In the last post, Summer’s Dream: Part Two, the children discussed whether James and Ana really wanted to keep them. They decided to, in a way, test James and Ana out to ‘see what they were made of.’ But they mainly chose to remember that they were glad to be together and to have adventures. And as their story continues today, they will indeed have an adventure!
The Adventure is Planned.
I awoke to sun streaming in the blinds. I rubbed my tired eyes and sat up.
Where am I? Where’s Pearl? Why am I by myself? What is this place? Oh . . . yah!
I had never remembered waking up in a room all by myself and for a second I didn’t like it. But then I saw Willy plopped on top of my journal. And suddenly I realized it was so quiet that I could write with no interruptions!
I sat up and opened the drawer in my nightstand. My notebook lay inside along with pencils and a few other books. I pulled it out and wrote a haiku about the sunshine. The morning was so peaceful and quiet that I just sat there enjoying it!
After a little I put my notebook away and lay back against my pillows. I looked over at the windows, wanting the blinds to be opened, but I was too lazy to go open them. I sighed, happy to be able to sleep in! It felt so good!
I wonder what time it is? I thought presently. I glanced at my alarm clock and was surprised to see it was seven fifteen. I’m up early! I decided, still thinking. And by the silence of the house I guessed I was the only one up.
The twins were never quiet long and Kate loved morning showers so I always knew when she was up. As for James and Ana I figured they could be either awake our asleep, I couldn’t tell. I lay there a while and thought over several things. And then I remembered our discussion the previous night.
Oh! I exclaimed in thought. If they don’t keep us these things really aren’t mine! I looked at the bed, the chairs, and then room. If we just get sent away then I won’t get to keep these things! And for the first time I understood what Pearl meant. It was sad to consider leaving.
No. At once I decided something. No. As long as they act like their adopting us this is my room. But, of course, we will be prepared. Who expects them to really adopt us? However, as long as they act like they are keeping us, we’ll act like we’re staying. Kate’s right on that point!
Still my soul ached a little and the ache wouldn’t go away. Trying to ignore the feeling, I got up. Grabbing my sweater, or house coat as Pearl called it, I put it on. Glancing in the mirror I laughed. My hair was a wild, frizz ball! Walking over to my suitcase I opened it and pulled out my brush. I tried to fix my hair so it at least looked good. I ended up just grabbing a hair clip and pulling my hair into a pony tail. At last I opened the door and slipped up the stairs.
I stopped at the landing and looked out over the day. The sky was magnificent! It was shining over the houses and glowing in glorious light! I stared in awe at the blue surroundings until my stomach growled, telling me to eat. Hence, I headed on up the stairs.
Jame’s and Ana’s door was shut. Consequently I assumed they were asleep. Still I headed to the fridge. I opened it and found some left overs inside. There was also an unbaked breakfast casserole along with a pitcher of tea and a bag of apples. I reached in and took out an apple. Next I rummaged through all the drawers till I found the knives, which happened to be in the drawer beside the fridge! I got a cutting board, sliced the apple, and headed to the porch.
It was completely bright outside but the wind made me glad I had my sweater. It was cool and damp. Clouds lingered above me making gray patches in the sky. I sat down on the bench and looked out over the ocean. It looked so powerful!
The waves were crashing again and I could hear seagulls screeching in the early morning stillness. I saw a few people strolling to the sea and I at once wanted to be out by the ocean! Once more I remembered the promise we siblings had made. For this reason, I decided to take a walk.
I scurried to my room and slipped into shorts and a tank top. Furthermore, I pulled on a green sweat shirt to keep out the chilly air. Finally ready, I unlocked the front door and headed outside. I gazed down the long line of steps and smiled at the cement, seashell shape at the bottom!
The sun was coming up behind me and the house cast a shadow over the stairs and the shell. Joyously I leaped down the stairs and then hopped onto the shell. I stood for a few moments like a graceful dancer ready to begin her favorite dance. And then I headed to the beach.
I dashed up the board walk, my bare feet whopping against the wood. Reaching the dunes, I jumped feet first into the sand! My toes rejoiced to feel the sand again and my eyes, nose, and ears took it all in.
The sea gulls called, the waves hollered, the wind sang. The salt taste and smell surrounded me again. And the sand was cool from the long, breezy night. I set of along the ocean on a stroll. Only a few people were out so I enjoyed the stillness of the beach. I enjoyed the sound of the waves till, at last, I had to turn back.
I had been trotting along just relaxing and enjoying my outing. Nonetheless, when I turned around to head back, I at once felt like running. And so I did! Like I had so many mornings in the mountains, or the plains, or the hills, I ran. Wherever we had been I’d always loved my morning runs, but that run was the best! I ran till I reached the big orange house that I knew was beside our house.
But I did not head in. Instead I took of my sweater and dove into the sea. All my sweat and exhaustion fell away as I came up for breath from that dive! And it was wonderful. I swam till my stomach yelled for food and my legs said no more moving!
Then, and only then, did I dash from the water and stand there a few minutes drying. I was breathing hard and tired but I felt so good! After a bit I put on my sweater and commenced to the board walk.
I think, I concluded, that I am in love with the sea. But then again who wouldn’t be!?
We spent the whole morning unpacking. There was a small building beside our garage and Ana filled it with things we needed to store. And, after lunch, we set up the house. We started in the pool area. Ana had several bins we set up that were to be filled with cleaners, or toys, or whatever was needed! Then we organized all the pool supplies and soon headed back inside.
We set up the both kitchens. And last of all we did our rooms while Ana figured out cleaning supplies and other necessary items. I was quite happy to unpack and settle into my room! It was so fun to have my own space to do with what I liked!
When we finished our rooms, Ana decided we could head to the ocean! Consequently we changed into swim clothes, grabbed our new buckets and shovels, and departed excitedly for the beach.
“Here’s my thoughts.” Scott began as we dropped our towels in a pile on the sand. “We ought to spend the night here tonight. They said we can sleep in this week. So after they go to bed we can come out here and spend the night. And with the sunrise we can be back before they even know we’re gone!”
“Ok.” Kate agreed setting her camera on my towel and covering it with her’s. “We should bring those old blankets we stuck in the storage room. Ana said they were for bonfire nights when it’s cold out. I’ll get those. Jordan, you should get snacks from the cupboard. Since you helped put them away you know where they are. Pearl should get bags to carry it all in.”
“And Scott and I will get the drinks.” Rhyan added, “They are in the basement fridge!”
“It’s a plan!” Scott announced, “Jordan, tell us all when they’re quiet and asleep. We’ll meet in our room with the stuff an hour after they go to sleep, ok?”
“It’s a plan!” We all did high fives and headed to the sea!
The Adventure Begins.
Our plan was all ready but little did we know what lay before us!
At ten o’clock James and Ana were getting around like us but at 10:30 all was quiet. I waited and heard nothing so I crept upstairs. The door was shut and I heard James snoring.
All looked well so I told everyone to begin the hour count down. We waited and waited and waited. I heard something once and froze but I didn’t hear another sound. At last eleven thirty rolled around. Again I traversed the stairs and came face to face with James!
“Ah! Oh . . . you scared me!” I whispered jumping in surprise.
“Oh, Jordan, I’m sorry! I couldn’t sleep so I was on the porch. What do you need?” He wondered quietly.
“Actually I . . . I want a drink.” It wasn’t a lie, after my fright I was unexpectedly thirsty!
“Well, I was going to have a mid-night snack would you like one?”
“No, a drink is fine.” I got a glass of water, took three sips, and carried it down the stairs with me. Then I had to sneak down and tell every one to wait longer!
At last he went to bed and I waited ten minutes and heard no sound. When I told them James was asleep again we decided to only wait thirty more minutes. Then, at long last, I crept up the stairs. I saw no one, and I heard James snoring. Smiling I nodded to Kate who slipped down to tell the twins to go. And she had to get the blankets.
Slowly I crept to the bottom, corner cupboard. I reached for the new box of Cheese-its, the Oreo’s and the Easter egg bag, it was on clearance since Easter was over. I took them all and tiptoed past Jame’s and Ana’s door, doing my best to keep from crinkling the wrappers!
At last I slipped down the stairs and to the basement. The twins were piling drinks in one bag and Kate was stuffing blankets in another. I grabbed the third bag and stuck the snacks and Kate’s disposable camera in it. Then we grabbed flashlights and all grabbed a bag or a blanket and of we went out the back door.
The night was exceptionally dark. I wondered if the clouds were over the moon. We didn’t want to shine our lights in case they were seen. So we crept (more like banged, tripped, and stomped) past the pool, through the gate, and towards the board walk. At last we left the house behind and scurried to the sea.
“Jordan.” Pearl whispered, “If we ever decided to run away I don’t think we will get very far.”
“Me either.” I agreed and shifted the three blankets I held in my arms.
But, at last, we reached the shore. It was brighter there though the moon still hid its face from us. We headed out down the beach and selected a good, comfy spot. Kate and I laid out three towels. And Scott and Rhyan laid a blanket over the towels. We all had our own blanket. And we piled our personal blankets to one side. Last we set the drinks and snacks on their own towel.
“Ugh.” Kate sighed, “It’s so dark I can’t get any pictures.”
“It’s kind of scary.” Pearl whispered.
“Yah.” Rhayn grinned, “Look around. We have no idea what is out there!”
“It’s kind of mysterious.” I decided, happily stretching my legs out. I leaned back and gazed at the sea. “What lurks beyond our view, what beauty or what danger!?” I raised my eyebrows at Rhyan and she laughed. I leaned my head back and tried to think of something poetic, and then . . . I felt something scurry across my foot! All poems shot from my head and fear snatched me!
What was that?! I tried to remain calm but I couldn’t help but feel like something was watching me. I felt like thousands of little eyes were starring at me, or two big eyes. I turned and for the second time that night was face to face with someone only that time it was Kate.
“Did you feel something?” She whispered.
“Yah.” I nodded.
“What about you?” Rhyan asked me loudly. She was oblivious to our conversation.
“What?” I wondered.
“Let’s go swimming! Scott and Pearl are. Do you want to?”
I looked at Kate and she nodded, “We will. You go ahead.” Rhyan hopped up and dashed after the other two and Kate turned to me,
“What was that?”
“Maybe a crab. I bet that’s what it was.” I decided. “I don’t think they bite very hard.”
“Right but Ana said their bites hurt a little! Anyways that’s creepy!” She shivered.
“Yah, it felt like a spider. But I know it wasn’t.” I nodded my head in a matter-o-fact way.
“Come on, enough of that! Let’s swim.” Kate jumped up and scurried off as if she to were trying to shake away her fears.
“Yah!” I hopped up and followed her. I wasn’t letting a couple set backs worry me. After all the adventure was only beginning! And oh how right I was! Only it wasn’t the adventure I had in mind!
In we dove into the water behind Pearl and Scott. It was a wonderful night. The water was a gray color. And I felt the waves instead of seeing them. We didn’t go to far in, no one dared do that for it was too dark. But we ran, laughed, and chased each other in and out of the dark waters.
We started playing tag, Scott was it and he was chasing me. I took off down the beach, running for all I was worth, when without warning I stepped on something and, crunch, it split beneath my feet!
“What on earth was that!?” I exclaimed leaping in the air in fright! Promptly Scott smacked into me and, splash, we both fell into the ocean!
“Ahh!” I came up coughing and sputtering with Scott floundering beside me in the knee high waves.
“Sorry!” He coughed, “Are you ok?”
“Yah.” I choked, “Are you?”
“Uhuh.” He stood up before another wave could pound him. “Anyway you’re it!”
“No fair. I stepped on something hard and crunchy! That’s why I stopped!”
“Oh well!” He laughed and took of running. I jumped up, my competitive spirit over came me, and I sped after him. He dashed up on the beach and called,
“No tag backs!”
“Fine.” I growled knowing we had agreed on that.
“Ha.” He snorted as he stood there catching his breath. I aimed towards Pearl who was nearest to me. I was almost to get her when abruptly we heard,
“Yow!” We all turned to see Scott leap to the side and grab his toe! “Owowow!” He moaned, sounding like an old hound, “Ow!”
“What’s wrong?” We all came running to the beach.
“Something bit me!” He proclaimed!
“What could have bit you?” Pearl wondered and Kate and I looked at each other.
“Here!” Rhyan held up a flashlight and switched it on. She shone it around Scott’s feet and I quickly saw something. At first I thought it was moving rocks but then, in the white light, I saw several little animals.
They moved in a way well known to us all. A movement near our feet made us all look down. A little hole lay right beside Scott. And the creature that had just crawled out caused us all to freeze, for one little second no one moved. At once Pearl whispered,
“Is that a spider?”
“Yow!” Scott was gone so fast no one saw him move. But in that same second I knew what it was!
“No, it’s a crab. Scott, they’re crabs!”
“They are? Really?!” We all turned to see Scott waste deep in the water, shivering in fear.
“Yes,” I assured him, “come see.”
Slowly Scott edged out of the water and joined us by the little hole. In a few moments a tiny, white crab appeared and gawked at us with unblinking eyes. Rhyan shone her light upward and we gazed into a beach filled with crawling crabs. Every so often some would freeze and stare at us.
Scott shivered, “Ugh, I don’t like them! They’re creepy.”
“They’re adorable!” Pearl exclaimed and I agreed.
“Come on, let’s keep playing.” Scott headed for the water, “I don’t need more frights.”
Well, I laughed in my head, more problems solved. That’s what I felt run over my toe and what was watching me! I bet I stepped on a crab and it crunched! And that’s what bit Scott! Well, there’s always a reasonable explanation!
I laughed to myself over our silly fears and made up creatures. And I headed in with the others. We got back to running again and were soon playing freeze tag. I quickly got over the shock and fear of the crabs and started having lots of fun! We had just got comfortable and were having the time of our lives when Pearl screamed! She started hollering and dashing for shore.
“What is it?” Kate cried galloping towards her, “Pearl! Pearl! Pearl, are you drowning!?”
Scott reached Pearl first. He whisked her off her feet and fled to shore. The rest of us poured in around him while she thrashed and kicked her legs flinging sand and water everywhere.
“It’s an octopus! It’s getting me! It’s got my leg, make it stop!” She hollered in her loudest yell.
Rhayn snatched a flashlight and flipped it on. There, in the dim beam, we saw what was left of a piece of seaweed wrapped around Pearl’s leg and ankle.
“Pearl. Pearl, hold still.” Kate urged. I meanwhile tried to hold back a laugh. “It’s ok. It’s seaweed.” She unwound the plant and held it up, “Your fine, it’s ok.”
“Oh,” Pearl relaxed some what. “oh, I don’t want too go back in there.” And as we all turned and saw the monstrous, black sea pounding down on the shore we quickly found we agreed.
“Alright, oh! Rhyan, off with the light!” Kate exclaimed. It was then we noticed the lights of the closest houses were being switched on. We heard a window open and someone peer out. Worse than that we heard a door and open. Someone was coming to see what was going on!
“Quick.” Kate whispered, “Grab the bags. Everyone follow me.” She picked up Pearl and dashed off down the beach! I grabbed a bag and stuffed blankets in. Rhyan grabbed the other bag and did the same while Scott seized the snacks.
We fled down the beach till, at last, the lights were out of sight. Then we headed onward wanting to be sure we were far away.
Finally we found a cozy spot and piled everything just like it had previously been. We didn’t want to get our blankets any wetter than they already were from our flight down the beach. So we settled ourselves in the sand, dug our toes into the cool, moist ground, and chowed our food.
The cheese-its were my favorite till Rhyan spilled them. Considering the fact that we all loved cheese-its, we tried to pick them all back up and put them away. Then we kept eating and it went well till Kate ate some drift wood! She was chattering away and she grabbed a handful of cheese-its, took a big bite, and chocked. We all listened and watched through the darkness in horror as she coughed up her snacks.
“Ew!” She proclaimed, “Who put wet wood in there! I got like three pieces in that handful!”
At that instant we found we weren’t very hungry!
“I think I’m ready for bed.” I noted, “A cozy blanket sounds nice.”
“Yes.” They heartily agreed.
So we spread out our towels and each grabbed a blanket. Then we all laid down, wrapped up, and prepared to sleep. There was silence for five minutes. In the distance I vaguely noticed the city’s glow and heard a some minor sound. It was then I realized we had left the line of houses and were on our own! It was a fun feeling to be out, just us and the beach, with no houses.
We were still a little wet and the air was cool and damp, as a result the blanket was wonderful. It was relaxing to listen to the lapping waves. Sometimes the lapping sound seemed to be coming closer but then again it didn’t seem that way. I lay during those few minutes and enjoyed it all.
But then, I got uncomfortable. So I rolled to my side. And then my other side. Soon I was back on the first side. I tossed and turned till at last, I stopped, lay on my back, and forced myself to stay there. Then I got cold. And I discovered my hair was full of sand. And there was sand on my towel. And sand on my blanket and, well, everywhere. Just when I was about to get exasperated Rhyan sat up and whined,
“Does anybody else’s feet itch?”
“Yes!” Pearl lamented, sitting up too.
“It’s from the salt water.” I sighed sitting up with them and finding that my feet itched as well. I hadn’t noticed for it was the least of my problems!
“Speaking of salt water,” Kate noted right then, “Rhyan, give me your light please.”
Rhyan passed the light to Kate. And as she did I thought I felt something wet and cold splash my toes.
Kate took the light and flipped it on. And there, we all stared, was water right at our feet. Kate’s feet were just enough lower that the water was tickling her toes as it climbed up the bank we were on.
“The tide!” I groaned, “I completely forgot about it!”
“Me too.” Kate peered at us all through the dark. But we did not worry about the tide long because that was when we heard the shouts and saw the lights.
Not too far off down the beach we saw figures carrying lights. I heard a shout again. As the yell sounded Kate switched of our light and all was black except for their lanterns.
Another yell split the air but no one knew what had been hollered. Yet, even though we couldn’t hear, we could still see. And what I saw was a small figure followed by a larger one. Instantly, in my mind, I remembered a tale I had read. It was about the land where we were.
It said there was a ghost, of an ancient wrecker there. A wrecker, in olden times, was a person who tied a lantern to his horse’s neck and walked along the shore. Ships would see the lantern and think it was a buoy at sea. They would head towards it and wreck on the shore! Then the wrecker would get the goods that washed up on the beach! The tale said a ghost of a dead wrecker still walked the beaches at night! According to legend he was very unhappy with visitors!
Of course in plain daylight in the plains I didn’t believe it. But with a freaky figure hollering and walking right toward us, I rapidly wondered if we might want to run, just in case. And I took no chances.
“Run!” I screamed and leaped from my blanket. Pearl and Scott were behind me in seconds but then I heard Kate hollering something like ‘come back’. However the sound of the ocean drowned her out!
All of a sudden I pictured it. A giant octopus is getting my sisters! My brain screamed, They’re dying and. . . my imagination wasn’t quieting. I turned in a total ‘u’ turn and fled to save them. Ghost or not, Octopus or not, my sisters would not die! At least not without me!
I dashed down the beach screaming my ninja war whoop! I leaped at the first shadowy form I saw, wham! I smacked right into a post! I staggered for a moment and slowly realized that what I had attacked really ought to be left alone! At once I saw two figures, the small one held a light and the big one, the big one . . .
No! It’s the wrecker and his horse! He got them! He . . . !
Before I could attack the terrible beast I heard Kate’s voice coming from the big shadow,
“There you are Jordan! Why did you go running off!? Come help me hold these blankets!”
“Kate! Kate . . .” I stammered, “I . . . I thought you were a horse!”
“A horse?” She sounded indignant,
“Yah . . . I . . .” Without warning a light shone above us and a gruff voice growled,
“What are you kids doing out this late at night?”
And in that moment all reasonable explanations fled from my mind!
The adventure continues here.