By Lord Fintan
Synopsis: Lauren and Ezekiel Warren discover a secret hidden away in their family mansion's basement, the site of which their aunt and uncle mysteriously disappeared 15 years ago. The discovery of an enchanted object leads them on a journey like no other, slowly discovering clues to the Neverseen's schemes. This tale reveals secrets of their family's past they had never even dreamed of before.
Prologue - 15 Years Ago
Sara walked outside into the woods, taking a walk along the dirt path to clear her mind. Her sister was having a baby soon, and she needed some time to clear her head from her messed up life.
Sara gazed up at the sun, blocked by the dark rain clouds. Regardless of the reports of possible rain, she walked for minutes and minutes, deep into thought. It wasn't until she tripped and fell onto the dirt. Sara got up, barely hurt. She stared down at what she had tripped on. A small chain necklace with a black gem at the end.
Sara picked it up, and with it she felt a new kind of power like never before. Sara knew that out of some manner, this object had to be enchanted. Sara figured it had to do with her husband, Silas, and his recent magical discoveries regarding the Neverseen and what their plans had been all that time ago when Sophie Foster had defended the Lost Cities so bravely.
Sara rushed back home to the giant mansion she lived in, and got Silas's attention.
"Silas!" Sara shouted. "You might want to see this!"
They went down to the big basement, where Silas performed many of his studies.
"What is it?" Silas asked.
"I thought you would know," Sara said.
Silas nodded. "Enchanted indeed. But this is no necklace. It's a locket."
Silas opened up the gem, and shadows poured from it, enveloping the two, and they were never heard from again.
Chapter One - Present Day
Lauren was basically bored to death. She was stuck in her family’s mansion, with her parents gone on important business, and her brother Ezekiel not being much of a help to her problem. Yep, she was stuck like this for six more hours.
“Zeke, you want to play hide-and-seek?” Lauren asked. “This is boring.”
“Sure,” Ezekiel agreed.
“Okay, I’m going to go hide, alright?” Lauren asked. “Count to twenty.”
Lauren knew this was a childish thing to do as a fifteen-year-old, but she had nothing else to do. This mansion was so old, there was barely anything to do in it. Of course, her family had bought a new house and steered away from the mansion at all costs because of what had happened to her aunt Sara and uncle Silas so long ago.
Lauren looked up the spiral staircase, knowing that time was winding down. If she were to pursue the stairs, she would surely get lost in the maze of hallways. Nevertheless, she walked toward them quickly. On the second stair she tripped and fell against the wall. Mysteriously, the wall shook, and split open, revealing a long dark staircase leading into a giant dark room below.
Lauren knew Ezekiel didn’t have a keen eye and would never be able to find her in there. Lauren climbed down the stairs, realizing much too late that she had forgotten where she had come from and was stuck in the darkness.
Lauren heard footsteps. Slow, creepy footsteps.
“Z-Zeke?” she asked meekly.
Lauren knew this must be one of her brother’s jump scare moments, so she prepared herself for the worst. But after minutes of hearing the clunking footsteps across the floor, even after following them around the room, no one else was there.
Lauren decided this was pointless, and that she should return. But no light shone from the way she had entered the giant black room.
“Lauren!” Ezekiel yelled. “Lauren, are you down here?”
“Yes,” Lauren called.
“Uh oh,” Ezekiel said.
“What?” Lauren asked.
“We aren’t supposed to be done here,” Ezekiel explained. “This is the basement, where our aunt and uncle disappeared. This place is off-limits! Come to me!”
Lauren tried to follow his voice but ended up bumping into the wall like my normal clumsy self. The whole room lit up and a hologram appeared in the middle of the room.
Ezekiel ran down from the stairs and gave me a big hug. “Oh, thank goodness you’re alright.” He retracted from the hug and looked at the hologram. “That looks like Uncle Silas.”
“And it is Uncle Silas,” the hologram said, smiling. It was a man with black hair that came down to his shoulders, pale skin, and beautiful hazel eyes. “I made this so you two could find it one day.” Silas smiled, tears brimming his eyes. “You’ve both grown so much. I wish I could be there to talk to you in person, but unfortunately that would not be possible. You see, as you may have heard, Sara and I disappeared here. By opening an enchanted locket, we set free some monstrous creatures. They’re holding us captive, and it’s up to you to catch the creatures in the locket again. First, of course, you’ll have to find the locket.” Silas handed me a map. “That should get you there. Have fun on this adventure!”
The hologram disappeared. “Freaky,” Lauren said, holding up the map.
“Hey, what do you suppose this does?” Ezekiel asked, pointing to the lever on the wall.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you,” Lauren warned.
Ezekiel did anyway. The floor underneath them disappeared, and they fell right into a rushing river of water that must have been directly beneath the mansion. They were tumbled down the river until they reached a raging waterfall. Lauren was flung off the edge of the river and into the lake below, and then fell unconscious.
Chapter Two - Present Day