You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?
Of all the things I had expected might happen, waking up to a chicken trying to peck me to death wasn’t one of them. Last night had started out like any other, comforting in its ordinariness and definitely chicken free. After wrapping up some Latin and Medical Assisting homework at the coffee shop, I treated myself to an early night in with a new book. Once home I wasted no time changing into the coziest pajamas I owned and curling up with my new book and a mug of tea. As I opened the novel, enjoying the comforting aroma of paper and ink, a blue strip of paper fell out from its depths. Figuring it was some kind of coupon from the bookstore, I was surprised at the thick expensive feel of the paper. “Your ticket to anywhere.” Printed in elegant calligraphy with shimmery golden ink the words stood out starkly against the deep sapphire hue of the paper. Wondering why someone had taken the time to create such an elaborate coupon but not explain what it was for, I sat it next to my mug and dived eagerly into the book. At some point many hours later I sleepily laid my head on the arm of the chair I was curled up in, thoughts of the book and the ticket lingering in my mind.
“Ouch!” A sharp stinging pain originating from my nose abruptly yanked me out of my slumber. Sitting up brusquely three things imminently captured my attention. First, there was a chicken clucking crossly, picking itself up from the floor where it had landed after being launched from my chest when I sat up. Second, it was cold. Not just a normal morning chill cold, but a frosty cold that made me want to retreat into the warmth of my covers. Third, these were not my covers. At that alarming realization, I immediately wiped the sleep from my eyes and took inventory of my surroundings. Simple wood panels made up the floor and walls with beams crossing the ceiling. Sparse rustic furniture decorated the room simply but comfortably. A half-melted candle and clay pitcher rested on the dresser to my right. Noticing the slippers on the floor, I quickly slipped them on, also grabbing the robe like garment from the top of the chest at the foot of the bed. Surely, I was still dreaming? It didn’t feel like a dream, but I pinched myself just in case…. and nothing happened.
“Light save me, Eliza if you’re not up yet you are going to be late!” a masculine voice yelled from the other side of the door. I scrambled back as a slight girl with golden braids barreled through the door, shutting it loudly behind her. “Eliza, you’re not even dressed!” she exclaimed, large green eyes widening in surprise. At a loss for words or even rational thoughts, I let myself be bullied into a woolen dress that seemed to fend off the cold. Babbling nonstop as she buttoned the many buttons on the back of the dress, the girl dragged me out of the door as soon as the last button was fastened. I barely caught a glimpse of the rest of the house as I was corralled out of the front door of the home by both the green-eyed girl and a tall brown-haired boy (who I assume was the source of masculine voice from before). Once outside I imminently recognized where I was.
The village square from the book I had fallen asleep reading last night stood before me. Details that had been held in ink and paper appeared very real in front of me: the emerald wreath on the sign of the Spring Inn, the bright red hue of Rand’s, the main character’s, hair, and the agelessness of the Aes Sedai Moiraine’s face. Eight horses stood in the street, seven with riders I recognized as main characters. In my mind, a puzzle piece fell into place. This was the moment in the book where the group sets off from their small country town on their adventure; which the back of the book promised to be full of magic, battles, kingdoms, and wild tales. Moiraine fixed her sharp stare on me and asked, “Well are you coming or are you going to dawdle all day?” The ticket! Its promise to be a ticket to anywhere must not only be true but include fictional worlds as well. A few moments passed with my thoughts spinning in a thousand directions. What was happening? How? Why? Forcing my anxious thoughts aside, a grin spread across my face. I straightened my back and met Moiraine’s stare with one of my own. “Of course, I’m coming,” I replied, pulling myself onto the eighth horse. Not sure what was going on but determined to make the most of it, I accepted a traveling cloak and put it on determinedly. This ticket was giving me a chance to be a part of the worlds I loved, and I was going to take advantage of every glorious moment.