Three sisters... One task... And an adventure beyond dreams.
These fourteen-year-old identical triplets must face this dangerous destiny.
Follow Sadie, Sara, and Sabrina as they travel on this perilous journey to a fate unknown to everyone.
Far off, in a land you’ve probably never heard of, I sat staring out over the cliffs. Though I may not live in the same world you live in, I am still very much human. At least, I had thought I was. As it turns out, I’m nothing in the least bit like you. You’re probably really confused. Not to worry, though; confusion is a part of life, human or not.
Let me tell you, first of all: who I am, and the story of my existence. And to clear up something, I’m not talking about the whole baby-making grotesque stuff. I’m talking about my many adventures.
Okay. So, as I promised, I am going to tell you just who exactly I am. My name is Sadie Calmer. I live in the Land of Mesmar. And a slight correction I have to make. The people of Mesmar and I aren’t exactly an entirely new world together. But we might as well be. We live in an isolated and unknown part of your world. I can’t state where, because even if I was allowed to tell, I’m not really sure where Mesmar truly is.
So, now, I will tell you the story of how I came to be the famous (well, kind of) person I am now.
It starts out in the third kingdom in the Land of Mesmar, the kingdom of Tristan. Tristan is where I grew up and was raised. Tristan is my home.
I was fourteen when I received the curious letter that set into motion my many adventures. The letter had no signature, and I hadn’t the slightest clue as to who could have sent it. The letter read:
If you’re reading this, then you must leave Tristan immediately. Pack a few necessities and some food and water. Then, come to the heart of the Dark Forest. There you will find your guide and your companion. You can trust this person entirely. Show this to no one and tell no one of where you are heading. Your guide will explain everything to you when the time is right. Go now.
As you may have guessed, I was utterly confused. At first, I thought this as some sort of joke. But, as I ignored the letter for an hour, I got this strange nagging feeling that I must go, that I must leave Tristan for the Dark Forest.
So I packed my things, and not long after, I found myself trudging through the dense brush of the Dark Forest. As the name suggests, it was very dark under the thick canopy of trees, though outside in the open, it couldn’t be any brighter with a clear blue sky.
An hour passed, then another hour. Soon, the day had almost gone, and there was still no sign of this Guide person. I was beginning to think that my first suspicions were correct about this being some comical event.
As I was thinking of turning back to Tristan, I reached a small clearing. This clearing was, I could only assume, ten feet wide and across. I stepped within the boundary of the clearing and looked around. In a tree to my left, there was a heart clearly carved into the trunk. I moved closer to get a better look. It struck me then, that this was what the letter referred to; this was the heart of the Dark Forest.
I got the strange sensation that somebody was watching me; correction: someone or something is watching me. I turned around slowly to see a bear, a bird, and a fox coming towards me. It was the oddest assortment of animals I had ever seen.
The animals were sitting at the edge of the clearing, not quite within the boundary but clearly visible; the fox was next to the bear, with the bird on its shoulder. They sat there, just watching me. A shiver went up my back.
“I see you’ve found the heart of the forest,” a voice said from behind me. It startled me, a lot, and I whipped around to see a girl of about twelve emerging from the thicket. I imagine I looked shocked, but that’s probably because I was.
“So sorry, Sadie; I didn’t mean to scare you,” she said, a small smile playing around the edge of her lips. She wasn’t terribly small compared to me, but I still towered over her. The girl had very deep brown eyes, and very long brown hair contained in a braid.
“H-How do you know my name? And who are you?” I stammered.
“‘How’, does not matter. The ‘who’ part, I can tell you. My name is Marie. And I assume you got the letter.”
“Are you the guide the letter spoke of?” I had asked tentatively.
“Me? No. Well, kind of. I’m just the guide to the guide,” she explained, though I was more confused than anything.
“Okay,” I said like more of a question. “What are they for?” I asked, nodding in the animals’ direction.
“They are here to help you on your journey; or at least the fox and falcon are. Alexander, the bear, is staying here so he can continue ruling over the forest. Farah, the fox, and Malice, the falcon, will be by your side throughout this quest,” She said with a kind smile.
“Okay then. So why am I here?” I asked, just wanting some real answers now.
“You are here,” she said, glancing around, “because something truly dreadful has happened. David has fallen ill, and the odds of him restoring to full health are very slim, and virtually impossible. David has requested the help of three Chosen Ones. You are one of these three. The other two have already met, and are waiting for us in Troy.”
“Wait a minute! David? As in David Mesmar, the creator of the Land of Mesmar? But, that isn’t possible! Mesmar came to be hundreds of years ago; David should be dead!”
“Yes, he should be. But he isn’t. And we must be going. We’ve no time to waste,” she said, hurrying me along. “Wait! I almost forgot!” She exclaimed. “You see this heart carved into the tree here? Well, only the Chosen Ones may access its contents. You need what’s inside this tree before we can go.”
“Okay, well, how do I do that?” I asked.
“You must make a sacrifice to the heart. That sacrifice is your blood,” she said, grimacing.
“What? You mean I need to place some of my blood in this heart? That shouldn’t be too hard, being I’ve already broke skin on my hand on the way here.”
I placed my palm in the center of the heart, and immediately the tree disappeared leaving in its place a fountain. Within the fountain, a clear liquid, and a necklace of a star pendant laid there waiting for me. I reached my hand towards the bottom of the fountain, and a cup appeared.
“You must drink,” Marie said, seeing the look of confusion on my face.
So, hesitantly, I took the cup and drank all of the clear liquid. It was tasteless, but a second after I drank it all, I felt something unforgettable, and unexplainable, though I will try to explain. This feeling was something very powerful, like I was invincible. My insides turned warm, and I felt as though I was loved for the first time in my life. It was a strange and wonderful sensation.
I grabbed the necklace, suddenly sure of what I was doing. Placing the necklace over my head, I grabbed Marie’s scrawny wrist and began walking through the Dark Forest once more.
“You guys are coming too,” I called back to the fox and falcon.
Instead of heading back towards Tristan, as my common sense was telling me to, I headed northeast, to Troy. Along the walk, I questioned Marie much, getting more questions instead of answers. Eventually, I learned that I wouldn’t get much out of her, so we walked the rest of the day in silence, until Malice circled lower and screeched loudly.
She flew down, and rested on Farah’s back. “Ginger and Alley are just a mile up ahead, heading this way.” My eyes were about to pop out of my head- not literately, of course.
“I’m sorry… Did I just here you talk?” I had asked, befuddled.
“Yes, Sadie, you did just here me talk. What did you think? That only humans could talk? I think not.” I could have passed out. In fact, I almost did.
“Who are Ginger and Alley?” I asked, still shocked that Malice could talk.
“Ginger and Alley are two wolves- sisters, actually- and they guide animals out of the forest. They sensed Farah, and now they are coming to escort her out,” Marie told me.
“Why would they need to escort Farah out?” I asked, confused, again.
“Because no animal, no matter how strong, tough, or clever, can get out of the Dark Forest without the help of Ginger and Alley; unless of course you’re a bird. I suppose they’ll be surprised by Marie’s and your presence,” Farah spoke for the first time.
“We best get a move on if we’re to make it at least half way to Troy,” Marie said.
It was now almost completely dark, only the moon giving an eerie glow to our surroundings and shedding a very small amount of light- just enough to see. We continued on through the Dark Forest in silence until we came to the center of a smaller clearing, this one bordered with rocks. I had almost continued walking straight past, had Marie not stopped me.
I looked around, wondering what we were doing, when two very large wolves entered the clearing too. Both had blue-ish green-ish eyes that sparkled in the dim lighting. They had thick gray and black fur, matted in few places.
The two wolves stopped just a few feet in front of me. “Why are they here? Humans don’t enter the Dark Forest. Everybody knows that,” The left one said.
“Ginger, these are no ordinary humans. This is Marie and one of the Chosen Ones. They must be on their way to Troy.” The one to the right said with a bow. I assumed that she was Alley.
Ginger stared in shock and wonder at Marie and me. Then, with a deep bow she said, “Forgive me for my mistake. All humans look alike to me, and I was foolish to think any ordinary human would wonder into the Dark Forest.”
“There is no need for your apology. Everyone makes mistakes. Get up, and please lead us out of this Forest,” Marie said with a kind voice.
“Yes, yes. Of course; please, follow us,” Ginger said.
Ginger and Alley turned to leave, and we followed. For a while, the journey out went along in silence, until I thought of a question I thought might actually be answered for once.
“Why is it that animals- or humans- can’t get out of the forest without your assistance?” I asked hesitantly.
“Do you know how large the Dark Forest is, Sadie?” Alley said.
“Um… No. I don’t,” I replied, curiosity coursing through me.
“It is very large. It runs from the Valley of Tristan to the edge of Mesmar. It is at least eight miles wide. It is very easy to get lost in here. In fact, I’m surprised you made it to the Heart so easily; there were many, many paths you could have taken and gotten lost. It’s just close to a miracle that you kept on the right path.
“We are needed to get out, because we are the only two that know every inch of this Forest. Many animals know lots of the forest, but they never leave their territory, so they mightn’t know the rest. And long ago, there was a magical charm put on this forest to protect the animals within from the two—I mean humans. Humans may enter, but they will not be able to leave unless they have not wondered from their entering point. Once they have entered and wandered, they can only exit from their exact point of entrance.” Ginger explained.
Just as I was about to ask another question, Alley spoke. “Ginger and I are not allowed to escort ordinary humans out. Though we were told there are few exceptions to let past. For example, we had visions of Marie coming long ago, and days later, she arrived. Just months ago, we had another vision; you and Marie, and two others were meant to pass through the Dark Forest. We are to escort you at anytime when you are in the forest.”
Together, they answered my questions in a matter of minutes. I was hoping it would take longer, so it wouldn’t be so quiet. I racked my head for more questions to keep the eerie silence away.
“You do not like the silence much,” Farah said from beside me. I wasn’t expecting her to say something yet, nor for her to be wandering beside me.
After I recovered a moment later, I replied, “No. Silence is kind of scary for me.”
“I see. But in silence, it’s easier to hear someone creeping up on you,” Farah told me.
After a few more moments of walking on, I looked at Marie. “Yes?” she said, sensing I had a question for her.
“Can you tell me who the other Chosen Ones are?”
“I can give you their names, for I know not of what they look like. Sara and Sabrina are their names.” Marie told me.
Sara and Sabrina. The names oddly familiar, as though they’ve been around me all my life; yet, if they truly are from Troy and Clark, then I’ve never, ever heard of them- a mountain and a forest separate the three cities! Suddenly determined to meet them, I set our pace a little faster, wishing I could grow wings and fly all the way there in a matter of moments.
In my train of thought, I hadn’t noticed Malice circling lower. “We near the end of the Forest,” Ginger, Alley, and Malice said at the same time.
“Good. That means as soon as we are out of the here, then we can stop and rest for real. But we must be to Troy by this time tomorrow. How far until we are out?” Marie asked.
“Not far; about a mile. It will take maybe an hour,” Malice answered.
“Can you fare for another hour, Sadie?” Alley asked concern in her mystic voice.
“As much as I don’t want to, I do need a bit of rest.” I said, reluctant to sit down and take a moment’s rest.
Ten minutes passed when I stood up, saying, “I’m fine now. Let’s go.” Marie, Farah, Ginger, and Alley stood, and seconds later, Ginger and Alley were leading us out of the Dark Forest once more.
Along the way, I tried questioning Marie once more. A half an hour later, her resolve was thinning; barely, but it was progress all the same. I pestered her a bit more, thinking: If I don’t get anything within ten minutes, I’ll give up.
“I don’t think I should say anything right now. The time isn’t right.” She said, close to a whine.
“Come on… you can’t at least tell me what David wants me—us—to do? That’s all I’m asking of you.” I said, looking into her eyes.
“Marie, I think you can tell her. We are only thirty miles away from Troy, and she does indeed need to know,” Farah said, speaking for the first time in a while.
“Thank you!” I exclaimed.
“Okay fine. I’ll tell you of what David told me; but I’m telling you now, he didn’t give me the whole story. He said that that was for him to tell you.
“All I know is that there is something within the Black Caves that you must collect for him, and it will not be easy.” Marie told me reluctantly.
“The Black Caves?! You mean way up north? Inside the Black Caves, the Black Caves?!” I said, freaking out.
“Relax! It’s not as if you’re going alone. When the time is right, David will tell you the rest.” Marie proclaimed.
“Wait—David is going to tell me? I’m going to meet David?” I said, trying not to freak out again.
“Yes, you are going to meet David, and speak with him, and breathe with him, and all that.”
Taking in what we’ve discussed, I walked in silence thinking about the coming adventure. I was paying more attention to my thoughts than my surroundings, so I didn’t notice it was time for the departure of the Dark Forest, until I ran into the back of Marie.
“Oh, sorry; I wasn’t paying attention,” I apologized.
“That’s obvious,” She said with a laugh.
“This is where we leave each other,” Ginger said, looking at me. “We hope to see you again in the distant future.”
“Be careful, and beware of whom you trust,” Alley warned.
“We will. Thank you for your services,” Marie thanked them.
Ginger and Alley nodded, and walked back into the forest, leaving us. As soon as they were gone, a cold shiver swept through me, and I didn’t realize how their presence had affected the small group of us. The darkness of the night had lightened since we’d left the Dark Forest, but I still couldn’t see more than a few feet ahead of me.
Marie licked her finger and held it up in the air, figuring which way the wind blew from. “Troy is that way,” she said pointing ahead and to the right a little bit.
“How do you know that?” I asked in awe.
“At night, the wind always blows from the northwest. I don’t know why, it just does. Come along then, we must be getting a move on.”
“Okay; to Troy.”
We started walking again, away from the Dark Forest. Only a dim light from the moon let us see where we were going tonight. Hours passed, and the only sign of life we had seen was when we passed the city of Damien, and even that was miles from where we had rested.
“Is there any more water?” Marie asked me.
“Um… about a quarter of the last jug is left.” I replied.
“May I have some?” she asked.
“You don’t have to ask permission,” I told her.
“It was your water to begin with, and you happen to be the one in charge of it, so yes, I kind of do have to ask,” she explained.
“Whatever,” I said handing the jug to her.
She took a large gulp, and then offered Farah some water too. The fox took a drink gratefully and nodded her thanks. Marie handed the water to me once more, and I finished it off.
“Well, have to get there quickly, because there isn’t any more water left.” I told them.
“It’s only two miles away. We should rest and get some sleep. You must be exhausted, because I know I am. There’s a tree over there, we can sleep by; it’ll provide some cover and protection.” Marie said, pointing to a lone tree a couple hundred feet off.
Since Marie pointed it out, my legs felt as though they would collapse underneath my weight. When I reached the tree, I fell to my knees immediately, laying my head and shoulders against its trunk. Marie and Farah sat next to me, grateful for the soft grass.
I remember glancing up at the stars and closing my eyes. The next thing after that was waking up as the sun was rising, Marie hovering over my face.
“Time to get a move on already, is it?” I said, the events of the previous day coming at me in a rush.
“Yes. Come on. Sara and Sabrina are now aware of our closeness. We must hurry.”
“‘Aware of our closeness’? How?” I asked, befuddled by the idea of psychic Chosen Ones.
“I sent Malice to let them know,” she explained.
“Oh; that makes more sense.” I held out my hand and Marie helped me up.
Marie and Farah laughed and said, “Why? What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking that the other two are somehow psychic.”
“No… there’s no such thing as psychic,” Marie said laughing.
Two hours and two miles later, we were arriving at the entrance to Troy. I was eager to meet the other two, but anxiety still snaked through me.
A loud screech came from the sky, and I looked up to see Malice coming in for a landing. “They are in the Eastern Sun Lodge” She said, once she was settled on Farah’s back.
“Thank you Malice. You may stay down here for a while; we do not need a look out just now.”
Marie grabbed my wrist and we walked through the gates; surprisingly, no guards stopped us. We turned a corner, and another, and another, until finally; we came to a large four-story building with a sign in the window saying Eastern Sun Lodge.
This is it, I thought. I get to meet Sara and Sabrina!