder, replacing the necklace securely around my neck.

“Ariana Moon, come to me.” I heard the actual voice of this Dixilynne person. The same voice that was in my vision but closer this time.

I dared to leave the comforting tree-house to see what she wanted. I stood and looked out the open doorway to see a beautiful elder woman with long black hair and strange-colored eyes. Now that I think about it, she had the same eye color I did. Could she be a relative, come to take me home?

Dixilynne smiled. “Ah, there you are, Young One.” She said softly. “Will you come down and greet me, or should I come up?”

I didn’t know if she could read my mind, but I was too shy to talk and used telepathy to communicate. I gestured with a hand for her to come up to me. She looked to either side before closing her eyes and disappearing.

I had to rub my own to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I continued to stare out the tree-house doorway until I felt a hand on my shoulder. It made me jump.

Dixilynne laughed softly. “I do not mean to startle you, Ariana Moon. I only came to see how you were.”

“I am okay.” I told her. “Aimee and Aaron are my best friends. They protect me and I protect them.”

Dixilynne sat on the makeshift chair in the corner. “Come, sit on my lap. We have much to speak about.”

Sensing her kindness, I put my fear of strangers aside to approach her.

Who are you?” I asked in my mind.

“I cannot tell you, yet, Young One.” Dixilynne said, stroking my cheek as I sat on her lap. “I am merely a friend looking out for you, and that is all.”

The thought of someone actually caring about me besides the twins made me smile.

“It is good to see you smile.” Dixilynne said. “My husband tells me, ‘darling, smile and the whole world smiles with you.’” She hugged my shoulders. “Why do you not speak aloud?”

I am afraid to.” I told her. “When I first came here, I had no voice. I found it nearly a year later only to have Mrs. Gertrude hurt me when I used it.”

“That’s awful! You must be allowed to speak, no matter who wishes to hurt you for your words.” Dixilynne told me. She noticed the necklace. “So, Lord Guardian has finally given it to you.”

You know him?” I asked, eyes wide.

Dixilynne laughed. “Of course. He is my father and a very powerful Wizard.”

Magic?”

“Aye, Ariana Moon. Magic.” She affirmed. “In fact, you have Magic, too.”

My eyes were widened at the thought. “Am I able to help and heal with it?”

Dixilynne nodded. “In time, you will be able to do many things with it. For now, since you are so young, you have only a few abilities you can control. The rest will come later, when you believe yourself ready.”

Do you know what I can do?” I asked her. “Besides talking in my mind to people.”

“That is called telepathy, and I believe I know exactly what you can do.” Dixilynne announced. “Let me think. You can bring objects to you, read and send messages in the mind, and feel Earthbound emotions.”

I was confused at the last statement. “What is an Earthbound? Is that what I am?”

“In a way, you are, but no.” Dixilynne said. “An Earthbound is a mortal person without your abilities who lives their life on this earth.”

I wrapped my arms around her neck after a long silence. “Will you take me home with you? I do not like it here.”

“I am sorry, Ariana Moon, but it is not yet time.” She explained, rising. I rose with her. “We must each live our destinies.”

With that, she kissed my cheek and disappeared.

When I went to the kitchen to tell the twins, I completely forgot the entire conversation. It was only when I met her in the Realm of Dreams later in life that I was able to remember.

Entry 5: To Learn, To Live, To Love, To Grow:

Four years later, Aaron, Aimee and I ventured on our own one day early in the summer. We were only eleven, and our curiosities got the better of us. From behind a bush, we watched as two boys played catch in the yard across the street.

“Let’s go see if they want to play with us.” Aimee suggested.

“No way!” I said in my mind to them. “What if Madam Pain catches us?”

“Just use your powers to stop her.” Aimee supplied.

I shook my head. “I do not want another beating. Do you?”

Both twins shook their heads.

“I’ll take the blame.” Aaron said, standing. “Let’s go.”

Aimee and I looked at each other and followed him across the street.

One of the boys noticed us and waved. “Hi!”

When they both came up to us, the one with glasses introduced himself.

There was a certain tug of power I felt from him; it was faint, much so, that at the time, I didn’t know what to do with it.  “I’m Scott Archer and this is my big brother Seth.”  I looked to the brother; the tug of power wasn’t there with him.  “What’re your names?”

“Ariana Moon,” I told him, clearing my throat.

“Aaron Theodore,” Aaron said.

“Amethyst Theresa, but you can call me Aimee.” She smiled at Scott.

“Nice to meet you.” Scott replied. “Wanna play catch?”

I smiled, nodding my head and the twins cried, “Sure!”

So we played with the Archer brothers for a few hours, and were even invited to dinner. Scott saw my necklace and asked about it.

“That’s pretty. Where’d you get it?”

The three of us looked at each other. The twins nodded to me and I asked. “Can you keep a secret?”

Both brothers nodded. I then told them all about the Dream Realm, Lord Guardian, and the adventures the twins and I had on our escapes there. They were fascinated, of course, and I Felt I could trust them with the knowledge of my magic. I even gave him the Dream Chant, so they could join us. It became too dark to see after awhile so we went back.

We were met by Matthew Steven, Madam Pain’s main spy. He had a snide look on his face and his arms folded. “Boy, are you three in trouble?”

Aaron took both our hands in his and we marched into Mrs. Gertrude’s office.

She wasn’t smiling; not that she ever really did.

“What do you three think you’re doing, going across the street?” She demanded, scowling with hands on her hips.

I inched closer to Aaron.

“We only wanted to play with them, Mrs. Gertrude.” Aaron remarked.

“There will be no playing of any kind for either of you for a week.” Mrs. Gertrude responded. “As of this moment, you are to do your chores and return to your rooms each night. Don’t think you can get away with anything because you don’t see me watching you. I have eyes where you can’t see them.”

I gulped. Oh, how I wished I could do something!

“Now, go.” She commanded.

We left, thoroughly scolded by her.

“At least she didn’t beat us this time.” Aimee remarked later that night.

“That’s true.” I told her, fingering the Dream Locket around my neck. “We’ll have more fun in the Dream Realm. That’s one place she can’t get to us.”

Aimee smiled at that.

A week later, we returned across the street to play with the Archer brothers. Though our playtime was cut short at times, it was worth it. They even came across the street before too long, and played with us there.

A week after our first meeting the Archers, Aaron surprised me with something I wasn’t expecting. Normally, I didn’t pay attention to the passing of time, but this was a day I wouldn’t forget. It was the six-year anniversary to the day I came to the Orphanage.

Aaron led me to the attic, where he took a package from a hiding spot in the rafters and handed it to me. It was a brown rectangular-shaped box.

“What is this?”

Aaron was smiling. “Just open it.”

I looked at him suspiciously, then read the card. “’To Ariana, from Aaron. May all your dreams come true.’”

“What are you waiting for?” Aaron asked, excited.

I laughed lightly, opening it to find crepe paper. I saw the tape on it, as if the paper were protecting something underneath.

Dropping the box, I sat on the couch, examining it.

Aaron sat beside me, watching.

When I managed to tear the paper off, I discovered a porcelain unicorn with a rainbow jewel on its head beneath the horn.

“It’s Lord Guardian!” I whispered, hugging him. “Oh, my Aaron Theodore, wherever did you find it?”

Aaron kissed my cheek. “Does it matter? All that matters is that you’re happy.”

I blushed. “It’s beautiful, I love it.”

“I thought you would.” Aaron kissed my lips softly. “When you’re lonely, make a wish and think of me.”

“I could never be lonely with you around, my Aaron Theodore.” I said softly, touching my lips.

Aaron looked down.  “Someday, we’ll be apart, but I want you to keep this as a reminder of me.”

I made his eyes meet mine. “Somehow, I could never forget you.” I put the statuette down and kissed him, wrapping my arms around his neck. “No matter what happens, you will always be my best friend.”

That night, his words rumbled in my head. What did he know that I didn’t? As far as I knew, I wasn’t going anywhere.

I put the statuette in a special place by my bed.

A few days later, it was missing.

“Ariana Moon!” I heard the old bat scream out my name. “Get in here!”

I stopped playing in the attic with Aaron and raced to her. “Yes, Mrs. Gertrude?”

Mrs. Gertrude shoved a unicorn statuette in my face. “What is the meaning of this?”

I didn’t know what to say. That unicorn started my love for the fantastic.  I knew I wasn’t allowed to have it.

“You know better than this!” She screamed at me, making me feel lower than dirt. “You’re eleven years old, and no longer a child.”

I stared at the floor, on the verge of tears.

“Do you know what your punishment is?”

I shook my head. Not another beating, I thought to myself. I still had bruises from the last one.

She grabbed me by the arm and practically dragged me to The Room. I have never been to The Room before, and I didn’t want to be there now.

I looked around. There was a wall with torture devices. I gulped when I saw there were no windows.

She closed the door and locked it behind us, making sure no one had seen her.

Mrs. Gertrude reached for the whip. She turned to me. “Strip.”

I gasped, but stripped down anyway.

She began to whip me all over – my butt, my back, my legs and thighs. The whip hit my face and ears a couple times, but I didn’t feel it.

When she started, I closed my eyes and blocked it out of my mind, tears streaming down my cheeks.

I called the Dream Chant and my mind was whisked away, my body’s controls on autopilot.

That night, I’d had enough with the abuse, but what could I do about it? I was only eleven, a mere child.

Aimee came to me. “What if we could do what you can?”

I didn’t understand her. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, what if Aaron and I could do magic too?” Aimee asked, settling herself next to me on my bed. Her bunk was above mine. “Then we could learn together and you wouldn’t be so alone.”

“That does sound like an idea.” I supplied. “I guess the only way is by blood.”

Aimee yipped, surprising me. “That’s it!”

I looked at her suspiciously, and checked to make sure no one was awake from her sudden noise. Sure enough, all the girls were still sleeping.

“What’s it?” I stared at her and tried to think of what she could be talking about.

“A blood pact of some kind.” Aimee supplied, yawning. “We’d better get to bed, before we’re caught.”

I nodded, hugging her. “Let me think about it. We’ll come up with a way, if you really want to do it.”

Aimee smiled. “G’night sis.”

I didn’t think about that blood pact idea until a year later.

A year later, Aaron and I are in our secret place – the attic. We had just run from Mrs. Gertrude, and were in hiding.

“Are you okay?” He asked me.

I nodded, even though I was shaking. We had done nothing wrong. Aaron and I were only playing around.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Gertrude caught us.

One look from her made me want to wish the worst cold on her.

Next thing I knew, she started to sneeze!

Aaron, Aimee, and I looked at each other and tried our hardest not to laugh! It was such a funny sight!

She sent one of her slaves to chase us. Aaron and I held hands and headed for the attic while Aimee was caught.

“Are you sure?” Aaron asked me then.

I nodded, pulling my hair out of my face. “Yes, of course I’m okay. For now.”

“I understand.” Aaron said softly.

I still wasn’t into talking, except to him and Aimee.

He looked deep into my eyes. “You’re very pretty.”

“Thanks.” I said softly, blushing and looking away.

He took my hand and said. “I really mean it, Ari.”

I smiled. “I’ve never had anyone tell me I was pretty before.”

“I know. That’s why I’m telling you know.” Aaron said with a grin. “So you know.”

I laughed softly. “Thank you, but why are you telling me now?”

Now he blushed. “I’m telling you because I….” His voice trailed and he turned away. He looked back into my eyes and finished, “because I like you — a lot.”

I looked him in the eyes, startled. “Really?”

He nodded. “I always have, but never like this.”

“Like what?”

Aaron leaned closer to me. “Like this…”

He kissed me on the lips then, and I began to kiss him back. My world spun and I moaned as he began to kiss my neck, slowly moving down my chest, where his hands found my budding breasts. Aaron managed to slip off my T-shirt, making his way down. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew I liked it.

I liked it – and him – a lot.

I followed his hands with my own to my waist.

I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t care.

Right there, I knew I had to rebel. I undid the zipper on my shorts and pulled them, along with my panties, down.

Aaron asked me. “Are you sure you want to do this as much as I do?”

I nodded. He stripped down, and we began to kiss again.

Oh, my Aaron Theodore,” I thought in my head. “I am scared.”

We will be safe now.” He returned. “As one.”

Afterward, we lay on the couch together, holding on to one another.

“Oh, Ariana,” He whispered. “I not only like you, I love you.”

I didn’t know about love, but I did like him. “I was wrong for wanting this, but I liked it.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Look at us. Barely in our teens and making love.”

“We like each other, don’t we? Why should anything else matter?” He asked as he stood to dress.

I started to dress as well. “If Madam Pain finds out, I’ll die.”

“How will she find out if neither of us tells her?” Aaron asked, sitting down.

“I just have a feeling, that’s all.” I told him. I didn’t know how I knew, I just did. I knew that I had to plan an escape. “I have to run away. I don’t know when, and I don’t know where I’ll go, but I have to run away.”

Aaron hugged me. “When you do, will you promise never to forget me?”

I smiled. “Somehow, I never could.”

We kissed then, pledging our love for one another.

I tossed and turned in my bed. I was uncomfortable, hot, sticky and troubled. There was no air conditioning here and Mrs. Gertrude could care less.

That’s not what bothered me most.

What bothered me now were the constant nightmares night after night, with the dream repeating itself in my mind each time.

I awoke in the Dream Realm. Lord Guardian came to me there, teaching me how to use my powers.  I would escape from my daily life there, and felt no pain from beatings or no hurting inside emotionally. I felt calm, relaxed, like I belonged in this world more than anywhere else. Most of all, I felt safe.

Then the horror began. I saw terror in the Dream Realm, and didn’t know what to do. I never did. I sensed danger out of my control, and failing to know what to do about it, I felt helpless.

I always witnessed a fight from the sidelines. I was in it, defending the good side. Others were behind me, but I could never see their faces. A Unicorn-Pegasus creature, which I recognized right away, was fighting against a deadly dragon-beast, losing his life and soul to the evil creature.

I knew of the Unicorn-Pegasus well. He was Lord Guardian O’Dell of the Realms, and someday, I would take his place.

What’s going on? I often wondered after I woke.

One night, I got the answer from a very strange source.

I sat up from my bed and quietly headed to the nearby window. I stared at the night sky through the bars, thinking about the dreams.

It is called the Dream Realm, and I am from it. A little voice answered back quietly.

I looked around to make sure no one was awake. Sure enough, each of my orphanage siblings was fast asleep.

Who said that? I asked in my mind. Somehow, I knew the little voice was harmless. Perhaps in trouble?

My name is Katherine Hawk.

I recalled the many times Lord Guardian took me to his world. I met a Companion by that name. Katherine claimed every morning a Dreamer would awaken, they would forget their dream, which included people and Companions met there. The more I visited, the more I remembered the Companions.

I’m Ariana Moon. I introduced myself, sitting on the bed and staring into space. Do you not remember me?

Katherine’s voice purred in my mind, and the Balinese feline Companion remembered. Aye, Young Ariana Moon. I remember how much power you have in the Dream Realm.

I smiled. How are you my friend, and how did you find me from so far?

Uncle Orthos Banished me here, once I found out about his laboratory. That is why I am here.

I didn’t say anything at first.

Katherine explained. I sensed my twin Kitten’s Claw in trouble, so I raced to her side. I was too late. She was already gone, Banished to the Outer-Realm. Uncle Orthos found me and Banished me as well.

How awful for you, Katherine! I replied.

Call me Kat. Katherine said seriously. Tell no one about me.

Okay. I then thought of Aaron Theodore.

I know how much you care about him. Go ahead, but be careful who you trust with your heart.

In the darkness, I nodded, thinking of him, and what had taken place just hours ago. I will. Please, Kat. Tell me more about your world.

I lay myself back down on my bunk, closing my eyes.

Katherine told me all about the Dream Realm, stories about both the Province and the Dominion. The Province is the most wonderful of places, Ariana! How I wish you could see it! Whatever you wish to happen, will happen! Anything you want will be yours. You just have to dream.

That made me smile. What about the Dominion?

The Dominion is the most evil place you could ever imagine. Unfortunately, that is where my sister and I are from.

How did you get there, then, if you are good? I asked.

It is a long story. I will explain everything I know to you later on. For now, rest, and I will try to take you to my world in time.

I’d like that. Thank you, and good night, Kat.

Good Night.

I clutched the Locket around my neck and smiled. I dreamed about the Provinces, and meeting my new friend Kat there.