Previous Chapter: The Photograph.
It’s been a week since I found that photograph of a girl with a lantern in her hand. I kept it in my drawer and had forgotten about it due to all the chores and schoolwork I had to do. Not having mom around was no fun at all. I missed the days when she was always at home working in front of her computer yet she still managed to keep the house clean and cooked for us. She always said that her job was a perfect job for housewives as she was a translator. But now, mom had to do two jobs to support us. She insisted that all the money from our dad’s books were put safely away for our college.
In my opinion Dad was a great writer and not only because he was my Dad. Unfortunately that wasn’t what the world thought of my dad’s books. They didn’t sell as well as Harry Potter and Twilight. The publisher told my dad that his books were too surreal. Fortunately he still had small group of fans who kept buying his books. And that would help us later.
I was rereading one of my dad’s books when mom knocked on my door.
“Mia, I am going to the store, Andy needs something for his school’s assignment. Would you like to come or want me to buy something for you?” asked mom.
“I think I’ll stay here as I don’t need to buy anything. Is Andy tagging along with you, mom?”
“Yes, you know how he is! He wants to make sure I buy the right thing.” Mom rolled her eyes and smiled.
I found something in my table’s drawer to use it as a book mark and put the book on my bed then I followed my mom downstairs to lock the door. Mom always made sure I didn’t open the door to anyone but her. Even though I was already in high school mom still worried about strangers at night. I guess all moms were like that.
I went back to my room to continue reading my dad’s book. Funny I didn’t realize that I used the photograph as my bookmark. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about it as I looked at it again. Something was wrong. It was no longer the same. The girl in the picture had moved.
I could have sworn that she was facing the other way around with her back facing me when I first found it. She was now facing me and held the lantern in front of her. Her eyes were closed.
Then…I saw her opening her eyes slowly and looking straight at me. I yelled and dropped the photograph out of fright.
It fell to the floor. Then the floor turned brighter. I was scared but also curious. I look down and saw that the lantern in the picture had been lit. I had to get rid the photograph was my first thought. I took a ruler and a piece of paper from my table. I wasn’t planning to touch the cursed thing. Despite my fear, I extended my arms and tried to shift the photograph on to the paper by using the ruler. I had to burn it or dispose of it somehow.
“Don’t do that!” spoke a voice in my head. Someone was talking to me but I didn’t hear it with my ears; it was inside my head. It was like a telepathic message.
“Who’s there?” I looked around my room and saw no one.
“Don’t burn the photograph!”
I looked at the photograph; it was still on the floor. The girl in the photograph was still looking at me with her bright green eyes. At that moment, I knew she was the one talking to me. My curiosity got the better of me; a telepathic photograph? It started to feel like some of my dad’s writing.
“Are you the one who talks to me?” I asked her. I felt stupid talking to a photograph.
“Yes. You found the key. Anyone who found the key destined to come to our world,” she said.
“What key? What world? Who are you? How come you can talk to me? You’re just a picture, a non living creature! It’s impossible…” my curiosity had definitely taken over the fear.
“I can’t explain it all now. Later, I promise. You have to enter the gate now; you were supposed to come earlier, much earlier than now. It had been a year since you found the key. So we have no time to waste.”
“What key?” my voice was starting to rise.
“You are looking at the key!” she answered me calmly.
“The photograph but I found it a week ago not a year ago?”
“Your time and my time are different! I will show you the gate now and…”
“What if I don’t want to go?” I cut her in because I was beginning to worry. I could sum up everything easily, she wanted to show me the gate to another world and for me to cross over it and leave this world of mine. Anyone who read fantasy book could figure it out easily. It would lead to a world of uncertainty, a world full of danger; a world where you might end up dead; or if you were lucky enough, you might meet Prince Charming. I wasn’t sure I want to take that risk.
“I’m so sorry. It’s not a matter of choice anymore, once you’ve picked up the key you are bound to come to my world.” Her sincerity was real when she said she was sorry. “I am merely a gatekeeper; I cannot change destiny…your destiny!”
“But my mom, my brother, I CAN’T LEAVE THEM!” I shouted at her, but it was all in vain because the gate had opened.
Since I am not a native, feel free to correct my grammar I need all the correction I can get. And I am also open to all the critic you can give me. This is my learning process.