116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This is the fifth part of a story written by Sophia Squire, an eighth grade home-school student who lives in St. Ansgar.
Chapter 5 will be published in April.
Are you a young writer like Sophia? Submit your original story to firstname.lastname@example.org — we want to read and share your work.
With adrenaline pumping through my veins, I looked toward the ruined city. I experimented with my water powers, shooting a small stream at the ground just to see if I could. Feeling ready, I located my first fire and ran to the city, dousing the flames as I went.
The people I found on my way to the palace stared at me as I ran, and some even opened their mouths in small cheers. I couldn’t help but wonder at their pale skin and dark, black hair. Had they ever seen the sun?
I slid to a stop outside the palace and stared up at it. What was before me was something our world had never seen, with glimmering jewels and tall arches. With no time to ogle, I bolted up the stairs and sprinted inside.
Most of the insides were in ruins with tables overturned and candles smoldering on the slick floors.
“Can you show me to your ruler?” I asked a passerby in uniform. His eyes widened and he stepped back, shaking his head. “She’s been taken,” he responded. I blinked my eyes, hoping I read his lips wrong. Taken? I’d been called to defend against an act of war.
It all clicked suddenly. The voice I’d heard was their queen. She needed help to defend her city against invaders. She needed to be set free.
What was I thinking, running into this mess without thinking?
And what was I doing here now? I was only one kid against an entire army. I wouldn’t be able to change anything.
“Miss?” The man caught my attention again. “Are you here to save us?”
That question again. “I don’t know,” I whispered back.
“She’s been taken to the Bright Land,” he continued. “She’s about to be killed. She needs someone who’s seen the sun.” He looked desperate. “Perhaps you can help her?”
My heart rate quickened. “I — ”
The ceiling cracked above us, and we looked up to see brick and clay raining down.
“You must run!” he said harshly, pushing me out of the way before the whole building collapsed.
You decide: What happens next?
1. Liliana sets off to find the queen
2. Liliana is spotted by the perpetrators