Young Adult Fantasy

Clever Trevor and The Zombie Princess


This book will launch on Feb 17, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Fifteen-year-old Trenton James' entire life has been leading up to this—a chance to make his mark on the world. Too bad it's not this world. Life gets turbulent when he finds himself transported to Mortifia, the land of the dead. One of the five "Otherworlds," closed off from Earth long ago. Stuck between two siblings fighting to rule, pressure rises for Trent and his friends as they are forced to choose a side. With wit and a sense of humor, he fights to get back to his mundane life at home. All at the risk of the prophesied portal jumper bringing destruction to Earth and the five other worlds.

- Prologue - Mortifia, July, 1968

“Hurry, Edric, we haven’t much time.”

“KeRon, once they close the portal, we’ll never be able to pass


KeRon’s coat tails flared as the two men raced through the stone maze.

Twisting around corners and through doors the long corridors seemed to

pulse. Lights appearing and disappearing in the wake of their hurried steps.

“I know Earth’s governing board ruled to close the portals immediately,

but what about the people? There isn’t time to get them all home. So many

will be trapped!”

KeRon raised his hand to halt Edric’s panicked pleas. “You know that

with the spread of the virus that wemust stop travel, immediately. The ruling

was made to protect the people. There is nothing ...”

“But you know there is no virus.” Edric said seeing his panting breath,

“The council falsified the evidence, it was all made up. They passed a vote

based on a made-up fear!”

“I know, but we haven’t the time for that right now. Just hurry!”

Slowing, they approached the end of a long hallway. KeRon slid his tall,

thin body along the wall to the end of the corridor. His dull gray skin blended

into the stone perfectly. A strand of dark hair swept across his long sweaty

face accenting his sharp jawline. KeRon raised his right hand and summoned

a ball of grayish black light. The small orb, the size of a baseball, hovered and

sizzled like a flame.

“Let’s see if anything is lurking in the shadows.” KeRon sent the glowing

ball flying. It buzzed and sparked as it expanded, illuminating the corridors

until it faded out in the darkness.



The two hurried in the direction of the flare. Moving more slowly than

before and keeping close to the walls.

“The older part of the palace is trickier to navigate. Stay close, Edric.”

A flare sped towards them, fizzling out before giving away their location.

“Quick!” KeRon growled. “They cannot find out about the jars. And

ready your sword, just in case.” KeRon proceeded with his hand outstretched.

Prepared to attack.

Ba-rum bum, bum. The hall rang with drumming footsteps ofMortifian

soldiers. More flares were sent down different corridors, fortunately none

quite close enough to reveal KeRon and Edric. Not yet, anyway.

A fewminutes and several turns later, KeRon halted outside a small door.

It was simple, constructed out of black wood. “Stay in the doorframe, right

to the wall,” KeRon instructed. “It might be the only thing that keeps us out

of sight.”

Kneeling in front of the wooden door, KeRon eyed the lock mechanism.

His fingers traced the cold metal workings that came together in the shape

of two dragon claws. The clawed fingers knotted tightly keeping the door secured.

“There is no handle. How do we get in?” Edric said.

“The trick is to get the claws to connect in a way that will release the

lock.” Lifting each finger and interlocking it with another, KeRon worked on

the puzzle.

Themarching grew louder as it echoed down the hall. KeRon kept working.

“Stop tapping your feet, I can’t concentrate.”

“Sorry, I can’t help it,” Edric stiffened against the wall wrapping himself

in his jacket.

KeRon’s fingers worked as he tried to keep his mind from wandering to

the impending war he faced after the portals were closed.Up to this point the

people of the FiveWorlds had been able to move freely between them. Now

the people were being forced into isolation.

“Hurry, they are closer,” Edric said as he crunched further into the shadowed


Unphased by Edric, KeRon’s fingers worked tirelessly, continually

switching the position of each claw. The lock clicked. “There,” KeRon


paused, “Dang it. I have to remember the exact placement.” Another click,

nothing happen, he shifted and change one other finger. “Maybe that one?


Shuum. An increasing glow caught KeRon’s attention. Shuum.Without

thinking, he stood and pressed himself and Edric tight against the door. The

shadow from the door’s frame washed over them. The flash of light zoomed


“They will see us soon. Can’t you get the lock to release?” Edric whispered


“It’s been a long time since I’ve had to open this door. Keep an eye out

will you, it’s easier when I don’t have to focus on being the lookout too.”

“Hey now. I’ve kept you safe many of times.” Edric appeared to smirk.

“Let’s just not make this another Amorian situation”

KeRon’s fingers stopped, “That was not my fault.” With a chuckle to

himself he completed the next configuration, “but I agree, I would not want

to repeat ...”

Shuummm, another flare flew past.

It was only a matter of moments before the soldiers would be close

enough that the doorway would no longer conceal them.

“Time’s up!”

“You there! What are you doing?” A deep voice called from the end of

the hallway. “Identify yourselves!” Shuum. Shuum. Shuum. Flares illuminated

the hallway around them. One smashed into the wall next to them and

exploded. Sparks fizzled like fireworks on the ground around them.

More flares struck the wall near Edric’s head. “I don’t mean to rush you

KeRon, but the closer they get, the better their aim will be.”

“I know. I should want the soldiers to hit their target on the first try, but

I am oddly glad that they are not more accurate.” KeRon stayed focused on

the lock.

The glow at the end of the passage grew brighter. The buzzing swooshes

from the flares intensified. “Present yourselves,” the soldier called again.

A relieving click and growl from the lock mechanism broke the tension.

The fingers released their grip and curled together becoming a doorknob.

KeRon opened the door and pushed his friend inside.

“We see you there! Reveal yourself.”


KeRon secured the door behind them and raised his hand to create a

flare, bringing light to the blackness surrounding them.He placed the orb in

a small container hanging next to the door. Like a floating lantern it rose and

hovered near the ceiling. The glow of the flare danced on the walls like light

passing through water.

Bang! Bang! Bang! “We know you’re in there, come out by orders of the

king ofMortifia.”Muffled voices called fromthe other side of the heavy door.

"It's ok, Edric.That door will hold them at bay long enough to complete

our task.”

The room was small, circular, with no windows, and rough-cut stone

walls. Upon the table sat a small display of six different objects. Each was engraved

with a unique symbol and looked as if they were meant to contain

perfume or a potion.

“Are these the portals” Edric said reaching to touch the jars.

“Be careful, friend! As you know, one wrong touch could take you somewhere

you don’t want to go.”

Edric retracted his hand.

KeRon lifted a small white jar and showed it to his friend. The jar fit

perfectly in KeRon’s gray boney palm. The white container had a picture of

a prism carved onto the side. It, like the other containers, appeared to have

been crafted of clay and smoothed to a polished finish. The lid fit snugly, securing

whatever was inside.

Bam! The men jumped at the sound of something heavy ramming the


“Are you sure they can’t get through?”

“Don’t worry about them. I’ve been working on these miniature portals

for years. I knew something like this would happen if the larger portals were

ever ...”

“But they are so small.”

“... destroyed, we would have a way out. A way to help rescue those who

are stuck.”

KeRon knew that he was sending Edric to deal with the conflict on Earth

alone. And KeRon would be stuck inMortifia forever.He was losing his closest

confidant and friend. All because of a ruling he didn’t agree with that was

built on fake science and blatant lies.


Bam! The soldiers rammed the door again knocking KeRon back into

the moment. No more thinking about what might happen next, only what

needed to be done.

“Edric, it’s time. Take this,” KeRon handed Edric the small satchel containing

the five vials. “Please keep them safe, and hopefully one day we can


“There has to be another way,” Edric said. “Do you remember that time


“That time the council sent us to Infernia? Edric, my friend, with the

portals being cut off we have to be cautious.This journey is not like those exploratory

missions we went on. This is the start of something bigger. Once

you get to Earth, you have to stay there. Don’t use the portals until you know

you should.”

“Your family? What about them? What about this world, and the others?

It is all in danger. You are in danger. Why don’t you use the portal jars to

escape? Come with me, bring your family.We can regroup on Earth and find

a solution to this problem.”

KeRon looked sadly at the floor. “This is one of those things I’mnot sure

we will ever agree on. I need to stay here. I can’t leave Mortifia.”

“We know you’re in there,” they heard called from the other side, once

more. Bam! The heavy ram hit the door again.

“Come, my friend, it’s your time to go.”

“I can’t leave you. We can ...”

KeRon placed the jar in Edric’s hand and clipped the bag on Edric’s belt.

Placing his hands on Edric’s shoulders and looking him in the eyes, he said,

“I’m not sure I can help you be okay with this. It’s time to go the portals are

closing here. You need to be there. Someone will come who will save us all. I

only hope it doesn’t take too long.”

Edric tried to mutter a response, but KeRon held up a hand to indicate

he had more to say. He dropped his tone and continued, “Earth needs you

Edric. It is your time. Please take care of those jars. They are our last hope.

Now remember the prophecy, my friend. If these fall into the wrong hands

the Jumper could bring an end to far more than Mortifia.”

Before Edric could mutter even a goodbye, KeRon triggered the portal

jar. Suddenly, where his friend once was, there was nothing. Edric was gone.


KeRon was alone. He knew had he asked, Edric would have given up his life

on Earth to fight by his side. But, KeRon could never have asked that of him.

This was the start of something bigger. KeRon knew that the fate ofMortifia

solely rested on him.Theother worlds would have to protect themselves.

This sad realization did not last long before his attention transitioned back

to the pounding at the door. He collected himself, wiped away the tear running

down his face, walked towards the commotion, and opened the door.

“Ah! Who’s in there!” demanded the soldiers. Charged hands met him,

but their forceful tones quickly diminished, and they froze upon KeRon’s


“Your Highness?” muttered a guard.

“What is the meaning of this commotion?”

“Sir, we didn’t know it was you,” explained another soldier quickly standing

at attention. “If we had ...”

“Enough! I’m needed in the council room.”

Then with that, KeRon, the king of Mortifia, readied himself for war.

About the author

Kevin Niehaus studied business and psychology. Getting to work with children and adolescents daily, he gets exposure to the worlds they create to help them balance the vast world around them. His hope is to create worlds children can escape to and that help children face the world around them. view profile

Published on July 13, 2020

70000 words

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy