Simon is an orphan. Sent crossworld as a baby, along with a Faeyr to keep him safe and make him do his duty when the time came, Simon has no idea who or what he is – until Rhix breaks down and tells him he is one half of a conqueror’s tool to open a portal between worlds.
Now Simon and Rhix need to find a way to close the portal, or the Overlord and his army of monsters will come through from his world and conquer Australia…
Simon’s feet ached. His legs, his body, even his eyes ached from watching the colours all day. Rhix had woken him early, just on first light, and they’d been walking pretty much since. It had rained that afternoon and the grey sky hadn’t lifted before dark closed in. If he tipped his head back he could see the clouds above him, stained an ugly orange-brown by the city lights, and streaked white and gold by the coloured lights that only Simon could see.
The colours were everywhere. Some of them made sense, like the green and brown streaks in grass and trees, and the lazy swirls of blue which usually lit the sky. But others jarred against his sight. Rusty-red threaded through cars, and sick-looking yellow looped from their exhausts and mingled with the pale yellow streaks which hung listlessly in the air. Yellow-grey spotted the concrete paths, and a darker amber-grey was splattered through the asphalt of the roads. Even buildings had streaks and lines and patches of colour winding through them; blue, grey, black, red, purple. Sometimes he even thought he could see shapes behind the colours, shadowy buildings which were sometimes the same and sometimes wildly different from the real ones.
Most days his head ached by sunset, and he knew Rhix was worried about how much pain medication she had to steal for him.
Rhix couldn’t see the colours at all. Which was funny, because they were way more important to her than they were to Simon. Simon cared more about the hunger gnawing at his stomach. He hadn’t eaten since the snatched donut at breakfast. He was used to being hungry – he’d been living on the streets for nearly three months now after Rhix had taken him from the foster home – but in the last few weeks she’d been working him harder than usual, making him walk the city, making him describe the colours to her, their shapes, the faint outlines beneath.
He’d asked her what she was looking for but all she said was, ‘Something different. Something that definitely doesn’t belong.’
It hadn’t helped. How was he supposed to tell what was different or didn’t belong when he didn’t know what colours were right?