Things between the stars are taken directly from The Great Book Of Amber and are in no way mine. PLEASE DON'T SUE! I CAN'T AFFORD A LAW SUIT!

"Maybe the tide came in and-"

"Merle! What kind of idiot do you take me for? That walk we took isn't on the maps. Nobody around here's ever heard of anything like those places. It was geographically impossible. The times of day and the seasons kept shifting. The only explanation is supernatural or paranormal—whatever you want to call it. What happened? You owe me an answer and you know it. What happened? Where were you?"

I looked away, past my feet, past the flowers.

"I—can't say."

"Why not?"

Why not? What could I say, that she would believe? What could I do? I wanted to tell her, really, truly but would she believe me?

Suddenly, I was struck by an idea. Why not just…

I nodded, seized her round the waist, and pulled out Random's Trump. I stared at it.

"What are you doing?" she asked me. I waved her away. Random looked up at me.

"What is it?" He asked in a whisper.

"Can we come through?"

"Fine…" He reached out a hand to me, which I grabbed. Julia screamed as we fell into Amber.

I looked around interestedly. Court was obviously in session. Julia seemed dumbstruck by the finery. Or perhaps it was the shock of suddenly being in a different place. Finally, the startled onlookers remembered what they were supposed to do.

Lord Rein came to us first.

He bowed deeply. "Prince Merlin. It is good to see you. My Lady…?"

"Julia." I supplied. "This is Julia, from the Shadow Earth.

He nodded. "Whatever grants us this honor, Lady Julia?"

She stared at him, too stunned to speak.

"Merle." She finally whispered, as the horde greeted us. "Merle, what's going on?"

"I've brought you to Amber." I whispered back. "My home. I'll explain it all after."

The crowd had dispersed, going back to their gossip and arguments.

"My liege." I said, kneeling before Random. I motioned Julia to do the same. Startled, she dropped to her knees.

"Stand." He recommended lazily. "I find it much more comfortable, don't you?" With this, he took his own advice, stretching leisurely as he slid out of his throne. "Take over, will you, son?" He asked Martin, who was standing behind his throne. Martin nodded amusedly, and Random waved his hand at us, indicating for us to follow him. He sauntered out of the room, more like a cocky teenage boy than a king.