My InterFiction Badge begins to glow and I grin like an idiot. It’s been far too long since I was sent into the FictionVerse, and I’ve missed it. I wonder where I’ll go this time!
When the world reappears around me, I find myself standing in an enormous library. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves surround me. But this is not a cozy library. The air has an insidious chill to it, and the lighting leaves a lot to be desired. Across the room, towards the back of the library, I spot a young girl, about fifteen years old, sitting in a high-backed chair, pouring over a book. As there is nobody else around, I figure this must be Chelsea, the character I have been sent to interview, and I make my way over to her. As I get closer, I start to see more features. She is tall, even sitting down, I can tell that. Freckles are scattered across her nose and cheeks, and her hair is half-up, with tendrils of her honey-brown hair cascading down over her shoulders towards the book she’s reading. Interestingly enough, she is dressed in a very fancy, silk gown that is peach-colored and covered in pearls… but from under her skirts, she swings one leg a bit and I can see that her feet are clad in combat boots.
I clear my throat as I sit down in the chair next to her. “Excuse me, I am here for the interview. Can you start out by telling me a little bit about yourself?”
Chelsea looks up from the book she is reading, the words Monsters of Mayhem embossed across the worn leather spine, and narrows her eyes. “What do you want to know? Did Lord Hale send you here to further question me?” She shrugs and mumbles, almost inaudibly under her breath, “He didn’t strike me as the type who would bother with girls. Did he already question Easton?” She blinks and lowers her book. “Anyway, what would you want to know? I mean, there’s nothing that special about me. I’m just a regular girl, it’s really my circumstances that are abnormal. You see, I’m originally from earth, I grew up there, went to school, I spent my childhood playing with my twin brother Clint and my friends Easton and Bobby- in a word, I was normal (I really cannot stress that word enough). Until suddenly…” she splays her hands. “I wasn’t. These portals started showing up and dragging me to Amar. I found out that this was happening to Easton, Clint, and Bobby too which was weird.” She blew out a breath. “But before we could figure out what was going on, this madman decided to put an enchantment on me and my friends so that we have to remain in Amar until we finish the quest our father’s set out on twenty-one years ago. Which is extremely rude, if you ask me- but he never did. He didn’t even bother telling us what this quest is, so we’re basically blindly stumbling along trying to figure out something about it.” She shrugs. “I mean that’s it. Is there anything else you want to know about me? I mean… I like to read.” She gestures down at her book. “If that means anything to you. But like I said, I’m really quite normal.” She pauses and releases a heavy sigh. “I just wish I was more normal. I mean, if I was just a little more normal, maybe I wouldn’t be here, trapped in Amar. I certainly wouldn’t have to worry about a creature hunting me because of my magical bloodline.” With a gasp, Chelsea pales. “I mean… I shouldn’t have said that. Uncle Gerald said not to tell anyone.” She buries her face in her hands. “I haven’t even told Bobby or Easton.” She looks up from her hands, still pale. “You’ve got to promise that you’ll never breathe a word of this to another living soul. If word gets out about my mage powers… well, it would be bad. And not just because Easton and Bobby would be ticked.”
I stare at her solemnly. I can’t promise not to tell anyone, I’m a reporter, after all. But I don’t want to get her in any trouble. “My readers aren’t from your world, I think it’s okay,” I try to reassure her. “I’d love to know more about your mage powers. How does that work?”
Chelsea frowns. “I’m not from Amar, I really don’t belong here. I shouldn’t be here at all. Earth is my world. Though I suppose that nobody from earth would really care, either, since they probably don’t know what a mage is. Just….” she holds up her hands as if pleading. “Please, word of this can never get back to Easton or Bobby. Bobby would probably skin me alive and Easton would let her.” Sighing, she runs a finger across the spine of her book. “I don’t know much about mages. Uncle Gerald said that mages are humans born with the ability to bend the rules of reality via magic. This can include controlling the main elements like fire, earth, air, and water. Some elements are more difficult for some mages to control, but I find them all equally difficult.” She shrugs. “Mages also can preform little enchantments such as being able to heal a wound or turn themselves invisible, and they can also use their magic to help influence less strong minds to their way of thinking. Mages are supposedly able to create portals between the realms, too, but that is the most difficult task and many cannot preform it.” She leans closer, dropping her voice. “Though it is possible because otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The mage who brought us here claims to be Marius the First, who according to Uncle Gerald was the most powerful mage to ever live.” She tilts her head. “Of course, he also lived seven hundred years ago so obviously there are many things I still don’t know about mages.”
Hm, that’s interesting. My pen travels across the pages of my notebook at lightning speed as she talks. I glance up when she stops. “You said portals showed up and dragged you here. Have you gone back and forth from Amar to Earth multiple times, or just once and now you’re trying to find a way home?”
“It started on Tuesday,” Chelsea replies with a dramatic sigh. “Before then it had never happened. After then it happened steadily, the portal appearing to drag me to Amar once a day until Friday when it happened twice. Then Saturday… well Saturday was the day the portal never brought me back.”
I nod. I can’t ask her about things that haven’t happened yet in her storyline, though I am extremely curious about some of the things I read in her blurb. However, it is obvious we are at a point near the start of the story. I think for a moment.”Can you tell me a little bit more about your friends? How did they end up in Amar? Was it just because they were with you, or do you think they have some sort of bloodline pulling them towards this place, as well?”
“Well, their names are Bobby Princeton and Easton Moncrief. We grew up together,” Chelsea says, blowing out a breath as a wistful smile pulls at her lips. “Our dads were best friends so we spent a lot of time together. To be honest, before this had all happened we’d sort of grown apart.” Chelsea taps a rhythm on her thigh. “When I first started coming to Amar, it was just me. Then on Friday Easton and I were dragged into Amar together. I’ll admit, at first I was thinking that it was because of me that he had been pulled in. Things that I touch are pulled into Amar with me, though I hadn’t been touching Easton at the time so I didn’t know how he could have come with me.” She shrugs. “But apparently Easton had been going to Amar, too. A little while after we got home I’d found out that Clint had been going there, as well. We didn’t find out about Bobby until just before a portal arrived and pulled us all into Amar together. That was when Marius put the enchantment on us, stranding us in Amar.” She shakes her head, looking bitter at the memory. “We don’t exactly know why it’s the four of us, but we think it has to do with our dads. Marius said that the only way we could break the enchantment and leave was if we accomplished the quest that our fathers had set out on twenty-one years ago. We think that our dads were originally from Amar, but we’ve only know for certain about Clint’s and my dad, Henry Welling, having been from there. According to Uncle Gerald, he went on a quest with Charles Eleazar who we believe might be Easton’s dad even though that’s not Mr. Moncrief’s real name, but…” she trails off. “We have no idea what Bobby’s connection to this world is.”
“Well, at least this has brought you and your friends closer together,” I say, trying to cheer her up, as I can tell she’s feeling a little down. “I know, why don’t you tell me a little bit about Amar? I heard that it has werewolves and fairies, which sounds exciting but also dangerous…”
Chelsea sighs deeply and fiddles with one of the pearls on her dress. “Well, I won’t lie. Amar is very beautiful. There’s something about it…” She trails off, staring at a bookshelf dreamily. “The colors are more vibrant here, the air is fresher, the sun is warmer.” She shakes her head, finally snapping out of her trance. “But I really. I just want to get home. This place is a medieval world. They don’t have running water, they don’t have electricity. Instead they have creatures that only ever existed in legends on earth. And who knows what sort of plagues they have here! Amar is dangerous and I would very much like to get out of here before I lose my limbs, or even worse, my life. You mentioned the werewolf.” She runs a hand through her hair, entangling her fingers in her bun. She shakes her head when she finally manages to disentangle her fingers. “Well, he wants to eat me. I don’t know how exciting you think that is, but I really only thought it was terrifying. And these faeries here.” She trails off with a helpless shrug. “I mean, I thought faeries were supposed to be nice, the “good guys” so to speak. So imagine my surprise when they tried to kidnap me… or whatever they were trying to do.” She bites her lip and runs her hand across her lap, smoothing the folds of her gown. “I didn’t exactly ask, they didn’t exactly answer. So dangerous yes. Exciting? If you find defying death exciting then… sure.” She nods reluctantly. “It’s very exciting.”
“Thank you. I definitely hope you can figure out the werewolf thing… What is something that you feel is important that you would like people to know?”
Chelsea leans forward. “That there is nothing going on between Easton and me.” She shakes her head and flings her hands up. “I don’t care what Clint thinks is going on between us. We’re just friends. That’s all we’ve ever been. That’s all we ever will be.”
“Really?” I grin at her, and she scowls back. “Okay, okay, I believe you!” I throw my hands in the air with a laugh, and she kind of rolls her eyes at me. “Is there anything you would like to change about your present circumstances?”
“I’d like to go home,” Chelsea replies quickly. She pauses and bites her lip. “I suppose if that can’t be arranged then I would like to make it so a werewolf isn’t trying to eat me. Or that Clint and Bobby aren’t… well, I wish they were here with me.”
I want to ask more about Clint and Bobby, but I decide not to press the issue. I can tell I’m almost out of time. “Okay, last question: How do you feel about your author?”
Chelsea tilts her head and frowns. “My author? You mean that big bully who is forcing me and my friends to go through this? Well I’ll tell you what I think of my author, I think they are a horrible, brutal monster, a sadist really.” She jumps to her feet, wringing her hands. “I wish they’d never had a chance to interfere with my life and I shudder to think of what they have planned next. Do you realize what has happened to Easton, Clint, and Bobby under their charge?” Chelsea places her hand over her heart, her hazel eyes flashing. “I have a werewolf trying to eat me! And all this pain for what? This author’s amusement? We’re nothing but pawns in their game!” She sighs deeply and shakes her head before finally seeming to remember herself. She glances up. “I mean, you are talking about the mage who sent me here, right? Isn’t that what you meant by author?”
I give her a sympathetic smile. “Your author does sound a bit like she didn’t take your feelings into consideration, much,” I agree. “But… I’ll bet it makes for a better story that way… thank you so much for chatting with me. My readers will enjoy learning about you, I’m sure.”
She stares at me as my badge begins to glow and I fade away. I wish I could help her get out of there, but that’s not my job. I’ll have to leave that to her and her author.
About the Author
Nicki has been writing since she was eleven years old. She published her first book A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses at the age of fifteen, one year after she finished writing it. She enjoys reading, writing, swimming when she can, and fan-girling (in other words: obsessing over other peoples’ stories almost as much as her own). She also enjoys watching TV, her favorite movies and TV shows include: Doctor Who, Avengers, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Nicki currently resides in Ohio with her family of eight and two dogs, Rylie and Zoey. She is now working on the next books in the My Time in Amar series- when she’s not distracted by other stories (both hers and others’)
If you enjoyed this interview and would like to learn more about Nicki’s books, you can find her at the following locations: