Stuck: a Short Story

 By Yuki Z

As I skipped through the hot, summer heat, I went into the cooling library that was blasting the air conditioner inside. I said hello to the old librarian that was standing at the door before going down to my favorite section of the library, Fantasy. I slowly turned my head side to side, finding a brand new book to read after finishing my other book. As I looked around the section, I found a big book called, “Fantasy’s Favorite Book.” I slowly reached for it before gently gripping on the hard cover that was covered in dust.

“Ava, are you checking that one out?” A voice calls out.

I jumped a bit when I heard a voice. I nervously turned my head to look at who it was.

The librarian.

I sighed in relief before slowly nodding my head. “Could I?”

She smiles at me before giving me a small laugh. “Of course you can.”
I then went to the old checkout computer before checking “Fantasy’s Favorite Book” out. I then curiously looked around for a good spot to read the book until going into a small corner. I glanced at the hardcover of the book before gently holding the cover and moving it to the left to open it. As I opened it, I read the words on the first page.

“Fantasy is always true.”

I thought about what the words meant but couldn’t figure it out at all as I started to grow stressed about it. Maybe I grew some white hair like Elsa from Frozen. I turned the page again as the first chapter started.

“There was a prince named Gael. He was a happy guy as he helps anyone in his village for the sake of happiness. Everyone has found him helpful everyday.”

As I continued to read about the prince, I turned a few thin pages in before finding a drawing on the right side of the book. I stare at it before slowly realizing it was a palace or something. Maybe a castle or kingdom.

“Ava! We’re closing early today.”
I jolted up before closing the thick book. I got up from the corner and went to the front. “Are you guys closed tomorrow? I saw you guys changed the schedule because the sign on the door didn’t seem the same.”

“Yes, I’m sorry about that,” The librarian replied as her wrinkles were showing near her eyes while she gave me the softest smile possible. I really like the librarian since she’s like a mother to me.

“Alright, I’ll come back when I finish this book. Thank you,” I answered before leaving the library. I felt the hot sun glazing over my caramel skin as sweat rolled down my forehead. I then quickly walked behind the library before crouching down to the hot deep burgundy bricked floor. I looked at the sun setting as I placed my one inch book down on the floor. “I wish I could go home.” I then grabbed the book again before going back to my page number. I continued reading until another drawing was there. It was a person. A human being. I think it was Gael since it matched most of the descriptions of Gael in chapter one. As I continued reading, another picture showed. There was snow around, I think. It was in a forest. I stared deeply into the drawing to figure out most of the details before the picture started glowing. “W-What the heck?!” A huge beam of light was coming out of the picture before my body slowly got sucked inside. I shut my eyes closed as I felt my body spinning around several times, making me want to throw up.

Part 2: Where it starts

I then heard a big POOF! around me before falling down on a hard floor. It felt like hard stoned rocks. I then slowly opened my eyes before looking around. There were dark rocks everywhere. I think I was in a cave since there was an opening on one side and the other side was really dark that I couldn't see though I knew the moon was glazing light everywhere. There were some types of plants in the rocks though. Like jellyfishes mixed in with plants. You know, the jellyfish’s head is the “flower” part and the stem is the color of the jellyfish head. I continued moving my head around to look at the area before feeling a sudden pain on my feet. I looked down to see what it was before realizing how swollen my ankle was! There was a color of red mixed with a dark purple. The size was two times my other ankle. The pain was unbearable, causing me to yelp and cry for help.

“Are you okay?” Someone's voice calls out.

I looked around both sides of the cave to see who was there before seeing a boy in…Gold, royalty type of clothes? You know… Like how royal people would dress in the old days.

“I..I think I broke my ankle, or sprained it.”

He nods before picking me up in bridal style. “It’s a quick walk to the village, we can go there to get you patched up.” He then sprints towards the forest. It took around 5 minutes to get to the “village”, the boy calls. It looked like an average human village that was in a cold region. I think this place looked exactly like our human world but there's a regular type of fantasy in here. 2 minutes later, we were sitting inside a warm-ish area. I kind of got uncomfortable since my skirt was cut to my knee and two people were next to me.

“Well, it’s broken, obviously,” The doctor says. “I need you to take this medicine and rest for around two days. If you really need to walk, use these,” He says before pulling out a pair of crutches.

I nod before hearing the boy speak.

“Thank you, doctor,”I then slowly got up from the small, creaky bed before struggling to use the slightly bigger crutches. I noticed the tall boy getting up from his wooden, small chair and holding my hips to help me get up from the bed since I was struggling.

“Anytime,” The doctor replies with a soft smile. “What are your names, little ones?”

“I’m Ava,” I softly replied as I held onto the crutches while the boy was helping me keep balance since it was my first time on crutches.

“I’m Calen,” The boy says right after I finish mine real quickly.

He didn’t seem like a guy named “Calen,” but I just shrugged it off. I turned my head to the doctor and he seemed suspicious of Calen. I only knew that because I saw the older man's eyes squinting and one of his eyebrows were up as he stared at Calen.

“Okay, you’re free to go now,” The doctor formally responded.

“Thank you, sir,” I said before leaving the clinic with Calen. He brings me to another part of the village.

Part 3: Calen

As we walk into another small warm house, he makes me sit down in the dining room. I stare at him with confusion before placing the crutches next to the chair I’m sitting on. Calen stares at me with a worried expression before sighing. He holds his hands together before looking down at his royalty shoes.

“My name isn’t really…You know. It’s actually Calen, Ava.”

I looked into Calen’s eyes, it’s showing some type of sadness in there. “I know,” I say before looking around the warm house, trying to figure out where we were.

“What? How did you know? And my name is Gael,” He says as he sits next to me. “Please don’t tell anyone that I’m Gael.”

I nodded before realizing who Gael is. “Gael? As Prince Gael?!” I screamed out with pure shock since I wasn’t expecting HIM to be THE Prince Gael.

He panics as his eyes widen. “Quiet! People might hear!” He shushed me with fear in his voice, thinking someone might overhear our conversation.

“Sorry.” I whisper. “Wait, so you are THE Prince Gael? The one that lives in the palace?”

He nods. “Don’t tell everyone or word will spread that I’m here. Then my father would find out that I’m outside when I’m not allowed to and then kill me since I disobeyed his orders!”
I nodded before thinking. “Wow! I read you in my book before getting sucked into the drawing in the book.”

“Really? What did the book say about me? Tell me! I wanna know!” Gael says as he starts to get curious from what I read about him.

“Well.. it said that you were 5’8 feet tall, a blonde, and a happy person in general.” I smile gently, showing my dimples.

“I….I don’t know about the happy part..Father would force me to be happy or he’ll punish me.” He says before sighing. “I”m gonna tell you something. Don’t tell anyone, okay?”

“Okay,” I nodded.

Part 4: The Truth

“I never wanted to be the prince in my entire life.. I’ve always wanted to be a village boy or just a normal boy,” He whispers into my ear.

I nod, trying to understand before hearing several BOOM! POOF! BOOM! sounds outside. Prince Gael quickly rushes outside to see what was happening. I hear an evil laugh come by and also Gael cursing under his breath. “What’s going on, Calen?”

“A witch. She blew up the blacksmith's house. C’mon!” He grabs me and starts to run to another house that is far away from that town.

“Wait..W-Where are we going?” I said as I looked around.

“We’re at Byane’s house. They’re my friend. You stay here while they take care of you. I need to go back to my father,” He says while panting heavily, due to all the running.

I nodded as I sat on a closeby chair. “When are you coming back? I need to go back to my home.”

He nods before sighing. “Gosh..Fine, I have an idea. We can go to the witch and ask her for help.” He grabbed me and held me to move faster.

I held onto Gael as he ran out of the house before going back to the same town that was blown up.

“Miss Rya! Please, I need help for my friend!” Prince Gael calls out really loudly for the witch to hear.

“Hmm? A friend, you say?” She turns around to face us before flying down with her broom.

“Please, Miss Rya. She needs to go back home. She isn’t from this world. Could you bring her back? I’ll give you one of my fathers gems if you’re able to get her back. Her name is Ava.” He slowly put me down and gave me my crutches.

“Hi..Miss Rya,” I say shyly, never seeing an actual witch before. I think it was normal in this world but also not since this is the first witch I’ve ever seen in this fantasy world.

“Hello, dear.”

“Can you please help me by finding a way for me to go home? I don’t belong to this world,” I mumbled as I took balance on my crutches.

“Ahh..Yes, Ava. You’ll need to get me some ingredients for the portal. Get me fairy plants and then get me a uni, alright?”

Prince Gael gasps. “A uni? But a unicorn would never give us their horns! That’s impossible, Miss Rya!”

“Well, if you want me to help your little friend of yours, I suggest you do it now.”

Prince Gael sighs before picking me up and running off to another area.

Part 5: Unicorn’s possession

As Prince Gael brings me up to this mountain before spotting a few “fairy plants” that they call. It’s those plants with the jellyfish's head as the flower base and the stem is the color of the head.

“Here, hold this bag so I can put the plants in there.”

I held the small bag for Gael as he grabbed a handful of the fairy plants. He then ties the bag tightly. “Are you mad? Sorry if I’m bothering you right now, I know you’re a really busy prince.”

“It’s fine, I have nothing else to do.” He continues to bring me higher up to the mountain. He spots a unicorn.

“Mr.On!” He quickly walks over to the tall, majestic looking unicorn.

“Hello, Gael. What is it that you need now?” The unicorn had a deep-like voice that went really smoothly as he looked into my eyes.

“Do you have a uni to spare? It’s for the witch. I need my friend to get back to her world since she doesn’t belong to this one,” Gael says as he begs.

“A uni? We only have two uni’s for unicorns that don’t have one. I guess I could spare you one, but what will you give me?”

The witch nodded before grabbing the ingredients and getting on her broom. “Thank you, Gael.” She said with a laugh that sounded completely evil. She starts to fly up. “You do realize no one can leave this world, right? Only can enter, never leave!” The witch then flies away with the ironic witch laugh that I’ve always heard in movies and audios.

Part 6: Stuck

What? “Never leave”? What does that mean?! No way. There’s no way I’m stuck here FOREVER. I need to go back home. I want to go home!

Gael looks at me with a worried expression. “I guess you’re stuck…Here. Forever.”

“What? NO! I want to go back!” I say with panic in my voice. I start pacing back and forth before looking at Prince Gael with a worried look on my face.

“I’m sorry but… You can’t.”