Chapter 1: Nightmares And Summons
Once Upon a Time. 4 words that have defined fairytales for centuries. But the story you're about to read does not begin with this phrase, nor does it end with the equally as common Happily Ever After. For the entirety of life cannot be bordered by two glossy covers as it extends on forever, and if one would choose to write a story about it, it would merely be a snippet of something that, in it's entirety, stretches into an eternity. This is the story a group of extraordinary, ordinary girls, who walk a fine line of what is real, and what is fantasy. This is their life, not simply a story written for the enjoyment of others, and they are constantly fighting to protect it, and each other. But with this fine line in jeopardy once again, it's up to them to save it. And in the process, begin to realize how neither reality nor fantasy is what it seems, and how connected the two sides truly are.
How Reality Saved Fantasy 3: New Dawn by Rainlily216.
There was no light, yet there was the knowledge that I was walking down a long dark tunnel. The air was thick and heavy and horribly cold, my breath billowing out in pale white clouds in front of me. Shivering, I moved down the hall, the dim light making my eyes throb as they quickly tried to adjust. Suddenly, the chamber began to flash with single flashes of blood red light. What they illuminated froze my already cold blood in my veins.
My friends, all dead, all of them covered in deep wounds that seeped blood, each of them adding to the expanding pool of red on the floor. I thought I might puke, when a small voice spoke up.
"Ashy!" It cried, and I spun around to see my little sister Anna, running towards me like she was being chased, her little face alight with fear. I ran towards her, my arms outstretched. But suddenly the floor fell out from underneath me, my stomach dropping sickeningly fast. Yet I fell slowly, like time slowed down. And when I looked up, I felt the blood drain out of my body. Because I saw my sister, lying limp and lifeless, her little face as white as a sheet.
And above her, surrounding her small body in a half circle stood the villains. All of them with cruel malicious smiles. And it was Maleficent who held her, a cruel and triumphant smile on her green face.
"Let her go!" I tried to cry out, but I couldn't get the words out
"It's all your fault, Ashley. You've doomed them all!" she whispered. Time speed up again, and I fell, the blackness wrapping around me.
I gasped as I snapped awake, cold sweat running down the back of my neck and face. With my ragged breathing and a frantic heartbeat vibrating in my ears, my eyes began to focus on my surroundings. I was in my bed, in my apartment. I wasn't in that awful place, but with my boyfriend Jeremy, who was looking at me like I was crazy. It took me a few moments to realize that he was speaking to me, his eyes wide with worry.
"Ash! God, please tell me what's wrong!" he said, his hands gripping my shoulders, pulling me against his warm chest. Since my mouth was too dry to speak, I just clung to him tightly, desperately trying to erase those awful images of my friends, the horrible images continuing to flash in front of my eyes. I finally found my voice, and at first just used it to sob. After a few minutes, I finally stopped crying, and could finally answer his question.
"Jer, it's the same nightmare every night, haunting me!" I said, my shaking hands reaching for the glass of water on the bedside table.
"Haunting you? What about?" he asked, trying to smooth some of my sweaty hair away from my brow in an effort to sooth me. If I hadn't been so freaked out, my heart would be beating with love at his kindness and his love for me. I tried to express what I was feeling, but it was very difficult.
"Jeremy, I've been having these horrible nightmares lately, all of them involving my friends either dead or dying. And of Anna, being taken by the villains. And it was all my fault!" I cried, the feeling of complete and utter helplessness creeping up inside me. "I don't like these dreams at all, and I have this horrible feeling that they might mean something!" I said, but, seeing that it was the middle of the night, I could see him going back to sleep.
"Ashley, you guys finished them off months ago. I don't think they'll come back," he said, yawned as he rubbed small circles on my back.
"But if they do, what's gonna happen to us?" I asked, the dream still so fresh in my mind's eye. Even though he looked like he was about to pass out, Jeremy pulled me close and kissed me, showing me how much he cared.
"Well if you're really scared about it, call Ivy, or one of the other girls, and check things out. Things will be ok Ash. I love you, and I'll always be here for you and your sister," he said groggily as he lay down. The next second he was snoring, and though it was late, it would make me feel better to call on of the others. Fumbling for my phone, I located it and turned it one, my screen saver of Cinderella Castle glowing to life. Gritting my teeth at the time, I decided to ignore it, and just hoped that Ivy would not mind that I was calling her at 3 in the morning. Though I was grasping at straws in that respect.
Taking a deep breath, I dialed her number, holding my breath as it rang. As the third ring ended, I was about to hang up, not wanting to leave a message that made me sound crazy, when Ivy picked up. And even though I was still freaked out, I couldn't help but smile at what she began with.
"Ashley, you have to be either dying or drunk to call me at 3 in the morning," said a sleepy sounding Ivy, a loud yawn making my phone crackle. I would have laughed, but the dream was still heavy in my mind.
"No, neither of those. I just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. I mean, I keep having this nightmare, and well, it includes all of you," I said, trying not to sound as scared as I felt.
"It's just a dream, I think you'll be….. all right," she said, yawning again as she spoke.
"But that's just it Ivy! I think there's meaning behind it!" I cried, not understanding why she didn't believe me.
"Look Ash, I believe you, you know I do, but it's 3 am, I am graduating high school in less than a week, and if there was really something going on, then I think Mickey would let us know," said Ivy, and I knew that she was trying her best not to sound snippy with me. Trying being the operative word. I sighed, feeling a little bit silly now.
"Yeah, you're probably right, so I guess I'll talk to you later," I said, and I was about to hang up when I heard Ivy gasp.
"Ivy? You ok?" I asked, listening hard, just barley making out her now quick breathing.
"Ash, could you take a look at your necklace for me?" she said, her voice very quiet and very much afraid.
"Why?" I asked, utterly confused now. Ivy's voice was really starting to worry me.
"Please just do it. I want to make sure I'm not going crazy," she pleaded. My hands were shaking as I reached down past my collar, pulling out the pendent of the necklace that Mickey had given us all when we had left last time. I gasped when I finally looked at it. The pendants were glowing, no, pulsing with light. The Disney D symbol was glowing bright blue, and the crystal shaped emerald was glowing dark green. Both lights bounced off the walls, lighting up my room with their two-tone glow. It was beautiful, but the unexpected appearance of it made me feel a bit uneasy.
"Are you trying to tell me that your necklace is glowing?" I asked, the chain swinging in my limp fingers.
"Yes! Yours is too?" she asked, and although she sounded relieved, there was still a bit of fear in her voice.
"Yeah, what do you think it means?" I asked, studying the glowing jewelry.
"I think Mickey needs us," she breathed, no doubt studying her jewelry as well.
"But how could we even get there at this hour when we…." I began, as bright flash made me close my eyes. When I opened them, there was a blue portal floating next to my bed, spinning and turning slowly.
"Never mind," I said, getting to my feet.
"Let me guess. A bright blue portal just magically appeared in your room?" asked Ivy sarcastically, and I had to smile.
"Your guess would be correct," I said, looking over at Jeremy, who was deeply asleep now.
"But what about Jer?" I asked, more to myself than Ivy.
"I don't know, just let him sleep, cause I think Mickey just wants us. But whatever this is about, I hope it's short, cause as I said, I have school tomorrow," said Ivy, her voice, despite being more alert, totally alluding to how worn out she was.
"Yeah. I guess I'll leave him a note. See you there?" I said, as I heard her yawn.
"Yep. Bye," she said, before hanging up and ending the call. As I said, I left Jeremy left him a short note, telling him where I guessed I'd be, and kissed him, smiling when he smiled in his sleep. Pulling on a white jacket over my green tank top and black shorts and stepping into some white sandals, I took a deep breath, and holding tightly to the necklace, stepped through the portal.
After I had hung up with Ashley, I sat down on my bed, wide-awake now. What did Mickey have to say that was so important that he had to call for us at 1 am. Still, whatever it was about, it would be best to let the others know. Picking up my phone, I sent out a massive text to the girls as I pulled on a black robe over my purple top and boxer shorts. Then, I stepped through the portal, hoping that it would take me to them.
When my necklace started glowing, I was in the shower. Yes, I knew that it was late, or early depending on what you thought of 3 am, but I hadn't been able to sleep. I had been having bad dreams for the last couple of nights, and taking a shower was one of the best ways of soothing myself through it. I was just about to get out when my necklace started glowing. I never took it off, not even to shower, for I always felt, safer, more connected.
I immediately started getting dressed, pulling on a dark red top and grey flats, finishing with dark grey sweats pants. I was so focused on getting ready, though for what for I had no idea, that when my blackberry buzzed on my dresser I jumped in surprise. I picked it up and smirked at the text from Ivy.
Blue portal coming for you. Mickey needs us, so be ready
That was when I saw said portal appear, looked to make sure my roommate was still asleep, then stepped through the portal, hoping that she wouldn't wake up while I was gone.
I swam quickly down the corridors, trying hard not to hit anything in the process. As the sea was darker at night than land, it made it hard to get your bearings, but I had a rough idea of where I was going. Princess Ariel had been kind enough to get us two rooms in the undersea palace, which I was very grateful for. Barely dodging an undersea fern potted plant, I came crashing into Chloe's room.
"Chloe, get up," I said, while I coaxed an electric eel that served as her lamp to wake and light up. Chloe didn't say anything. I rolled my eyes. I swear sometimes that girl slept like a stone. Sighing, I flung myself up and swam down hard, landing hard on her bed.
"Wah whozat!" she cried, her grey eyes whipping back and forth as she bounced on the bed.
"Kim? What's wrong?" she said, settling back against the pillows.
"Our necklaces are glowing. Mickey wants us!" I said quickly, pulling out the glowing pendent to show her. She blinked, then pulled on her own pendent, staring at it with unfocused eyes.
"Oh, they are," she said as she got up, yawning a bit. I laughed at her.
"I swear Chloe. There could be an seaquake happening, and you still wouldn't wake up," I said, smirking as she rolled her eyes. We then both swam as quietly as we could down the corridors, and then through the throne room, Chloe being more or less dragged by me as I swam. Just as we were about to leave the gates, a blue light lit up the throne room. A glowing portal had appeared, bubbles rising up from the spinning blue wheel.
"I guess that's our ticket out of here," I said, looking to see what Chloe thought, and laughed out loud. She was so tired that she had fallen asleep standing up!
"Come on," I said, grabbing her hand to pull her behind me. Just as we entered the portal, my heart felt a bit heavy, and I felt guilty just leaving without telling anyone. I just hopped Ariel's Sister Attina, the oldest and the one that looked after us, wouldn't wake up to find us gone. We'd never hear the end. Well I might. Chloe could, no, would probably sleep through it.
Tonight was a perfect night. We had just come back from Tortuga, all of the pirates so tired and drunk that they immediately hit the hammocks. Jack wasn't much better, as I had to practically carry him back to the Black Pearl, but he too was asleep. The best thing about tonight was that the sea was very calm, the waves very gentle as they hit the Pearl. I had been lulled to sleep by said waves, and probably would have stayed that way, but something had woken me up.
At first it was more of a feeling, something that said to get up, and I tried to ignore it. Then came a feeling a warmth on my chest, not an uncomfortable one, but one that just didn't feel normal. Finally it was too persistent to ignore anymore, and I sat up, rubbing my eyes and trying to get my bearings. That's when I noticed a small, but bright glow, pulsing underneath my shirt. I pulled it back to see my necklace; the pendant's both glowing brilliantly. I reached out to touch it, wanting to see if I could understand.
COME! The word was so forceful that it startled me, enough to make me fall out of bed in a tangle of sheets and flailing limbs. One hell of an alarm clock, my necklace. Good thing I had my own cabin. For so many reasons beyond this one. I held up my necklace by the chain this time, looking closely at the glowing pieces of metal.
No sooner had I looked at them, when a much larger, brighter light illuminated the room, this one taking the shape of a large blue portal. Again, good thing I had my own cabin. The light lit up my wristwatch, the only technological thing I had decided to keep from my old life, and when I saw the time I groaned.
"3 in the morning Mickey? This better be important," I muttered before going through the portal.
I had been awake when my necklace started glowing. I had been restless for the past few nights, not sleeping well, as confusing and tiring dreams consistently plagued me. I was walking the corridors, all filled with moonlight, when my necklace began flashing. I paused, my posture going stiff when I touched the pendent, hearing the simple word Come inside my head. Moving almost instinctually, my hands fluttered down to my stomach, the protectiveness for my unborn child already forming. I had to find Zoey, my feet already taking me where I knew she'd be.
On nights when the moon was full and beautiful in Narnia, she loved to go outside to one of the balconies on Cair Paravel and sit. Just to stare at the moon and stars and think. She too had been restless recently, and had been riding her horse Star a lot to take her mind of it. I turned a corner and saw her, leaning against the balcony rail in her dark blue dressing gown and white nightgown. I opened the door and stood next to her, watching as she looked down at her own glowing necklace.
"Yours too?" I asked, smiling as she jumped slightly.
"Yep. Guess Mickey need us," she said, smiling nervously. Both of us then looked up as a portal appeared, the same disembodied voice telling us to come.
"Think the guys will miss us?" said Zoey, looking over her shoulder, almost as if she could see Edmund in their room, sound asleep.
"They'll both sleep like logs, they'll never know we left," I said, both of grinning as we linked arms and stepped through. Maybe now we'd get some answers.
I stretched, trying to suppress a yawn. April and I were stretched out in my room, watching a movie before we went to sleep. It may have been 3 am, and yes we had school tomorrow, but we were about to graduate, and we hadn't seen each other in a long time, and as she, Ivy and myself were having a joint graduation party, we thought we could get together tonight and just have some fun. Ivy was going to come over, but she had a lot of stuff to finish up last minute and couldn't make it. Oh well, we'd see her soon.
"Can you believe we're going to be graduating!?" came April's voice, looking up at me behind her curtain of blue-black hair.
"No. It's beyond crazy," I said, grabbing a handful of popcorn from the bowl in between us.
"You scared?" she asked, laughing as I made a face.
"After all we've been through in the past few years, not really. I just wish all the girls could come," I said, both of us nodding sadly. Though it had only been since last month, at Carmen and Peter's wedding, that we had seen everyone together, not nearly as long as the last time we had been separated as a group for so long, we still hadn't gotten a chance to see everyone a lot. And though we knew Ashley and Carly were coming to the party, we wished everyone else could.
"Well, movie's wrapping up. Help me take these to the kitchen?" I asked, motioning to the cups and popcorn bowl we had used.
"Sure," she said, the two of us picking them up and then tiptoeing to the kitchen. My older sister Cara had flown in from California the day before to come to my graduation, and though she was a heavy sleeper, I didn't want to wake her, or my mother, who could be pretty unpleasant if she didn't get enough sleep. Ever since my father had left us a few months ago to, as he said, "find himself", she had become increasingly unpleasant to be around. Not that I cared; my father had never been that big a part in my life even when he was here. With that in mind, April and I tiptoed down the hallway. We had been passing by a mirror when April stopped suddenly and grabbed my arm, forcing us to stop.
"What?" I asked, but she only had to point for me to get my answer. We had stopped in front of the full-length mirror, and resting against our collars were our necklaces that Mickey gave us, and they were glowing.
"Mickey," she breathed, and I saw her brown eyes flash in excitement.
"What do you think he wants?" I asked, knowing it was probably something to do with the park's security, but still curious all the same. That's when a portal appeared. Bright blue and swirling, and we both grinned in excitement.
"Only one way to find out," she said, and we both stepped into the portal, hoping to see our friends. Little did we know it was going to be much more serious than that. Much more.
The first thing that registered with me as I stepped out of the portal was the temperature. As we were just getting into August, the Florida heat had become stifling, and anytime you went into a cool room, as this was, was a surprising shock to your system. I blinked my eyes, finally looking around the room. I was in one of the sitting rooms of Cinderella Castle, one we had used a lot last time with many couches, thick rugs, and polished wood tables. But what caught my attention was a large gilt framed blown up photograph, of the 12 of us, taken at my 19th birthday last year, right next to one of all of us at Carmen's wedding. Great memories have been made here, I thought, as I took in our grinning faces.
"Ashley, I'm so glad you're here," came a voice, and I spun around, immediately seeing Mickey, Syrena, and Desmoira, the last of whom who was holding a very sleepy Anika.
"Hey guys," I said, stepping over towards them and getting hugs from Syrena and Mori. "Um, Mickey, not that it isn't great to see you, can you tell me why I'm here so early?" I asked, my shoulders shaking as a huge yawn escaped me.
"Instead of having to repeat myself and sound like a broken record, I'm just gonna wait for the rest of the girls to get here," he said, just as a portal appeared, reveling a very tried looking Julia.
"Ok, is there a good reason for waking me up so early?" she asked testily, her pistol that Jack Sparrow had given her for Christmas banging against her hip, probably already cocked and loaded. I smirked, same old Julia.
"Hey, at least it's better than listen to a bunch of dirty pirates snore right?" I asked, and then when she looked at me, a genuine but tired smile crinkling her eyes.
"You'd be surprised what you get used to. It's good to see you Ash," she said, and the two of us hugged, her hair smelling strongly of salt water.
"I missed you too Julia," I said, just as two more portals appeared at the same time. A frazzled looking Ivy came out, immediately going and hugging me, almost clinging, clearly confused as to what was going on. Carmen and Zoey appeared as well, both wearing long white nightgowns and expensive looking dressing gowns.
"Oh look, the class has finally arrived to grace us with their presence," said Julia in mock surprise, earning her self some eye rolls and hugs from the two girls.
"Gosh it's good to see you guys," I said, as Carmen and I hugged each other tightly. "How's the baby?" I asked, reaching up a hand to rest against her growing belly, and grinning as I felt a tiny kick.
"Quickly stretching out my clothing, but just fine," she smiled, a soft look in her eye as her fingers traced across the 5-month bulge.
"Mickey, what's going on?" yawed Zoey, sitting down heavily on the sofa next to Desmoira.
"We need to wait for the others," said Mickey simply. Great answer there Mick.
"You know something, this is starting to sound like a broken record after all," I said sarcastically, getting Mickey and everyone else to laugh.
"They'll be here soon, I'm sure of it, so why don't you guys relax," he said, the rest of the girls laughing again as I made a face at his turned back. We began making ourselves comfortable on the couches, and I found myself falling asleep, when another portal appeared, this one revealing April and Emily, both rubbing their eyes and yawning, yet at the same time looking really happy to see us.
"Hey guys, what's…. up?" said Emily, yawning as she spoke.
"Mickey won't tell us," said Julia, staring daggers at the mouse's back as he looked out one of the windows. I smiled to myself, knowing Julia well enough to know that she was even worse at getting up early than I was.
"Wait, don't you guys go to different schools?" asked Ivy, as I was also wondering why they came through the same portal.
"Yes, but our schools are pretty close, and we just decided to have a sleepover," said April, putting an arm around the younger girl affectionately.
"It's a good thing too, cause I sleep like a rock and probably would have been asleep if we weren't having one," yawned Emily, looking like she might fall asleep any second.
"Now we only have to wait for Chloe, Kim and Carly," I said, just as a large splash caught our attention. I hadn't seen this when I arrived, but over in one of the corners of the room was a large fountain, being filled and drained with small waterfalls. And floundering around in the water, hair in their faces and both spitting out water, were Chloe and Kim.
"This water is so cold!" shivered Kim, her smile shaking as she shook.
"Oops, sorry girls," said Mickey, and we watched as the water became warmer, until the girls stopped shaking.
"Thanks Mickey," sighed Kim, sighing in contentment as she wrung out her long white blond hair. Chloe didn't say anything, her head resting on her arms as she fell back to sleep.
"Oh come on Chloe, wake up!" said Kim, shaking her friend but getting no results.
"She sleeps like a rock. Nothing, even falling in this case, wakes her up," said Kim, rolling her eyes, April nudging Emily in the ribs as Em made a face at her. That's when I remembered something.
"This always works with my sister when my mom is trying to wake her up," I said, moving from my spot against the wall and crouching down to Chloe's level.
"Chloe, I'm making blueberry pancakes," I said, jumping out of the way as Chloe sat up quickly.
"I'll have ten!" she said, smiling excitedly before she realized we were all staring at her.
"Oh hey guys," she said, her cheeks going pink with embarrassment. I brushed off my hands, and sat down, completely smug.
"Always works," I said, getting laughs from everyone. Then, the air was split with a loud shriek, as a blur of grey hurtled down from a portal that was drifting in the air a couple of feet overhead. With a loud splash, waves of water splashed out of the fountain, all of us leaping backwards so we wouldn't get wet. We all looked toward the fountain, watching as a soaking wet Carly stood up, wiping her hair out of her face, then sticking her arms straight out over her hips, a pleased and carefree kind of smile stretching across her face as water ran in rivers off her body. " And she sticks the landing!" she said triumphantly, causing everyone to burst out laughing.
"Sorry about that Carly. I guess the portals are a little glitchy tonight," said Mickey, smiling sheepishly as he lead the soaking wet Carly towards the fireplace, where a crackling fire appeared.
"Ah that's ok. At least I'm more awake now," she said, as she squeezed out her hair and grey hoodie, the water hissing as it hit the flames. Not long after that, she was completely dry, my guess was by Disney magic, and walked over to sit by April, Julia and I, as Chloe and Kim trailed behind, they too having dried off, long pink and light green bathrobes replacing their trails and seashells.
"Ok, now that we're all here, can you please tell us why we're up at the crack of dawn?" asked Julia, her head on her hand as she spoke.
"My words exactly, I have class in a few hours," I said, Mickey shifting uncomfortably under our gaze.
"I'm truly sorry, to everyone for getting you up so early, but it's for a good reason," he said, looking down at his gloved hands. We waited, my heart speeding up as I tensed up, guessing what he was about to say.
"What is it Mickey, is everything all right?" said Chloe, all signs of tiredness having been replaced with a look of anxiousness.
"It's the villains. We think some may have survived the destruction of the Underworld," he said, a tense look on his face as we all gasped.
"Well shit," groaned Julia, as many of the other girls expressed their own form of shock and fear. I saw Desmoira clutch Anika tightly, like she was afraid someone would snatch her sister away from her, and I knew she was thinking about Frollo. Syrena's knuckles were white as she gripped the arm of the couch, sweat appearing on her forehead as Ivy tried to calm her down, whispering comforting words to her. Carmen's face had drained of color, her hands visibly shaking as she cradled her stomach, no doubt fearing for her child. I myself was freaking out inside, as many emotions, mostly fear and anger coursing through me.
"Mickey, please tell me this isn't true. It can't be, not after all we did last year," said Carmen, her face looking ashen as she pleaded with him. Mickey looked so sad as he shook his head.
"I wish it wasn't, Carmen, but the things that have been happening recently are not normal, and have a certain sinister, very familiar quality about them," he said, the silence heavy as we all stared at him.
"Well, you should start at the beginning then," said Carmen, a note of a leader, an authority I guess, settling into her voice.
"It started very recently. Rides breaking down, a feeling of unease felt by guests and park staff. There have even been some attacks on cast members, not too lethal, but it's gotten people spooked. No deaths, thank goodness, but it's gotten a lot of people to stop coming to the park all together," said Mickey, looking down at his gloved hands.
"God. Just like last time huh?" said Ashley, looking up angrily before she got to her feet.
"Yes, but this time we'll be more prepared," said Mickey, a look of confidence appearing for the first time that night.
"And how's that?" asked Syrena, looking the most nervous out of us all, her face still very white and scared looking as she gripped my hand tightly.
"Well, it requires a lot on your part, girls. Maybe more than you're willing to give," he said, looking all at us with such a serious expression that it scared me.
"What would we have to give?" asked Carly quietly, her hands folded in her lap tightly. Mickey sighed, running a gloved hand behind his ears.
"Well for starters, we'll need you here for a long time, all summer and possibly longer. You'll be here under the pretense of an all summer job, when in reality you'll be helping us out," he began, all of sensing there was something was off in his tone.
"Mickey, we're not stupid, we know there's something you're not telling us, so just spit it out," I said, the lack of sleep making me a bit impatient and snappy, not used to staying up the entire night.
"I know that Ivy, but what I'm proposing sounds likes one of the hardest things that you've probably ever dealt with," he said, still not meting our eyes.
"Which is," prompted April, moving her hand in a circle in a get on with it message. Mickey looked up at us, and though I didn't know what he was going to say, his expression of deep sadness and regret causing a cold pit of fear to form in the pit of my stomach.
"I didn't want to do this, but we've come to a decision that if the villains come to power again, and if they decide to use your loved ones against you, which is a great possibility, we need to take precautions. To keep your families and loved ones safe, with your permission, we would erase their memoires and relocate them. Temporarily of course, but enough for that they wouldn't remember you, which would make them untraceable and safe," he said, looking at us with a very sad and serious expression. That's when I felt my heart stop a beat, a chilling cold exploding all over my body. My parents, my brother Gavin, my friends outside of this group. All forgetting me.
The thought didn't seem to register; I couldn't comprehend anything he had just sad. Though concerned as well, Carmen, Desmoira, Julia, Kim, Chloe, Syrena and Zoey didn't seem to be as frozen as Ashley, Ivy, April, and I. They had all lost, never known, or been abandoned by their parents, and had lives centered on the park. Emily was strangely calm, neither calm nor frozen; a statue of seriousness. I was about to ask why, when Ashley looked up, her green eyes blazing with anger.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me!"
Mickey visibly cringed at my choice of words. Did I care? No!
"Do you have any idea how insane that sounds? Even if it did work, which I'm sure it won't, did you even think how hard that would be for us to have to do that to our mom's and dad's? Our friends from school? Our siblings!" I said, my voice cracking when I said siblings. I tried to hold onto my anger, my body shaking with emotion I wouldn't let go.
"I have a little sister Annabelle. She's four. You all remember her," I said, nodding over at Desmoira and Anika, the older dark haired women meeting my eyes sadly. I continued, a tight feeling overtaking my chest.
"My parents, though they're wonderful, are always busy with the hotel, and I'm usually the one to look after her, even while I'm in college. What's going to happen to her while I'm gone Mickey? Are you really going to ask me to erase a four year olds memory?" I asked, the mouse's guilty expression getting deeper by the second. I looked at Ivy and Emily, knowing full well they had siblings, older, but siblings that they cared about just as much as I cared about mine. Emily didn't met my eyes, so I looked Ivy, who looked back at me just as intensely.
"And what about you guys, huh? What about Gavin and Cara?" I asked, Emily's lip quivering as she tried not to cry. Ivy's eyes glistened as well, yet when she spoke her voice was calm.
"I care about my brother, as Em cares about her sister as much as you care about Anna, but they're a special case," she said, looking over at Emily with a small smile.
"Meaning what?" I said, trying not to shout as I held back my anger. Em looked up at me, her sky blue yes sparkling as she tried to smile.
"They're special because they will be able to protect each other. They're getting married this summer," she said, her voice cracking as two tears pooled out and fell. My heart hurt at her pain, yet I felt jealous that they could even been thinking that they could do this. I looked over at April and Carly, who I knew were only children. Maybe they would be more realistic.
"What about you? Do you think this is a good idea?" I asked them, fear filling me when they nodded.
"My parents mean the world to me. I'd do anything I could to protect them," said April, Carly nodding and saying basically the same thing. I looked at Emily, wanting to hear her two cents.
"My dad left me, and my mom… well we've been growing apart for a while. Besides, I have Jim," she said, trying to smile. She seemed to be holding back something, but right now I was too wrapped up in my own sadness to press. I felt like everyone was standing against me, and though the sensible part of me knew it would be the smart thing to do, the emotional part of me was very fearful of the idea. I sat down heavily, suddenly feeling very tired and drained.
"What if they don't remember me?" I said quietly, my thoughts straying to them and my sister. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and turned to see Mickey trying to smile at me.
"They will Ashley. This will be hard for all of you, you especially, and if you feel that you sister would be safer here, then by all means bring her here. But you should sleep on it just the same. The last thing I want is to push you into something that hard enough to decide as it is," he said, his gloved hand squeezing my shoulder gently. I forced the tears back, wishing Jeremy was here to help me decide what I should do.
"Ok, I'll think about it," I said in a voice that was barely there, closing my eyes tightly to further keep the tears at bay. That's when I felt a felt something with a smooth glassy feel to it pressed into my hand. I opened my eyes; a small corked glass vial staring up at me, a clear liquid with a slight golden sheen gently rippling inside.
"What's this? I murmured, watching as Mickey handed out 4 identical vials to Carly, Ivy, April and Emily, all who had the same expression of confusion as I did. Utter confusion and bit of fear.
"This is a special potion that the great Yen Sid created. It has been specifically made to, when consumed, the person will forget every bit of information about a specific person or event, to be replaced with other events to fill the gaps. I must warn you though that the effects of this potions are fast acting, and sleep inducing, so when the person, your parents and siblings in this case, take it, they will fall asleep. So the next day, when they wake up, they will have no memory of you at all, so if you gave it to them, you'd have to be gone by the time they woke up, for if they recognized you, the potion's effects would be immediately erased," he said, taking a breath after his long explanation. "They're for you girls to decide if you want to, and do know that if you do, you will be welcomed to stay here with open arms," said Mickey, all of us, including the girls who didn't have this awful burden to bear, looked down at the vials.
The meeting broke up soon after that, numerous portals being created to get each of us back to our respective homes. I mumbled halfhearted goodbyes to everyone, before the portal spit me back out to my apartment. The familiarity of the furniture and carpet, among other things, made me feel very depressed. Instead of the calming presence it usually held, the room filled me with a feeling of deep sadness, showing me in materialistic terms what I'd be giving up if I did what Mickey hoped I'd do. I clutched the vial, and although the vial weighed less than a pound, it felt like I was trying to hold onto a ten-pound weight, crushing and straining on my body, like my heart, as I thought what I'd have to do to my family, even if it was to keep them safe.
I crawled back into bed, Jeremy immediately rolling over and putting his arms around me in his sleep, drawing me close until my back was resting against his warm chest. I snuggled into him, wanting this little bit of contact to drive away all the conflicting emotions I had. Yes, Jeremy would have to know; he was too involved already not to be. Tomorrow. I would deal with this, but right now, I need to sleep, escape to hopefully pleasant dreams for a little while. It took a bit, but finally sleep found me and I drifted off, just as the horizon began to lit up with the first rays of dawn. A New Dawn, for all of us.
The end of the first chapter. I'm very pleased with it, but like always, I like to hear your views. If this is the first time you're tuning in, I would sincerely recommend that you read the first two HRSF stories to understand the characters and general storyline. I own only my O.C.'s, while everything Disney related isn't mine. Desmoira and Anika belong to LadyOfSlytherin101, and Syrena belongs to Solaria daughter of Apollo, and if you want more information on them, please check out their stories, which are both wonderful!
I need to say a quick thank you to LadySly and Solaria, both wonderful writers who have helped me when I've had trouble, not just for this story, but for the previous ones as well. So thank you both as much! Now a quick note, is that the pancake line isn't mine, but from an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I thought it was hilarious so I used it. I would really like to see what you think, as tomorrow is my birthday and to hear from you guy would just be great! I've written out the first few chapters, so my posting will happen at least once a week, or even faster if inspiration strikes. So hope you enjoyed this chapter, and I will see you in a few days.