Cierra’s eyes grew wide, “It’s beautiful, is this what he was talking about?”
She nodded, “One of many gateways into the realm of Verilia.”
“What do I do?” Cierra asked.
“Well, first you need to know what you’re getting into.”
Cierra was confused, “Aren’t I just going to another world to find my father?”
“Of course, but it’ll be a long journey to find him. You’ll get some supplies on your journey after you enter through the gateway.” Cindy explained as if she was a trained expert. “Your father told me exactly what to tell you. I think you’ll be happy with what you’ll find. There are different kinds of trees and animals. But be careful, Verilia is a dangerous place.”
Cierra spoke sarcastically, “What? Are there monsters prowling about?”
Her mother replied, “In a way. They’re not what you’d expect for monsters.”
She gave her an odd look.
“Giant wolves, bandits, dragons, trolls, and goblins. That sort of stuff, if you want you can start looking through your book while I go check on your siblings in the pool. I think I just heard Merrily scream.”
Cierra gave her a slow nod and opened her book again, this time going to the guide section. She was right, there are Forest wolves that are two times bigger than our grey wolves. Trolls, goblins, dragons, they’re all here. Except it says dragons are non-hostile creatures. “Interesting,” Cierra finally spoke aloud.
“What?” Cindy asked.
“It says here that dragons are non-hostile creatures except when they are being threatened.”
“Huh, I guess I was wrong then.” Her mom turned and walked out the door to go check on the kids.
“Is this ‘realm’ supposed to be a secret?” Cierra asked when her mother came back.
“Yes, I’ll just tell the rest of the family you went off to work at a summer camp or something.” She looked up into her daughter’s eyes. “Please be careful with both choosing friends and safety. I don’t know what I’d do if you never came back.”
Cierra hugged her mother. “I promise I’ll be careful. What do I do with this necklace now?”
“Turn to the last page,” she instructed.
Cierra did as she was told and turned to the last page, which was thicker than all the rest. “It’s a lock!” Cierra looked up at her mother.
Cindy smiled, “Put the necklace in and turn it.”
Cierra plopped the necklace into the shaped lock. It fit perfectly. “I can’t believe it.” As she turned it the room started spinning around her, she felt nauseated and she fell over.
Darkness swept over her as she heard her mother say good-bye.