Monday 25 December 2017

Chapter 19 (Merry Christmas!)
Kaylin made a silent scream when she felt something behind her and saw what it was. A plump man in a collared shirt and tattered pants sat cross-legged behind her. Now that she looked, she could make out shelves, pillows, and old furniture all in this little, hollowed pile. He must live here.
The man looked as scared as the girls were. “Why are you…” He stuttered, in a low voice. Elmi gave him a look of sympathy. “I’m so sorry that we had to barge in here… Uh, we’re just being chased by one o’ those black magic…”
The man paused a moment with low eyebrows, looking like he was making a decision. Then, he popped to attention with a bubbling anger in his face. “Ugh! Those messed up little berries. Need something?” his skin turned a daring red.
Elmi was speechless. “I-I… I… we…” “Oh?” Annabel said with a smart smirk. “Say, you could do us a small favor.”


“Wake up, Bear!” Della squealed at the poor man, jumping on his bed. “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” He groaned, but listened and got changed. The four girls excitedly bounced around him as the drowsily lumbered downstairs.
Bear had insisted that the Cubs eat their oatmeal and apples for breakfast before opening presents and eating sugar cookies. They were -and mostly Della- hyped for the day. They gobbled down the food and jumped to the tree, spying gifts lined under the fir tree. Bear smiled at them as he walked in. “Let’s get started.”
Wrapping paper and bows lay scattered across the floor, cluttering the area. Nobody cared enough to pick them up, they were too busy enjoying and admiring their presents.
The memory flickered sadly in Elmi’s mind. We will find Bear. What luck.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Chapter 18
The girls were almost staggering back at the pound of his words. “We should play it dumb,” Annabel whispered into her adopted sisters’ ears. They all nodded.
“It’s who?” Kaylin asked. The man, Kone, was smiling and had wide eyes. He rose his finger and pointed at the kids. Their faces turned red and Della’s lip quivered with guilt. She didn’t know why, but she really felt bad for acting like she wasn’t herself.
Kone turned to Samantha, avoiding thier forcefully innocent looks. “They look just like the china dolls from Grandmas’!” Samantha put on a sad expression. “I-I thought I recognized them.”
Elmi puffed a sigh of relief. The others leaned together and smiled with a comforting feeling of safety. But, Annabel was still looking over to Kone and his sister. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Oh, just-” Kone interrupted Samantha. “Our Grandma.”
“What about her?” Annabel asked, confused.
“She had a shelf of amazing dolls, new and old,” Samantha replied. “There were three china dolls with blond hair and one with black. They looked just like you. (Samantha looked worriedly at Kone.) The smallest things can bring back memories.”
“Is she… or…” Annabel asked.
Samantha sighed heavily. “One day, Kone and I were playing with them. Grandma usually used a stool to get up to the shelf, but today we had pushed it into the playroom.” “We asked to get it, but she said it was okay!” Kone said in a voice that sounded almost like a sob. Samantha patted his hand.
“She slipped on her tiptoes, trying to put the dolls back on the top shelf.She tried to grab the shelf but it fell. On her. It was a solid wood shelf, holding heavy things there.”
“I’m so sorry,” Annabel said. “She wasn’t alright after that, was she?”
“No,” Samantha said. “It was all our fault.”
Annabel couldn’t think of anything else to say, so she backed into the crowd of her sisters. After the two siblings finished their sudden sadness, they tended to their patient’s wound. It was really not too bad, but she was feeling a bit woozy from the impact.
Samantha and Kone served the sisters some fruit shaped as owls with chocolate wafers as the feet and mini jelly tarts as the eyes. It came with a garden shaped dish of cabbage, candied carrots, and cream with lemon tea. Elmi, Annabel, Kaylin and Della were very grateful. “Its… Its-Its Scrumptious!” Della said happily, jelly smeared around her face. Clearly, Kone and Samantha had not adopted their mother’s cooking.
Just as the cubs were leaving and thought they would get out fine, Samantha asked the deadly question. “Where are your parents?”
The girls pointed all directions and talked at once. “At the store!” Annabel said without thinking.
“Fuzz!” Kalin said.
“Home!” Della squealed.
“Hawaii!” Elmi croaked, pointing with both hands in different directions.
At first Samantha looked serious and skeptical, but her face softened. A smile came further, and she smothered a laugh with her hand. By this time, people all over the room began staring. (They had left the busy kitchen) The plates stopped clicking against forks as the centre of attention slowly built to the cubs.
“It’s okay, I just want to know you’re not street kids,” Samantha assured them with a grin. The girls sighed. “We’re not.” Samantha nodded them out, and they quickly scattered away from the following eyes.
“Just need to get to a boat rental and get out of here,” Elmi said under her breath as they speed walked through the streets, hoping to get to the edge of the island. Annabel nodded. “You’re right. We’re attracting too much attention.”
“Speaking of attention,” Della whispered. “Someone’s been trailing us. Don’t look, but I think it’s that monkey from before.” Kaylin’s eyes widened, but she didn’t move. We’ll have to lose him.
Speed walking turned into jogging, which turned into a steady run. At every corner they peeked at the Black magic user. He blended in surprisingly well and could not be shaken off. “There!” Kaylin shout-whispered. She made a slight gesture towards an alley coming up. It was perfectly positioned next to a turning curb, so it would just look like the four rounded a corner.
Della was having a hard time keeping up, but would not let down for the world. The others suddenly made a sharp turn, but she halted in her tracks to see was was being done. They had dove into an alleyway, so she followed, but it was too late. The robed man had seen the early turn and the cubs knew it.
There was not much time. “Into that dumpster!” Elmi ordered. Kaylin had a better plan. “No, he’ll expect us to do that! Can you squeeze under there?”

Everyone squished under the low pile of lawn tables and chairs, a small opening to the enclosure inside was where they tried to fit. It was a rushed business, and the man wouldn’t have noticed their presence if he hadn’t caught a glimpse of Elmi’s shoe.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Chapter 17
“Should we go in?” Kaylin asked. Elmi was a bit suspicious still for she wanted to make sure they were safe and better off here then resting on a park bench for the night. “They may be kind of ticked off that we sneaked away from their parents in the night,” Elmi stated.
“Good point,” Annabel nodded. “Grey did say that he had talked to his children about us. What were their names? Kone the boy and ah, whatever the girl’s name was.”
“Wait what did you say?” asked Kaylin. Annabel looked at her oddly. “I said I didn’t know what the girl’s name was.”
“No, before that!” Kaylin said.
“Uh, Kaylin?” Annabel asked. “I said… er, that Grey had talked to his children.”
“How?” asked Kaylin.
“What do you mean?”
“How did he talk to his children?”
“With a phone, I guess.”
This is where Kaylin’s knowing smirk came in. “But they ‘don’t have a phone or mail.’ That’s why we could never contact Bear.”
The other three girl’s eyes lit up. “So, that means he was lying!” Della shouted. They all came to a realization, though they did not know why they were so happy about a lie.
“Yeah, lying about one of two things,” Kaylin said and rolled her eyes. “Either about him contacting his family, or him having no way to contact outside of his island. If it’s that, then he could have called Bear all the while.” “Awww,” Della said. “At least we’re on our way now.”
Annabel grabbed onto the door handle. “But, the other way, he never talked to Kone and… that’s it, Samantha. So, they never knew that we came, or that we escaped from their parents.”
“True,” Elmi agreed. “But we should not take chances like that. Anyway, there was the smoke alarm and that’s technically an electronic too right?”
“Yes,” Annabel seemed reluctant to pull her arm off the handle. It seemed really nice in there. “Okay fine.” She pulled away, but before she could step down off the stair, the door flung open and hit her on the side of her head.
“Oh, I’m so sorry dear,” said the grey-haired man who had emerged from the doorway. He helped her up to her feet (for she had fallen to the ground and down the step) and patted her on the back. In a horrible flicker, Annabel thought the man looked like Grey, but she took a second look and realized he was too tall and plump to be Grey.
“I-I’m okay,” Annabel stuttered and stabled herself. She then noticed that the door was propped open by a rock that was jammed between it and the ground. Everyone inside the restaurant was looking at her in disbelief. She quickly put her hand to her head and felt a rip in her skin where the door had hit her.
The tall lady behind the counter rushed out to help Annabel. The lady’s nameplate read Samantha and the cubs all stifled a gasp. “Are you okay?” Samantha asked worriedly. “Oh, it’s bleeding, I’ll have to take you inside.” She kicked the rock and lead Annabel through the staring rows of tables with Elmi, Kaylin, and Della following silently. The conversation in the room only resumed after the four children were brought to the back kitchen.
Samantha had light brown hair and a messy, black apron on. She sat Annabel down and yelled out onto the kitchen. “Kone! There is a hurt little girl over here! Could we get a warm cloth? (She tapped on a passing chef’s shoulder) Could you please get this poor gal a bit of salt water or hydrogen peroxide?”

It was a big bustle in the kitchen, with rusted, dirty ovens and tables blocking paths. The sink was overflowing with bubbles and dishes with clean pots hanging from the ceiling. Chefs and servers were speed walking in and out the kitchen door, holding as many plates both empty and full as they could carry. Finally, a man about the same height and hair color as Samantha walked up holding a warm cloth and a lemon. When he spotted the four cubs, his eyes flickered with recognition. “I-It’s you!”

Thursday 30 November 2017

Chapter 16
It was morning now, and they all were tired. Though, they had a whole day ahead of them and they decided not to sleep. Kaylin was the most worn out of the four, since she had been up the whole night before, deciding if she should run or not. Either way, she would not let her “sisters” know. She was always unique in her athletic ability and she wanted to keep it that way.
They were headed to find a boat rental or dock where they could get a ride to Ark and then home. They were more worried about navigating around Arrk because of its size and unfamiliarity. Only a few times had Bear brought the cubs to Arkk for an errand. Kenol they had walked the shorelines of countless times.
“Are you kids lost?” A man asked them as they walked by. They all debated on their answer in their minds. Annabel finally talked before any of other could make a mistake. “No, but we will be if we don’t catch a ride to Arkk soon.”
“So, you are being expected there?” The man asked. He looked like he was about forty or so. They paused again. “Well, not really, but we will be meeting someone there,” Kaylin said.
“So, there will be no one to mourn when you don’t arrive?” The man made a creepy smile. “No one to wonder when you disappear?” He raised a hand.
Elmi was tired, and being so, her brain was working slowly. It took a while to figure out something was fishy here. As soon as it clicked, she examined the man. He was tall and had smooth skin almost as if it were wet. His hair was combed but not jelled, and behind his ear was a pencil. His suit was more of a cloak than anything unusual.
“WAIT!” Elmi yelled and her arm automatically swung out once again. His pencil was all orange, just like a carrot. His suit was brown and a clock with a hood. “Black magicker!”
The man’s lips crunched up and slightly showed his teeth like you would when you smell a sour odor. “And I put on my dressiest cloak!” He said through angry clenched teeth.
Suddenly, his lifted had shot out and grabbed one of Della’s curly locks of hair. She squealed, and Kayin made a karate chop at the magic worshipper’s hand. He pulled away just in time. Annabel stepped protectively in front of Della.
There was one of those horrible, slow pauses of glaring between evil and good. Then, in a sudden (so sudden that it left the man in a twitching surprise) the girls sprinted off with Kaylin in the lead. Despite their fatigue, they ran like bullets and didn’t stop until they were sure they were not being trailed.
They seemed to be in a park. “Whoo! That was a tough race,” Della panted and fell back onto the bench. The rest followed and all sighed with exhaustion. “You’re right,” Kaylin agreed. “I’m pooped.”


Annabel woke up to a loud bird cry. A seagull was standing on her lap, it’s beak jammed into a granola bar that was shattered all over her pants. It must have been the one Della found in the bedroom while salvaging for food. That was the only source they had. “ARRGH!” Annabel yelled and brushed the seagull and oats off her. It grabbed a chunk from the ground and flew away, screeching as it went.
“Uuuh…” Elmi groaned. “What time is… AAAAH!” They had fallen asleep without knowing. “It’s already 12:47! Get up! Get up! We gotta buy some food with this money of ours... something relatively cheap.”
They were still pretty tired but got up with the help of their angry stomachs. Annabel led them to a street with restaurants pretty much all down each side. They walked on, nothing appealing until Elmi stopped them. The restaurant was called Bats and Eagles, and under: We’re bread smackin’ good!
“I remember Grey saying that before. Do you think…” Elmi started
“Yeah!” exclaimed Della. “Do you remember on the bus?”
“He lightly mentioned it,” Annabel remembered. “Bats and Eagles belongs to Grey and Celeste’s kids.”

Thursday 23 November 2017

Chapter 15
Elmi groaned, now the others had no choice but to follow Kaylin. She had this strategy for getting her way. Normally, It wasn’t so life-changing.
“I’ll write him a letter,” Elmi decided. Annabel agreed and made a death symbol at Kaylin- who was motioning for them to come.
“You’re not coming?” Kaylin screamed.
“Shut… just be quiet, okay?” Annabel said down to her. “You don’t want to wake-” Shuffling feet made her fall silent. Grey emerged from behind the side of the house and Kaylin dove for the pile of yard waste, leaves flying after her.
Grey squinted through the dark, forest night. He quietly walked around the mossy bus and slumped down once he had circled around it a couple times. By now, all the four girls were watching. Poor Kaylin was quivering in the wet pile of leaves and vines with a stick poking her on the back.
“Robber boy, is that you?” Grey asked to the open night. His tone was sad and almost desperate. “Of course not. It’s just me and my wife on this lonely island with some hopeless, crestfallen kids. They’re not mine, and I can’t help them. If they washed up on any other island, they could g-go back home.” He sighed miserably. “H-how bad I feel for them. O.R. is coming and I c-can’t stop anyone.” Another horrible sigh came from his lips. “I can’t tell them, and I can’t s-stop them from being taken. If I do…” Grey sobbed out small tears and filled the girls with sadness, bewilderment, and fear.
Holy emotion town, Batman. Kaylin thought worriedly. He’s being used by someone.
Grey sat with his head hanging down for a while, sighing all the while. The wind whistled around harder and harder. The trees clicked their branches together and dropped nuts and buds. It was a cold winter night, but the sorrowful man took no notice of the freezing tears in his eyes. His tuft of pearly hair nodded solemnly at him in the breeze.
Just as the weather started to calm down, he got up and left without a word. The girls were left puzzled. When they broke the shocked paralysis, they resumed plans in a quiet, peaceful manner. Della stuffed a backpack full of clothes, maps, and water bottles from the room. Annabel simply thought about what had happened. Kaylin quietly talked up to the more prepared girls. “We need to go. And now, I’m…. I’m sorry.”
“You’re right,” Elmi agreed in a melancholy way. “It seems if we don’t get out, we’ll be done with, and if he gets us out, he’ll be done with. It’s better if we go on our own accord and figure out who O.R. is after.”
“There’s no way around it,” Annabel stated. “You’ll have to be very forgiving in your letter.”
“I-I’ll start that r-right away,” Elmi stuttered. Think about having to take care of yourself and find your guardian on your own with just three other peers. Alone on the worst island you can be, with someone you don’t even know that wants something of you. Who was O.R.?

Dear Grey,
Please forgive us if this was the bad decision. We are very sorry we are leaving, but are sure you are too. Whatever was going to or will happen, we won’t blame you. But, we must leave in worry of something happening. Something bad that you can’t warn us about. We wanted to leave so that you wouldn’t have to make the decision on to get us out or not. We just don’t know what’s happening. Don’t follow us, and don’t keep this note. Burn it to ashes if you can, because you were not responsible for us leaving. Yes, we heard you in the night. Just don’t let O.R. or whatever hear about this. It’s not your fault.

Many Thanks,

With a nod, Elmi, Annabel, and Della all lowered themselves out the window, onto the soft bed of yard waste. Arkk from here.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Chapter 14
Celeste was gracious, but puzzled. “I understand that you like it, but it’s not that big a deal,” she had said. It now occurred to the children that Celeste didn’t know the poor quality of her handywork.
“Mmm, just s-so gooooood…” Elmi stuttered. “What we were trying to say-” Kaylin started. “It’s s- uh scrumptious!” Annabel interrupted. “I love it!” Della said, shoveling another spoonful of the pesto and squid ink noodles into her mouth. Grey gave them a wink, and they settled down.
After they hastily devoured their delicious meal, they began to talk about more serious things. Grey even tried to put on the most serious face he could muster. “Now, girls,” he said in a seriously serious voice. “You must understand that things don’t always go well.”
What do you mean? Della thought fearfully.
I knew we couldn’t trust him! Kaylin thought. She was worried that her rare chance of getting back to Bear was gone.
Black Magic! Elmi thought instantly. The superstition part of her brain sparked back to life. She stared hard into Grey’s eyes.
Gre saw their alarmed expressions and quickly corrected himself. “No, I’m not saying we’re doing anything bad… or anything. (at this, he glanced a Celeste) But things do happen, and that’s why I want you to be able to get home.”
“What do you mean?” Anabel asked.
“I’m going to split the money among us,” Grey replied with a sigh. “Because if that robber or anyone cames back, the others will still have something. If we get separated, you need the money for a ride back to Kenol.” He said this like something bad was going to happen. Like there was no avoiding it.
Elmi opened her mouth to speak, but just left it there, hanging. He quietly handed them each $30 and they dismissed themselves to get ready for the night.  
They sat on the crowded beds, talking amongst themselves. “Well, that was weird,” Kaylin pronounced, the first one to speak. “It sure was,” Annabel agreed, tired from their long day.
Elmi forced a smile. “But, I’m sure he just wanted to be cautious.” She doubted this very much herself. Things happen. “Especially on this crazy… Arkk,” she added in a whisper. No, not even Grey could make her want to come back.
As if Annabel read her thoughts, she started to talk. “Robbers around the corner, crazy black magic worshippers, drivers without their license? What is this place?”
Grey removed his ear from the bedroom door. He wished they’d said No offense.


Kaylin awoke with shivers running down her spine. Dreams of black magic monsters and speedboat running just farther than her reach opened her eyes with a start. Images of Kenol drifting away filled her brain. We didn’t make it back for supper.
Elmi heard rustling in the beds. Was someone awake too? She sat up and saw Kaylin up too. “Kaylin!” Elmi whispered, but it wasn’t quiet enough. Annabel and Della woke up too.
“What’s going on?” asked Della. Elmi frowned. “Sorry, I woke you up. But, Kaylin was already up. What time is it? 11:37? Wow, it’s late.”
“I was just thinking…” Kaylin started. “That we’re quite a bundle for Grey and Celeste.” “Yes?” Annabel asked, in a what-does-that-prove way.
“Well, we’re not even their real children, and they seem poor…” Kaylin said again in a mysterious manner. The others were starting to catch on. “He said things that.... I think he was hint, hint, wink, winking. For some weird reason, he thinks that everything will not be fine. Like we can’t get home with his help.” Kaylin narrowed her eyes at her sister's cringing. “You believe to do, and he seems to believe the wrong type of thing.”
“What are you saying?” Annabel asked. “If you want to leave tomorrow, I see that, but there is nothing wrong with getting help from Grey. He’s not a beacon for crimes.” Or is he…
“That’s not what I mean,” Kaylin said definitely. There was a tone of determination in her quivering voice as she held up the $30. “I’m going now, with or without you.” Annabel gasped, but Kaylin kept talking. “It may be dumb to sneak out in the night, (Okay, it is) but I’m not going to let warnings pass me by. Grey was saying something he didn’t mean for Celeste.”

Athletically, Kaylin lowered herself down the windowsill and dropped onto a soft pile of old vines and yard waste. Every move was planned.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Chapter 13
“Come back here! Cops cop… ah,” Grey howled after the person in black. I’m really catching up to him, he might not be able to get away! Grey thought. He reached out his arm, and grabbed the neck fabric of the robber. It pulled his hood off, and a young adult with light brown hair that was brushed to one side was revealed.
“Okay, you got me, but I don’t have the money!” He said, frustrated. “I just wanted to buy a boat for my cottage.” Boat. The word made Kaylin, Annabel, and Elmi shudder.
“What do you mean?” Grey yelled in his face. “Uh,” replied the young man in black. Grey held him up by the hood of his cheap, black hoodie. It was ripping at the corners. “I dropped it off somewhere, you know! What all people do.”
“Boy, you’d better be telling-” Grey started.
He was interrupted by Annabel. “I say, where’s Della?” Grey dropped the man and he ran away. Not that Grey really cared, he got up slowly and looked around. “We’ll retrace our steps.” They started walking, searching, and calling her name.
“Della! Della!” Elmi called. They were already back at the material’s shop. “Oh, it’s no use. I should have known she wouldn’t be able to keep up!” Grey looked determined. “I’ll go back and check one more time. If she’s not there, we’ll get… uh, social services.” Grey’s face crumpled. They wouldn’t know where I live… Anyway! He jogged off before all the bad situations could fill his head. There left, was the three, scared and worried.
They sat at the side of the building for a while. It was very silent and solemn before Kaylin remarked, “That’s odd.” “What?” Elmi asked, afraid her voice was too shaky. She hated when her youngers figured out of she was worried, scared or sad. Right now, she was all of them. Thinking of their worsening situation and the thought of never getting home.
“The tree,” Kaylin said pointing ahead. “There’s a leg coming from it.”
Annabel’s head was buried in her knees. “You mean a branch?” she asked.
“No!” Kaylin shouted, getting very excited. “A human leg!”
At the sound of the voice, the leg twitched, and then dropped right off the tree. “Seems the leg comes with an additional Della!” Elmi yelled happily, and the three ran to Della for a hug.
Grey had always been impressed with these girls, even from before they remember. A soft smile appeared on his lips. Della had spotted the robber drop the money in a corner and took it. Then, she went back to the materials trade where she knew they would find her. Now, they’ve found Della and their missing money.
Grey reached out and patted her on the back. “Great job, kid.” Della blushed.
“We’d better get going before Celeste worries or something else happens,” Elmi stated. Kaylin hopped in the bus and rubbed her stomach. “Plus, I’m hungry!” she added.
Another startling ride on Grey’s bus, and a new level of worries for Celeste's food to come back up arose. Elmi was very dizzy, and so was Annabel. “Ugh.. ah.” Annabel murmured. “What?” asked Elmi, holding onto a pole to prevent herself from falling over.
“Ngh…” Anabel tried, but she fell on the soft, uncut grass. She could feel the moss under her, it was swirling and swirling. The whole world was swimming around her.
Elmi walked cautiously to the door and missed it. On her second round she bumped into the doorframe, but luckily was able to slip in. She collapsed on the stairs, Annabel Landing after her. *Sigh.*
“You know-” Annabel started. A squeal of joy from the other room interrupted their unsteady conversation.
“WOW! CELESTE THIS SMELLS AMAZING!” Della screamed. It did, it smelled delicious. Kaylin took a slurp of the unfinished squid-ink noodles and jumped up happily. “CELESTE THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER MADE!”
Celeste took a sip of her own pasta. “It’s better than mediocre that’s for sure.”

(Sorry the post was on Tuesday instead of on Thursday, but I won’t be available to post on Thursday)