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?”