When Your World Turns Upside-Down...
I sat on the edge of my cot for nearly an hour as my head swam with all the information I had just received. After sulking for a while. I got up and explored the room. There was a window covered by a gauzy curtain. At a desk in a corner of the room was my bag. After checking, I confirmed that everything was still there except my stash of makeshift weaponry. I was still wearing the clothes I had worn out on this escapade, and to my surprise, I still had my phone and the knife in my boot. I stared at my phone for a minute. It still had full battery, but I doubted I could contact Chloe in Alf World. After staring at it for a few minutes longer, I finally thought, To Hell with it, and dialed. I held the phone up to my ear. It rang twice, then a voice came over the line,
“Kate!!! Oh my GOD!!! Where the hell are you? I’ve been calling you for two days. Two days!! Don’t do that to me ever again.” I blinked repeatedly.
“Uh… As for where I am, I’m in Alfheim.”
“Don’t you mean ‘Svartalfheim’?” I sighed.
“No! I asked that too. Anyway, it’s really bright and not fun. Like, ‘you-want-to-stab-your-eyes-out’ bright.” I explained my story so far, accompanied by gasps from Chloe at exactly the right times and all of the wrong ones. When I was finished, Chloe commented,
“Maybe you get to see Asgard! That would be so cool!”
“Chloe,” I sighed, “you are such a Thor fangirl.” She laughed.
“So, what? How many girls ever get to say their BFF went to Alf World and be telling the truth? This is SO COOL!!!” I started to say something when I was cut off from a curse from over the line.
“Sorry I gotta go. Han just got home. I’ll call you later, OK?” Without waiting for me to respond, the phone went click, and I was disconnected from what might have been my last taste of the real world.
I spent the next few days trying to call Chloe, sorting the parts of my trail mix, and carving obscene words and pictures on the walls of my cell. I also spent a lot of time staring out the window. I was in a tower maybe ten stories high, with a beautiful courtyard below and lush green woods all around. I was working on what was probably my tenth rendition of carving the word ‘idiot’ on the wall when I heard a clamor rise from the courtyard. I dropped my knife and rushed to the window, my heart beating with excitement and hope. All I could see was the pale heads of people parading around on horses. I retrieved my phone from where it was charging on the windowsill (Alfheim light charges human phones, who knew?) and used the camera app to zoom in and see what they were doing. I watched in fascination as I saw the alfs on horses drew bows and stood in a line. It looked like an... archery contest? It must be. I watched as a male voice floated up, ordering the archers to fire.
I spent the better course of the week staring at the archers through my phone. They always seemed to be there, practicing or competing. I studied the way they moved, the way they drew back and shot their ornate longbows. I watched them so much, I eventually started mimicking the actions as they did them, like you would dance along to your favorite music video. If you gave me a bow and arrows, I thought, it would probably take me only a week to become better than the best person down there.
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