Amelia (Battle for Ardentia): Amelia is a precocious, ten-year-old girl with a powerful imagination. In her alter-ego guise of a demi-goddess warrior princess, Amelia fights against a powerful demonic sorcerer named Romut and his horde of monsters in a never ending series of battles to protect the people of her imaginary world. However, the true battle strikes home when Amelia is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now Amelia must fight not just the evil living in her imagination, but for her very life. (Coming 1 December, 2016)
Dan took the key cards, handed one to Linda, and left their luggage for the bellhop to attend to, with the exception of their carry-on bags. Amelia, somewhat rested, hopscotched behind her parents to the elevator. She smiled at the elderly black man wearing a red and gold uniform, standing in the far corner of the car.
He returned her smile, his white teeth in stark contrast to his dark skin. “Would you like to push the button?”
Amelia looked to her dad. “Can I, Dad?”
“Can you what?”
“Push the button.”
“Sure. It’s number fourteen.”
The button lit up at Amelia’s touch and the elevator drifted upward almost silently.
“Very well done,” the elevator operator said. “You have a real knack for the job. My name is Otis.”
“Amelia,” she responded.
“Very nice to meet you, Amelia.”
Linda looked down at her daughter. “Who are you talking to, sweetie?”
Otis grinned and pressed a wrinkled finger to his lips.
Amelia bit her lower lip to hide her mischievous smile. “No one.”
The elevator came to a stop and the doors whooshed open.
“You should come back and see me when you can,” Otis said as Amelia and her parents stepped out. “I’ve worked here a long time, and I can show you many wonderful things.”
“Okay what?” her mom asked.
Amelia looked back at Otis, who gave her a wink as the doors closed behind them. “Nothing.”
“Amelia, please, no warrior princess in the hotel. We don’t want to disturb the other guests.”
“I’m a warrior queen now. Don’t you remember the dragon?”
Linda rolled her eyes and sighed. “I remember the dragon. Over a hundred people on that airplane will never forget about the dragon.”
“Yeah, it was an epic battle.”
“Just…no dragons or wizards or whatever inside the hotel. We’ll find a park or something nearby and you can slay all the evil you want there.”
“I’ll try, but evil is kind of known for breaking rules. It’s pretty much the definition of evil.”
Amelia raced down the hallway toward the elevator at the end. The doors opened at her approach as if expecting her. Otis stood waiting inside with a broad smile plastered across his face.
“Back so soon?” he asked as Amelia literally jumped inside the car.
“Yep.” She looked around the elevator car, her eyes locking on to a brass plate below the buttons. “Hey, you have your name on the elevator.”
Otis chuckled. “Different Otis.”
“Why couldn’t my mom and dad see you?”
“I’m only here for very special people.”
Amelia nodded. “Ah, because I’m a warrior queen.”
Otis touched his index finger to the side of his nose and pointed it at her. “Exactly. So, where would you like to go?”
Amelia shrugged. “I don’t know. You’re the hotel expert. You pick a floor.”
“Oh, I haven’t been that kind of elevator operator for a long time. I don’t take people between floors, I take them to where they truly want to go.”
“Wherever you wish in time or space or somewhere in between.”
Amelia sucked in a long gasp. “Oh. My. God! Is this a Tardis?”
Otis gave her a wink and a smile. “It’s better than a Tardis.”
She touched the phone in her back pocket. “I sure hope they have cell reception there or my mom’s gonna freak.”