They were all sitting in front of me, waiting for an explanation. Sean and Jamie were sitting on my bed, while Jason, Aaron and Eddie (Edward) plonked down on my old football beanbags they dragged out from the corner minutes earlier.
"So why'd you ask us to come over?," Jason finally asked, the others nodding in agreement. "Cause I know when something's up with you, man. You look all weird and you have a face like stone. So spill."
They were my friends. I had to tell them, especially Sean.
"Y'know Remy?," I asked.
"My Remy?," Sean asked, his eyes narrowing.
I gulped. He was very protective of her. "Yeah. Remy from class."
The others nodded.
"She…I saw her last night. Going into the woods. I'm kinda worried. I…went to her house this morning, got a lift into town. Her ma said she was gone to Spain for the holidays with her friend Alison from class. And yet there is no "Alison" in our class. And Sean, I know you and her are pretty tight. I'd bet she doesn't even hang out with the other girls in our class." I paused to look at him. He shook his head, looking just as shocked as any of the others, who were all staring at me. I cleared my throat. "So she doesn't hang around with anybody else. And she never came back from the woods last night. My heads pretty screwed up about it."
There was silence.
"Wow," Jamie finally said. "You've been doing your homework.
"No!," I insisted. "Just trying to find out what was going on."
"You want us to go to the woods to find her, don't you?," Jason asked warily.
"We don't know what happened to her. And…I saw something."
"What?," Sean demanded.
"A few seconds after she went into the woods, a big kind of glow appeared and went again. And…some of the trees disappeared."
"She's an alien," Jamie whispered. The lads were sent into uncontrollable sniggers, except for Sean, who was looking very worried. I wasn't impressed, and Jamie saw my face. "Sorry. But here, we should just go to the Garda station. If she spent all night out there in the cold, she could be de-"
Sean jumped up unexpectedly and stared Jamie straight in the eye before he could say any more. It was Jamie's turn to gulp. Sean turned away from him and stood to face the rest of us.
"Remy is the strongest person I know," he said, startling us with a very sure edge to his voice. "She's had a tough life in the past two years. She's been through more than any of us put together. She's special, and she's always been there for me. She's alive, and well. I can feel it, and it's not wishful thinking. I don't know about you guys, but I'm going out there right now and finding her. And if you're too scared of a few trees, then run home to your mammy."
The lads looked surprised. Sean was always a quiet person, but he had a strong voice and a will to find Remy. I stood up.
"I'm going with you. Anybody else?"
Eddie and Aaron stood up, followed by Jason, and then finally, Jamie.
"Good. Let's go."
A few minutes later we entered the woods, Sean and Jason scouring ahead. I had told them to look for big holes in the ground, because that was most likely the place where the trees had disappeared with the glow, which obviously had something to do with Remy. Hmm. I privately agreed with Jamie for doing my homework on this one.
So far, all the search had turned up was trees and bushes. No sight of a human being. I looked at Jamie who was beside me. His face was white.
"Aw man. What happened to her?," he whispered.
I was just about to answer him when I was interrupted by a huge yell.
"Aw shit!," Jason yelled.
I raced forward, fearing the worst. "What happened!?"
"Looks like we found the holes," Sean said.
I looked down and he was right. Five holes all in a circle were in the ground, big enough to be what a tree once occupied.
"He tripped over one. Think this is the place? Think this is where she went?"
I nodded immediately. "Positive. She can't be far then. Look for clues, she might have left something behind. Something to tell us where she is." It was a dull suggestion and the atmosphere was full of doubt, but Sean was all for it and began scraping his hands through the leaves on the ground. I started too, but it didn't seem to be turning up anything except dead leaves.
"Hey!," Eddie yelled. "I found something! I don't know what it is though…"
When I looked up Sean was the first by his side. Eddie seemed to be focusing on a round pile of leaves that looked to have a lot of layers. It was hidden beneath the leaves well, like nobody wanted it to be found. Like Remy didn't want to be found. When Eddie had brushed the leaves off of the object, he looked dumbfounded and held it up for all of us to see. Sean was staring at it.
"It's…sort of like a crystal ball," he said, disappointed. Eddie looked different, like he knew something we didn't.
"Eddie, what is it?," I asked.
He scrunched up his nose, and suddenly his face lit up.
"It was this!," he said happily. "This was it!"
"What are you on about?," Sean demanded.
Eddie said nothing but simply removed one of his hands from the crystal ball and flicked it.
Lights appeared. They moved casually, their beam changing direction when more appeared. Eddie was staring into the ball, eyes widened.
As for me, my face had just dropped. The others were looking about as hopeless as me. Sean was staring into the ball also.
"Trees…," Sean whispered. "I see trees."
"Me too," Eddie whimpered.
"That made the lights," I said. "If we hit it harder, it might make the lights brighter like I saw. Do it again, Eddie."
Eddie looked round at all of us fearfully and brought his hand up in the air, then swinging it back down.
All I heard next were screams, my own and others. The light was dazzling and I shut my eyes tightly as well as my mouth, listening to Jamie's screams only as we plunged down and down…..THUD.
I opened my eyes again and gasped. I was lying on my back on grass, staring up at trees. Beautiful, green trees. I noticed the sky was a brilliant blue with not a single cloud. It wasn't like anything I had ever seen before in my life, and I was astounded by it. My eyes weren't able to get enough.
"Where are we?," Eddie whispered.
"I don't know," I said. "But far away from Ireland and our homes. I can tell ya that much."
I sat up and looked around me. Every single one of the lads were in the exact same position I was – taking in the beautiful scenery while lying on their backs. My eyes flickered towards Sean and I was surprised to see him smiling like an idiot. Before I could ask, he already started talking.
"She's here," he said happily. "Remy's here."
"How d'you know?," I asked warily.
"One day she told me about a dream she had," he said excitedly. "She said in her dream she visited a different world, where the sky never contained a cloud, how the rain ceased to exist, and how beautiful it was, completely covered in green. No pollution whatsoever. She was about to go further when she stopped herself and said that was all she could remember. And now I see, it wasn't a dream – she's here!"
"Remy Kingsley! Where are you? It's Sean, and the lads! Remy!"
He stopped yelling and looked at me. "She can't be far! Come on lads, get up! Get up get up get up!"
"Sean," I said seriously as Eddie and Aaron simultaneously began to get to their feet. "If Remy said this was a dream, she clearly didn't want you knowing about this place. And she had good reason. It could be dangerous!"
"Nope!," Sean said brightly. "When she was going on about her 'dream', that means she's been here before! Why would she come back if it was dangerous?" He laughed happily. I sighed in exasperation. Sean was away with the fairies.
Jason and Jamie were finally on their feet along with Aaron and Eddie, awaiting instruction.
"Um…so, we need to find Remy. And, uh, listen to Sean if he catches wind of her. And…um…"
"I think we should split up," Sean said brightly. "We'll cover more ground."
"Are you demented?," said Jamie. "We don't even know where we are!"
I sighed. "Aaron and Jamie, you guys go right. Eddie, Sean and me will go left. If you find her, come find us. Remember your tracks, I reckon this is our base if we don't find her today."
A/N: I know! I haven't updated in forever, and I'm so sorry I've been caught up in school essays, stories, paintings, all of that. And the other half of the time I'm making up new scenes in my head for later on in the story. I hope I haven't lost my readers, and I apologise a thousand times over. Hope you enjoy this. ~G