Prologue Or, How Orthodontia Came to Power
After Paragor had been defeated, both Realms did NOT unite. Rather, everything returned to normal (or as normal as it could be). People rebuilt that which had been damaged by the Final Storm, and what wasnt salvageable was destroyed.
Most flesh wounds healed, but the deeper ones, the ones you couldnt see the heartache and sorrow caused by the losses took more time. Everyone missed the Witnesses and everyone else that had gone on (and back!) to the Sacred Realm Beyond the Sun.
But, time went on, and after a while, almost everyone who had been directly in, or involved in the Final Storm was either dead, dying, or getting there.
Thoram Lockwood was born.
From childhood, Thoram, born to Alicia and Eli Lockwood, was a special child. He was the great-great-great grandson of Naysmithe himself, and since somewhere along the line, one of the descendants became a sword-fighter as well as a sword-forger, Thoram learned swordplay at the early age of 9.
He grew up faithfully serving his King, and soon had the title of Commander assigned to his name: Commander Lockwood, head of a division of the Alleb army!
And then, one day, his Earth twin decided to go to the Realm
which meant Thoram was stuck in a world he never had wanted to be in, ever.
He hated having to live in an apartment, with no one to be his opponent in a sword-fight. He would have hated his job at the Everything You Need grocery store, but he loved sorting things, so he ended up liking it. But that wasnt enough to combat the overall dislike of Earth that was fresh in Thorams mind when he woke up each morning to find himself still in the same world he was in yesterday.
And then one morning, as he was going into the grocery store, he bumped into a young lady who was just exiting the store with a lot of bags. Naturally, the contents of said bags spilled all over the sidewalk. Luckily, the only thing that was lost was a tub of blueberries that came open in the fall and scattered the blueberries everywhere.
Thoram helped her pick up all the things and put them back in the bags. Apologizing courteously, he said he would buy her another tub of blueberries to make up for the lost one, and make sure there was a rubber band around it this time.
As they were parting, Thoram told the woman his name, and she told him hers: Annabelle Roster. He asked if he could maybe have her phone number.
In no more than a few days, the two of them were so well acquainted that you would think theyd been friends forever. Soon they realized they were in love, and eventually he proposed to her and she said yes
and after a few months, the two of them had twin daughters!
Annabelle named one Ann, after herself, but she couldnt figure out a name for the other girl yet. Even after they were home, she only referred to Anns sister by a nickname.
And then, one cold winter night when the power was out, Thoram seemed a little
off. Whats the matter? she asked him. Oh
Im just a little absentminded tonight, her husband replied. The flickering flames in the fireplace that had replaced the heater cast an eerie red glow on his face as he sat, staring into the fire
and for a moment, his face changed, and his eyes seemed to glint red instead of blue
Then he shook himself, his face and eyes returning to normal. The weirdest thing just happened! It felt like
like something was trying to take over my body! He shivered. And that something
was NOT nice. I could feel the malice in its mind. What could it want? Annabelle wondered. I have no idea, replied Thoram. Then he added: If it takes over
dont let me stay.
The words were terrifyingly grim, but she nodded.
Thoram stood up
and then he swooned and fell against the chair
Then he got up, with a rather incredulous laugh, and said in a voice that was not his own, Wow. Wow! I have
an actual body! He stared at his hands. Ooooooh
He reached over and gripped the arm of the chair. I can grab things! I can touch
His blood-red eyes, in that face that was so like Thorams but not, flicked up to meet the frightened eyes of Annabelle. Then they moved to little Ann and the other baby, who sat on the table eating Cheerios.
He turned pale (or paler than he already was ) No! It cant be! he gasped, clearly terrified.
..its her! The One
He lunged for the unnamed child, but Annabelle swept the girl up and held her behind her back. You are NOT having my child! she cried. I will do whatever it takes to keep my daughter safe!!
He knew from the look in her eyes that this was true
so he slowly got up and went out into the night. He was not giving up, he told himself. Well, maybe for tonight, but not in the long run. He would return
and no matter where she took the One, he would hunt her down. He would find her, no matter what.
Once she was certain he was gone, Annabelle sank into a chair, her trembling hands laying her unnamed baby on the table. After a while, she kissed the girl on her forehead, then kissed Ann too, so she wouldnt feel left out
..and then she rose, and turned for an instant.
And in that instant, a wind, not cold, but definitely a wind, swept through the room. She whirled, but she was too late.
Ann sat alone on the table, a Cheerio halfway to her mouth, staring in surprise at the empty place next to her.
Her sister was gone.
This was too much. The poor mother swayed, murmured Ann, my poor, sisterless daughter, and fainted dead away.