Prologue

duenkhy [ dwen-kye; /,dwɛn ‘kaɪ/]
Do you know what “duenkhy” are?

You probably do. They go by many different words. Monsters. Myths. Cryptids, folktales, fantasies. Fairies, zombies, werewolves, swamp creatures, enchanted objects brought to life, and everything in between…

They are the non-humans. Beings that enter our world so fleetingly, some believe that they’re only works of fiction. Duenkhy walk among us, maybe out of necessity, maybe out of curiosity. They often go completely unnoticed in our day-to-day lives.

However, I actually met one many years ago. A duenkhy who seemed human enough…

She entered my life when I needed someone the most. We became friends, and I became privy to her secret: she was from a world humans rarely had the honor of seeing. With that revelation, she left my world… but I still received messages from her. I always wrote back. She became my confidant during my hardest times.

Time passed, and we lost touch for a couple of years. I grew busy with college, part time jobs, and trying to figure out what I needed to be doing with myself. But my dissatisfaction grew deeper and deeper, and I became more isolated.

All my life, I’ve struggled to make connections with anyone, and it’s left me wondering what there is to gain from existing. My so-called loved ones are like strangers. The peers I grew up with are painful reminders of a past I’d rather forget.

So where can someone like me go when they’re feeling lost?

jun r.: hey, i know it’s been a while since we last talked… but, well, things have been really rough here…
it’s been hard
i wish you were still here, or that i could be wherever you are

Lady: What if I brought you over here?

jun r.: wait…really??
is it really that easy?

Lady: Yes. Pack a bag and reply with your name. You’ll be here shortly.

jun r.: ???

Lady: Just trust me!

jun r.: ok…

On that night, I texted my friend and was whisked away to a place I’d never imagined I’d see for myself…

>Enter the portal

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