|Story Focused Life|
Master of the Crowns: Part 1
Walking the path to the library had become too familiar. The beauty of the flowers had faded in my eyes. The students walking to and fro had just become another piece of the background. The walk would be considered mundane, except for her.
I could go on for days about her perfections. Her brunette hair, her deep brown eyes, or even the way she seemed to captivate the atmosphere around her, requiring nature to bow to her beauty. All of this, and she's also a grad student studying theoretical physics.
My heart skips a beat.
She looks over to me and begins to wave. Oh no, what do I do? Okay, calm down Joel, you can do this. I raise my hand trying to wave back, but all it does is shake. I quickly put my hand down. Maybe she didn’t notice, maybe she wasn’t even waving at me. I’m probably over thinking this.
I manage to look back to her, and there she is looking right at me... laughing.
Great, now I’ve made a fool of myself. She probably thinks I’m an idiot. I close my eyes and shake my head.
“Joel, is everything alright?”
Can this be, is Tara really talking to me? I can't look. Maybe if I keep my eyes closed she'll continue talking to me.
I feel a soft hand on my shoulder. The girl of my dreams is actually talking to me. Okay Joel, you can do this. Just open your eyes and say you’re doing alright.
I turn my head toward the melodious voice and open my eyes.
“Oh, Emily.” I say with a high pitch in my voice, “Hi.”
“Are you surprised to see me?” She asks softly.
“Yes. I mean no. Sorry, I’m just really tired.” And by tired, I mean broken. Defeated. Laughed at.
“I saw you standing here, you seemed a little off. Are you sure everything’s okay?”
“Yes, thank you.” Emily is always there to look out for me. “I was daydreaming, that’s all.”
“Well daydreamer, I have your books ready at your desk.”
I walk with Emily to the Library. She’s the assistant librarian at the University, and half the reason I’m not failing my classes. With how much research and study I have to do, I often get wrapped up in my work and forget everything else. Emily keeps me grounded and organized. She keeps me in touch with reality.
“Thanks.” A half-hearted gesture of a word leaves my mouth.
“You’re welcome.” She smiles, “Do you want me to remind you to eat dinner again?”
“Of course. What would I do without you.”
“Well, you’d definitely starve.” She steps toward me briefly. Then, with a little hesitation, smiles and walks toward the front desk.
I stare at the books in front of me. Where should I start today? Every day is the same thing, fifteen minutes deciding what to work on, then seven or eight hours of intense research and study.
I finally decide to focus my energies on my Computer-Aided Design class. I pull aside the couple books that will help me, pull out my laptop, and begin working on my design for the UOE, Institute of Technology’s new engineering wing. At least this was a fun class.
The hours slowly slip by as I work. Trying to design what I considered the perfect building. As I worked, it was as if the keyboard was an extension of my arms. Everything seemed to be fitting perfectly, working together. The only pause was when I had to look up information on of the books.
I pick up the book to my left and begin thumbing through it, when I notice an entire chapter missing. In it's place were a stack of papers with scattered notes all about.
Transporting Your Life, an interesting title. With increasing interest I begin fervently reading. Deciphering the notes, following the path of the writings, attempting to make order out of this chaos. Time flies by as I work through the pages of notes. Transporting your life, this was more than just a title. The notes said that with the right formulas and equations, a little bit of ingredients, and a specific incantation you could transport yourself into any fictional book...
Amazing, the calculations seems to be solidly thought out equations. This set of notes actually makes it seem possible, but it can’t be. A fictional world only exists in the mind of the reader, you can’t literally put yourself in the world. It's just a childish fancy. A hope, a dream. Intriguing... but that's as much as it is. Just intriguing.
I feel something touch my shoulder and I jump back in my chair.
“I didn’t mean to startle you.” Emily said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. I was just really focused on my work.” I look up at her smiling face. It must be time for dinner. “I don’t know what I’d do without you Emily.”
Her face lights up as she sits across the desk from me. “Um, you don’t have to go get dinner today.”
“I don’t?” As soon as I ask, I see her place a plate wrapped in tin foil.
“You didn’t have to bring me dinner, I can go--”
“No!” She said with emphasis, “I mean, no. Please, I wanted to make you this meal.”
I couldn’t argue with her. It beats the sandwiches that I buy from the vending machine every day. I take the tin foil off of the plate and see the steam pour out from the spaghetti.
“It looks and smells delicious. Thanks.”
She sits calmly across the desk with no food for herself.
“Are you not going to eat?”
At my words, Emily gets up and rushes away. She even seems a little red. Well, I’m sure she had to hurry off to work.
Putting another forkful in my mouth, I realize just how important it is to have a real meal. For so long I’ve been eating meals that were either fast food or from a vending machine. Probably not very healthy, but who has the time to cook. Especially when there’s so much homework due.
After finishing off the spaghetti, I bring my attention back to the notes. I can’t believe this guy thinks he has a formula for putting yourself into fictional story worlds. I pull out the last page of the notes. This is the only page that is not scattered about and written in an haphazard way. Here, a neatly structured list is written out. At the top it reads, How to not get lost in you’re own world. When I initially read this page, I disregarded it as an unintelligible list of ramblings. But here, reading it again, it seems to be a do or do not list.
I look up and see that’s it’s one in the morning, the evening just slipped away from me. I rub my eyes and stare down at the notes. Well, I might not have finished any assignments, but at least I got to be humored by the notes of a lunatic. After packing my laptop and gathering up the books I heard footsteps coming toward me.
“Emily, why are you still here? It’s so late.”
“I asked Margaret if I could close up tonight.”
As I start to put the books away Emily stops me. “I got it, you go ahead and get some rest. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Okay thanks.” I grab my bags and walk out of the library. I walk out into the cool breeze of the night, waking up a little at the sudden chill. I slip on my grey jacket to combat the breeze.
The walk back to my dorm room is much different at night. No students walking around. No noise from cars in the distance. This, this was the time to walk around campus. The time to enjoy this amazing Ohio weather.
I decide to take a detour to my dorm. After all, I never stop to smell the roses, and with no distractions this is the time to do so. As I walk around the campus, I can't seem to take my mind of the crazy ramblings of those notes. After an hour of quiet contemplation, I walk up the steps to my room.
Maybe I shouldn’t take time to focus on the complexities of the universe, or maybe it’s just too late. But the more I think about it, the more feasible this man's formula seems to be.
No, no I shouldn’t think about that. I’m a scientist, this idea is merely fiction. I need to just get sleep, and forget this preposterous notion.
I fumble with the keys in my hand and drop them to the floor. Picking them up I see a stack of papers with a sticky note on top of them.
you left these notes on the table. I just wanted to make sure you had them for whatever assignment you were working on.
I smile as I pick them up. Transporting your life, a foolish idea. I just need to rest.
The day was going by slower than I had hoped. But that's how it works, time always slows when you're waiting for something exciting or ominous. It's here, time to get to work. I grabbed my lab coat and headed off to the science building
The idea was to create a miniature sustainable black hole, held together in a stone. My tired mind had deceived me the night before, and it currently didn't seem plausible. But that didn't matter, my interest was peaked, and I had to try it. I had to hope. I took the pocket watch out of my coat pocket, pure silver. I take in a deep sigh as I place the silver on a burner and begin melting it down.
Okay, so this is where it gets complicated... I need different burners for different materials. I started with the tungsten, it melts at almost 6200 degrees, then the cobalt which melts at a cooler 2700 degrees. Once those are melted I'll need to pour them together on top of bromine.
I take a step back, sweat begins to form on my brow, a couple drops slipping past my goggles.
I move on to the magnesium and titanium. I need these to boil and then mix together. Over the course of the next four hours I find myself being careful with measurements and temperatures, preparing one final concoction. It's the start of the weekend, the ingredients for this experiment are in front of me, and Transporting Your Life is here to guide me.
Breathing in a deep breath, I surprise myself at my own excitement. I begin mixing the ingredients. I hear the searing of some metals as they hit a cooler temperature, and others begin almost instantly turning to gas as they triple their double their heat. The room begins filling with smoke.
I rush to turn all of the ovens and burners off. The smoke becomes darker as it continues to cover the room from wall to wall. My clothes begin to burn and heat up in the room. I run towards the door but fall short.
I can't breath.
My eyes begin to role back.
Then it dissipates. The entire cloud vanishes as quickly as it had appeared. The pot that remained on the table starts producing a light smoke.
The bubbling stops.
The smoking stops.
The mixture sits there.
I lay on the floor for almost an hour before trying to get back up. I look into the pot and can't see past the dark mist hovering around it.
I review the list of ingredients and the instructions on how to mix them. I did everything seems right, nothing was missed. According to the notes, as soon as everything is mixed together, the liquid forms into a stone.
What was I thinking? Of course this wasn’t going to work. I can’t believe I got myself all worked up over this. It’s a formula for teleporting yourself into books. It's obviously a practical joke and I'm the sap who fell for it. I'm the fool who almost killed myself for it.
I turn to walk out of the room as the pot starts crackling and making a hissing sound. begins producing a dark purple cloud. As the cloud rises it changes colors, first to red, then yellow, then the cloud turns green as it spins like a funnel resting into the pot as the cloud.
I grab a pair of tongs and reach into the light green mist to see if anything is there. Fumbling around the bottom of the homemade cauldron, the tongs hit a heavy object. I carefully pull it out as a small stone is revealed, the size and shape of a half dollar coin with an image that looks like a door inside of a tree.
My mind begins racing. Could this foolish formula actually work. I toss the stone in my hands a little with a grin on my face. I quickly grab the notes that were on the table and look down to the incantation. The incantation to transport myself is simple, though of a language never heard of before. Borliante sunestian materine.
I had brought several books to run tests on, all classics. I begin searching for the perfect candidate. Romance? No. Historical Fiction? Not at all. Sci-Fi? Maybe? Ah, here it is, The Master of the Crowns, a beloved Fantasy.
The notes say to open the book to the specific section that you want to transport yourself to. The aftermath of one of the battles seems a good choice.
“Borliante. Sunestian. Materine.” I say with a pause between each word, but nothings happens.
I hold the stone in my hands tighter. I can feel the energy of the stone, almost like a pulse beating to a soft rhythm.
I take a deep breath, close my eyes and speak the words more fluidly, “Borliante sunestian materine.”
With my eyes closed, I don’t notice any change. Then I shiver as chill runs through me.
I open my eyes to the sight of a forest in front of me. Bright leaves and branches surrounding me. As I turn in circles I hear the leaves crunch beneath each step. As I breathe the smell of the forest envelops me.
“Ha, it worked!” I yell out, “It actually worked. I’m in a book!”
I can't believe I’m in another world.
"Ow!" I feel a small pain as I pinch my neck.
My eyes widen. It’s not an imagination, not a hoax, not a trick of the mind. It’s another world. I walk around picking up the leaves, smelling the flowers, sifting the dirt between my fingers. This is real. It’s all real.
Wait, if this is real, than I’m actually in The Master of the Crowns. I look around at the trees, but where in it?
Before I read the incantaion, the page the book was opened up to was after the Battle of Yuntor. That must mean this forest is the Forest of Fears, and Jaspair should be coming through it soon.
I'm so excited to meet him, the star of the book. Jaspair, the man who defeats the Ghouls of Sharon with just a small group of soldiers and his trusty sword.
I begin walking around, not knowing where I was going. I wonder if I can teleport myself to a different part of the story world. I begin searching through the notes and formulas trying to find a helpful clue. The Do’s and Don’ts page has no mention of inner book teleporting. Ah, but it does say, "Make sure to dress the part of the story that you are going into." I'm sure it won't be that big of a deal. I straighten out my white lab coat and brush the dirt off of it.
I hear a loud noise. Several men on horses are riding in my direction. The group riding toward me are flying the flag of Jaspair. I'm sure he's with them, it will be an honor to meet him.
“There, it’s that man there.” One of the riders shouts as he points toward me.
What? They’re coming for me? I turn around and start running. This isn’t supposed to happen. They’re not supposed to be looking for anyone.
My heart beats faster than it ever has. Dodging tree roots, bushes, and hanging branches, my vision begins to narrow and blur. Tears form in my eyes as I hear the horse get closer and closer to me. I look back and immediately trip, spinning and falling face first into the ground.
The hooves of the horses beat the ground near my head as the men circle around me. A man steps on my back shoving my face further into the ground.
“Who are you, wizard?”
My mind races as I struggle to process what’s happening. The rocks beneath my face scratch against my cheek as the man continues to press down on me. He buries his heel further into my back.
“Who are you?”
“I... I’m nobody.”
Well at least that was the truth.
“What is your name wizard?”
As best as I can I look up to the man who is speaking. He has a helmet in his hand with the Lion eating a snake, the same image on the flag.
“I am not a wizard, Jaspair, I am Joel.”
He hits me across the face with the back of his hand. “How do you know my name? I know not of you. You must be a wizard.”
He pauses and looks around to his men, “You are a wizard!”
The men begin to yell and chant. Then one of them pulls me up by my lab coat, ripping the sleeves. He grabs a rope from his saddle and ties my hands together. “Now you can’t perform any of your evil magic on us.” He whispers into my ear.
The man who tied me up pulls me onto his horse. Then I see it, in the corner of my eye, one of the riders looking through the notes. I must have dropped them earlier when I tripped.
As we begin riding along, I slowly slip in unconsciousness.
Part 5… Coming soon
I want to share my journey of storytelling with you. And as time permits, I want to also share short stories or part of longer stories.