Thursday, 15 February 2018

Chapter 25
Elmi slammed her wrist down on the loud motor at the sound of the whistles. The other girls were suddenly slammed against the seat and the spray of salty water hit them painfully fast. As soon as Kaylin got the wind back into her lungs, she yelled, “Slow this bread smackin’ thing down!”
Elmi smirked in an embarrassing way, still balancing her elbow on the motor. “‘Bread smackin?’ Isn’t that what Grey said?” The girls still felt bad for leaving so abruptly. But, they forced themselves to push regrets out of their mind. Bear was just too close now.
Kaylin’s eyes widened as land rushed closer and closer. “ELMI!” she screamed. “I wasn’t joking! Stop!” All Elmi could do was swing around with terror as the rental boat went full speed towards the rocky shore.
Thunk!

--<0>--


After being launched into the sand, Annabel was nearly impaled by a sharp, black rock, and the rest landed beside her in a pile of dry seaweed and itchy, white sand. They sat up in a slow, crooked fashion.
“Thanks, Elmi, for really-” Kaylin couldn’t finish her sarcastic statement before Della muffled her mouth with a small hand. Kaylin spat it off, but stopped herself, this time, because she heard footsteps and knew they could only be from one source; the people in the black boat.

The footsteps were hard to hear in the soft sand, so it was difficult to judge where the people were relative to the Cubs. They were hiding behind a spiny bush. In the day, they would be a plain sight behind the scraggly branches, but with it being so dark, they sunk right into the vegetation. If you were standing to the front of the bush, the girls would be invisible.
Annabel’s face turned to pure concentration for a few seconds, here glasses sunk down her nose. “They sound like they’re right in front of the bush now, or else they’re real near.”

“Sure are,” said the chill voice of a young man.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Chapter 24
Della lay calmly on the soft, mossy rocks. Wonderful nature sounds and the scent of leaves and water surrounded her. Her eyes drifted around the beautiful scene, and the blue-green water was still. She closed her eyes and heard soft footsteps coming near.
“Della, time to go,” said a soft voice. So, she did, and took in the smooth air around her. She was in a sort of peace state, a quiet hum came from the back of her brain and she inhaled the wonders around her.
She barely noticed the rhythm of her walking, or the blurry figure or her sisters leading her down the root-tangled path. The birds and tall trees were her only attention.
A racing car sped by and snapped her mind back to focus. They were walking to town… to find a boat. Right. Then, they could go to Kenol, they could finally go home. Della wished that she really believed that it could happen. Weeks it had taken to get this far, days it had taken to get them into this mess. The feeling of home was just out of her fingers, just out of the way of grabbing it and bringing it close.
The cool water had long dried off, and now the only wet the Cubs were feeling was sticky sweat. The summer heat cruelly poured down on the town. It made the Cubs’ search for a rental boat very downcast. Finally, after over two hours, they found one. It was by the same company as the last boat they rented: Charlie Waters.
Elmi fiddled with the controls. “This ride’ll be a bit smoother than last time. At least I have some tricks to driving.” The last ride was a very bumpy ride. The speed varied in erratic intervals and Elmi seemed to be able to hit every harsh wave that was in their path. Annabel was feeling more than seasick.
“Good,” Annabel said stiffly, and slowly lowered herself into the slow rocking boat. The young man behind the rental stand gave Elmi a curt little nod as she untied the rope. The boat started floating off and in no time they were speeding down the barrier to Kenol.
After a while, Kaylin noticed a recurring sight behind them. “Uhh, guys?” She asked. “Those guys have been following us for a while. I can tell that they’re not just on the same path as us.” Then, Kaylin murmured under her breath, “With all your swerving, Elmi.”
“Hmm,” Annabel grunted, looking over her shoulder. Kaylin pulled her head down. “Don’t look back so obviously!” she said. “We can’t let them know that we know that they’re trailing us.”
The sleek, back speedboat was still following them at dusk. Annabel narrowed her eyes at it, looking at it with her head just peeking over the edge of the boat. Della was curled up in a ball and the air was becoming cold. “Land Ho!” Elmi yelled enthusiastically.

A whistle came from the black boat. “They heard us?”

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Chapter 23
“Gaaaaah!” Annabel yelled, holding her hair in rough hands. Elmi rushed to her. “What’s up?”
Annabel gave her an annoyed glare. “We can’t get a boat ride until after 12:00! We have to stay on this pile of-” “That’s great!” Elmi interrupted.
“Great?” Kaylin, Annabel, and Della screamed. How could staying away from Bear be great?
“Cool your jets, guys,” We should probably enjoy the tourist places here.”
“But-” Annabel started in a little outrage.
“No, this island is known for its tourist attractions and great beaches,” Elmi reasoned. “There won’t be any black magic obsessives here… hopefully. Plus, someone gave me these.” She held up a ticket.
“A family beach trip?”Annabel asked. “I don’t know if we count as a family.” Kaylin gave her a friendly punch. “If we’re not family after all this, then Robin isn’t Batman’s son. Wait… I don’t know. Who’s Batman again?”
Della giggled. “I can’t wait to see Bear, but I really want to relax a bit and we have to be out of this room by 10:00.” “I agree,” said Kaylin.
The four tried to shake the dirt off their clothes, but had nothing to change into. “You smell disgusting, Kaylin,” Elmi remarked. Kaylin stuck out her tongue and rudely said, ”You read my mind!”

--<0>--

The beach Green Stone was moderately crowded. It seemed the most popular beach, with signs and directions to it all over Middletown. Green Stone seemed a good name for the beach covered in mossy rocks. It was more like a gorge than a beach, with a big stretch of water surrounded by trees and rocky hills. The water was an unnerving green, but smooth and cool to the touch.
Four girls splashed around the edge of the shallow gorge. They slipped and pushed each other down the mossy rocks into the calm water. Fish swam in quick patterns around their toes. The Cubs almost forgot about it…
“It’s 11:00, we should get going soon,” Annabel said with a sigh.
“Wait, wait!” Elmi grabbed the hood of Annabel’s sweater. “We should go to Grass cove before we leave.”
“Really?” Della squeaked in excitement. Kaylin nodded and crossed her arms in an impressed way. Grass Cove was known all over Fuzz and Kenol. It was one of the most famous, most beautiful coves in all three of The Fishing Islands. Annabel’s eyes sparkled with the thought.
“You got that with the ticket?” Annabel asked in wonder. Elmi smiled.
“So, the map says there are two routes,” Annabel stared hard at the little map they got at registration. She lifted her glasses and her eyes followed the tiny directions.
“The octopus route looks good,” Elmi murmured, squinting at the map. Annabel shook her head. “I don’t know about that. It says there's a longer wade through the river. I vote the starfish route.”
“What’s so bad about a little extra pool time?” Elmi laughed. Annabel gave her a look that said, I know what I’m doing, take it from me. Elmi gave her an eye-roll.
“I’m with Elmi!” Della said. There was probably no opinion in that statement, but Della always trusted the oldest. Elmi smiled and ruffled her hair.
“It does seem cool to have a mini-swim, but I’ve gotta trust the… the smartest.” Kaylin said with a little mischievous smile.
Elmi’s mouth hung open for a few seconds. “I am taken aback!” Annabel and Della giggled at her while Kaylin stood proudly with her arms crossed. “We’ll try Elmi’s way first, and if that doesn’t work we’ll try my way,” Annabel said. Elmi tightened her lips, and agreed.
The walk was short, well... it would be if Della hadn’t been reading the wrong path on the map. They got mixed up in the twisted trunks of the forest. Eventually, they found the right spot and they were sure of it. A length of river so far the eye could barely see the shore on the other side rushed in front of the four cubs. The raging water slapped rocks and fallen branches with painful force.

Elmi frowned, “It’s either you’ve magically opened my eyes to your idea, or my idea was just very, very bad.”

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Chapter 22
Finally, the four could lay down. They had bought a night’s stay in a hotel on Fuzz. One more boat ride to bring them to Kenol. Then, they could see Bear again, they could sleep in their own beds. The thought seemed far away. It was just out of reach with the children being so prone to disaster.
They tried to push bad thoughts out of their heads as they squished into the queen-sized bed. “I’m so glad,” Kaylin whispered before they drifted into an unsteady sleep.
Della woke up with a shudder. “Guys? Guys?” Della whispered. They were nowhere to be seen. She worriedly searched high and low for them. “This is not funny guys.”
A shuffle came from the door. “Are they talking behind my back?” Della wondered as she pressed her ear to the door. There were no voices, just an awkward shuffling. A horrible thought came to her head and she swung open the door.
“Bear?” It was him, standing there. His feet shifting around the ground slowly. His expression was blank. Della came in to hug him, but halted. It wasn’t the same Bear. He said nothing with his mouth open just ajar. “Guys…” Della started.
Bear’s head cocked farther than it should’ve. Della’s mouth hung open, and then she screamed out. “GUYS!” Their voices came from the dark room. She moved toward them, Bear following creepily. Hard skin brushed her hand and she looked down to see Elmi, who was an orange. Her sisters sat in a row, Annabel a banana and Kaylin an apple behind Elmi. “This is no joke!” They yelled.
Bears hand gripped Della’s shoulder. She squealed and sprinted out of the room. Her feet slipped on the floor as if it were ice, and she couldn’t gain any traction. The crooked Bear slowly came towards her, but even if she sped up and turned and jumped, he would stay the same distance from her.
She sprinted out of the hotel, and horses blocked her way. She weaved in between them. Bear was slowed and frustrated, so he grabbed them by the ear and flung them at cats. Della looked around her, incredulous at her surroundings. “Seriously? Also, why am I in Central Park?”
Della dove into the pen with the sea lions, and mounted one. It turned into a Unicorn and bucked it’s magnificent head. The smile drained off her face when she saw Bear, opposite from her. He was riding a highlighter dolphin and drinking some sort of… fruit juice?
Della was filled with fury, she directed the unicorn out of the ocean pen and accepted the randomness. She held out her hand in expectancy of a sword to fall into it from the sky. Instead, a thorny vine crawled up from her arm and scratched her until a small dribble of blood trickled from it.
She took a nearby chipmunk and made it knaw the horrible vine off. It did, and then licked the blood from her arm. She held it up to give it a kiss but noticed a tiny, demented Bear riding it. “Augh!” Della screamed and them onto some squashed banana she found on the sidewalk.
The youngest cub slowly rode the unicorn into some brush, and they emerged into a clearing in which cute bear cubs were playing. Silent waving willow trees surrounded Della and the cubs and her beautiful unicorn was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t seem to care./ She was more interested in the bear cubs.
“Excuse me?” She asked. She did not know why she thought they would talk back. They stared at her for a moment, then resumed wrestling each other. “Excuse me!” Della insisted.
The two paused and grumbled in a very bear-like way. They stood on their hind legs and came up to her. She was a bit scared but crunched her brow. “Where am I, and how can I get to my- OH!”
The cubs were growing visibly fast. Their bones sprouted like a plant in a time lapse. The two bears were now more grown than any Della had seen before. One grew wings and flew away, but the other towered over her. “So, I see you are an animal-person!” Della observed.
By now she didn’t expect it to talk back. It stared at her with terrifying, shimmering eyes. It’s brown hair blew in the wind and it opened its mouth. “No.”
“I’m sorry?” Della asked.
“I said no,” The bear replied. “I am not an animal person. No, not a person, our level of intellect is far lower than theirs.”
“Theirs?” Della asked.
“Yes. The humans.”
“Won’t you think I am one?”
“No, I wouldn’t. You can’t take me for a fool and I know what one looks like.”
“Of course I am!”
“No you’re….” It’s face went blank. “What were we saying? Who are you?”
“Just a second ago-” Della started, but the bear interrupted her. “Whoever you are, go now! I don’t want to see you in my territory again!”
Della would have reasoned with the bear, but it had raised its arms and came to its full height. It was a terrifying sight to see. She stumbled back but tripped on a root at the edge of the thick treeline. She braced for impact, but never got it. She was floating in space.
Space was brilliant with stars, planets and clusters far away. She couldn’t help staring at the vast sea of stunning sights. She wished she could slowly, very slowly float around forever. Seeing a new attraction every few years would be good enough for her.
A furry figure with a space helmet on was floating beside her. It must be the Bear! She scrambled to wake the creature up, but came to look in the helmet window and screamed. No noise was heard in space, but she could feel her vocal box panicking frantically. It was her adopted father, Bear. He was still misshapen in space and his part floated around freakishly.
She tried another scream but could hear nothing. Bear started clawing at her with his real bear paws. SCREAM!
Wake up.... WaKe Up.... WAKE UP! Her sisters were staring down at her. She breathed a sigh of relief. It was all a dream. “I-I had a bad dream about  Bear… And then there was a real Bear and you guys were fruits and I was in-”

“Woah, woah, woah, slow down!” Kaylin breathed. “I had a dream about the lifecycle of a frog.”

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Chapter 21
“Whoo, that was a close one!” Kaylin sighed, as they ducked out of the pile. They were sure he was gone now. Elmi rolled her eyes. “Cha, yeah!”
The four hurried on their way, the water was in clear sight, and there was bound to be a boat rental along the path they were taking. Everyone seemed happy and were talking to each other like they didn’t have a care in the world. Elmi slowed the others down, so they could not only blend in, but relax a bit. Della liked it when her elders walked in confident, casual strides. It scared her when they were running and afraid.
A tall, superior looking lady stopped them. Her slow, flowing accent was noticeable and her words were said with such ease, it made the Cubs nervous to be spoken to. “It is a wonderful day, no?” she asked. They were suspicious.
“Yes, quite.” Kaylin replied with a challenging tone. Elmi tried to push them around her, but she stepped in their way.
“Hmm, enjoying the beautiful shore, is it not?” The lady asked again mysteriously.
“Yes, stunning, but we need to go,” Kaylin said deeply. The lady blinked a long, annoyed blink before responding. “Not lost, I hope.”
“Of course not, why we’re just visiting and-” Kaylin started.
“Wonderful!” The smirk was wiped off her face. Replaced by an expression now happy and convincing. “We’ve got the perfect souvenirs and Arkk merchandise for you! Even get the famous Fishing Islands T-shirt that now comes in mugs and pencil cases! We can help you bring Arkk home, and remind you of what a great experience it was. Let me lead you to the best souvenir shop on Arkk: RemARKKable Keepsakes!”
The girls breathed a sigh of relief. Whew, he’s not a dark magic thingy thing. Kaylin thought. And that was totally scripted.

--<0>--

One shop later, and Della was holding a two dollar,  freaky but cute snow globe showing a picture of Arkk. It’s odd because of all the Fishing Islands, Arkk gets the least snow. Arkk had a creepy smiley face on it, but it was cheap and the girls wanted to laugh at it whenever they walked by it at home.
It was late, but they had finally found a speed boat rental with the other speedboat exchange on Fuzz. Fuzz is the main and middle island in the fishing island. The barrier flows towards it from Arrk and Kenol, and it is the largest and best for tourists.
“Thank you very much sir!” Elmi said, untying the anchor rope. The boat was only a $30 ride to Fuzz, so they still had $58 to find a place to sleep in Fuzz and get one last ride to Kenol.
They all climbed in and were ready to sail. The sea still made them sick feeling, but on a speed boat with the barrier current on their side, the ride would only be about an hour. They were all inside and starting to float from the dock when it struck Kaylin that they’ve never driven a speed boat before. “Hey, Annabel, Elmi?” She asked. They were already floating a fair distance from the docks. “D’you know how to drive this thing?”
“We should,” Elmi said, though unsure herself.

Annabel nodded. “We better hope so.”

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Chapter 20
Dear journal,

Today I thought I really had them. They would make amazing trainees. I had them, then I didn’t. I think that I am bad at being intimidating. I give my purpose away when I was trying to create worrying small talk. It was too obvious that I wasn’t er…

The older one was smart, the second shortest was very fast. First, I tried to gather information from them, but I am way too obvious. The second time, I chased them down the streets for a very long time before they turned into an alley. Assuming they hid in the dumpster, I checked and missed them sneak into a pile of tables. Good thing I saw the shoes!

I thought I was sneaky enough to have found them, but there just fat hobo sitting there! They really must have turned at the corner. My master won’t have to hear about this I’ll find them or another kid before this time is over.

Anyway, we’re so close to our goal. I’ll start carving some dinosaurs and then we’ll get the old two first. Only four children and three elderly left. I’m afraid I may be one of the two adults, but after all this work, I will contribute the most.

If I’ not one of them, I’ll have the best magic.