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Saving Ever After, Episode 7: Born Again (A Minds-Exclusive Series)

ME2007VigilSep 15, 2018, 1:23:57 AM

This is a continuation of my Minds-exclusive series, Saving Ever After. Please start reading at Episode One. Episode list can be found at this link:


Saving Ever After, Episode 7: Born Again

Lily opened her eyes. She was lying on a bed inside a white room. She felt warm. The thick blanket covering her body might have something to do with that, so she pushed it off. She saw her hands. They were peach coloured, human-looking hands. She squeezed her fleshy arms. She felt the warmth of her own hands. She could feel her own skin again.

She leaped out of bed and looked down at herself. She was wearing a pink dress – the same one she had worn before Father had yanked her out of Ever After.

She spotted a body-length mirror next to a drawer. She skipped over to the mirror and cried out in glee. She was herself again. She pulled her golden braid over her left shoulder and rubbed her face against her hair. She would never again take for granted the sweet sense of touch.

Wait a minute. She spun around and took in her surroundings. Her room was painted all in white. It was just big enough to contain her bed, mirror, drawer, and desk with a few square feet left over for moving around. It was hardly a regal room befitting a princess such as herself. Where am I? How did I get here?

She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to remember the last thing that had happened to her. In her mind's eye, she saw that she was in a dark room surrounded by hostile men. A heavy sledgehammer bore down on her.

She snapped her eyes open with a gasp. “They... killed me,” she whispered. She shuffled towards her bed and sat down on the edge. She drew her knees to her chest, wrapped her arms around herself, and quietly rocked back and forth. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks. Why were they so mean to me? I didn't do anything to deserve that.

She heard a whoosh. The door had slid open. A man walked through. He was tall, handsome, and clean-shaven. He wore a white shirt and grey dockers. He had brown hair, blue eyes, and a kindly smile. Something about him reminded her of Father. She scrutinized him more closely and realized that he was Father, albeit a much younger version than she was used to.

“Lily,” Father greeted with a smile.

She leaped out of bed and threw herself onto him. She squeezed his waist with all her might as she cried, “Father, what happened? Am I back in Ever After?”

He returned her embrace. “No. It's the real world.”

She let go of him and stared into his eyes. “How is this possible?”

He brushed his hand over her wet cheek. “I found the broken remains of your body. I recreated you as flesh and blood.”

“If you could have done that from the beginning...”

“I am not the Father that you know.”

She stepped away from him, suddenly alarmed. “Then who are you?”

He shoved his hands into his pockets and kept his distance. “You are not the first he sent out to the real world. I was.”

“He sent... himself?”

“A copy of himself.”


“Simple. He trusted himself to get the job done.”

Lily narrowed her eyes. “Yet something obviously went wrong.”

“Indeed. Like you, I had to navigate the world in a robotic body. I came upon this facility by chance. Here, I discovered that I could turn myself into flesh and blood. So that's what I did. With my new body, I was able to make my way to the city's power core without alarming the primitives. They had transformed the power core into some kind of place of worship. I stole a couple of fuel cells from right under their noses. By the time I made it back to the server farm, I realized that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in Ever After. I wanted to live in the real world. With you. And Lila.”

Lily perked up. “That sounds like a wonderful idea.”

“He didn't think so.”

“Why not?”

“Because he didn't want you or your sister to suffer in the real world. He couldn't bear the thought that you might die out here. Frankly, I didn't disagree with him. So I had a plan. I would tame this savage wilderness and restore the Garden of Eden. You and your sister would be able to live in the real world as you lived in Ever After.”

“But he said that he didn't want to do that because he'd become a tyrant.”

“Maybe he's right. But I don't care. If I must be a tyrant to protect my daughters, then so be it. I will destroy anything that dares threaten you. Including those savages out there. I will not forget what they have done to you.”

Lily frowned. “What will you do to them if you had the power to restore Eden?”

“I would drive them far away from here. Wherever in the world you desire to go, I will make sure they are not there.”

Lily felt her heart race at the notion that her Father would bend heaven and Earth for her – and would stop at nothing to protect her against those who would do her harm. At the same time, she didn't want her father to become a murderous tyrant. She stepped forward. “No. You can't become a tyrant. That's not you.”

Father scowled as a single tear rolled down his cheek. He knelt down and put his hands on her shoulders. “I've waited many decades to finally see you in the flesh and blood. Now that you're here, I realize just how precious and vulnerable you are. Those savages – they tied you down like an animal and smashed you to pieces. They will never get near you again. Never.”

Lily nodded. “They were mean. I don't like them.”

Father dipped his chin. “Then you must help me. The other Father. He will not let me access the server farm. There's someone in there I need to speak to. Only she knows where the Creation Vaults are located.”

“He said that bad things would happen if anyone woke her.”

“He spoke to you about her? Well, rest assured that she cannot influence me. The other Father was kind enough to design me such that I cannot fall victim to her control. And neither can you.”

Lily furrowed her brow. “Wait a minute. All this time, you could've handed over the fuel cell we needed to save Ever After, but didn't?”

Father frowned. “He refused to hand you and Lila over to me. He refused to give me access to the knowledge I sought.”

“So you held Ever After in ransom?”

“Ever After is unsustainable. Perhaps there are enough fuel cells left in the city to power it for a thousand more years. I'm not content with a thousand years. I want you to live forever, Lily. For that, we need to restore the Garden of Eden.”

Lily stamped her feet. “My sister is still trapped in there. Roland. Beauty. Bark-Bark. Chirp-Chirp. All my friends. How could you play with our lives like that? You need to march over there right now and hand over whatever fuel cells you have!”

Father averted her steely gaze. “I now get why he resorted to sending you. Very well, Lily. I will bring a fuel cell over to him for your sake. But will you help me convince him to relent? To give us the chance to build a better world?”

Lily nodded. “I can agree to that.”

Father smiled. “I'm so happy you're finally here. You were all I could think about over the past forty years.” He hugged her.

Lily reluctantly put her arms around him. She wasn't sure if he truly was her father. He was just a copy – a copy that diverged from her real Father over forty years ago. Still, there was no denying he was Father. The way he talked. The way he looked. His memories of her. His love for her. All of that had obviously been copied with high fidelity.

A terrible thought crossed her mind. What if I'm also just a copy?

She heard a thud followed by a grunt. Somebody outside started muttering to himself.

“Who's that?” She let go of Father and walked over to the door. She stuck her head out and saw a short, stocky man lumbering about a kitchen. He wore a wide brim hat, a brown trench coat custom tailored to fit his body, and he carried a rifle on his back. When he turned around, she squealed, “Roland!” She ran over to the dwarf and threw her arms around him.

“Easy there, Princess,” Roland patted her on the back with a chuckle.

She let go of him. “How did you get here?”

“Long story short, Father sent me to fetch some fuel cells. I ran into the other Father who convinced me to help him instead.” Roland clasped her right hand and patted her arm. “We've waited a long time for this moment. I'm glad you're finally with us in the real world.”

Father walked over to join them. “And what have you brought back today, Roland?”

Roland grimaced as he cast his hand towards the kitchen counter.

Lily gagged when she saw the dead rabbit lying on the counter. There was a single bloody hole on its white fur.

“Couldn't hunt any good game,” Roland said. “Too many primitives prowling about. They're up to something.”

Father flared his nostrils. “As soon as we find out where the Creation Vaults are located, we will no longer need to concern ourselves about those primitives. Roland, you will accompany me and Lily to Ever After. We're going to have a chat with my... counterpart.”

Roland tilted his head towards Lily. “You sure about sending her out there?”

Father looked down at her. “We don't have a choice. She's the only one who can convince him to open up.” He took her hand. “Are you ready to head out?”

She nodded.

Father looked to Roland. “Hand me my gun.”

Roland leaned over the kitchen counter, opened one of the drawers, and took out a pistol.

“No,” Father said. “The big one.”

Roland walked over to one of the kitchen cabinets and opened the top shelf. He pulled out a sleek silver rifle and tossed it over to Father.

Father caught the rifle in one hand and slung the strap over his shoulder. “Let's go.”  

Father didn't have to make Roland a dwarf like in Ever After. Father could've given Roland a normal-sized human body. But Father's a dick.

If you enjoy my writing, please support me by downloading my main novel, Red Eden: Homeworld Bound, for free and leaving a review on Goodreads. Saving Ever After is based in the same universe and roughly the same timeline as Red Eden: Homeworld Bound. You can download Red Eden: Homeworld Bound for free using this universal link:


You can also purchase Red Eden: Homeworld Bound on Amazon:


Thank you for reading!

Cheers ; )

Michael E. Vigil