“This is it, isn’t it?” ‘Amr asked.
“Yup,” Dima murmured.
‘It’ was a pond. More like a glorified puddle, really, if Ishaq was being honest. It sat unassumingly in the middle of the little glade, ringed by stones, its water a peculiarly vibrant blue-green.
The surface was ruffled by the breeze that wafted over it, rippling the reflection of the surrounding pine trees. As he watched, a water strider made its way along the edge of the pond.
It was, however, all an illusion. Dima was the one who’d discovered it, through sheer accident. They’d been horsing around and he’d playfully shoved her a little too roughly and she’d fallen into the pond. Only instead of a resulting splash and a very wet, muddy sister glaring at him and promising swift revenge, Dima had completely disappeared.
As if the pond was far deeper than it truly was.
Ishaq had panicked, of course. Jumped right in after her, which in hindsight could’ve been a really stupid decision, but it had worked out.
Instead of becoming submerged in water, there had been a strange heart-dropping sensation as though he was falling a great distance, and then he’d landed—right on the bank, only the world was completely different. For one thing, there were no trees in sight.
For another, two suns shone in the sky, the second smaller and an orange colour. For a third, curving over the little pond had been a strange stone archway carved with mysterious sigils that made his stomach twist unpleasantly to look directly at.
More importantly though, Dima had been sitting next to him, looking dazed and pale but very relieved to see him.
Of course, the only thing to do was jump back in the pond. It figured that if it brought them to this place, it could bring them back. Luckily it had.
Now, several oaths that they were telling the truth and days of fierce debate later, they had gathered with their third sibling ‘Amr around the portal pond, carrying packs on their backs of all the things they might need for a good adventure. They’d been excited up to this point.
Now, nerves were settling in.
“Well,” Ishaq said, taking a deep breath. “We doing this or not?”
In answer, Dima took his hand. On his other side, Amr did the same, face resolutely set.
And then as one, all three stepped in the pond...and vanished without a sound.
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Featuring prompt fills, excerpts from my wips, posts about my writing process, and more.