Come With Me: ‘What kind of fantasy world I had been taken to’

I awoke the following morning to find Lucy sitting near the edge of the cliff just staring down at the remains of her city. Casting a glance towards James I saw he was asleep. Why they hell did he have to come here with us?

I stood up with a groan as every joint seemed to crack, the noise made Lucy tear her eyes away from the devastation for a second and look over to me. She patted the ground next to her, inviting me to join her.

Making my legs move seemed a colossal effort but I made my way over and sat down next to her. Without saying anything she placed her head on my shoulders and we sat like that for quite a while in our silence.

“Eric, what do you think happened?” Lucy said, breaking the quiet.

“I don’t know,” and how could I, I knew nothing of her world.

“Take a guess.”

“War?”

“I thought that but when I left, there was peace. A true peace because of the previous wars. I know it’s been a while but is ten years long enough for the treaty to be broken?”

I remained silent, not having a clue what she was talking about.

“I need to go down there,” Lucy said.

“I know,” I replied. “What should we do about James?” I said nodding my head back towards him, as if she could have forgot who he was.

“It’s up to him, but I imagine he will want to come with us.”

“Well you aren’t leaving me here.” James had come up behind us and I was so lost in everything, I hadn’t heard him. “Where the hell are we?”

I looked at Lucy, wondering the same thing myself, but she didn’t answer him, she was staring back at the ruins of the city again. I saw James open his mouth, about to say something, probably something aggressive, but I put a hand up before he could get the words out and he actually managed to keep himself from saying anything.

I stood up and stretched my legs again. We needed to get down but from what I could see there was no way to. I moved over to edge and peered over. I couldn’t see too much as I didn’t dare get too close so instead I led on my stomach and crawled forward eventually sticking my head over and looked left first. I couldn’t see anything other than a sheer drop from top to bottom, swinging my head right I expected much the same thing but instead there was a series of switchbacks about half a mile to the right going from top to bottom. They were too perfect to be natural, someone had hand carved these.

“Lucy,” I offered my hand as I said her name, and as she took it I helped her up off the ground and led her away from the cliff edge, James following.

“James, empty your pockets,” I said as I did the same.

Out of my pocket I pulled my mobile phone, which I glanced at and unsurprisingly had no signal. There was also my house keys and a bunch of loose change. James’ pockets held exactly the same, although he had a bank note as well, five Great British Pounds.

“I’m going to go out on a limb here Lucy, and say we can’t spend these here?” I asked.

“You’d be right.” She said, smiling at me slightly.

“I’m not leaving my stuff here,” James stated.

“Well it’s no use to you down there and we may need the pocket space, may as well leave it behind.”

“What about my phone?” He said, picking it up and pressing the home button. “Damn it’s ran out of power.”

“And you aren’t charging it any time soon,” Lucy said.

“Well I haven’t got my charger on me anyway.”

“That’s one reason you couldn’t. The other is there’s no such thing as electricity on this world,” Lucy said.

James just stared at her in a shocked silence. I’d assumed as much as a result of the vision I had my first time in the clearing, the lanterns of the city and not street lamps. I’d read enough fantasy books to realise that I was basically in one. What I didn’t know is what kind of fantasy world I had been taken to, I hadn’t found the right moment to ask.

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