Vaalbara; Visions & Shadows

By: Michelle Ann Horst


The Return Home

Hope is the heartbeat of the soul.

The day there is no more hope,

There is only one thing left to do



Vaalbarra Visions & Shadows

Chapter One

First Visions

There would be sent a girl.

She will come with dreams.

She will see visions; visions of The Chosen Ten.

Another morning. Another day. Oh, great! Wake up, Sid…yet another few hours for the teenagers of the world to unite and drive me a step closer to insanity.

I opened only my one eye at first. It didn’t help. The same crappy morning still stared me right in the face. So I did what any normal person would do; I snuggled deeper into my blanket, pulled it over my head, and groaned when my alarm started buzzing. I swear the roll call at Alcatraz couldn’t have been this dismal.

I slammed my snooze button for the fourth time, but I knew it was inevitable. I had to get up now, or I’d miss my lift to school, and walking definitely wasn’t an option in the freezing cold!

Oh…and then there was the dream; the one I’d been having frequently over the past few weeks. It always began by the same mesmerizing waterfall. Although it looked nothing like the one I went to every day. In the dream, the water in the pool looked inviting - a clear bluish-green color where it seemed as if lights were flickering from somewhere deep down below. Of course, what really got my attention was the man. I just wish I could see his face! Ugh, yes. It was one of those taunting dreams where you’d see this gorgeous guy walking straight at you, but just before you could make out his face…you’d wake up.

It really sucked. However, a few seconds later, I have to laugh at myself for just thinking about it. I mean, seriously, having the hots for a faceless guy is about as desperate as I can get.

I stretched myself out before reluctantly getting up. Winter was definitely not my favorite season, and the worst part? It was only just beginning. The trees had just shed their leaves, and the grass was transforming into its’ normal color of dead-straw. The worst was still to come though - the blizzards were gearing up and they’d soon be on their way. Boy, I just loved those, especially the raging winds that would cover everything with inches upon inches of ice and snow.

Then came the part where my heart would break for a whole two months. The part when my actual waterfall would freeze over and I wouldn’t be able to crawl in behind it for my daily comfort.

I dragged myself to the bathroom across the hall so I could get ready for another day of torture in that hellhole they preferred to call school.

My toes were ice cubes by the time I reached the bathroom. I took turns standing on one foot at a time, trying to get my circulation to kick in. It helped a bit, though the cold would seep right back in as soon as they touched the tiles again.

I wasn’t as lucky as Molly and the rest of my adopted siblings. They had walk-in bathrooms upstairs complete with heated flooring.


Molly, Patrick, and Cassie. It was the usual crap, as always. They had the ‘spoiled rich’ thing going. I got hand-me-downs from Molly. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I actually got rags. Most of the clothes still had tags on them.

Molly had this addiction, buying tons of clothes so they could hang in her closet for a few weeks before they would find their way to my room. She had good taste, too, so I never looked bad. I’d also managed to buy myself a few things that were more my taste from the sale items over at Lillie’s Place. That shop had the best bargains on any given day.

People might wonder where I got money to be able to buy anything for myself. The secret was I earned it reading people’s palms. That might sound strange to some, but if they were blessed with the gift, I would assume they’d use it to their own advantage, too.

Molly was running late, as per usual, so I used the extra time to check if the battery in my MP3 was charged for the day. I got that from Molly, too, when she got herself an iPod a few weeks back. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t last one day without my music. It’s my way of blocking out the world around me; as soon as I hear my music nothing else matters anymore.

I guess one could say that I’m not exactly the deprived ‘Oliver Twist’ orphan that I pity myself to be when I’m having a bad day. I have a home, clothes, my music and, oh, yeah…there’s Sid. What else do I really need for everyday survival?

“Come on! We’re going to be late for school again,” I yelled. I knew it didn’t help but the need to rush her along was always there…especially in this world I affectionately liked to call, Nutsville.


Molly and I are both seventeen. Well, I hope I’m seventeen. Everyone assumed I was thirteen when they’d found me in the forest nearly five years ago. Not long after, I decided that the day they’d discovered me would be my birthday. And in just three weeks I’d turn eighteen.

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