19N

Horera seemed unusually out of it, but Nadine had been so focused on enjoying an hour of rest that she hadn’t thought anything of it. Now she was positive something was wrong. They were fatigued when they crossed into each others’ worlds, and could be dazed or even knocked out in the dream, but Horera’s level of fatigue within the dream just didn’t fit anything they’d experienced before. Suddenly the blazing sky seemed less beautiful and more ominous.

“Horera! Horera! Are you okay?” Nadine waved a hand in front of the dogling’s eyes.

When Horera continued to stare at the sun, Audrey looked toward it too.

“Horera? What are you doing?” Audrey sounded worried.

Nadine looked up to see the sun rising and growing larger at the same time. Horera closed her eyes, though her face continued to track the rapidly rising sun.

“World spirit wounded out of balance after lots much fighting and hardness.” Horera stepped away from the jungle gym. “Horera join it with Horera spirit, make better.”

Nadine shot a quick glance at Audrey, “Is that safe?”

Audrey started to lift her book before shaking her head and shooting Nadine an uncertain glance back. The light from the sun continued to intensify and Horera floated up off the ground with her arms spread like some kind of saint. Nadine and Audrey shaded their eyes as they tried to keep their eyes on their friend.

“Is there anything we should do?” Audrey shot another glance at Nadine as Horera seemed to be in some kind of trance.

All the light constricted down to a single concentrated beam centered on Horera’s heart. Nadine blinked quickly to adjust her eyes. Horera’s eyes flashed open with a yelp. Nadine’s jaw dropped as the light pierced Horera’s chest, and then the little dogling dissolved into thousands of little spheres of light.

“Horera!” Nadine reached out, her hands passed right through the space where Horera had been.

Audrey shook her head slowly, “This is just a dream…”

The sky was perfectly blue and the sun directly overhead as on the most perfect of summer days. Nadine looked at Audrey.

“The Portals!”

Audrey nodded and with a snap of her fingers they were on the Portal Platform. Both had to shield their eyes again, as Horera’s portal had been engulfed in a radiant pillar of light. Nadine grit her teeth and moved toward the center of the light. She was going to figure out what happened.

“Wait!” Audrey called as the light slowly faded.

Stopping, Nadine saw Horera’s portal was still in place. On the other side of the portal, Horera shook herself out and was quickly embraced by her friends from her world—including those big white wolves and a little white pug Nadine remembered seeing when she and Audrey went to Horera’s world.

“She’s okay,” Nadine sighed in relief.

Audrey hugged her book, “I guess that just leaves the final battle for your world. Do you want any help?”

Before Nadine could respond, she noticed movement in the Fantasia portal, “Wait, who’s that?”

“Elise!”

Audrey paled visibly at the sight of the gorgeous blonde in the red robes standing over Audrey’s sleeping body. Out of the corner of her eye, Nadine noticed her dad shaking her back in Eden.

“Guess we better split up!” Nadine started toward her own portal, “Next time, we celebrate our victories!”

“Deal!” Audrey grinned and stepped toward her own portal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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