DRAGON PEARL - Abduction

Monika was gasping like after a long run. She was not in shape at all, and in her head she was crouching every single step she had to make to the door of her apartment on the third floor. Her regularly white cheeks were now completely red and her hands full of shopping bags with food, for which her roommate sent her to have privacy with her boyfriend in the flat.

Because Monika refused to make another move to put her shopping bags on the ground, she struggled to pull out her keys from her jeans. Her chestnut-brown hair was falling into her face, as if in a protest, until she unlocked the door. Subsequently, from the last of her forces, she tapped with her foot into the door and she barged into the apartment.

“Hello!” she yelled in a slightly raised voice as she dropped the shopping bags to the ground. She closed the front door of the apartment and took of her black coat that she had hung next to the others on the corridor.

Monika and her friend Lucia rented a small two-bedroom apartment while studying in Prague. Both of them came from Slovakia and they met in middle school. The first year of their studies at the Charles University they lived in the dormitory, but their roommates did not suit them, that is why the next year they decided to move to an apartment. So when they managed to find an apartment just a few minutes far from the Vyšehrad metro station, they did not hesitate to move. The apartment was even significantly closer to their schools. Both of them studied different fields, Monika Chemistry and Lucia Mathematics, but both of their schools were located near I.P.Pavlova metro station.

The apartment of the girls was not big, but they had everything necessary there. The small room with a balcony, opposite to the front door, belonged to Monika. The living room, to the left of the entrance, was Lucia’s, where she was often hanging out with her boyfriend. The rooms were connected by a narrow L-shaped corridor that led to the kitchen. On the long side of the corridor were their rooms and large built-in wardrobes; on the shorter side were three small rooms: bathroom, toilet and a laundry room.

After Monika took of her sneakers and rolled up her sleeves, she stepped to the door of her roommate.

“I hope you're dressed and that I am not interrupt anything,” she smiled spitefully as she knocked on Lucia’s room. She was waiting for Lucia’s sarcastic comments for a moment, but when her friend did not answer, Monika's smile vanished. When she noticed that the door was open on a crack, she cautiously taped into it. Her heart started instantly heavily pounding from fear - the room was in ruins!

The conference table by the corner seat, opposite the door, had a broken glass top. The covers on the big bed, beside the seat, were scattered, and the feathers from one torn pillow covered the entire room. In the far corner of the room a pot with Dracaena was turned over, and opposite to it, at Lucia's desk, there was a broken chair. The only thing left untouched was the big bookshelf on the right wall, from which just a few books had dropped out.       

Monika looked around the room. She heard a strange moaning sound from behind the bed, approached cautiously, and saw Lucia’s boyfriend on the ground. The tall thin young man who worked as a programmer and was eight years older than Lucia, was lying on the ground with blood on his head. He seemed relatively untouched, compared to the condition in which the room was, just his glasses were lying broken in the soil of the large plant in the corner.  

“Jaro? What happened here?” asked Monika confused, as she helped him sit up.

The man with brown messy hair hardly opened his eyes and looked at the girl next to him. “What? Moni? Oh, my head... Where is Lucia?”

“I'd like to know that too. What the hell happened here?” and she looked around the scattered room again.

In that moment Jaro seemed to be taken over by panic: “They kidnap her! Two men came to the apartment... I tried to help, but…” he paused.

“Lucia was kidnapped by two guys? Who?! Why?! We have to call the police and tell…” but she did not finish the sentence, because Jaro's face darkened and he gave Monika a murderous look.

“They told me to give you a message from them - the dragon's eyes see the way - they also said, you'll know what it means.”

Monika was confused, she did not know what those words ment. Her mind was overwhelmed by the fear for her friend. She wanted to call the police immediately, so that Jaro could give them a fresh statement, but then she realised what the words of the kidnappers were about. The confused expression that she had suddenly disappeared and it was replaced by pure anger.  

“Could you explain to me, what's going on? It seems, that you know more about this than I do!” said Jaro irritably, but Monika did not answer. She rose from the ground and ran out of the apartment. On her way out she jumped into her sneakers and grabbed her coat from the hanger. Lucia's boyfriend yelled something after her, but she was already running down the stairs.

Monika ran all the way to the subway, while her head was full of angry thoughts. Her teeth were clenched together and she was furiously mumbling under her nose. She thought, that the kidnapping was just a theater, set up for her by the grandfather of her friend, Jacky, and that is why was Lucia's room so dramatically scattered and Jaro was almost not harmed.  

Monika was convinced that the old man was crazy! The events from two weeks ago were very hard for Monika to process and Mr. Long was constantly calling her cell phone after that. When the senile man finally stopped, Monika felt relief and she was pretending that nothing had happened - she was really good at that.

But now the old man took it to a whole nother level! Did he kidnap her roommate to get her attention?! Now he has it! But now she will hurt him!  

When Monika reached the metro station, the train was standing there, so she just jumped in and went one stop to I.P.Pavlova metro station. There she ran up the escalators and then hurried up one of the ways to the surface not concerned about other people that were also in a hurry. After that she proceeded by various paths through Prague's streets until she reached Mr. Long’s restaurant.

Monika stormed into the restaurant violently, so the glass door wasn’t really happy about it, and all of the quests turned to the girl. Fortunately, there were not many people, just about three guests and the waitress.

“Where is your father?” she asked instantly from the waitress, and despite the fact, that the woman was in her mother's age, Monika was quite rude.

“He's in the back, in the cellar,” said in shock the Chinese woman in a red uniform and she did not even try to stop Monika as she went to the back of the restaurant, where normally the guests aren’t allowed.

Monika ran through the kitchen with a mixture of spicy smells, ignoring the big chubby chef who was shouting at her something in chinese - he wanted to stop the girl, but he was standing by the stove, where he was preparing four meals at once.

Monika went back to the wide corridor where there was also the back entrance used by the guests staying over the restaurant. The guest had there their shoes and coats on a hanger. The staircase was leading upstairs to the living quarters, and down to the basement.

This was not the first time that Monika was here, although it was not easy to make a step toward the basement. Last time she was here, some strange things happened, that she wanted to lock forever in the depths of her mind.

When Monika finally decided to go downstairs, she opened the squeaky door of the basement. Her body shivered, she wanted to run away, but then she thought about Lucia and she swallowed her fear.

The cellar was lightly lit and she saw just the silhouettes of the boxes that filled the basement. Monika sharpened her gaze, when she heard Jacky's grandfather mumbling - as it seemed, the old man was talking to himself - that wasn’t a good sign.

“Mr. Long?” asked Monika towards the voice. There was only one swinging lightbulb hanging from the ceiling, that was slightly cutting through the darkness of the room. It created a very dramatic effect and Monika remembered, why she always hated horror movies.

“Oh, Miss Monik,” said a sweet voice, and an old man with big ears stepped out of the shadows. Monika almost jumped from his fast appearance, so she had to hold on to the rail of the stairs on which she stood not to fall on her butt.

Because of the traditional Chinese restaurant that the old man owned, he was dressed in a red uniform with golden stitching and there was a wide wrinkled smile on his face. He looked very kind and friendly, completely harmless - but Monika knew better. Her initial anger returned and she indignantly started.

“My roommate was kidnapped by some men! And I'm sure that you have something to do with it! Tell me where she is!”

“Why do you think that I have something to do with it?” he asked calmly.

Mr. Long smiled at the girl, he did not even mind that she was shouting at him. But Monika did not appreciate the old man’s peaceful reaction, she knew that he was involved! The worst thing about this was, that if she'd told anyone, they would think she was the crazy one! How can she suspect such a sweet old man? He would not hurt even a fly!

“I am not an idiot! You know exactly what am I talking about! The kidnappers have left me a message - the dragon's eyes see the way - which sounds like from your story!”

Mr. Long then began to nod with a serious look on his face. “This was exactly what I was afraid of. I said, that this could happen, but it happened much sooner, than I expected…”

“Where's my roommate?” Monika urged the old man.

“I do not know,” said Mr. Long patiently. When Monika saw how relaxed the old man was when she told him about her roommate, she felt that Mr. Long had nothing to do with the kidnapping - but that was impossible! If she read well his face expressions and his attitude, it would mean, that everything that he had previously told her, that crazy story, would also be true.

“But the dragon's eyes see the way and they will lead you to her,” said the old man with a smile.

“Stop with that nonsense! I cannot take it anymore!” cried out Monika desperately, not sure whether she was more angry at Mr. Long or herself for believing in his words. Then something broke behind the old man and Monika jumped up - she wanted to step back, but she was standing on the stairs and she just kicked into them with her heel.

“You were right, she still does not believe you," said a chilling voice behind Mr. Long. Until that moment Monika didn’t even realise that someone had been sitting behind the old man. The girl felt goosebumps all over her body, but she did not show her fear, on the contrary, she straightened up.

“Who’s there?” she asked firmly holding the railing of the stairs.

“This is Ren. I called him here to help you get to the other side,” said Mr. Long. Under the light of the only light bulb in the cellar a tall man with long brown hair stepped out. Though he had small brown eyes, they were sharp and he pierced the shocked girl with them. Ren had a peculiar, tattered outfit - a greenish long-sleeved top and dark-brown trousers - he did not look like from our time.

“Are you starting with that stupid story again?! I don’t want to hear it again!” snapped Monika as she swallowed the frosty feeling she had from the strange ragged man.

“And did you even think about the possibility, that it is true? You know, not everyone is THRILLED that the fate of my tribes depends on YOU,” said Ren with disgust in his voice, strictly crossing his hands on his chest. Monika heard the irony in his words and she knew he wanted to intimidate her, but it had the opposite effect.

“Oh, look, I have another madman to my collection that is telling the same nonsense that the other one!” she burst out angrily and shoved with her hand at Mr. Long. There was despair in her words, but she managed to mask it with anger. “So, you know what? I will join you! Lets have some fun!” said Monika with a mad expression, and she stepped down the stair so she can face Ren. The man was surprised by her quick movement and looked at her strictly. Monika was quite tall, she was just a bit shorter than Ren, that also gave her more courage. “Let's say that what you’re saying is true,” she began calmly, but then she started yelling again, “but I did not ask for this! I don’t want to have anything to do with it!”

“I'd be glad, if you have nothing to do with it,” said Ren, keeping a strict look on his face. “This would be so much easier with anyone else!” he snapped. “But I don’t have a choice either, and what complicates things even more, is the fact that you have to be conscious when we cross to the other side. It would be so much easier to just knock you out,” he said while his eyes sparkled - that was the moment Monika realised what she was doing. She took a step back and looked at the man in front of her. Ren was well built and that made Monika reevaluate her situation. She had been practicing karate from a young age, so she was used to fight with even bigger men than Ren - which was why she was not afraid of him - but in the real world no one ever attacked her, and she did not want to test his skills right now. Plus they were in a dark cellar where it would not be easy to run away.

“I was not supposed to come here,” said Monika with an apologetic glance to Mr. Long. “If you did not kidnap my roommate, I will call the police,” she added, turning to leave while trying not to show fear.

“Miss Monika, the police will not be able to help you. They do not have the dragon eyes, they will not see the path, that the kidnapers have left for you,” Mr. Long stopped her with his words.

“I had enough of your stories,” said Monika angrily again, and she wanted to run up the stairs, but Ren caught her wrist.

“You should listen to him. He's trying to help you,” said Ren sharply.

Monika was with one foot on the stairs, while she was looking at Ren with fear in her eyes because of his tight grab. She wanted to get away from his grip, but he did not let her go.

“Let me go,” she said strictly.

“Or what?” asked Ren while he provocatively raised his eyebrow - it did not sound like a threat, rather than a challenge.

“Tut-tut, younglings, let's take it easy,” said Mr. Long and separated them from each other, because he saw how Monika clinched her fist ready to fight. “Your friend has been kidnapped and you can not use your abilities properly to find her, but Ren is a skilled warrior from the other world and he will be glad to help you,” continued Mr. Long, but the ragged man jumped into his speech.

“I will not! Am I supposed to help her, but she will do nothing?! I don’t think so,” said Ren looking at the girl with disgust. But he also saw his chance and he decided to use this situation to his advantage: “If you want my help, you will come with me to my world. Only then will this nightmare end for both of us and you will get back your friend.”

Monika frowned. If the men were telling her the truth - and even if she did not want to admit it, she felt that they weren’t lying - the police would not be able to help her, and she didn’t want to leave Lucia in the hands of the kidnappers. There was no other way out from this situation, so she agreed. “Ok, fine,” she said through her clenched teeth, knowing, that she will regret those words.


Dear readers! :) As you can see, the story went through a whole lot of changes - added descriptions of scenes for you to be able to enjoy this story even more. I hope you will like this officially Slovak fantasy book translation. You will probably find some mistakes since I am not a native speaker, but I will try to do my best! :)