Peta was never nïeve, even as a child he knew the legend of the lost kingdom was fiction, nothing more than a story parents told their children to distract them from the hell of their war-torn nation and the devastation they witnessed around every corner. It was just a legend. A story of freedom, piece and happiness. A place where fear did not belong. A perfect world where citizens traipsed around in white gowns and people didn't have to lock their houses because there were no thieves, even the roads were said to be paved with gold. A place like this was impossible.
Peta kicked at a disregarded can as he wondered down the street, gunfire echoed in the distance. The sound of footsteps grew heavier as a mysterious figure approached him from behind. He stopped dead in his tracks, reaching down he swiftly grabbed his pocket knife, ready for a fight.
"It's just me, Peta. You can leave your knife where it is."
A wave of relief washed over him as a familiar face appeared from the darkness.
"Rose, you shouldn't scare me like that." Peta turned to his friend.
"Sorry, Peta, but I have something incredible to tell you." Rose's dark eyes sparkled as she grinned triumphantly. "I found it...the lost kingdom."
Peta's voice was drenched with sarcasm. "Yeah...sure, and I spotted a flying pig this morning."
Rose playfully shook her head with fake disgust. "I knew you wouldn't believe me, oh-man-of-little-faith, so I will just have to show you it myself."
Curiosity crept over Peta's face. Rose was a believer, that's how she survived. Perhaps this was her bringing a story to life. Who knew?
"Fine, as long before dark or we'll both be shot through the head." Peta sighed ad he followed his friend.
As they wondered through the forest behind their town, the thoughts of snipers and bullet's plagued their thoughts. Neither of them was about to turn back or admit they were afraid. Besides, Peta wanted the truth. As they walked up to a solid rock wall that stood 30 feet high Rose moved a thick plant from against it's bottom revealing a hole that led to the other side of the wall.
Rose smiled to herself, "Follow after me."
"No way, I'll get stuck in that hole, then what'll we do?" Peta turned to Rose.
Rose peered at the hole before responding, "You're not gonna get stuck, there's plenty of room, if you get stuck then I'll just have to claim your chocolate stash as my own."
Rose turned towards the hole and climbed into the smallish crevasse worming her way through to the other side. Moments later a protestant Peta heaves his body through the hole refusing to let her get the better of him.
Rose gestured towards a marketplace on the boundary of a seemingly wealthy city in front of her, "Welcome to the lost kingdom."
Peta's breath was taken away as he peered with both shock and disbelief at what his eye's showed him. He looked at the smiling faces of people as they went about everyday life, not noticing him or his friend. They were different. The people weren't dressed in white and the roads weren't paved with gold, but something was different. Gunfire was replaced by laughter, war with peace. The grass was greener even the birds sang a better tune. This was the lost Kingdom.
Peta finally spoke, "It was true...all this time...the legend was true."