Two worlds collided today – unbeknownst to the adults that surround us. They’re much too busy avoiding life to have noticed anything out of the ordinary. But I noticed the change this morning when the weather turned stormy. It took everyone by surprise. The rain felt like tiny pellets of ice, the wind blowing down from the North rather than the coast. The lightening jumped from cloud to cloud in colors of pink, purple and gold.

I was getting ready for practice, sitting at my desk putting on my shoes. Mom was calling up that I had just 15 minutes to get ready. I turned to peek at the laptop screen, and that’s when I first saw Brenna.

She sort of just fell out of the sky – literally – right outside my window. I ran out to see what was going on. She was just laying in a crumpled heap under the tree – clothed simply in a dress and what looked like a green woolen cloak. She seemed to glow from within. I knelt down to see if she was ok … and saw that she was clutching a golden box in her hands. She was shaking, her breathing was labored, but she was alive and that is what mattered most to me!

“Hey,” I said as I tried to shake her awake. “Are you OK? You fell pretty hard.”

She was slow in coming around, but once she realized what had happened, she jumped up and started looking all around frantically.

“You must help me – hide me! Before they come! Wait ….. who exactly are you? And what is this place? I left so fast I don’t ….”

“Wait! Wait, wait!” I laughed.   “Slow down a minute! Are you sure you didn’t hit your head? I’m Grady, and this … well … this is home. The good old US of A!”

“Oh! So you’re a human!” Brenna exclaimed, then went on to explain as we walked that she was from another place – almost a parallel universe that co-exists with ours. The storm that’s hitting us today is actually from her world – there was powerful magic in place allowing the worlds to collide. A war of sorts was taking place in Brenna’s world, and she was being chased by an enemy known as the Ciaran.

“We must hurry, they will be coming for me soon and I must find a hiding place for this.” Brenna handed the box to me and said, “Open it .. I want to see if you can help me solve the puzzle inside.”

There were three crystals laying within .. of varying color, shape and size. The inscription in the top of the lid read “A Trinity lies within, a noble task indeed. For only one can find the two to open the strength of three.”

As I closed the box, the air around us grew icy cold. “RUN!” Brenna commanded, just as several dark, shadowy creatures sprung out towards us. I slammed the box shut, jammed it into my pocket and headed towards the school – dragging Brenna by hand behind me.

We ran into a classroom at the school and slammed the door shut. Brenna started to chant in some foreign tongue .. and the creatures were left banging on the door in frustration trying to get in. We were both out of breath – and I was trying to figure out what to do next.

Brenna turned to me and said, “Well, that should hold them long enough for me to hide the box! But what about the clue?”

“I think it means that one person has to find two others and then the three crystals inside will open up.” I determined. “You must be the one seeking – and I must be part of the two. But … who is the third?”

As soon as I uttered the words – a blue light glowed in the center of the room! Brenna threw her arms around me and said “You were right! You’re brilliant!!” We decided that Brenna must move forward on her own to find the third member of the trinity – and I would find a safe place to keep the box.

“I will return! I promise you!” And with that Brenna turned towards the light and disappeared. The beating on the door stopped almost immediately, and I was left holding the box.   I knew exactly where I wanted to hide it!

“GRADY! Grady – where are you?! You’re going to be late for practice.” I shook my head to clear the fog, heard my mom calling me. Was I just dreaming or did that quest really take place? My laptop was sitting on my desk, a game was paused.   The screen showed a golden box with three crystals glowing – and the faded image of a girl disappeared into the background. And then I heard, “this game will continue Grady – I WILL return!”

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