Meera sat up from the bed, she had been bored since morning and she didn’t know why. Maybe it was time for another lovely adventure. Recently, her interest in books had increased. It was Jokes, her nerd boyfriend that introduced her, now she was getting quite addicted.
She stood up from the bed and went through the rusty book shelf. It was grandma’s gift. She smiled inwardly, remembering how she had protested when grandma wanted to give her the book shelf and all the books in it. She didn’t need them then, had never needed them until five months ago after grandma died. Thanks to Jokes who helped her through it.
It was just the right time to know grandma’s secrets, to explore her world. The novels she had read so far had been quite interesting, they took her on a tour through the pages; from magical world to the dark and gory. She smiled again as she picked a book from the shelf. The smell of books filled her nose with nostalgia.
She plopped herself on the bed, ready to read the book she had unconsciously picked. It was The Magic of Avalon, how intriguing, she wondered. The book had a funny cover and was rather too voluminous.
That was grandma’s favourite story and ever since grandma died, she had never read the book.
Well, what better time to read it, she thought with excitement as she opened the first page. Meera had only read half of the page when she suddenly felt herself being pulled into the book by a great force. She tried to resist, to stop but she couldn’t.
Suddenly, she was in a different world. She saw herself in a wood, hidden by a lush of trees. It was an unfamiliar world and for sometime, she felt lost, confused and afraid.
“Where am I?” she asked the thin air. Everything was different here.
Suddenly, she heard a shuffle of feet behind her just before the scream came.
“Run, run for your life, Goldie!”
She stood still, waiting for the owner of the voice to come into view. Soon enough, she did.
Meera was surprised to find a teenage girl probably fourteen, the same age as her. Her eyes were blue, her skin so golden and her long tresses purely white. Who is she? she wondered just before the girl’s soft hand pulled her into a race she wasn’t prepared for.
“I told you to run, dumbass, you are always so stupid even when there’s danger,” the girl said.
Meera couldn’t say anything, awestruck and befuddled, she was just too perplexed to speak. They kept running through the lush trees. Soon they were in an open field, hidden away by exquisite flowers Meera never knew existed except in books.
“We should be safe here,” the girl said sitting in on a stomp.
“Safe?” Meera found her voice.
“Yeah, safe, we have to lie low until Redcoat and his urchins are gone. We either wait for Drake to find us or we find our way towards the tree house, Drake can rescue us later. I wouldn’t want you to get home late. You mother must be mad at me now. I really pleaded with her to let you follow me out today,” she finished regrettably.
Meera stared at her speechlessly. “I don’t think you understand what’s going on here, whatever is your name. I just want to get home, okay?”
“What do you mean? You don’t know my name? I am Alice, your best friend. You, I and Drake are kinda a clique fighting Redcoat and his evil magics. I don’t want to believe that he did something to you back there. I would be dead if I don’t deliver you back to your mum in one piece. Just tell me you’re still on there, Goldie?”
“Goldie! Who is Goldie? My name is Meera and all I remember is reading Grandma Mimi’s favourite book on the bed and in my room in Nigeria. Then whoosh, I am here, lost. What’s going on? Please if this is a kinda dream, I just want to wake up. I want to go home.” Meera was apprehensive now almost near to tears. She couldn’t understand the situation nor could the girl Alice.
“I really don’t understand what you are talking about, Goldie, I think that Redcoat has got his magic on you. Don’t worry, the White Witch will help us, she’s on our side, okay? You will be fine soon.”
“I don’t think you understand the situation, Alice, I just told you that I was just reading about you and here you are talking about being hypnotised with magic. I think I just have to go. I will find my way out of here.” Saying that, Meera stepped into the open just as a mighty black hawk swooped by. Just in time, a hand pulled her face down, kissing the soil. The hawk quickly swept away.
“What was that?” Meera asked. She was quite shaken now.
“That was Redcoat’s evil hawk. You’re just lucky, he didn’t see you. I have been trying to warn you but you seem lost.” Sitting back on the stomp, Alice stared awkwardly at Meera who stared back at her with harboured breaths.
“What is this place? Where am I and how did I get here?” Meera asked the thin air. She was crying now.
“This Nevikland, I think we need to see the White Witch, she’s in a better position to explain this mystery. Whoever you are, I need you home so I can have my friend back.”
Getting down from where she sat, Alice came forward, took Meera’s hand in hers and recited some magic words. Soon the ground began to quake, Meera saw a portal open underneath them. She felt the blood in her mouth as they flew down below into a different world, the portal was unending, soon she began to scream as she closed her eyes.
“Are you alright, Meera?” She heard a familiar voice ask. It was her mum’s voice. Thank God, there’s someone here who could help me, she mused excitedly.
She opened her eyes to see herself in her room, the book dropped on the bed, a little bit away from her and her mum standing by the door with an inquisitive brow.
“Are you alright, baby?” her mother asked again.
“Sure,” she nodded, gathering herself together.
“Oh I see, you are reading Grandma’s favourite book,” she said, picking the book from where it fell. “You grandma loved this book a lot when she was alive. She said it made her feel young again as it took her to several beautiful adventures. She thought you would love to experience that too that was why she gave it to you.” Her mum kept the book beside her on the bed and Meera hesitated in touching it. “I really don’t know what your Grandma saw in that book but I do hope you enjoy it as she did. I just came to tell you that dinner will be ready in thirty minutes. If you don’t mind, you could help me in the kitchen.”
“Of course mum, I will be down, in a jiffy.”
“Alright, see you downstairs but you really should read that book.”
“Yeah right, mum. Noted.”
After her mum was gone, she picked the book up again, shaking her head, she took it back to the shelf promising herself never to touch it again, then she went downstairs shutting the door behind her.
Inside her room, a wrinkled face appeared, carefully pulled out the book from the shelf and kept it on the bed and with a smile, vanished.