I HAVE WRITTEN! Be proud of me :) This is how it's going to work: chapters will be written from different perspectives, but always in third person. This chapter is written from Dau's perspective, aaand that's all I'm going to say. My brain is bursting with inspiration! P.S. If you don't like the way that you've been written in, tell me and I'll try to fix it :)
Dau looked around nervously. Needless to say, the black darkness that was seeping out of the sky was slightly unsettling.
"Dau?" Derek looked pale.
She hesitated. "Yes?"
"There is black stuff seeping out of the sky."
"I noticed that."
"Good. I just thought you might like to know. So you can, you know, do something."
She swallowed. "Well, you see, there's a bit of a problem," she said quietly. "When I got transported here, I didn't have my pencils with me."
She saw Derek pause. Slowly, he looked at her. "Pencils. You need…pencils." He continued to stare.
"Yes, Derek, I need pencils," Dau answered defensively. "It's my power. I make drawings come to life."
Her explanation was obviously lost on Derek. She sighed, exasperated. It didn't matter now, anyways. The darkness was coming closer to them, winding down from the sky like serpentine shadows. Somewhere, the troll roared.
"What would you prefer, Derek, being eaten by a troll or being killed by black shadow vines?"
"You're asking me my preferred choice of death?" he asked, horrified. "Oh god, this is it, isn't it, I'm going to die."
"I think the troll would be a quite pathetic death," Dau mused. "Shadows would be cooler."
"Shadows are cooler," a voice remarked. Dau and Derek spun around.
A tall girl with long, dark hair stood next to a good-looking man. They both wore black, and they smiled.
"I'm Arratay Shadows," the girl explained, "And this is my brother, Susurrus Ayer. And we're here to save you."
Susurrus and Arratay joined hands with Derek and Dau, and in one second, they had teleported into a small, warm room.
Derek fell on the floor. "Oh god, I think I'm going to be sick," he moaned. He curled up into a foetal position.
Susurrus smiled. "That's what happens when you cross realities, Derek." Derek continued to moan.
Dau studied Arratay closely. She wore black clothes that Dau recognised. Definitely Bespoke.
"So, proper introductions," Arratay said brightly. "I'm Arratay, as you know, but you can call me Arra." Dau shook her hand awkwardly and smiled.
"I'm Dau. Dau Sketch. Thanks for saving us, by the way. How did you find us?"
"No problem," Susurrus replied. "When you and Derek transported through to that alternate reality, you left a hole. We saw it, decided to save you guys."
Arratay nodded. "Long story."
Dau peered outside the window. "Where are we?"
Arratay opened the curtains and the light flooded through. It was about late afternoon, from the looks of it, but it was a sunny day. The skyline was unfamiliar, filled with tall buildings that Dau didn't recognise. "Welcome to New York. This is our flat, by the way."
Dau stared. "New York?" She was in a different continent.
"You're a long way from home, from the looks of it," Susurrus remarked. "It's fine, we can take you back."
Dau nodded. She had guessed that Susurrus was a teleporter. As for Arratay, she couldn't tell. "Have you been to Perth?" she asked.
Arratay thought. "Yeah, once, but only in um, what's it?" She gesticulated randomly. "Kings Park, that's it. Do you live close to there?"
Dau nodded again. "Yeah, that'd be grand, thanks."
Dau looked at the heap on the floor and sighed. "I'll drop him off at the Sanctuary, I guess. He's not supposed to be here, you know."
Arratay smiled. "I was wondering what a mortal was doing in an alternate dimension," she said, "Is there an explanation for that?"
"I still haven't figured it out," Dau admitted. She thought back to hours ago. She had been sitting at her desk, and suddenly she had been transported to the field. And then Derek had turned up in the wedding dress. She frowned. She hadn't realised that maybe it wasn't Derek who had transported her there. And then there was the troll, and the black shadows. What was going on?
She looked up, still frowning. Susurrus had Derek slung over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes, not seeming to suffer under his weight. Arratay held out her hand, and Dau took it.
Dau looked around. They were standing in the shade of tall trees, surrounded by the warmth of the sunshine. The sound of laughter and conversation floated over to the group, and the smell of barbecued meat followed. A gentle breeze tousled her hair and she smiled. Perth had always been her favourite city.
They dragged Derek over to the side of a restroom, and Dau approached the brick wall, scanning its surface. She tapped one of the bricks twice. To the regular passerby, nothing happened. But Dau could feel the magic pulsing underneath her palm, rising off the wall like steam.
"Right, we'd better be off," Arratay announced cheerfully. "I'm getting hungry, and it's late." She looked around, confused. "It's morning here."
Dau laughed. "The time difference is about thirteen hours, you know."
Arratay smiled. "Right. Little buggers, those time zones, always confusing me." Arratay suddenly lunged forward, engulfing Dau in a bone-crushing hug. "I like you, Dau. I'm glad I saved you."
Dau blinked, surprised. "I'm glad you saved me, too."
Arratay stepped back and grinned. Susurrus nodded at her and they joined hands.
"Arratay - I mean Arra, wait," Dau stuttered, blushing. "Thanks. Really, thanks for saving my life."
"No problem, Dau," Arra replied casually. "See you around!" Susurrus gave a final wave and they vanished.
Still smiling, Dau turned around to Derek. She glowered at him, grabbed the collar of his shirt, and started yanking him through the brick wall, and into the Australian Sanctuary.
On the other side, she collapsed. She had to drag Derek through the entire corridor, all the time while Cleavers stood guarding the hallway. If they didn't have helmets on, they would definitely have had amused expressions. Amused expressions and annoying, smug smiles. Dau had silently declared Cleavers her nemesis.
Now she lay on the floor, panting. The perplexed Administrator approached the pair with trepidation. Dau rolled over, groaning, and lifted her Sanctuary pass. The Administrator peered at it, and finally nodded. "Can I get you somebody?" he asked.
Dau nodded. "Can you get me Duck?" she asked. "The Minister for - "
"I know who Mr. Taasp is," he interrupted. "Do you have an appointment?"
She glared at him from her place on the floor. "Do I look like I have an appointment?"
He did not look amused. "I will notify Mr. Taasp of your presence, but I cannot guarantee anything, with this short notice," he replied stiffly. "Understood?"
She scowled at him. She was often treated like a child because of her height and her looks. "I'm not a child," she said. "I've been here longer than you have."
He gave her a look and stalked off. Dau smiled sweetly and closed her eyes.
Dau opened her eyes. She recognised the laughter coming down the corridor. Standing up, she grinned as Duck walked up to her.
"Dau! How long has it been?" Duck smiled.
"Just a month," Dau replied, and laughed, looking at Duck's clothes. "What's with your clothes?" she questioned.
Duck pouted. "They made me wear a tie. A tie, for God's sake. Something about having to look good since I'm a representative for the Sanctuary and all."
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs is an extremely important job," the Administrator said in his whiny voice. Duck's eyes were beginning to glaze over, and Dau suspected that this wasn't the first time he had heard this speech. "One who holds such a respected position should embody the responsibilities of his or her job through a formal dress code, as he or she is the representative for all of Australia when he or she meets with the other representatives of other nations." The Administrator finished and smiled triumphantly.
Duck applauded loudly. "Very good, very good," he praised. "Someone's been a good boy!"
The Administrator looked insulted, and finally walked away.
Dau laughed and shook her head. "Are you allowed to do that?" she asked.
"Of course," Duck said. "Being a representative of Australia and all, I voice the opinion of the people, and…other things like that." He nodded. "What can I do for you today?"
Dau gestured to Derek, who was beginning to wake up. Duck's eyes widened, and his jaw dropped.
"Is that Derek Landy?" he sputtered. "The Derek Landy, the only mortal who's allowed interact with the magical community?"
"That's the one," Dau replied. "Somehow, he and I went dimension-hopping. Ended up being chased by a troll, you know." Dau suspected that the wedding dress wasn't helping with the explanation, either.
Duck frowned. "Someone else did this," he murmured. "Someone else teleported you two there." He looked at her. "Anyways, I'd better contact the Irish Sanctuary, get someone to take him back. Does he normally wear dresses?"
Dau shook her head and laughed again.
"Right, I guess that's a no," Duck said. "You heading off, then? Need anything?"
"Ah no, my place is close to here, I'll just walk. Can you handle him?"
Duck raised an eyebrow. "I am the Minister for Foreign Affairs, you know. I'm trained to do this kind of thing. I think. Job description didn't mention wedding dresses, though." He began to trail off.
Dau waved. "See you later, Duck."
"Mr. Taasp," the Administrator corrected from behind his desk.
Duck smirked at Dau and she glared at him. She skipped out of the Sanctuary and back into the sunshine.