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Writers on the Ridge: The Light Prince: Grail – Tyler’s Journey

The Light Prince: Grail – Tyler’s Journey

by J.C. Alexandre

Tyler doesn’t have an easy life living in a family of success stories. His mother is a doctor. His father is a lawyer. His older brother went to college on an athletic scholarship. And his younger brother always makes the honor roll. Yet the only success Tyler ever had was with video games.

With the start of a new school year, Tyler hopes to turn his luck around. He aspires to make the team and make the grade. He even made friends with the new girl in town, Amber. Will she be able to help him achieve the same success as the rest of his family? He’ll need to overcome temptations from some real losers at school to do so.

Chapter 1: The Call of Adventure

His footsteps, echoing against the stone floor and walls, broke the silence of a thousand years. The brave hero strode through the foyer of the ancient shrine, which sat atop the precipice of a snowcapped peak. He had ridden his horse along the mountainside trail, and when the path became too steep to safely tread on horseback, he climbed the remainder of the way on foot.

His fairy companion hovered near his shoulder. Her glowing, pale blue aura illuminated his path as he ventured into the darkness of the ruins. A moonbeam streaming through the crevices lit a dais on the far end of the room. In its silver light glistened the blade of a sword protruding from an altar. His blue eyes widened, fixing on the illustrious weapon. At last, his search was over.

Like the highest note of a flute, his fairy friend chirped, “Look, there it is! The Sword of Heroes!”

The hero followed the sparkling sprite to the sword in the stone. He wiped the sweat from his blonde brow and studied the artifact. He grabbed the hilt with his leather-gloved hand; yet despite exerting every ounce of his strength, it would not budge.

“Hey! Listen!” The fairy exclaimed in protest. “Have you forgotten? The three gems we retrieved from the other three shrines? It is as the Goddess foretold: you must present them before you can retrieve the Sword of Heroes.”

The hero reached into his satchel and withdrew three gems. He inserted each of them into the slots carved on the stone altar. The first, the Ruby of Valor, crimsoned red. The second, the Sapphire of Love, illuminated blue. And the third, the Emerald of Truth, glowed green.

With the last glowing stone set, the sword shone with a white-hot light. The hero averted his gaze, reached for the hilt, and drew it as easily as a knife drawn from felled quarry.

He held his newly acquired weapon aloft, carefully studying the blade. His fairy companion hovered near his face with similar awe. Suddenly, the floor beneath his feet trembled, and a loud metallic screech shrieked behind him.

A titanic gold effigy sat atop a stone plinth. Its metal joints and limbs roared as its round body sat up from its slouched position and its head lifted from its shoulders. Its eyes, etched upon its metal visage, fixed themselves on the hero.

“Well done, brave hero,” its voice reverberated from the unmoving slot of a mouth. “You have procured the Sacred Gems of Virtue and used their power to retrieve the Sword of Heroes.”

The statue stood and lifted its six arms; each hand held the curved blade of a scimitar.

“Now you must prove yourself worthy of wielding that legendary blade. Defeat me in combat, and you will have proven your prowess.”

The golden giant raised a sword and flung it downward. The warrior leapt away as the attack struck the ground. Landing on his feet, he aimed the Sword of Heroes at his giant foe. The gilded adversary heaved its six scimitars above its head. Without showing any fear or hesitation, the hero launched himself forward.

Before he could land a blow, the hero froze in place. He remained suspended motionless in the air, his feet nearly a yard off the ground, his blade mere inches from the giant’s head. His metal foe likewise remained frozen, as did his fairy companion far behind him. His surrounding environment faded to black, and in blue glowing letters, appeared the words, “Pause.”


“I’d advise you to focus less on your video game and more on your breakfast. Your cereal is getting soggy.”

The young voice broke Tyler’s concentration. The teenager dropped his handheld game and scowled at his younger brother, sitting opposite him at the kitchen table. He rolled his eyes and slipped the game into his jean jacket pocket. Wiping the messy brown hair from his green eyes, he shoveled the milk-drenched cereal into his mouth.

“So, what about you, Paul?” Tyler asked with his mouth full. “Shouldn’t you be eating breakfast rather than working on your model?”

Paul remained fixated on his replica of the International Space Station. The young boy with a blonde, bowl-cut attended to the model with tweezers and paintbrush.

“That’s why I scheduled my morning routine to eat breakfast first before working on my project,” Paul replied, applying the final touches.

Tyler studied the model from his seat. “I still find it hard to believe you built that thing, let alone won first place at science camp.”

“Indubitably,” the young boy said, dipping the tip of his brush into the acrylic paint before raising it to the model ever so carefully. “It is imperative this model is in pristine condition when I present it to my teacher today. I told her about it during orientation, and she assured me she would award me extra credit if I showed it to her.”

“Like you need extra credit.” Tyler shook his head with a chuckle. “You already get straight As in every subject, and you’ve earned honor roll every year since you started elementary. I’m surprised you’re in fourth grade this year. I’d figure you’d skip a few grades.”

“I’m sure you’d be able to attain similar academic achievement if you focused more on your studies and less on your video games,” his younger brother replied.

“Yes, Mom!” Tyler rolled his eyes with a sarcastic tone. “Speaking of which, it’s awfully quiet around here since she and Dad left early. They were long gone when I woke up.”

“Mother has double duty at the hospital this week, and father has very important cases to attend to,” Paul replied. “Not to mention he’ll be attending a lawyer’s conference later this month. He’s going to be presented a very prestigious award for his career.”

“Guess the two of us will have the house to ourselves,” Tyler said before spooning more cereal into his mouth. “Not for nothing, I like being home alone, but I just wished they didn’t need to work so much.”

“Technically, they don’t need to,” Paul replied. “They choose to work extra hours because—”

“Yeah, yeah!” Tyler sighed. “I heard it all before. They choose to work hard so we can all have a better life. That’s why we can afford to live in a nice house in a good neighborhood. It’s how they can afford to send you to summer camp. And it’s why Rick can afford to go to a fancy big-name college.”

A weeks-old photo hung on the refrigerator. It featured him, his parents, and his two brothers. The oldest posed center frame wearing his basketball jersey. They all stood in front of the main building of a prestigious university.

“Not that he needs the money.” Tyler resumed eating his breakfast. “He’s getting a free ride there with his scholarship.” He pointed to Paul with his spoon. “I’m sure you’re going to get a free ride, too, with all of your good grades. Heck, you’re probably going to go to college before me with how much of a little Einstein you are.”

“I’m certain you can earn a scholarship as well.” Paul set his brush in a glass of water before twisting the lid onto his paint jar.

Tyler chortled. “Not with my report cards, I’m not.”

“Don’t belittle yourself like that.” Paul sorted his paints into their container. “At least your average rose from a C+ to B- last year.”

Tyler shook his head. “A B- isn’t going to earn me a scholarship.”

“Well, there’s still athletic scholarships.” Paul carried his glass to the sink to empty the paint water. “You just need to make a team this year.”

Tyler slammed his spoon into his empty bowl before carrying it to the sink. “Yeah, just like I did last year. And the year before that. And every other year prior.”

Paul turned the water on to rinse their dishes. “Try not to be so pessimistic. Performance is just as much about perception as it is perseverance.”

Tyler raised an eyebrow. “Why do you always have to sound like you’re twenty years older than you actually are, huh, Charles Wallace?”

“What can I say?” Paul shrugged. “I’ve taken initiative to expand my vocabulary. I consider the endeavor quite adventitious.”

Tyler kept his eyebrow raised with a sly smirk. “Initiative? Endeavor? Adventitious? Man, you’ve really been using that word-a-day calendar Grandma gave you for Christmas, huh?”

A horn blaring from outside interrupted him. Tyler sprinted out the kitchen as fast as his sneakers could carry him and snatched his backpack before bolting out the door to his awaiting bus, leaving his brother to wait for his bus when it arrived later that morning.


“Tyler’s Journey” is a side-story to the fantasy novel, “The Light Prince Grail.” The story follows Tyler’s life before he and Amber ventured into the fantastical world of Arden. It details his many personal struggles and how they influenced his decisions in the novel. His story will help readers learn more about themselves as they do about him.

“The Light Prince: Grail” and “Tyler’s Journey” are available in paperback and e-book on Amazon. For more information, visit the author’s website at: jcalexandre.com

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