Journey to the Heavens

by Zoya Sarangan, age 10
Journey to the Heavens Zoya lives in San Francisco with her two siblings and parents. She loves writing, and more importantly, sleeping in every morning. If only she could on school days!

“My eyes flew open as the door swung open. My mom was standing in the doorway, her eyes wild. Outside, rain poured out from the bleak night sky.”

Storm Search

My eyes flew open as the door swung open. My mom was standing in the doorway, her eyes wild. Outside, rain poured out from the bleak night sky.

“What happened?” I asked.

“The rain was just super cold,” she muttered, but I knew she was lying. I made a silent decision to sneak outside afterwards. “Go to sleep, India Hollyblade,” she added.

I trudged to my bed, but as soon as my mother began to snore, I crept outside after putting on a long sleeved navy blue dress with thick tights. I wore a long crimson coat with white faux fur and tied my chocolate brown hair into a bun before I slung a bag of emergency tools that my mother gave me. Then I created a forcefield and ran outside, whistling for Windra, my giant white wolf. I hopped onto her back, and we raced around the garden, looking for anything that might have spooked my mom. Then I saw the light.


Volcano Light

It was silvery and soft, and at first I thought the light was just a trick of the moonlight, but then I realized the moon was hidden behind the clouds. I urged Windra to go forward, and as we climbed the hill, I noticed that the light was coming from the dormant volcano. Could the volcano possibly be erupting? I thought. Nah, volcanos don’t have silver lava, do they? As soon as Windra and I reached the volcano, I ran up to it and balanced on the rim of the volcano. I had done this many times, but it still made me nervous to know that a slight misstep could get me into an even more dangerous position. I realized that a swirling light had appeared inside the volcano. Before I could think about what I was seeing and actually get it into my head that this wasn’t a dream, the moon broke free of the clouds, and the silver light grew brighter, making the earlier light seem dim in comparison. I was so busy staring in awe at the breathtaking sight that I did not notice that the wind was picking up up until it was too late. A strong gust of wind hit me hard, and I started to topple over. Windra tried to grab me, but my weight made her lose balance, and we both fell into the silver light, the wolf, howling, and me, screaming as the silver light engulfed us.


The Test Of The Sleeping Moon

I was still screaming when I realized that first, I wasn’t burning up or dying or anything horrible like that, and second, I could breathe and everything felt peaceful and I felt so relaxed as the light turned dark and my eyelids started to close… Slurp!!! My eyes shot open as I felt the horrible sensation and wetness of wolf saliva. Blinding light hit me like someone had shone a flashlight in my eyes. Then I realized we were sitting on a cloud.

Then a voice said, “Congratulations! You have passed the test of the Sleeping Moon!”

An old wizardly man who looked blurry in the mist surrounding him pointed to snoring people that had appeared around us.


Information

“The Test of the Sleeping Moon is what people go through when they enter Faunaree, our world. Hostiles are sent to the land of nightmares forever, which is all the way north. Here is a map of where Twilight Hotel is, and see you later!” the old guy (whom I had named Mr. Tedious) said. “If you fail the Test of The Sleeping Moon, which you didn’t, you are considered a Hostile.”

Now that I could see him more clearly, I knew he had stunning blue eyes, a silvery robe, and white hair that covered his face almost entirely. Then I sank through the clouds.


Getting To The Hotel

As I landed softly on the ground with Windra, I contemplated the map. It showed a desert, and after a while I spotted the hills of sand for real. I walked through the desert for days, then weeks then months, until I couldn’t keep track of time. Just as I let go of my last hold on reality, there were two pathways, one going downhill and one going up. I decided to go up because I loved sliding down hills, so I hopped onto Windra and skidded down the hill. Suddenly we were in the middle of swirling light, and everything was soft and like a feather, like I was in a flock of doves until it dissipated so that I could see a marvelous castle that looked like an abandoned royal palace. Lightning struck the mountains in the distance, and the windows glowed an eerie purple-pink. Obviously I took a photo (by the way, it was in my emergency bag, in case you were wondering) as I ran down the walkway and knocked. No one answered, so I knocked again. Still, no one answered. Impatient, I opened the door that led to what changed not only my life and future, but almost everyone else’s.


Twilight Hotel (with little comments from the author)

Now, first, I must remind you that I was a young and rather impulsive child at this age. For the story’s sake, do not treat the me in this book as you would treat me if my older and wiser self were making these decisions. What’s that you say? Oh, right, the story. On we go! Wait, what?! There’s barely enough room for me to finish my little comments! The story starts… now! Oh, and if you want the story in wolf language, that can be arranged.*

*Bark howl woof arf howl! Bark arf bark woof arf howl!


Twilight Hotel

(Joyful to say, and also hopefully joyful for you readers, no more serious chapter titles after this.)

Like I said, I had opened the door and was stepping in when I remembered my manners.

“Sorry for trespassing! I hope you will forgive me, and I am returning this map to you, or at least I assume this is yours,” I said (very politely). Windra barked, ruining my charming manner. I dropped the map, and immediately I fell face first into a fluffy bed. “Huh,” I said, and then fell asleep.


In Which I Meet My Friend The Puppy

As soon as I woke up, I surveyed my surroundings. I was in a room full of snow. Strangely, it wasn’t cold at all! In fact, the snow was pretty warm. I stepped in hesitantly, and 45 minutes later, when a puppy stepped in, she found me building a giant snowman that was nine feet and nine inches tall. (We checked.)

“Hello?” she asked. “I am Mocha, your new transportation ride.”

I looked at her, threw a snowball at Windra, then studied her some more. “But you’re smaller than a chair!” I exclaimed, offended.

Who would dare send me a tiny little puppy and pretend that I was smaller than that.

“True,” Mocha said. “But I can grow.”

Then the world (or at least everything within my eyesight) grew big and furry and smelled like dog fur.


In Which I Eat Some Chicken

Aaaahhhh!!!” I yelled as Mocha flung Windra and I onto her back and leaped out the window.

We’re gonna dii-ie, we’re gonna dii-ie! a singsong voice chanted in my head. As we hit the ground, we dissolved into millions of tiny particles and reformed on top of Mr. Tedious’ head. As Mr. Tedious sank through the cloud, yelling at the top of his lungs, we bounced upwards, only because Mr. Tedious has a rather bouncy head. As I grabbed a piece of delicious chicken, I felt a little bad for Mr. Tedious.

“Oops,” said Mocha.


In Which I Eat (And Describe) Chicken and Go to a Palace

As we flapped towards the portal, I munched on the chicken. It was salty and juicy, but a little chewy, too, like how a chicken born in fire would taste: A little crispy on the outside, but soft and buttery on the inside. I was just stuffing the last of the fire chicken in my mouth when we arrived in a palace.


In Which I Meet My Mom

I entered the palace hesitantly, one foot at a time, only me, just me. I had tried to get Windra to come, but the scary guards wouldn’t allow the wolf. My footsteps echoed along the hallway, and Mocha had disappeared to wherever giant dogs spent their free time. I walked at first, but then wonderful aromas wafted down from wherever the hallway led to, and I began to run. Even though I had just had the fire chicken, my stomach still growled. Suddenly, I ran into my mom.


In Which I Eat Some Lunch

“Mom?” I asked, unable to believe it.

“I know, sweetie,” my mom said. “But let’s have lunch first.” She took a sip of the tea.

Why didn’t you tell me about this place; it is so awesome — oh,” I shouted at first, but then I took a sip of the tea. It was like drinking liquid sugar, but with a hint of a creamy spice. It was sticky, yet it slid on my tongue, and soon, my mind began to clear. “Let’s eat first,” I agreed.

A chicken scrambled towards me, balancing a tray of what looked like leafy green vegetables on his head. I took one of the leaves, nibbled on the edge, and immediately my mind exploded. It tasted like someone sprinkled wasabi on it and then poured chocolate milk on the leaf. Brown speckles on the leaf added creamy, salty, bursts that exploded in my mouth.

“Now, by all means, let us talk!” my mom said.


A Face-To-Face Chat

“I knew of this world, but I didn’t tell you because this world would fry a lesser brain like the dragon eggs over there.” She nodded at some purplish-black eggs that I hadn’t seen before. “Obviously I underestimated you. We will be living here from now on.”

“Yeah, okay,” I said. “Can we eat now?”

“Of course!” my mom said, obviously relieved to be freed of the awkward conversation.


In Which I Get Three Awesome Tools and Eat Some More.

I wolfed down two more leaves and grabbed a sparkly brown square from a box labeled Unicorn Creamtoys. I bit into it and blinked. The creamtoy melted in my mouth, but then it reformed back into a square, like it was trying to last as long as it could. I felt a ball pop out of my mouth, and then it filled with a sweet taste that my mouth wanted to dispose of. I spat it out, and it self-cleaned itself. Out of it popped out three things: a belt, a glowing rod, and a bunch of glowing sticks. A voice in my head (because of the creamtoy) said, The belt is a magical thing that allows you to pluck anything you want from its pockets. The rod is stunner that is safer than an electric staff. You can use it to charge the glow-throwers. After that, as I fingered my stuff, I knew this story would have a happily-ever-after.


By The Way

Thank you! Thank you! I don’t have much time, but I just want to say how much I thank India’s mother, Hazel Hollyblade, for cooperating. (Of course, she insisted on her own story, but yeah.)


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