The Ilodian Rift

The Ilodian Rift

The sound of loud music pops the bubble around me as I am pulled out of the intense moment in the story I was reading and brought abruptly back to the present. I sigh as I sit my book on the table and launch up from my chair. I stomp to my brother’s room next to mine. 

“Can you turn that music down? I’m trying to read.”

“Try again down the hall. I’m not playing that awful music. It sounds like something Kallie would listen to. In fact, I’m offended that you blamed me.” Asher holds a hand to his heart.

I just roll my eyes and trek down the hall to my sister’s room this time. I knock on Kalliee’s bedroom door. “It’s Layla.”

My sister flings open the door. “Can you turn down–,“ we both start at the same time.

“Oh, it must be Asher,” my sister says. “Although this doesn’t seem like his type of music. It’s kinda otherworldly. Actually, I like it. I’m gonna go ask what song this is.”

“I just checked with Asher,” I reply slowly. “He said it wasn’t him.”

“He probably lied to make you walk over here and bug me.”

I laugh. “Sounds about right.”

We both walk back to our brother’s room and knock on the open door before entering. 

“Liar,” I accuse, pointing at him. “Kallie wasn’t playing the music.”

“What song is this anyway?” Kallie asks as she plops on the bed. 

“I’m not lying. Does it sound like it’s coming from my computer?”

I lean down and put my ear next to his speaker, then shake my head. “Then where is it coming from?”

Asher raises an eyebrow. “Let’s go find out.”

We all follow the sound, heading downstairs. “We’re the only ones home. It’s got to be a neighbor,” I reason.

“Our houses aren’t close enough to hear when they’re playing music,” my brother replies. 

“Unless they’re outside,” Kallie suggests.

We all take one look at each other and race for the front door. Asher gets there first, but when he pauses to open the door my sister and I push past him. Kallie takes off across our yard –  she’s definitely the fastest of us all – and stops to look around when she reaches the end of the driveway. 

“There’s no one out,” she says when we catch up.

We glance around, puzzled. I start moving back toward the house, following the sound, but instead of going inside, I veer to the back corner near my bedroom. The music is getting louder. 

“I think it’s coming from the backyard,” my brother says.

We circle behind the house and stop, my sister bumping into my back. The ethereal music floats towards us coming from the direction of a shimmering rift in the sky. It’s like someone unstitched earth at its seems and is trying to stuff another world inside it.

There’s movement inside the rift, and our brother steps in front of us. A hand grasps one side of the rift, then another. Asher plants his feet and raises his fists. A middle-aged face appears in the shimmering space before the man hops into our yard. 

He clasps his hands under his chin and beams at us. “Oh, it’s so wonderful to meet you at last.”

The man, who looks to be about our father’s age, looks at us expectantly. “I’m your great-grandfather, Ellisar. I’ve waited a long time to meet you.”

I blink at him. There’s no way he’s old enough to be our great-grandfather. There’s not a wrinkle or gray hair in sight. 

The man frowns. “You look surprised. Did your mother not tell you?”

The three of us just stare at him.

“Oh, this must be quite a shock then. Sit, sit.” He gestures toward our outdoor furniture. “I’ll explain everything.”

I look toward my siblings. My sister shrugs and takes a seat. Asher and I follow. 

The man sits across from us, leaning forward. “As I said, I am your great-grandfather, but not from here on Earth. I come from Ilodore, where you’re non-human ancestors originated.”

“I’m sorry, did you say non-human?” I ask.

“Are you saying we’re part alien or something?” my brother asks at the same time.

“Non-human, yes, but not aliens. We’re not from outer space. Our world exists beside yours, just sealed off from it most of the time. The portal opens once every generation. Then we are free to enter your world, and those with Ilodian blood are free to enter ours. That’s why I haven’t met you until now.” He nods as if that explains everything. 

My brother leans over, and I feel a pinch on my arm. “Ouch!”

“Just checking,” he mutters.

I smack him on the arm, but I can’t blame him. If my siblings weren’t seeing this too, I would be questioning my sanity. 

“I’d like for you to come and spend some time in Ilodore while the portal is open. You’ll have a fortnight. Then you can decide if you would like to live there permanently,” the man, our great-grandfather, says with a kind smile.

“Woah, you’re just springing this on us and now you want us to just leave Earth and live in another world…in two weeks time!” I exclaim. 

“I know it’s a lot, but I’m afraid that’s all the time you have.” He looks away and mutters, “I really wish your mother had prepared you.”

“Wait, our mom knew about all this?” Kallie asks.

“Well, yes, she is my granddaughter and was offered the same choice as you.”

Our jaws drop. Mom is a descendant of another species? 

Asher’s eyes narrow. “How do we know this is true, and you aren’t just trying to take us away to your world as prisoners?”

The man looks between us. “Have you noticed that your family on your mother’s side lives long lives? And that you all look young for your age?”

I glance to my siblings to see their eyes turned to me. Being the oldest, it’s most noticeable with me; although I’m almost an adult, I still look like I could be 13. And he’s right about the long lives. I still remember when my great-grandmother made the news for being the oldest woman alive. 

“That doesn’t prove anything,” Kallie says, jutting out her chin. 

“But how would I know that about your family? And you can hear the music calling you. Only Ilodians can hear it. Have you noticed that no one else has come looking to find the source of the noise?” Ellisar raises an eyebrow. “So, would you like to come see Ilodore?” He gestures towards the portal. 

“One moment.” I step to the side, gathering my siblings with me. “We all go, or none of us go. Agreed?”

They nod.

“I don’t think we should go,” I say. “It could be dangerous.”

“It could be an awesome adventure,” Asher replies. “I think we should at least take a quick look. We can leave if it looks scary.”

We both look to our sister.

“Did I mention that you can perform magic in Ilodore?” Ellisar calls out.

All three of our heads snap to him.

“You all have the innate ability. Earth is just not…compatible with magic.” He wrinkles his nose.  “But in Ilodore you’ll be able to use your abilities.”

Kallie’s eyes light up. “Magic,” she whispers, looking at me. “It would be just like in the stories, Layla. We have to go.”

Despite usually being the voice of reason, I can’t help the excitement that builds in my chest. There’s a part of me that has always believed in magic and fairytales. A part of me that thought one day something amazing would happen. And to learn that I have magic inside of me? I can’t resist.

“We all agree?” I ask.

They both nod eagerly.

I turn to our magic-wielding great-grandfather from another world. This is all so strange. But all the heroines in the stories have to take risks. “We’ll go.”

What do you think of the story so far? What do you think Ilodore will be like? Let us know in the comments! Check back next week for Part 2!

Thanks so much for reading!

-Clever & WTF

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