Chapter 3 – A Talk With My Father

I stumble backwards, almost knock over my desk, and land on my knees. It was impossible… he was dead...
'Hello, Stephie,' Dad smiles.
'What… where… how… when…' I stutter; staring into his electric blue eyes
'Calm down, take deep breaths, Stephie. And hasn't your mother ever told you it's rude to stare?' he says sarcastically in a soft voice, just like Kades.
'Well, of course she has, my mother raised me like that-'
'I know,' he said.
'Of course you do, you're my Dad… But that doesn't change anything! You're supposed to be dead!'
'It seems I DID die, didn't I? In fact, I think I slightly remember it,' Dad mused, swinging back and forth on his heels.
'Yea! You died in the earthquake… the earthquake twelve years ago…'
'Hmmm… I do recall that, but my dear Stephie, have you ever heard the saying everything is never as it seems?'
I was surprised my eyeballs hadn't fallen out. I was crying so much, so hard, that I didn't know why. Out of fear? Out of happiness? Maybe even anger? I'd lost control of all my emotions, and I was just letting all my stress pour out of me through my tears. All these years, and not one word. And then shows up (in my mirror, mind you) like nothing ever happened. I choke back my sobs, and say, quietly, 'That's… that's… that's true… I'm so sorry, I-'
'Why are you sorry? I survived that earthquake, and I never communicated. This mirror was a bargain, and I knew it would be useful. It's what's called a, L.R.C.M-'
'L.R.C.M?' I say, laughing. My tears had stopped, and I could clearly think. I was crying out of relief, relief that my father that was supposedly dead was now alive. Really, This day was getting stranger and stranger.
'Long Range Communication Mirror-'
'Seriously?'
'Yes. But it was always able to be used. I should have used it on your thirteenth birthday. If anyone should be sorry, it's me,' Dad said, sadly. It was a genuine apology, not one of those cheap 'Sorry I couldn't be there for you' apologies, like those dads that spend more time at work then they do with their own family.
'Oh my god, Dad… I can't believe I'm seeing you again,' I say, sobbing again, as I reach out to touch the mirror. But as I touched it, a shock flew through my arm, like electricity. 'Ow!' I shout, shaking my hand. 'What was that?'
'Ah, you mustn't touch the mirror when it's like this! Where I am is in a very fragile state right now, and it has made the mirrors connection weak, and very unpredictable'
'Oh… sorry, sorry!' I say, scolding myself.
'Its okay, an easy mistake,' Dad laughed. We stood in silence for a while, and I took the time have a look at Dad. I could see why mum fell in love with him. He was the most handsome man I've ever seen (is it creepy to think my dad's handsome like that?). And I mean celebrity handsome, like, better than Tom Cruise, and all the hottest male celebrities on the earth (yep, I should probably stop thinking like that). He had midnight black hair, Emerald green eyes, and a look that gave you the impression he was ready for anything. Despite how he was gone so long, I have seen his face before, and on more than one occasion. I saw it every time I looked at Kade. It really made me appreciate how handsome Kade was (I'm really creeping myself out now).

He was wearing a long black coat, sort of like what university professors would wear, but in my opinion, It made him look better. He had a white and silver button up shirt, and simple grey pants. Although he had the coat on, I could tell he was muscular, but I could sense gentleness, so I guess he was like a gentle Lion.

It takes a while, but a sudden thought came to my mind. 'Hey, do you want me to get Mum and Kade? I'm sure they'd love to see you!' I say, brightly
A horrified expression appeared on Dads face, and he said, quickly, 'NO! I mean, no, it's okay. I just want to talk to you, and you only,' in a weird emotion. I couldn't tell what it was.

'Oh, ok…' I say, and I look at the magnificent forest surrounding my Dad. 'Where are you? I've never seen a forest like that, It Looks so pretty!' I add, trying to change the subject.
'Me? Yes, this place is pretty spectacular. It's called Willow Wisp Forest, in the light region of a place called Wunderlande,' He smiled.
'Wonderland? ' I say in astonishment. 'Where in the world is that?' I had to stop myself from breaking down laughing. There couldn't really be a place called Wonderland.
Dad rolled his eyes and sighed, and said, 'Not Wonderland, W-U-N-D-E-R-L-A-N-D-E, Wunderlande! And, as a matter of fact, it isn't on earth, rather in an alternate Dimension. It really is fascinating, it's made up of six regions, well, it used to have… wait, I should ask you if you wanted to hear more about it first!' He said.
'Of course I do! A whole other world? I can't believe it's true!' I say, excitedly.
'For someone that prefers the real world you seem to be believing me very well,' Dad said, confused.
'You're supposed to be dead, and you're talking to me through my mirror. If that isn't enough to convince me nothing is,' I say, laughing
'Good point,' Dad laughed back.

He told me Wunderlande was made up of six regions, each one representing an element of the real world. It was as beautiful as all the prettiest places on earth, he said, put together and multiplied by ten. It was full of Gnomes, Elves, fairies, and heaps of other mythical creatures like Hippogriffs, Griffins and Unicorns. He also said Wunderlande isn't just beautiful and fascinating, it was dangerous. He said that it was also crawling with wild beasts, like Manticores and Gorgons, that would kill you on sight if you weren't careful.
'Wow… I can't believe its real… Fairies, Gnomes…' I mutter to myself.
'Yes… Oh, fairies can't always be trusted. The Queen of the Light region, for example, is evil, and everything she says to you is a downright lie. She'll kill you as soon as she has the chance, as well as any person that is in power in Wunderlande,'
'Wow… That's… Disturbing,' I say.
'Well, I guess they're like mermaids, I guess,' Dad sighs.
'So many secrets-'
'Yes, and at most times, the worst secrets are kept by your closest friends or relatives,' Dad interrupts. I can't believe I'm talking to him. After the earthquake - wait, the earthquake!
'Hey Dad, would Wunderlande have anything to do with the earthquake twelve years ago?' I ask, curiously.
Dad suddenly went dark, his voice lowered and he became very tense. He spoke very softly, 'No. It had nothing to do with Wunderlande. In fact it was something… someone, that caused it,'
Our world? My world? 'Who would do such a thing! Who did it, dad?'
'You're Mother'
I nearly screamed. My mum, ruining buildings and killing hundreds of people? I couldn't believe it, 'I don't believe it!' I say in despair.
'Oh, my darling Stephie, I know it's hard to believe. I dedicated my life to study the world of Wunderlande, so I would go back and forth between the worlds to complete it. Many, many times I tried to take your mother with me, but no matter how hard we tried, she couldn't come. Eventually she had you -' Dad began.
'And you tried to start juggling Wunderlande and home more often,' I interrupt.
'Exactly. Eventually, it became too much. So when I travelled to Wunderlande the last time, she came with me. As I entered the dimensional portal, she threw a bomb of some sort at the entrance, incidentally causing it to collapse and trapping me there forever,' Dad finished.
'Hey, wait... something doesn't add up,' I say, with sudden realisation. 'You... you said you died in the earthquake, but how could you have died in it when you were in...' I stare at dad, and he smiles at me. 'OH MY GOD, Dad, you're alive!' I shout in glee, and then jump on the mirror. But, I forgot about the whole "fragile state" thing, and as soon as I touched the mirror, it sent a massive electrical volt straight through me, flinging me backwards onto my bed.
'Stephie! You can't touch the mirror!' dad shouts in surprise.
'Ookay, note to self, don't try to do that again. Oww,' I moan in pain. I jump off my bed, (very stiffly, mind you) and slowly walk back to the mirror. 'All I need to do is find the entrance, repair it, and I can bring you back-'
'Stephie, you can't repair it without magic, and besides, there isn't enough time. You're mother wants to kill everything that reminds her of me. She'll probably start with you,' dad says, panicking.
'No... NO!' I shout. 'I can't... I WON'T live without her!' I cry. Why did he have to bring that back up? And yes, truth be told, my moods can change dramatically fast. For example, just before, I was overjoyed at the fact that dad was alive. Now, I'm choking on my own tears of fear of being murdered. I'm such a over-dramatic person.

Dad stands there, frowning, watching me weep, when suddenly he looks up as if he's had an idea. 'You know, I've just thought... I can take you away from this. I can save you. Just take my hand,' Dad says sweetly, then glides his hand through the mirror as if it was made of water.
'How are you doing that?' I ask curiously, still sobbing. 'I mean, putting your
hand through the mirror? I got zapped when I touch-'
'As I now live here, I have a little power left to magically bring one person of my choice into Wunderlande. All you have to do is take my HAND!' He says, in that same weird emotion as before.
'O-okay...' I whisper as I take his hand.
'Why, Thank-you, my darling Stephie, Child of the Prophecy and to-be-Savoir of Wunderlande,' Dad said evilly in a deeper, more sinister voice.
'What?' I ask, panicking.