I am not going to lie, I am super excited for this months challenge! The prompt is amazing and well…it is going to be so much fun.
While I was writing the first one I realized that…I didn’t want to stop! I wanted to keep this story going. Which means this story is going to be a bit longer than the last few. Closer to the very first prompt challenge short story that I wrote. I am terribly sorry for how long it is, but I do hope that it doesn’t make you walk away. This is by far one of my favorites I have written!
The summer was over and it was move in day. The halls were loud with girls screaming in greeting, laughing, and catching up. Corine sat on her bed and continued to read. She had already unpacked, in reality she had never unpacked. She didn’t go home for the summer, her parents didn’t have time for her. They were too busy traveling the world, pretending to be a perfect family, minus the black sheep of the family.
Corine was the oddball, the only one of her three siblings with black hair and green eyes. She was the also the oldest and the only one who didn’t know who her real father was. Corine’s mother didn’t like to talk about him and had sent away Corine to keep the reminder away. She knew nothing of her father, she didn’t even know if he was alive. According to Merric, her step-father, her birth father was dead. She didn’t believe him, Merric hated her and she knew it. Another reason why her mother sent her away to live in a school until she was old enough to go out on her own.
It was also Corine’s birthday and no one at school knew or cared. Her mother had splurged so that Corine could have her own room and she found it hard to make friends. She had been going to school with the same girls for three years now, and they all stared at her like she was the main attraction at the freak show. Corine had always thought of herself as average, but the stares had made her feel more like a freak , constantly wondering what they all saw when they looked at her.
Corine sighed and slammed her book shut long enough to turn on her iPod and jam the ear buds in her ears. She hated them all, at least that is what she kept telling herself. If you read her diary you would know the truth, that she just wanted a friend. Someone she could talk to. She just needed that one person who may care a little bit about the dark thoughts rolling around in her head. She often wondered if she could pay someone to be her friend, but without trust, what kind of friend would that be. She had learned to hate most people, to glare at them, scare them away. They would only turn on her like her own family did.
A knock came from her door, jerking Corine from her book. She pulled out the ear buds and listened. She got up from her bed and opened the door to her room, finding no one at her door. She growled and slammed the door shut again, listening to laughs from the hallway. She had become the schools grumpy neighbor who shouted for you to get off their sidewalk. People were dared to knock on her door, or try to talk to her. Every year it was the same thing.
The knock sounded in the room again, causing Corine to jump. She hurried to the door and jerked it open, but no one was near her door. While she was staring into the hallway, the knock came again and Corine finally understood. The knock was coming from her closet. Corine’s blood began to boil. She was okay with the knocking, she was okay with the jokes and the people that were afraid of her. What was not okay was sneaking into some ones room and hiding in their closet. Corine slammed her door shut and marched to stand in front of the closet. She jerked it open, fury rising in her chest, she was ready to pull them out by the ear and drag them to the deans office.
Corine stared into the closet, the empty closet. Nothing had been touched, she was a bit of an organizing freak (she had a lot of free time on her hands) and everything was where it was supposed to be. She heard the knock again, coming from the back of her closet. She brushed some of her clothes to the side and gasped when a hidden door revealed itself. Another knock on the door caused Corine to jump back.
Slowly she placed her hand on the door knob and turned, but the door was locked. She heard another knock, but this time it came from her room door. She raced to the door and pulled it open. Corine stepped back when a tall man crowded the door. He wasn’t a normal human man. His skin was pale, almost white, and it seemed to glitter in the light. His black hair looked almost fake against his pale skin. His eyes were silver with a hint of green, and aside from shocking, they were kind, friendly, familiar. Corine stared at the man as he pushed his way into her room, closing the door behind him.
“Who are you?” Corine asked. She wanted to be angry, to scream out for help, but she knew the man wasn’t going to hurt her. She wasn’t sure how she knew, it was just a feeling.
“Your uncle.” The man said, his voice deep and quiet.
“Umm…” Corine stared at him and began laughing. “I don’t have an uncle. My mother was an only child and my step-father only has sisters.”
“I am your birth father’s brother.” Corine gaped at him. “Corine, listen to me.”
“Hold up.” Corine backed away. “I don’t know my father. He died before I could know him.”
“Lies. They have told you lies.” The man was now in Corine’s closet standing in front of the door. “Your father is a king and he needs you.”
“Now who is telling the lies?” She crossed her arms. “Listen mister, whoever you are, you need to leave.”
“My name is Darian, one of the royal family’s personal guards and the king’s only brother.” Corine watched Darian take a key from his pocket and unlock the door hidden in her closet. She rushed to his side and jumped back when a tall slender woman stepped through. “This is Roisin.” The tall woman was similar to Darian, pale skin, black hair, and silver green eyes. The woman looked to Corine and smiled. “My sister, your aunt.”
“You look so much like your father.”
“You people are crazy.” Corine said, stepping for the door of her room. She was preparing herself to run when Roisin grabbed her arm.
“Your mother, Ronen, stole you away from your father. Before you were even born, she fled from Olinond because she was angry with him. She wanted too much power, but your father wanted to rule with love and kindness.”
Still curious, Corine stepped back into the closet and stared through the door way. A staircase led down into darkness. “What is down there?” She asked, looking up to Darian and Roisin.
“Another doorway. The way to Olinond.”
“How did it get in my room?”
“The doorway has always followed you. No matter where you were, there was always a doorway available to you.”
“To Olinond?” Corine said as she placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side. “What is Olinond?”
“Another world.” Roisin said smiling. “Your world. The place where you belong, where you have always belonged.”
“Come home Corine.” Darian said. “I have been watching you from a distance, waiting for when you were ready to know the truth. I have been waiting for 17 years to open this door for you.”
“Why today? What makes me ready now?”
“You may not be ready.” Roisin said. “But your father is in danger and we need your help.”
“Right…” Corine stared down into the darkness again and backed away from the door. “I am supposed to just believe this and walk down those stairs with you?”
“You wouldn’t be leaving much behind.” Darian said. “Your mother has abandoned you and your half sisters will never be worthy of your love.”
Corine thought about it, considering all the hate her step-father held for her. She thought of her sisters and how they sent pictures of their adventures, rubbing it in Corines face. She thought of the last time her mother hugged her or showed a little love for her daughter. There was nothing there, no love. She was alone in this world. In Olinond she already had an uncle and aunt who may actually care. Not to mention she would finally know who her father was.
“Fine.” She said, looking up at the siblings standing before her. “Lead the way.”
As they began to descend the stairs, Corine heard the door shut and she knew then, she would never see that world again and for the first time in her life, she felt free, she felt happy. Even if she didn’t know what was waiting for her in Olinond, it had to be better than what she had grown up with.
They came to another door and waited after Darian knocked. The door slowly opened, bright light filling the stair case. A man, short and pale stood in front of them. His blue eyes widened and a smile stretched his lips as he bowed. “Princess Corine, you have returned.”