United States

Artist (trying to be)
Writer/Aspiring Author
Siberian Husky Owner (Sky)
Parakeet Owner (Haven)
Horseback Rider
Daughter of Athena
Team Leo (Lol)
Joined 11/2020

Message to Readers

If you have read this before, you might notice that it is shorter than it used to be. I felt like the chapter was a little long, so I broke it off in a different place, and the rest of this chapter is now the beginning of chapter two, which I am nearly finished with and should be posted soon. :)

Kingdom on a Cloud Chapter One (Looking For Peer Reviews)

March 2, 2021


Read the sidebar first!

It’s not that bad, Brylee told herself. Maybe if she thought it enough it would come true. She leaned closer to the mirror. No, it was that bad.
    A large purple bruise spread under her chin. It looked as if she had dipped it in paint. 
    Brylee’s mom walked in then. “Are you okay, honey? That fall looked painful.” Her eyes widened when she saw the bruise. “Oh, Brylee. Let me go get something for that.” Her hurried footsteps faded down the hall. 
Brylee turned back to the mirror. Same waist-length blond hair and blue eyes. Same tall frame. The only part out of place was the purple splotch. She sighed. This wasn’t even the worst that had happened to her. Ever since her growth spurt, she had become highly clumsy. If you could trip over it, Brylee was bound to at one point or another. 
This time, the offending object had been the vacuum cleaner. That, and the banister. She walked out of her room and met her mom in the hall. An ice pack was clutched in her hand. 
“Here.” Her mom thrust it out at Brylee. 
“Thanks.” She gingerly pressed it to her chin. 
“Now, hold it there for the time being. I’ll go look up what else to do for that.” 
Brylee spent the rest of the day nursing her wound and reading. At precisely five o’clock, a knock sounded at the front door. Her best friend Austyn came in, duffel in tow. 
“Wow. What happened to you?” Austyn stared at the bruise covering Brylee’s chin, complete with smears of the cream her mom had given her.
“I lost a fight with a vacuum cleaner.” Brylee admitted. 
“Wow. Really? You never cease to amaze me, Brylee.” Austyn sighed.
Changing the subject, Brylee said, “So, what do you want to do?” 
“I was just reading Nancy Drew today. And... you’ll think it’s stupid.”
“What is it?” Brylee asked, one eyebrow raised.
“We could look for secret passages.” Austyn’s eyes sparkled. “Wouldn’t it be so cool if we found one? I already checked my house, but yours is super old, right?”
“Yeah. My great grandparents lived here.” 
“So, there’s a good chance there could be secret passageways, right?”
“I guess,” Brylee said skeptically.
“So, which first? Attic or basement?” Austyn asked excitedly.
“I’m not allowed in the attic,” Brylee informed her. 
“Basement it is!” Austyn led the way.
Brylee didn’t want to admit it, but she wished Austyn wasn’t as interested in sleuthing. It wasn’t that her basement was particularly creepy. It was just cold and there were spiders. 
Brylee helped Austyn tap on walls and pick up boxes to see if they unlocked a hidden passage. She even turned on and off the treadmill, even though Brylee told her it was impossible that would trigger anything interesting, since her dad used it every week or so. Austyn checked anyway.
“In Nancy Drew, it’s usually the most unlikely thing that is usually overlooked.” She said with an air of superiority, tucking her strawberry blonde curls behind her ear.
Brylee shrugged, unconvinced.
After over twenty minutes spent in the cold basement, Austyn declared they would check the storage room next. They repeated the process in the storage room. Austyn’s enthusiasm never seemed to wane. Finally, Brylee’s mom called up that it was time for dinner. After they finished their chicken, Austyn and Brylee went back up to Brylee’s room. 
Austyn flopped onto the bed with a groan. “I really wish we’d found something. I was sure we would.”
 Brylee really didn’t want to continue the search, but Austyn looked so distraught. “Well…”
“What?” Austyn didn’t bother to sit up.
“Well… we could always check my grandma’s journals. Maybe she mentioned some secret passageway or something.” Brylee suggested.
“Wait, what?” Austin’s eyes regained the sparkle she always got when she was horseback riding or sleuthing. “Where are they?”
“In the storage room.” 
Austyn moved so fast she seemingly teleported to the storage room. 
When Brylee caught up with her, she had already found the box labeled ‘Grandma Bates’. 
Austyn opened the lid and carefully removed journals, pictures and stacks of letters tied with ribbons and rubber bands. She chose a stack of letters first. It was addressed to someone called ‘Myra Baer’, and the return address had Brylee’s grandmother’s name.
Brylee took a letter and ran her finger over the inked letters. Her grandma had passed away recently, and Brylee had not been able to bring herself to read any of the things in this box yet. As far as she knew, the box had been sitting here collecting dust for years, since her grandma had given it to them.
She carefully unfolded the letter, trying not to tear the fragile paper. The corners were beginning to yellow, but the words were still legible:
September 14, 1962
Dear Myra,
Happy birthday! I cannot believe it has been a year since I got here. I know you will never read this letter, as I am unaware at the time of any sure way to send it to you. I could, of course, put it through the door, but I have no way to be certain it reaches you, and you know I cannot enter it myself. I could never forget the world in which I grew up, it is a part of me, just as is my love for Christopher. I wish I could tell you in person about our being wed recently, but alas, I cannot. I could never forget dear Daniel, of course, but I believe it is time for me to move on. With every day that passes he becomes more and more just a distant, well loved memory. I remember your talent for solving riddles, so I shall attempt to write one in verse. If you are ever sent to this place, all you must do is solve this riddle to get home. I wish I could write it straight out, but I must be careful in case it falls into the wrong hands.

Austyn had been reading over Brylee’s shoulder, and now she interjected. “Ooh, spooky.” Her eyes glinted.
Brylee ignored her and went on to read the poem.
If ever you are trapped in here
Please, my friend, do not have fear
For in the stem of a special flower
Lurks a very miraculous power
Breathe in the scent
And your time here will be spent
I know you will be able to solve this, my friend. Remember what I told you before I left. I hope to see you again one day.
All my love, 
Loya Bates

“What does she mean by, ‘A special flower’?” Austyn asked. 
“I don’t know.” Brylee said truthfully. She stood up, folding the letter in half and sliding it into her back pocket. “Maybe she dried a bouquet or something.” She began to look through the shelves lining the walls of the storage room. Her foot knocked against something, and she hopped around on one foot, repeating the word “Ow,” over and over. Tears formed at the corners of her eyes. If only she was wearing shoes. 
Austyn walked over and picked up the portrait that had been leaning against the wall, but was now lying facedown on the cement floor. “Careful!” 
“Don’t you think I try?” The pain in Brylee’s foot began to subside. She set it back down and walked over to Austyn. “Did I break it?”
“No.” Austyn held it up and examined it for tears or cracks in the frame. She looked at the lady in the portrait. “Who is this?” 
“That’s actually my grandma Loya.” 
Soft golden waves flowed over Loya’s shoulders. Her eyes were brown, deep as chocolate. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. She couldn’t have been over twenty-five or thirty. A rose was held in her slender hands. 
“Hey, maybe this is the special flower!” Austyn exclaimed. “The rose!”
“Maybe.” Brylee reached out to touch the flower. Her fingers sank through the canvas. She pulled them back in surprise. “Um…”
“What?” Austyn hadn’t seen what had happened. 
“Watch.” Brylee rested her hand on the flower. It passed right through, as if the canvas wasn’t there. She felt a thin stem and grasped it, pulling it out of the empty space. Her hand emerged holding the rose. She looked back at the painting. The rose had disappeared. 
Austyn gaped. “How did you do that?”
“I’m not sure.” Brylee rolled the stem between her fingers. “I just did.”
“Smell it.” Austyn commanded.
“What?” Brylee exclaimed. “Why?”
“Remember?” Austyn ran back to get the letter. “It says right here,” she pointed to a section of the riddle, “That you have to ‘breathe in the scent’.”
“But we don’t even know what will happen.” Brylee protested.
“Nancy Drew wouldn’t leave a mystery unfinished.” Austyn declared defiantly. She reached out and took the rose from Brylee, inhaling deeply. “Did anything happen?”
Brylee looked around and her eyes widened. At a loss for words, she pointed.
“Cool!” Austyn exclaimed. 
A sizable section of the wall had disappeared, leaving a door-shaped hole in the cement. Darkness loomed, black and foreboding. 
“C’mon!” Austyn turned on her phone flashlight, but it didn’t penetrate the blackness as much as it should have. She stepped into the hole… and disappeared. 
Brylee didn’t know what to do. She could go get her parents, but what if there wasn’t time? She entered the doorway right behind her friend.
Once she had passed through, light encroached on all sides, nearly blinding her after being in the dim storage room and then entering the even blacker passageway. She squinted and looked down, letting her eyes adjust. She looked up after a moment, and screamed.
Brylee’s hands flew to her mouth, and she felt faint. Maybe this wasn’t real. Maybe… she and Austyn had fallen asleep on accident and had a very, very realistic dream. She pinched herself. It hurt.
The cement floor of the storage room was gone, replaced with soft green grass. Trees were scattered around the meadow, and a few small, plain cottages were visible through the trees. A castle could be seen in the distance, atop a tall hill. It looked like an illustration in a fairy tale. 
A squeak sounded from beside Brylee. It was Austyn. Her mouth hung open, and she kept uttering short nonsense words.
“” She seemed to be unable to blink. The green expanse of her eyes was wide. Slowly, she turned around. Brylee followed her gaze. 
The doorway was gone. It was as if it had disappeared the moment they had stepped through, or it had never been there at all. Behind them was almost exactly the same view as before, only without the castle. 
“Okay.” Brylee said. “What happened?”
Austyn stood frozen. Brylee grabbed her by the shoulders and turned Austyn to face her. She shook her gently. “Earth to Austyn… I thought you were the one who was expecting this.”
Austyn’s expression cleared. “Are we hallucinating?” She whispered.
“I don’t think so.” Brylee sighed.
“How are you so calm about this?” Austyn started to pace. “We walked into your storage room and came out in some random meadow.” 
“I don’t know.” Brylee shrugged. “Maybe someone figured out teleportation and installed it in that doorway. I think the first thing we should do is go to one of those cottages and ask them where we are.” She felt unnaturally unsurprised. The whole thing must not have soaked in yet.
“Good idea.” Austyn’s eyes were still unnaturally wide, but she followed Brylee, winding through the trees to the nearest cottage. Brylee wished they were wearing shoes. The sticks and pebbles scattered on the grass were painful under her feet, especially as they wove deeper into the trees. 
When they finally reached the cottage, Brylee noticed how it was in very good condition. It seemed to be undamaged by time, perhaps recently constructed. She knocked on the door. 
A few seconds passed before someone came to the door. It was a girl, probably around fifteen like them, with tan skin and straight black hair. She took in their pajamas and each stick entangled in their braids.
“Sorry, this may be an odd question.” Brylee fiddled with a button on her shirt nervously. “But where are we?” 
Nataly raised her eyebrows. “You’re in the kingdom of Sandle. Where else?” 
This is the first chapter of a novel I am trying to write. I will hopefully post new chapters every week or two. If you want to read more, leave a comment or write a review! Feedback helps motivate me to keep writing! Let me know in the comments if you want to be notified of new additions! :) Thank you for reading to the end! 


See History

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  • Ava Marie

    This is a really cool start, keep going!!

    2 months ago
  • sciencesis

    Sounds very interesting! Great job!

    2 months ago
  • BriRiley

    Keep up with great work! Good luck with the new chapter!

    3 months ago