The Balance (working title)

This is my novel that I've been working on for over a year now. It may be a bit rough in places but I believe it's got potential. It's basically about this boy named Axel who stumbles onto this other world where an evil fiend has returned and he must form a band of adventurers to set out and defeat the fiend. There's a few twists in it as well and I hope you all enjoy reading it! Also, I would really appreciate it if you all gave me feedback :)

Chapter 1

The Figure And The Arch

 

 

Axel awoke with the shrilling sound from his alarm clock ringing in his ears. He quickly rose out of his peaceful slumber and gave his clock a thump, making the racket stop. He rubbed his eyes vigorously, just to make sure he was awake. He then got himself ready before sitting down at the dining table to eat his breakfast. His mum handed him a plate of eggs and bacon, made into a smiley face. Axel sighed and greedily ate it all. Once he had finished eating he then made his way out the door and onto the streets.

 

Axel was a tall teenager with short jet black hair and sparkling sapphire blue eyes.  He was by himself some of the time, but he did have friends called Chana and Niko. He was on his way to meet them by the park fountain. As he walked down the bustling streets he got the feeling that someone was following him, but every time he turned around he just found lots of people walking about in a hurry. He looked down to check his watch. The time was 9:15 am. He was meeting them at the fountain in three minutes, so he had to get a move on. He made his way down the many streets, past the clock tower, and eventually into the park.

 

 The fountain was a magnificent structure. It was a smaller version of the clock tower, with a circle of people gathered around it, with the water spouting out of the top of the tower. It was a popular place to visit, especially in the Summer. By the time Axel got there it was 9:17, so he had another minute to wait, so he sat down at the fountain’s edge and stared at the people walking by. Some people were by themselves, whilst others were with their children and friends. He moved his gaze into the water, it’s hypnotising movement caught him in a trance. The more he stared into it, the farther his mind slipped away from him.

 

“Hey there!”

Axel snapped out of his trance to find Chana and Niko’s reflections in the water.

“What were you doing?” asked Chana.

“I was just staring at the water,” he replied.

“Well, let’s go.”

As they walked down the tree crowded pathways, Axel continued to look behind him.

“What are you doing?” enquired Niko.

“I keep on getting the feeling that someone is following me,” Axel replied, “I’ve had this feeling since I left the house.”

“Well, trust me when I say there’s no one there,” Chana included, “Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

He averted his gaze from her before muttering, “I’m fine.”

“Okay...”

 

They ended up in a small opening surrounded by trees. This is where they normally came to get peace and quiet. They sat for a while, discussing their home lives, before heading back to the fountain. It was 11:59 am by the time they got back. Chana was going out with her parents, so she had to go home. Niko also had to go home because he was babysitting his little brother. Axel was left alone by the edge of the fountain once again. He stared into the water once more, watching its graceful movements. At that moment he heard the clock tower strike twelve. He counted the bells in his head:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and eleven.

 

He paused for a second and thought it out in his head. Did he just count eleven bells? He looked up at the clock tower. It stated it was twelve o’ clock, yet there was only eleven bells. He then checked his own watch. It also said it was 12:00 pm. The clock tower never missed a bell, so something was wrong. A strange feeling then passed through Axel's body that he had never felt before. He then looked all around him to find that everyone and everything had stopped moving. Time had stopped, and Axel was the only one unaffected by it. He started to panic and attempted to snap people out of it, like it was a trance that they were under. It was no use, they wouldn’t even budge. He then went back to the fountain and tried to make the water move.       Again the water would not move. At that moment, Axel spotted the reflection of something moving. He turned around to find a cloaked figure walking away from him.

“Hey!” Axel shouted to the person.

The person slowly turned around to face Axel. Unfortunately, Axel was not able to see their face. They just turned around again and kept on walking.

 

Suddenly, Axel heard the clock tower’s last bell and everything started moving again. He looked around for the person in the cloak, but they had disappeared. He was shocked at what had just happened, but he shook it off by taking another walk through the park before going home. He didn’t bother telling his mum about what had happened, instead he just went up to his room and went on his computer.

 

He searched the internet for myths about time stopping, but all he could find was a weird science website that explained how it wasn’t “time stopping”, rather just a temporary lapse of motion. Axel knew this wasn’t the case. He had experienced it only a few hours ago, and it was nothing like he had ever felt before. Failing to find any more information, he just decided to go about his normal ways, as if nothing had happened.

 

The time was 11:00 pm the next time Axel checked his watch. He was trying to get to sleep, but his mind wouldn’t let him. Instead he just thought about the cloaked person and why it was only him that was able to move when time had stopped. He couldn’t figure out the answers to these problems, so he just shut his eyes tightly and forced himself to sleep. At 11:45 pm Axel was awakened by the beeping of his computer. He sat down in his chair and checked his e-mail. There was a new e-mail waiting for him, but he didn’t know who had sent it. He opened it up and read it carefully:

Dear Axel,

I need your help. You must meet my associate in front of the fountain at exactly midnight.

I hope to see you soon.”

Although he didn’t know who had sent it, he decided to help them so he quickly got dressed and climbed down from his bedroom window onto his lawn, and out into the moonlight.

 

He wound up in front of the fountain at 11:59 pm, with one minute to spare. He closed his eyes and listened to the trickling of the water droplets falling from the fountain. The clock tower then rang again, and for a second time he only counted eleven bells. Time stood still once more, and approaching from the shadows of the distant trees came the cloaked figure. Again, Axel wasn’t able to see the figure’s face, but they were getting closer and closer until they were face to face.

“Are you the one they call Axel?” the cloaked figure asked in a deep voice.

It was now obvious that the person was a man.

“Yes,” he replied warily, “Who are you?”

“That is not important at this point in time.”

Axel began to laugh.

“And what point in time would that be?” he enquired, “Because it looks to me like time has stopped.”

“Do not try to agitate me,” the man said, sounding more irritated.

Axel took this as a warning and stopped before he got into serious trouble.

“You must now come with me,” the man continued.

“Where are we going?” Axel asked.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” the man answered, and held out his arm, “We shall go the way I came.”

 

Axel began to get anxious as to where they were going and if he could trust this man. They walked silently, side-by-side, through the groves of frozen trees. It was as if the trees were never able to extend their branches into the breeze. But now there was no breeze at all either. There was just him and the man, who did not speak for some time. They walked deeper and deeper into the groves until they eventually came to a large opening that Axel had never seen before.

“I’ve never been here before,” he said.

“That is because it only appears during this frozen hour,” the man replied, “We must go through there.”

The man was pointing to a big arch in the centre of the opening. It was made out of marble and on top of it sat a carving of a griffin. To Axel, it appeared that when he looked through the arch all he could see was the opening on the other side.

“There’s nothing there,” he said to the man.

The man then held out both his hands, which started to glow white. He then thrust his hands out, creating two balls of light that flew straight through the arch. It looked like nothing had happened.

“Please step through the arch,” the man ordered.

Axel, laughing inside his head, did what the man said and walked straight through the arch, but he didn’t appear at the other side. The man laughed and then followed Axel through the arch, leaving Axel’s world behind.

 

“Just hold on a little longer Adele, I’ll find you.”

“That’s the thing, you can’t.”

“Why can’t I?”

“Because…”

The End

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