AN: Yes, yes. I have several other stories that aren't finished, but when you're suddenly hit with an idea, what else can you do but go with it? So here it is. My latest idea. This is just the Prologue, and since it's so short I'm going to go ahead and post Chapter 1 along with it. I have only a vague idea so far as to where I want this to go. It was very much like watching a commercial in my head, and I have to fill in the blanks according to what I saw. I know; I'm weird. Let me know what you think, of course. Reviews are what keep me going.
The first time that it happened I was four. I don't know why, or even how. All I can guess is that I was unhappy, living in an orphanage with twenty other kids who were all just as miserable as me I laid my head down one night, and when I woke up I was in a town full of people who looked at me funny when I asked where the bathroom was. They wore tunics and flowing skirts, and most of the men carried a weapon. I spent the day there, playing with the children and exploring the countryside. When I began to tire and wished I was back at the orphanage, I blinked—and suddenly I was there, lying on top of the blankets of my little bed. I had spent the night in another world, and willed myself home with nothing but my own desire.
A couple of weeks later, it happened again, but I went to a world with towering skyscrapers and airships that rumbled overhead. After that, I decided that this was a gift and shouldn't be questioned. I don't know how it was possible, but I was traveling between dimensions. Even my four-year-old brain could figure out that I wasn't on Earth when I went to these strange places. I was in a place of dreams. Not even a child's active imagination could come up with some of the things I'd seen by age seven.
I started trying to figure out how to go to these other worlds when I was awake. I would sit alone on the playground and try to will myself away. I know I scared the other kids and the social workers with my chosen solitude, but I didn't care. I wanted to get away, just for a little while.
I was adopted at age ten, after I had mastered my ability to go between the veils and choose which world I wanted to visit. For a long time, I had only been able to do it when I was close to sleep, but with practice, I could slip through dimensions with barely a thought.
By the time I was sixteen, I had become a black belt in martial arts and was efficient with several different kinds of weapons. Guns made me nervous, but I could use one if need be. After all, one thing I've learned about traveling is that it isn't always safe. If you think Earth has its dangerous places, you should try visiting a world that has dragons. I had also dabbled a bit in magic, though it was harder than they made it look on television. It seemed that the physics of certain worlds could allow for magic, but Earth wasn't one of them. It was understandable, I guess. I was a little bummed, but whatever.
My foster parents worked a lot, so they didn't really see how much I was gone. I knew they cared about me, and I was grateful that they adopted me and gave me a safe place to lay my head at night. Because as cool as some of those worlds were, they weren't the kind of place I would want to live. It was more dangerous than I had first realized. I was truly lucky that something horrific hadn't happened to me when this had all started. A four year old had no business in some of those worlds.
I fought in a war the summer before my senior year of high school. The Empire in a world called Koldjur was getting greedy, and the people had had enough. The uprising had been a steady thing to watch from the outside, although I was sure it had felt very different to the people living there. I wasn't accounted for as one of the citizens fighting for the people, but I was there, nonetheless. It gave me perspective on life that most teenagers my age don't get until they're their parents age. Life was short. I'd seen people die in that war. I still had nightmares sometimes, about watching some of the soldiers I'd befriended die just feet from me.
I mostly had nothing to show for taking part in the war, except a pretty serious scar on my back from the war, given to me by an enemy's sword. I was told it had been touch and go for a few hours, and I was lucky that the gash hadn't been deep enough to sever my spinal cord. I was even luckier to make it home without my parents noting my absence.
I've seen worlds that made me envious and worlds that made my skin crawl. I've seen places that tempted me to stay with their beauty and the friendliness of the people there, and there have been worlds that made me sick to my stomach with hate.
There were worlds out there that were dangerous—full of creatures that would tear you apart just for the fun of it and people who would do worse than that. For the most part, I avoided those places. I'd stumbled into them on a few occasions when I'd been exploring the different dimensions, and I'd barely gotten away each time. Those places were the reason I'd trained myself to fight and use weapons, so I could be prepare for any situation.
For the most part, it was fun. It was nice to be able to get away from my regular life for a while. It was cool to have a secret that no one else had, to be able to do something that no one else could.
So here I was, living several different lives and feeling quite content with each of them. Little did I know that graduating high school was about to become a much more daunting task than I'd ever imagined.
AN: Short, yes. Review, if you please, and let me know what you think. This was pretty much just an introduction to the character, whose name, by the way, is Caleb Fereday. In the next chapter, we'll see him as an eighteen year old guy who suddenly has way more problems on his hands than he ever expected.