Chapter 1: Beginning

The brightest face of the sun showed itself with the sapphire skies as its background. The beams of this certain source of light reached a window and penetrated through, illuminating the face of someone who was under the spell of sleep. The spell was broken, and Sara was awakened, not only because of the gleam that shone in her eyes, but also by the thought of the activities she needed to attend to for that day. She rubbed her eyes and rose, then proceeded to sit in front of her mirror, staring at her reflection. As things were always like on a normal Friday, she had to go to school, along with Flint and Tony. Yet she was bored, maybe even haunted, by the feeling that nothing new and interesting would happen. Nevertheless, she prepared herself as she usually does, then went out of her room.

"Good morning, sis!" came Tony's greeting upon seeing Sara.

Flint was too busily gulping pounds of food to notice anything.

Sara nodded and sat on a chair by the dining table, eyes fixed on her breakfast.

"Is everything okay?" asked Dr. Goodman.

"I'm not hungry," she replied, although she herself knew that it was not an appropriate answer.

There was momentary silence, disturbed only by a few soft "whoa's" from the time shifters who were watching a television program in the living room.

"I'll stay outside and wait for Tony and Flint," Sara said as she stood and picked her school things up. She walked towards the door and made her way out.

"What's up with her?" Dr. Goodman asked.

Tony shrugged, then continued to eat.

In school, Miss Iknow gave the students a 100-item quiz in Science, to be accomplished within thirty minutes. Flint just slept through it, Tony continuously tapped his foot against the floor to release his stress, while Sara tackled it in less than have the given time. When it was checked, Tony got a "C" and Sara a perfect score. Sara sighed.

"Why are things always like this?" Sara thought.

"Only a fool will complain if the odds are in his favor," she heard in her mind. Sara shook her head.

After school, Sara told Flint and Tony to go home ahead of her, claiming that she had something important to do.

Sara walked endlessly, letting her feet step wherever they could. She just stopped after for what seemed like hours. She found herself staring at the sea under the bridge where she was standing on. The peaceful blue liquid reflected many objects, including her own form. Her eyes lit up when a flying fish appeared, giving her hope.

"Are you alright?" came a familiar voice accompanied by a slight touch on her shoulder.

"Merlock! Don't you ever do that again!"

"Do what?" asked the vampire, looking at her face.

"Sorry, it's just me. You scared me," she replied, flashing a hint of a smile, making him blush.

"You're sad, aren't you, Sara?" said Merlock, his voice filled with concern.

"Life doesn't seem to work for me these days. I wish things were more . . . out of the ordinary," Sara said, her eyes meeting his.

"How about a visit to Mr. Albert Einstein?" suggested Merlock.

"Huh? How did you know that - "

"I'm always observing you, so I know that he is your favorite person of the past."

Sara's cheeks burned for a minute at the thought of Merlock keeping an eye, or both eyes, on her at all times.

"Well thanks, Merlock. But I think we need to ask permission from the bureau."

"I already did so."

"Wow, really! Thank you so much Merlock!" Sara exclaimed. She became so happy that she flung her arms around him and kissed his cheek. That action caused both of them to blush.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said, trying to cover her red face.

"You don't have to be. Hey, why don't you do that again? Please Sara!" Merlock said, followed by a giggle.

Sara faked a glare, which did not have any impact on Merlock at all.

"Should we be off now, milady?" asked Merlock, offering her his arm.

"Sure," she answered as she eagerly took his arm.

They searched for a spot where they would not be seen easily. Merlock took out his time scooter. He mounted it, and Sara followed, wrapping her arms around his waist.

When they were in the middle of the time cycle, the vehicle began to rock.

"What's happening?" Sara asked.

"My scooter! It's not working properly! I'm losing control!" Merlock said.

"That doesn't sound like very good news."

"Sorry, Sara."

The scooter spun violently, making both of them extremely dizzy. Both felt the need to shout but they could not. Finally, consciousness left them.

"Sara! Sara!" Merlock said upon waking up. He was in a room whose floor, walls, and ceiling were fashioned out of glass. It was filled with multi-colored lights, which undoubtedly hurt his eyes.

"Here I am," responded Sara, who was at least two meters away from where he was.

He approached her and held her hands.

"I haven't any idea where we are, but I'll surely get us out of here," Merlock said, determined.

"Let's try to see what lies there," Sara said, pointing to a white door at a distance.

Merlock nodded.

The two young time travelers headed for the door very carefully, knowing that they were stepping on glass. When they were in front of the door, Merlock opened it and motioned for Sara to go through it before him.

"What brings you here in this place of harmony?" asked a guy, startling both of them. The person was about the same height as Merlock and his appearance was similar to a glass sculpture. His eyes were dark, and he wore a silver necklace with a pendant shaped like the letters "DH."

"Our names are -," Merlock said, but the stranger raised a palm.

"Your names are not my business. I am waiting for your answer to my question," the stranger said coldly.

"We didn't mean to be here and we want to go back to our world," Sara quickly answered without thinking.

"Ah, so where is that?" the guy inquired.

"Earth," Sara said.

"Well, you can definitely return to your beloved homeland, but the journey is no way going to be easy. The least I can do for you is to give you this," the stranger said, showing them a star-shaped piece of glass with a green gem in the middle.

"What is that?" Merlock asked.

"The key for you to get out of this place. But I am not certain where you will be after using it," the stranger said.

Merlock approached him to get the "key", but the stranger held on to it tightly in his fist.

"I will not let you have this for free. For this, you should give me that as an exchange," the stranger said, glancing at Merlock's cane.

Merlock looked at Sara, who only gave him a facial expression of uncertainty.

Merlock growled, then handed the guy his weapon.

"Okay then. This will open the trapdoor over there. Good luck," the guy said as he dropped the key on Merlock's hand, then he vanished out of sight.

"Do you think we can trust him?" Merlock asked Sara.

"As of now I can see no other option," Sara replied.

Merlock and Sara moved towards the direction where the stranger pointed at earlier, and felt a star-shaped hole on the floor. Merlock inserted the key into it. They felt the ground shaking. Merlock embraced Sara. Fireworks surrounded the whole area, and both of them were transported to another dimension.

Sara observed the new environment. It reminded her of fairy tale books where trees were so lush and flowers could be seen everywhere.

"Now where are we?" Merlock said.

Before she could reply, a guy appeared. His presence caused Merlock and Sara to look at each other and blush, for he had red eyes, blue skin, and long pink hair. A mixture of the physical features of Merlock and Sara. He was wearing a T-shirt with the letters "DH" imprinted on it.

"Welcome! How's the trip at Equilibria? So you met Cerville," the guy said.

"Who are you?" Sara asked.

"And who is Cerville?" Merlock added.

"Cerville's the guy who has the visage of glass. As for me, my name is Jascha," he answered.

"Our names are Sara and Merlock. Can you help us go back to where we came from?" Sara asked.

"Perhaps I may. But first, you need to answer one of my riddles or win a bet against me. For every wrong answer or for each bet where you won't win, you will stay an hour more and do everything I tell you to. Ready?" Jascha said.

"Okay," Merlock said.

"Follow me to my house," Jascha said, then they walked towards a cottage.

Jascha opened the door. Sara went through followed by Jascha, who shut the door at Merlock's face.

"Hey!" Merlock said, whose attempts to open the door were useless.

"Sit down and make yourself comfortable," Jascha said to Sara.

"Why didn't you let Merlock in?" Sara said with uneasiness in her tone of voice.

"Sorry," Jascha said, then he went to the door and opened it.

"Forgive me, did you wait for too long?" Jascha, wearing a silly smile, asked Merlock.

Merlock raised a fist. Of course the idea of Sara alone with another guy angered him.

"Merlock, don't!" Sara said.

"You better follow her advice, for you don't know with whom you are dealing with," Jascha said, then a little bolt of lightning formed in his left hand.

Merlock lowered his fist, calmed himself down, then sat beside Sara.

"Okay, first riddle. Spell nothing," said Jascha.

Merlock rolled his eyeballs and said, "N-o-t-h-i-n-g."

"Wrong answer. I am not asking you to spell any word! If you didn't speak, I might have given you the key out of here. But since you gave an incorrect answer, you must stay for an hour. In the meantime, make yourselves useful," Jascha said, tossing each of them a mop.

"This guy's getting on my nerves," Merlock whispered to Sara.

How's that for a start? Please review!