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Sunny finally makes her first jump to the Kingdom of Acadia that is on the other side of the shadows, for what she hopes is a vacation. Only her vacation turns into quite an unwanted adventure. Aside from new and unexpected issues regarding her relationship with Leif, Sunny meets the rebel group, makes new friends, fights with controlling her powers, and finds herself neck deep within a county that is torn apart by two sides, each fighting for power. Acadia is not quite what she imagined. How is she, one young girl, supposed to unite the Kingdom as well as unseat a King to take her place as ruler of Acadia.
"Mom, we have been through this. It's only ten days." My mom and I were at it again. The same fight we had been having for the past month. Spring break had finally arrived and would officially begin the next day, and that was the day that Leif and I had decided to make my first trip to Acadia. It was the perfect time to go. I was thinking of it as a much needed vacation. It was a chance to pop into Acadia, have a look around, and come home. Do the whole meet and greet thing. The how we were getting there was still a mystery, but I would figure it out soon enough, or as soon as Leif told me.
My mom, well she was not real keen on the whole idea. In fact, you could say that my mom and dad weren't too happy with the whole shadow walking thing at all, which means, they were pretending there was no such thing. I could try and bring it up, try to get them to understand, but they just changed the subject every time and stayed in their nice, safe reality. I understood, really I did. It was just a bit annoying.
"You are not going, and that's final."
"Mom," I said, sighing the word. "How do you plan on stopping me? You know this is something I have to do. We've been through this."
"I'm telling you, you're not allowed, that should be enough." She stood there, wringing her hands which made me feel a twinge of guilt. Her brown eyes were upset, and her lips quivered. "Please don't go, Sunny. You won't come back."
I told Leif my parents would be a problem. He never listened. "Of course, I will. I'll come back. This is my home."
"No, you won't. You'll leave to go to that...place, and I'll never see you again."
I walked over and stood directly in front of her and took her cold hands into mine. She was several inches taller than my five feet four inches, so I had to look up to see her face. "I promise I will come back, in ten days. Easter Sunday, I'll be back. I expect turkey and homemade noodles to be waiting," I added with a smile.
I didn't want to fight with her. She didn't really want to fight with me either. We both knew I was going, and we both knew there was nothing she or dad could do about it.
Everything had changed since August when I'd discovered that a race of humans existed that could walk in the shadows, and that I was one of them. I was not the easy going, boss me around girl that I had once been. Learning that I was a Shadow Walker was hard enough to take, but learning that I may also be royalty, was even harder. My Thanksgiving night battle with the Shadow Guard from Acadia had taken away the innocence that other girls my age still had.
I was afraid all the time now. I was afraid of the dark. Not really the dark, but what I couldn't see in the dark. I was afraid of being alone. Bad things happen when you're alone. Leif was taking my phobias rather well, thankfully, hardly ever leaving my side. He seemed to understand, which was a surprise, as I didn't. Then you had what no one knew but me, that I was afraid of my gift of energy control.
What a crock, I couldn't control it. Sometimes it seemed to be trying to control me. I would get startled, or when I was afraid, I would instinctively pull the energy to me and inside. I wouldn't even know I was doing it until I'd feel it zipping around in me.
I didn't want anyone to know, so I would slowly push the energy back out of me through my feet, into the ground. It burned and tore at me every time now. I hated that gift. Why did I have the gift of energy control when I was afraid to use it? What was the point? I was afraid of hurting someone, and I was afraid of the slicing pain that came with it every time.
Leif said time and again how cool my energy gift was. If he only knew what a real burden the gift was, I don't think he would have felt that way. Why didn't I tell him? I didn't want him to think of me as weak.