Around the Earth in 100 days

Chapter 1: Ocean Breezes

Day 1:

"That's all for today's lesson." The teacher said. "You should do your best not to fall behind. Be very careful when traveling. Demons have appeared outside of town, if you must travel, go with your parents."

"I'll see you guys at the usual place." Seth told Will.

"I have to go home first." Erik said. "If I don't, my parents will think that I was held after school again."

"Like always, the cave at the seashore." Lance told him.

Will rose from his seat and picked up a piece of paper off of the teacher's desk, then exited the school through the staircase on the left side of the room. The staircase took him up to the roof of the school building. Nobody ever followed him onto the roof; it was his own personal space. He often ventured up there after tough schooldays, or whenever he needed to blow off some steam or think about something important. He paced on the roof as he thought about what the teacher had told him. Demons were appearing outside of town? But how could this be? Will had encountered demons before in his explorations with his father, Olman, but never before had he seen any in his home region. If they came into town, it could mean big trouble for everybody. While he was pondering the situation, he noticed something shiny on the ground inside the school's bell tower. It was a shiny red jewel. Will noticed the jewel's luster and figured it must be worth some value, so he tucked it into his pocket.

It was a cloudy and breezy spring day in South Cape, the largest town on the continent of West Gondwanaland. From his location on the roof, Will could see nearly the entire town sprawled out before him. He could see the houses of him and all his friends, as well as the various businesses spread out along the shoreline. Located on the southern edge of the continent near the intersection of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, South Cape was a major seaport town. Fishing was a major industry in the town, as was shipbuilding, which was what Will's father did before becoming an explorer.

"I wonder if Erik left his house yet." Will wondered. Without thinking, he leaped off the roof into a soft dirt pit twenty feet below. For a normal person, such a leap would be a foolhardy move, but to Will it was a viable way of getting around town. He was a risk-taker, never afraid of going on adventures into the wilderness or performing feats of courage such as jumping off buildings or attacking wild animals with his flute (which doubled as his primary weapon if he ever needed one). He possessed amazing strength, his arm muscles very well defined beneath his blue tunic, his long hair flapping in the wind. Standing fairly tall, maybe five feet eleven or six feet, he was one of the tallest young men in South Cape.

Will made his way through town down to the docks along the seashore. He then began to walk to the east along the main pier. This particular pier ran from the seaport down to a cave along the seashore. This cave was a major hangout spot for Will and his friends, so much so that it could be considered a second home. Most days when lessons were completed at the school, they would gather to play games, talk, and do whatever they wished. When will walked in, he noticed his friends Lance and Seth playing a game of cards.

"I just can't seem to get the upper hand." Lance said as he drew a card.

"Ah ha ha, I am going to win again for sure." Seth said as he laid down another set of three cards.

Before Will could comment on their game, Eric rushed in with a hurried look on his face. Judging by the way he was panting, he must have run quite a ways to reach them.

"Ah ha, news, big news!" Eric bellowed. "The Princess of Edward Castle has run away. They say she has come to South Cape!"

Lance and Seth abruptly stopped their game and rose from their chairs. Lance was fairly annoyed by Eric's interruption. "That's all? I thought the way you came in here that you had something really important to say. The Princess is probably that spoiled brat Kara, the one you like so much."

"Liar!" Eric yelled. "The soldiers are rumored to be coming after her. The soldiers from Edward Castle are so cool; I want a steel helmet too!"

"Well, enough of the crazy talk." Seth said. "Will, if you would please."

Will moved over to his seat at the back of the table. He waited for Eric to sit down before speaking. "Everybody is here. What should we do today?"

"I want to see Will's psychic powers again." Erik said as he pointed to a large statue in the corner. "You know that he moved that statue over there in the corner. Will has some pretty amazing power."

Lance concurred. "Will, show me again." He said.

Initially, Will was squeamish about it, but with the encouragement of his friends, he rose from his seat. Deep down, he didn't want people to know about his greatest secrets, but he felt pretty secure with Lance, Erik, and Seth. He took a position in the center of the cave, about twenty feet away from the statue. He took out his flute, held it out in front of his body, and began to concentrate on the statue. Then he began to twirl his flute in a clockwise rotation. Within a second, the statue began to move toward Will. Three seconds later, he dropped his flute and the statue stopped on a dime.

Seth and Erik both cheered Will. Lance, always the more skeptical one of the three, decided to test Will's power further. "Next, pick a card;" he said to Will, "I'm going to lay four cards face down. Pick the card that you think is the Ace of Diamonds."

Lance laid the four cards on the ground. Will pranced around several cards before picking up the one farthest to the left. It was the Ace of Diamonds of course.

"Aah, right." Lance said.

His friends jumped out of their seat. "No matter how many times I see it, it still amazes me." Said Erik.

"Yeah, Will's power has to be some kind of psychic ability. Most people have five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. I think Will's psychic powers are a kind of sixth sense."

"What Seth says is too weird for me to understand." Lance said. He walked back to his spot to the left of the table. "Seth, let's play one more game," he said as he picked up the cards. He began to deal the cards.

Will left the cave shortly thereafter. He figured that dinner would be ready soon. His Grandma Lola was making one of his favorite meals for dinner, snail pie with whipped cream. The reminder of the upcoming meal suddenly made Will quite hungry. He walked north off of the seashore through the dirt streets of South Cape back to his house, which was a nice two-story place on the northern end of town.

But when he walked into the house, his grandmother and grandfather were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps more perplexing was the presence of a pig, digging its snout into a bookshelf along the back wall of the room. Wondering why a pig was in his house, Will started toward the stairs when a beautiful young woman walked down the stairs and into the room. Wearing a pink dress and some nice jewelry, her presence was stunning. Remembering what Erik had told him earlier in the day about the runaway princess, Will put two and two together. The Princess of Edward Castle was standing in front of him!