The Dreamy Journey by Emma B

Dreaming

 

Battling pirates

With a gleaming bronze sword

In my small paw

Pricking them

Off the plank

Driving the old ship

To a wondrous paradise

 

Suddenly on

A battle plane

Dodging bullets

Soaring above the clouds

Fluffier than my fur

Diving towards Earth

Wondering: Is this the end?

Praying with my small might

That I may be spared

 

In a muddy jungle

Watching for snakes

And spiders

And such

The cool breeze

Ruffles my fur

Puffing it out

Like a football pom-pom

Then, I’m sinking

 

Sinking.

 

Desperately mewing

As the quick sand grabs me

Pulling me lower

As if I was its prey

I take my last breath

As the sand pulls me under

The light fading

 

Beautiful music

Fills my tiny ears

A pearly marble floor

So slick

I almost slipped

A charming tom kitten

By my side

As if he thought I was really there

With him

Falling backwards

Into an icy cold fountain

Drenching my fur

Freezing

 

The sand storm

It raged

Stinging my eyes

Beyond kitten belief

Toppling sideways

Hitting the burning

Yet comfortingly soft

Sand

Rattlesnake eyes peer

From under the sand

Emerging to show

It’s beautiful

Yet deadly

Body

Rattling

Drawing nearer

My life seemed gone

Lashing out

Fangs bearing

Death near

 

Flowers blooming

Bees buzzing

Birds chirping

Fairies roamed

Making tiny tinkling noises

Music to my fragile ears

Scenting honey and flowers

If beauty had a scent

That would be it

Mother lay

In a grove

Her sweet milk scent

Drifting in the air

Padding closer

Closer to love

To hope

And wonder

On my soft bed

Cuddling with my toy

Back home at last

From my amazing adventure

Safe

 

Dreaming.

Rose Meditative by Emma B

Picture1

High above the Earth
Watching over her land
Mother Nature saw it’s worth
Hidden as a mere rose

With clouds drifting above
She shed a joyful tear
For it was a symbol of love
To the land of which she was most proud

The mother looked upon
A loving couple in the light
Of her lowering sun
For love is a thing she vowed to adore

Forever more.

Hope Lies Within Darkness

*Title Subject To Change

Part of One-Day Project
Not Finished!

Introduction

A darkness spread over three. The darkness wanted the three, for they had something that the darkness did not. A power that the three did not know of, but the darkness did. The darkness looked over the three. One of the three was most able to smile and cheer everyone up… with an insane love for anything sweet. The second of the three was more taken aback, quieter than the two, and very intelligent. The third, the most powerful of the three, was who the darkness wanted most. The third, brave, stronger in heart, yes, but the third did not know her power as the other two did not know their powers either. Not even the darkness knew of the third’s power, it only knew that the third’s power would make the darkness powerful, not just powerful enough to take over the Earth, enough power to take over the Universe.
The darkness swept over the three. It noticed what the three were doing. The three did not know how much they were connected, they knew each other, the third and the first were very close friends and were talking, sometimes laughing. The second though watched them, silently, not going up to them, even though the darkness knew by watching them, the second one knew the other two and would say a quick hi when they passed each other.
The darkness decided to make its move, but then the three began to run, covering themselves with their heads, and… laughing? The darkness was confused for a moment. Why were they running away, it hadn’t even made its first move yet and they were already running away? Even if the darkness were appearing to make its first move to the three, why would they be laughing? Then, it understood.
The kids were running away from the darkness, because it resembled a storm cloud and when it moved, it made a loud noise that to the three must sound like thunder. The three were laughing because they thought it was a game, a rainstorm, seeing if they’d get inside before they got drenched.
The darkness decided that it’d have to catch them now or they’d escape. The darkness made its move. It dived towards the ground in a horrible noise of thunderclaps. The first one kept running, as soon as she saw the cloud, scared and weak without candy to boost her spirits. The second one turned around and gasped as the second saw the cloud hurdling down to the Earth. The second, didn’t move, too confused and in awe of what was happening. The third saw the cloud and wheeled on it. The third glared at the cloud, knowing clouds should not do this and the third should stop it.
The third saw a leaf blower and ran to get it. As the third did so, the darkness saw a chance a headed at the second, still standing still. The darkness dived through the second, and when the darkness left the spot the second had once been, the second was gone.
By then, the third had grabbed the leaf blower and turned it on reverse, preparing to suck the strange cloud into the machine. Then, the third thought for a
moment. If I suck up this weird cloud, I’d suck up that person who always watches me weird! I can’t do that! What should I do???
The third saw it was no use and ran back to protect the first. If the third couldn’t protect the second, then she had to protect the first. The darkness would have smirked if it had a face. It had enough of what it needed… for now. The first and third would be easy. Well, the first would be. The third… the third did not know her power, but the third still had a strong spirit anyway. The third would be last.
The darkness thundered loudly, making the last word, and began to fade. Fading until barely noticeable. Then, the darkness thundered, as if laughing and left in a single second, taking the second in its mist.

Chapter One

Snowy laughed as Cookie attempted to put make up on Snowy. Snowy, an American, with fierce sapphire eyes, watched in the mirror as Cookie turned her into a clown instead of a girl. Cookie, an African American, with long, black hair, had begged Snowy to let her try her make up skills on a real human. Cookie had a glinting pair of jade eyes that widened when she stepped back to study her work on Snowy.
“Hmm… not bad.” Snowy admitted in the mirror, “But umm when will this stuff wash off?”
“It’s supposed to wash off?” Cookie asked in confusion, staring at Snowy.
“OF COURSE IT’S SUPPOSED TO WASH OFF!!!” Snowy screamed.
“I’m kidding! I’m kidding! Washing your face with a face safe soapy wash cloth should do it,” Cookie laughed.
“Okay.” Snowy replied, trying to calm her pulse, stroking her long, brown hair. She went over to the sink and got a washcloth hanging from the towel rack. Snowy soaked and put soap on the washcloth and then splashed water on her face. She used the washcloth to rub the horrible make up mess off. Snowy then splashed her face once more, dried her face off with a hand towel and washed the make up off her washcloth.
“You good?” asked Cookie, giving her a gentle, but worried stare, “You’ve been really jumpy lately. Don’t be afraid to tell me if something’s the matter.”
Snowy looked at her best friend and sighed, knowing that she couldn’t hide stuff from Cookie and replied, “I’ve… I’ve been dreaming. Not just silly little dreams that come in to your head from your daily activities. It’s like… it’s real. It feels like me and you… we’re special. I know everyone if different, but we’re different from the world it seems. I think there’s something… something we’ve forgotten or something we’ve missed. I think we have a purpose, stronger than most human’s personalities. I mean, I know how weird that sounds. What are the odds that we’ve super heroes destined to fight evil?”
Snowy looked at Cookie, thinking she’d roll over in a fit of giggles, being the girl she was, but Cookie stared at Snowy and nodded slowly. “I’ve been having those dreams too… I think we are something, Snowy, but before we figure that out. Let’s live our free days to the fullest, I suppose.”
Snowy felt like she was going to go in shock. How can we possibly have the same dream? That’s so weird… I would rest on it, but with these crazy dreams, how would that help???
Cookie suddenly shook off her serious mood and smiled. “Maybe… maybe we are special. We may have the power of the stars in our hands like those Warrior cats in that one book series for all we know! But… Snowy, we do not know what’s going on. We’ll wait for the right time. Honestly, let’s just have fun!!!!”
Snowy laughed, “My idea of fun is reading and drawing and stuff…. Your idea of fun is making cookies… and eating half the batter before we even cook it!”
“Yeah, you’ve got a point. Let’s go outside and see what the weather’s like.” Cookie smiled.
The two rushed outside, playfully tugging at each other’s coats that they had just slipped on.
“It’s pretty warm out here for winter…” Snowy observed, “Honestly, I’m sweating in this coat, “ she said, taking her coat off as Cookie did the same.
“This is weird,” Cookie admitted, “It feels like summer out here. Did we hibernate or something? Either that, or something’s not right here.”
Cookie and Snowy looked at each other then glanced at the scenery before them. The trees did not have their leaves back, but the ground was wet and muddy from the melted snow. The sun shone brightly, but there were no flowers, nor bird nests or anything you might see in summer or spring. The landscape in front of Cookie and Snowy felt like a crazy mix of seasons.
“This is impossible, how…” Snowy started, but was cut off by a thunder crash. The two looked up and now, in place of a sun was several dark thunderclouds. Lightning struck from one of the clouds and hit one of the leafless trees, turning it to ash.
“This isn’t right. Something is up,” Cookie whispered to Snowy.
“Ditto on that…” Snowy began again, when another thunderclap sounded, louder this time.
“Seriously???” Snowy shrieked at the sky in annoyance, “Just let me speak!”
Then, as if in an answer, a small tornado appeared in front of Cookie and Snowy. The tornado let off small sparks of green light and one of the sparks landed on Cookie’s knee, making Cookie jump up and down, screaming in pain.
The tornado began to stop, slowly revealing a figure in the tornado’s mist. Cookie stopped screaming, and, like Snowy, turned to look at the dark figure that was standing before them.
The tornado completely disappeared and there stood a figure. The figure had a dark cloak on, which fluttered gently behind the figure at the figure’s feet. The figure wore an orange, purple, and black top hat that hid the figure’s facial features. Black hair drifted down the figure’s back, and on the figure’s feet, sticking out from the cloak was the two tips of shiny, black shoes.
“Who… who are you?” Snowy stammered, while Cookie peeked out at the figure from behind Snowy.
“Funny you should ask,” The figure spoke gently. There was hardly a tone in the figure’s voice and Snowy couldn’t make out a gender.
“It would be unwise of me to tell you my true identity, but somewhere in the known future, you will call me Master.” The figure told them smoothly. Snowy didn’t like how self-assured the figure sounded.
“W…Why are y… you here?” Cookie asked shakily, coming out a little from behind Snowy.
“Ah,” The figure chuckled softly, “Well, you see, both of you have something that I want, so I’ve come here to take it. Of course, I cannot take it directly from you. So, I must use the… less fortunate way.”
“We have nothing valuable, and what do you mean by a ‘less fortunate way’?” Snowy asked, a little more bravely now.
“Oh, I cannot tell you that,” The figure mused, and Snowy bet the figure was grinning, “Now, are you frightened… Serenity?” The figure asked, pretending to care, looking directly at Cookie.
“How do you know my real name? Only Snowy knows that! Besides, it’s Cookie. Now what do you want?” Cookie spoke sharply, certainly annoyed that someone had used the name she hated.
“Now, Snowflake, watch and learn, because your going next,” The figure snickered. The figure pointed a long, bony finger at Cookie and Cookie disappeared.
“Cookie!” Snowy yelped, and then turned angrily at the figure, “What have you done with my friend?” Snowy said between gritted teeth.
“Exactly where you will be going soon… after we have a little…” The figure paused for a moment as if trying to find the right word, “Chat. Yes, a little chat.”
“I have no clue what you’re doing here in our little town of Appondale, but you better leave right now or I’m calling the police for kidnapping!” Snowy challenged angrily.
“You actually think that the police could help you?” The figure laughed, “Apparently you’re not ready to chat yet, so maybe after a good night’s rest…” The figure started, and then snapped her fingers and Snowy disappeared.
“They have no clue what they’re in for. I will succeed with them in my power. My chances of world domination are perfect,” The figure smirked, and then disappeared as well in the tornado.

Chapter 2

Snowy coughed and groggily opened her eyes half way. Wait… that’s… Snowy thought and then her eyes flung open and she sat up. Beside her, Cookie lay unconscious, breathing gently.
“Cookie! Cookie, wake up!” Snowy whispered loudly, shaking Cookie harshly. Cookie did not wake up, but continued her steady breath. Snowy gave up after a few shakes then looked around her.
The floor was decorated to look like magma and the walls were colored dark blue with a beautiful collection of carefully painted stars and constellations. Cookie and Snowy were placed on the floor, however there was a small, old bed in the corner of the room. Snowy looked behind her and saw a blue-grey wardrobe that held torn clothes and on one of the shelves was a skull of a human.
Snowy’s mind immediately turned to escape plans and Snowy spotted a window revealing a beautiful night sky. However, the window was closed by glass and there were no clamps which to open it. Snowy got up shakily and walked to the window, looking out of it. There was at least a 75 feet drop below Snowy and she crossed out “window escape” in her brain’s escape plan list.
Snowy sat on the bed and shuddered when in creaked uncertainly beneath her. Where are we? Who was that shadow person? That shadow person was creepy… she was talking about Cookie and me having powers. That’s impossible! We’re ordinary. Snowy and I come from different families who sold us to a man who are really the president of an organization of protecting sold children. I still can’t believe Cookie was trade for a couple foals and I was traded for a fat pig.
A whimper interrupted Snowy’s pondering and Snowy looked up to see Cookie stirring from her unconsciousness.
“Cookie!” Snowy gasped and ran to her best friend, “Cookie? Cookie, are you okay?”
“I need…” Cookie croaked eyes still closed.
“Yes? What is it?” Snowy prodded gently, panic in her voice.
“Cookies,” Cookie said, then sat up quickly and grinned.
“Cookie!” Snowy scolded while laughing, “You had me so scared! Don’t do that again!”
They began laughing and rolling around on the floor. Finally, Snowy and Cookie stopped playing and Cookie asked, “Oh hey… where are we? This isn’t the care-center, is it?”
“Nah,” Snowy said calmly, not trying to alarm Cookie at all, “Remember that creepy shadow person we saw? I think we are where that person… or whatever that thing is… lives.”
Then, the small tornado erupted again, and the strange figure stood before them once again, “Correct you are again, Snowflake!” The figure cooed gently, “Your good at this, aren’t you?” The figure spoke in a voice that you would use to praise a puppy.
“Where are we?” Snowy demanded, and realized she had a tone of panic to her voice.
“Oh, this is just my humble home, that’s all.” The figure spoke innocently, pulling the top hat’s front brim closer to the figure’s eyes.
“I demand to know all the information I am allowed to get from you right this instant.” Snowy insisted angrily.
The figure’s cloak swept as the figure slowly twirled playfully, “Oh, you want to know about little ol’ me?” The figure asked, “I’ll tell you this. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a girl. I don’t want you speaking any he’s or him’s to me. Understand? Giving you my real name would be stupid, so you shall call me Master.” The figure told them.
“Oh, and one last thing, dears,” The figure added, smirking, “You are to obey my every command without question. I hope you enjoy your stay, hmm?” She chuckled, and then vanished.
“That lady gives me the serious creeps,” Cookie said to Snowy, “And what does she mean by ‘enjoy your stay’ and ‘call me Master’? Are we going to be staying here a while?”
“I suppose so. I’ve already checked around. There’s a glass window, with no hatch to open it. The drop is like a hundred feet. There’s no door at all,” Snowy explained quickly.
“Then, how are we getting pretty good lighting? It’s pitch black outside and there’s no lamp or ceiling light,” Cookie observed.
Snowy looked around and saw no light source. It was as if the light was just… there. “I don’t know. That “Master” lady person seems to be magical… disappearing and all that. Maybe she’s lighting up this place somehow,” Snowy guessed.
“What does she even want us for?” Cookie asked, on the verge of tears, “We’re nothing special. Just a pair of sold kids…”
“Cookie, we are special. But everyone on the planet is special in his or her own way too. I think there’s something about us that the shadow lady needs. That she can’t have for herself. Cookie, you saw her. She’s definitely got magic up her sleeve. Do… do you think possibly, we have some magic too? That she wants?” Snowy guessed, shrugging.
“Well, what are we supposed to do here? I don’t exactly see anything interesting, do you?” Cookie asked.
“I don’t know. I think both you and me just passed out, so I wouldn’t suggest sleeping. Especially since I don’t know what that creepy bed is going to hold. Lets raid the wardrobe!” Snowy suggested and leaped over to the wardrobe, shuffling through drawers.
“Find anything?” Cookie asked, as she walked over to help Snowy.
“Umm… a skull. Eww… I think it’s real,” Snowy mumbled in disgust throwing the skull under the bed, “Hmm, I… oh here’s a couple of sea shell necklaces that are pretty. Oh, and here’s a… old sock… fun…” Snowy mused.
“I found nothing. Most of the drawers either have worn clothing or nothing in them,” Cookie said, “I wish we had our own stuff here.”
As soon as Cookie finished speaking, the tornado started and once again, the figure, now Master, made an exciting entrance into Snowy and Cookie’s room, “Oh, Serenity! You say it would make your stay… more pleasant, if you had your own stuff?” Master cooed in a sarcastic voice, “Well, then! I suppose if it makes you more comfortable…” Master said, and then snapped her fingers and all of Snowy’s and Cookie’s stuff piled up in the center of the room.
“Cool…” Snowy couldn’t help but mutter, “But!” She said, lifting her head, “Why should we trust you?”
“First of all, you will address me as Master. Do you understand?” Master snapped, “Second of all, you should trust me because there is darkness that is less merciful than me. I will feed you to any darkness anywhere if you disobey my orders. I hope I am understood.”
“How do we know you have any real power or are you just some bad magician?” Snowy challenged.
“Your bravery is exceedingly plentiful, which is a joy to watch. However, I will not show you any proof of my power. You must just… have faith in me, hmm? Get a good rest. Tomorrow we start our work.” Master answered confidently.
With that, Master went into a tornado and was gone, leaving a gaping Snowy and Cookie.

Chapter 3

Master appeared in the middle of Snowy and Cookie’s sleeping chambers. The two were sleeping. Cookie was on the bed, and Snowy was curled up right next to her. Master looked at the two in frustration, “Honestly, does everyone in the world besides me sleep all day like a stupid sloth?” Master said. Then, a devious smile curled up onto her face, peeking out from her striking orange, purple, and black top hat.
Master snapped her fingers and a bucket of icy water appeared at her feet. Master carefully strode toward Snowy and Cookie, the bucket in her bony hands. When Master reached them, she put her cloak behind her and with a smile, dumped the freezing water on Snowy and Cookie’s heads.
“Ahhhhhhh!” shrieked Cookie, “Flood! Flood!” She screamed, jumping up. At the orphanage, the children were trained to be prepared for anything, just in case… even floods, “Get to high ground!” Cookie yelped and leaped from the wet bed to the top of the wardrobe while Master chuckled quietly.
Snowy had a different approach to the situation. She did shriek like Cookie from the surprise, but then Snowy yelled, “What kind of sick trick is this?” as she glared accusingly at Master.
“Well, it’s your fault for sleeping in, now isn’t it?” Master taunted, smirking. Then, Master looked at Cookie and commanded, “Get down from that wardrobe. It’s very old and not your business to be breaking it.” Master snapped, and reluctantly, Cookie climbed down.
Master glared at the two, and then just as she opened her mouth to speak, Master saw the pile of Snowy and Cookie’s stuff still remaining and yelled, “Are you humans or are you pigs? I’ll be back soon, and when I do come back, I expect you to clean this up. Also, get into some different clothes, will you? We have much work to do today,” Master told then, grinning deviously at the last sentence.
“But… but what about getting washed, so we don’t stink?” Cookie stammered, “And more importantly, what about some food? I’m starving!”
“There’s a lever near the wardrobe. That will open into a bathroom with a toilet, a sink, and a shower, for your purposes. Food will be brought to you after you get this room cleaned up, get yourselves washed, and you get into more proper clothing.” Master explained, then glared at them, “You two are very lucky. I might as well open up a hotel here. Most masters of darkness won’t be near as kind to their prisoners.” Master snapped, then left quickly in her tornado.
“What does she mean by prisoners?” Cookie asked, looking at Snowy.
“I have no clue, but I think we are going to stay here until that… Master creature decides that she doesn’t need us anymore,” Snowy guessed, “Anyway, let’s get started. You shower and I’ll start with the cleaning. We’ll rotate after you’re done, okay?”
“Sounds good,” Cookie said, and for the first time on their stay at Master’s place, she grinned from ear to ear.
Cookie pulled the old, red lever on the wall, and a decent looking bathroom was revealed. Cookie had to admit to herself that it looked even better then the bathrooms at the orphanage. Cookie used the toilet, after she had closed the curtains that substituted for the door to the bathroom. Then, she hopped in the shower and started to get washed, singing off-key.
Snowy smiled at Cookie’s singing and got to work. She removed the clutter from most of the wardrobe drawers and placed them all in one single drawer. Snowy did not want to throw away some “priceless” item that Master kept. She rummaged through her and Cookie’s stuff. Snowy found many old toys, which she put in drawers and she found photos in frames that she hung up on random nails in the walls. Snowy found books, paper, drawing materials, and much more random items.
“Oh… what the…? Cookie?” Snowy laughed as she pulled out one of the last things in the pile, a bag of chocolate chip cookies, Cookie’s favorite treat.
Snowy smiled, putting the cookie bag into a drawer to give to Cookie later. Snowy picked up the last thing in the pile and smiled calmly. It was a photo of her and Cookie on Christmas.
Snowy hugged the picture, and then hung it up just when Cookie got out of the shower in fresh clothes. Cookie wore a white undershirt and over it wore a thin, light pink T-shirt. Cookie had her hair in a low ponytail, which fell to the bottom of her back. Cookie wore skinny jeans and white and black sneakers. For style, she wore pretend diamond earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet. In all, Cookie looked quite pretty.
Snowy smiled, “You took a while. I finished unpacking. You can sketch on that doodle pad on the bed while I get washed up, okay?”
“Sure. Be quick. I’m starving!” Cookie told her, and then set off towards the bed.
Snowy got into the shower and enjoyed the warm patter down her back. She had felt dirty before, and now she felt fresh and relaxed, even if she was a prisoner in some crazy lady’s hideout.
Snowy enjoyed the heated shower for a few minutes longer, twirling her long brown hair, even after she had gotten washed, then stepped out, wrapping her in a towel. Snowy dried herself off, and then looked at the clothes that were out for her.
Like Cookie, Snowy put on a white undershirt. She slipped on a sky blue T-shirt that had lines that represented gentle waves floating to the shore. There was a logo on the shirt that said, “Relax in Peace”.
Snowy pulled on a pair of regular jeans, fastening on a stylish, light blue belt, over her underclothes. She put on some sandals then stepped out of the bathroom, pulling the lever, hiding the unseen room.
“Finally, you’re done! Now, let’s get some food. Aren’t you starving?” Cookie asked.
“I guess I am pretty hungry, but I doubt she’ll come right this second…” Snowy started, but gasped as a table with food came up from the ground.
“Never mind…” Snowy grumbled, hating to get bested… by a table!
Cookie jumped onto a chair and Snowy did the same. Cookie looked at the food and grimaced, “Eww… what is this stuff?”
Before them, lay green slob, grey lumps of something squishy, orange and blue things that looked like bananas, and then a bunch of samples of weird animal parts like cow’s foot and bat wing.
Master suddenly appeared in the room, “What?” She demanded, “Aren’t you pleased with your meal? I made it myself.”
“Umm… we don’t eat alien food,” Cookie explained, a sense of sarcasm in her voice, “We eat human food.”
“Tell me what you want then. I don’t know of any ‘human food’,” Master told them.
Cookie ran to the wardrobe and pulled out about four cookbooks, “Use these,” she offered.
Master took with the cookbooks, and then on the table appeared a full on breakfast. There was bacon, eggs, toast, jam, butter, ham, and orange juice and Snowy and Cookie ate it all.
Master appeared once they finished and the table disappeared. Even the chairs were soon gone and Cookie and Snowy fell on their butts. “Today, you will help me with your first assignment,” Master explained. Then, Master, Snowy, and Cookie disappeared.
They all reappeared in a room filled with the strangest of things that couldn’t even be described by a human being. Snowy and Cookie couldn’t help but gasp in awe. There was no roof above their heads, just the wonderous night sky. Master led them to a cauldron over a flaming fire pit, surrounded by a protecting brick wall.
“Now, give me the following ingredients without complaint,” Master demanded, “I need pig’s foot, bat wing, dolphin fin, clouded leopard kitten whisker…” Master told them as Snowy and Cookie took out the ingredients from bottles or pots. Master listed off crazier items then Cookie spoke up.
“So, what are we making? Chili?” Cookie asked, apparently not bothered by the idea of all the odd things that were put into the cauldron.
“Oh, dear Serenity. You wish,” Master chuckled, “Oh, you wish.”

Chapter Four

Master stirred the ingredients in the cauldron with an odd utensil that looked like a fork with pricks like knives. Finally, Snowy couldn’t take it anymore, “What are we even making?” She demanded angrily, “At least tell us!”
Master smiled, straightening her orange, purple, and black hat firmer on her head and answered simply, “A potion.”
Cookie looked confused, “Who’s drinking it? You?”
“I’m going to sample it on both of you. With your…” Master stopped herself from saying power. The two children could not know what they had quite yet, “Child-like features,” Master settled on.
Cookie and Snowy gagged and spluttered, “Us?” They gasped in unison.
“Yes, you,” Master answered simply, taking the matter as if she was a mother telling her child to pick up their toy.
Master put the reddish liquid into two bowls, handing one to each girl.
“Drink,” Master advised, “It will taste quite well and this potion has been tested before and is perfectly safe.”
Snowy looked a tiny bit worried, “What will it do to us?”
Master grinned, “The potion changes it’s use on everyone, depending on the personality and measure of evil. That’s the fun part, seeing what the potion will do.”
Snowy and Cookie looked at each other, seeing there is no way of slithering out of this one. They both drank the potion and gagged horribly.
“Oh, gosh…” Cookie spluttered, “You said it would taste good!”
Master pretended to be horribly offended, “I did say it would be good. Perhaps your kind doesn’t know good taste. Now, let us see the effects of this brilliant potion, hmm?”
Snowy suddenly fell to the ground, luckily on an old, ragged pillow. The bowl she had been holding shattered, and Snowy’s eyes dazed, then closed. Her eyelids were fidgeting wildly, showing that she was having a dream.
Cookie blinked then looked around, “Is anything supposed to happen to me? I mean Snowy is probably having an awesome dream that may change man kind!”
“You must have a more powerful digestive system then the potion can handle. It cannot take effect on you, Serenity,” Master explained, but deep inside wondered if this was so just because of Cookie’s strong stomach or if it was a clue to Cookie’s hidden power.
Cookie looked pleased with herself, but then burped out a green cloud of dust, sparkling in the moon’s light.
“Oh wow…” Cookie muttered, cheeks flushed in embarrassment, “Excuse me…”
Master gasped and grabbed a jar, catching the magical gas. At that moment, Snowy sat up quickly and gasped, “Whoa… that was an insane dream.”
“You two must go for a moment, you will find your dinner on the table…” Master whispered, staring at the jar full of green gas, as she quietly snapped her fingers.
Snowy and Cookie appeared in their room and they stared at each other, giving one another odd looks of surprise.

Chapter Five

“We can’t stay here forever,” Snowy assured Cookie. They had been talking for about an hour, trying to think how to escape, but nothing seemed to be a perfect solution.
“What was your dream like?” Cookie asked, then Master appeared in their room.
“Yes, Snowflake, tell me what your dream was like,” Master said calmly.
“I can hardly remember it…” Snowy lied.
Master smiled gently, “Well, then, Snowflake, if you wish to not tell me,” Master spoke softly, “You wouldn’t mind if…” Master snapped her fingers and Cookie disappeared.
“Cookie!” Snowy screamed, “No, bring her back! I’m never going to share my dreams with you.”
“They are not your dreams, they are my potion’s dreams!” Master snapped, “So, I suggest you tell me exactly what you saw and I’ll know if you are lying to me.”
Snowy looked down, “Will you bring back Cookie… Master?” She asked quietly, seeming shaken.
“Fine,” Master agreed.
Snowy shed tears, which she did not do very often, “Promise, promise me!” She begged.
For a moment, Master’s eyes clouded as if in pity for Snowy, but only muttered, “Alright, Snowflake. I do solemnly promise.”
Snowy explained how in her dream, there was a darkness spread over the land. Snowy had been in the dream and had been under the darkness. Snowy explained how she, in her dream, had gotten all the forces of nature and even more in her and exploded the power out, defeating the darkness. Snowy then told Master that’s where the dream had ended.
Master was quite for a moment, but then her face darkened and she demanded, “Don’t you even think about that stupid dream again! It was a lie; you will never be great!”

. . .

Snowy and Cookie awoke the next day. Outside, it was cloudy, but yet so wonderful. Light streamed through the window and onto the magma painted floor.
As Snowy and Cookie felt calm and at peace, enjoying the beauty of the day, Master came in and a blind covered the beautiful sky out the window. “I hope you got a good rest,” Master said, “Both of you go in the bath room and get changed. Today we are going to test your strength and cleverness.”
Snowy and Cookie got dressed into the same clothes they wore the other day after they had showered. They didn’t know if there was going to be a washing machine.
Master, Snowy, and Cookie appeared in a room. The room had swords and other weapons lined up on the wall, however it was the giant cage dweller in the room that made Cookie and Snowy gasp.
In a huge cage was a monster that looked like a Cyclops spider. The creature had a huge eye in the middle of its face. The creature was completely black and had eight enormous legs. It was at least twenty feet tall. The monster, however, had no mouth or nose.
“This is my ‘pet’, Phantom. He is your test. You two will have to battle him with anything you can find on the walls. Phantom cannot eat you, however he can throw you, and seriously injure you. I will not let him kill you, though. You both still have a purpose I need you for,” Master thoroughly explained.
Snowy and Cookie tried to protest, but Master snapped her fingers and the cage unlocked and the door swung open. At that moment, Master grinned evilly and disappeared.
“If we ever try to hurt Master so we can escape,” Snowy told Cookie, “Let’s break her fingers. That snapping thing is getting annoying!”
A loud bang interrupted Snowy and Phantom was loose. Cookie screamed and got a sword and a shield to protect herself. Snowy grabbed a loaded crossbow and a shield.
Cookie ran under Phantom and slashed at two of his legs. Purple blood poured out. Snowy aimed the crossbow at Phantom’s eye and got a target, making Phantom stumble. Snowy did a forward flip onto one of Phantom’s legs, and then did another one onto Phantom’s head. Cookie leapt on to a leg as well, and cut it off cleanly with the sword. Snowy shouted to Cookie, “Okay, let’s drive it back to it’s cage! We’re not here to kill. Be prepared to close the lock and the door!”
Cookie nodded, and Snowy grabbed the rope from the crossbow. Snowy jumped down and used the rope like a lasso to tie the rope around Phantom’s neck. With one hand still on the rope, Snowy grabbed a bow and arrow and shot it at Phantom’s forehead to get him to back up into his cage. Phantom made a struggling movement, pulling Snowy from holding the rope. Snowy gasped in terror, but aimed a few more shots with the bow and arrow to Phantom’s forehead, making him back up halfway into his cage. Snowy felt for more arrows, but there was none. Cookie’s sword had fallen, and she could not get down from the top of the cage unless she landed on Phantom. They were weapon-less.
Snowy had to keep her grip on the rope, or else Phantom would have more freedom. Yet, she couldn’t reach the weapon rack. Snowy knew what she had to do. She could die doing it, but she had to. Snowy began to climb the rope, getting blisters as she went. Phantom stepped closer to Snowy and one of Snowy’s hands let go of the rope. Snowy breathed hard and closed her eyes, grabbing the rope again with her hand. Cookie yelled, but Snowy couldn’t make out what she had screamed. Snowy climbed higher until she reached Phantom’s neck. Snowy loosened the rope and jumped down, rope in her hands. Snowy knew she couldn’t help now from her angle. Cookie was up high. She could do it.
Snowy screamed at Cookie to get her attention and threw the rope at Cookie, on top of the cage. It seemed like decades before Cookie caught it. Cookie used the rope like a lasso, just as Snowy had and whipped the face of Phantom, driving him back into the cage. Phantom backed up to the cage and his back hit the end of the cage. Cookie used the rope to lasso a grip on the cage and shut it tightly. Snowy climbed up the bars of the cage and swung to the lock, closing it. The two jumped down to the purple blood stained ground.
Master appeared in front of the two, eyes wide, “You… you did the impossible,” Master stammered, clearly in awe, “That was Phantom. The only way you could’ve possibly defeated him is by killing him. His kind cannot stand being in a cage and once free, they will never return to their prison. There is certainly a type of power in you that I can now see. It shows in both of you.”
Snowy and Cookie looked at each other, “What do you mean?”
Master sighed, “Do not expect this expression and act coming from me right now again. You will continue to be my prisoners, but now with knowledge of why you are staying with me. You both contain power beyond your dreams. I know some of Serenity’s powers, but I do not know of anything of Snowflake’s power. With both of you, I just know it’s there. At that battle, I see that both of you have some sort of creature powers. A part of you controlled Phantom. Anyway, I may explain more in the future. For now, you need to get washed… you are horribly stained with Phantom’s blood. Get changed into some… pajamas, you call it? I will bring you dinner, and then rest. Tomorrow, I am afraid there is one more test you must take.”
Instead of complaining, Snowy and Cookie nodded and when they heard the snap, they knew they were back in their room. Cookie flopped on the bed and sighed, “That was the most heroic and awesome thing I’ve ever done. I seriously thought we should be in an action movie. I was thinking of motivating songs in the back round while we fought Phantom. And did you hear that? We have powers, Snowy! We could be super heroes!”
Snowy flopped down right next to Cookie, “This is so crazy. We have powers? And honestly, I’ve never done a flip before, but there I felt so alive. You’re right, Cookie, I did feel there was music in my mind playing while we sent Phantom back. Let’s get some sleep.”
The two showered and got into pajamas. Snowy wore a blue, long sleeved, buttoned top with a crescent moon and star pattern. She wore patching pajama pants and white socks. Snowy had a necklace with a diamond moon charm on her neck. Cookie wore light purple footie pajamas. Again, her black hair was in a low ponytail. Cookie had a diamond beret in her hair. They both ate the dinner that appeared after they had gotten changed. There was a ham, mashed potatoes, and some green beans. Apparently, Master had read one of the cookbooks wrong, because instead of apple pie, there was apple pee for dessert. The thing that grossed out Snowy and Cookie was that Master thought of the wrong apple.
After dinner, Snowy and Cookie curled up in bed, tired after battling Phantom, yet pleased with being praised by their kidnapper, somehow.

Chapter Six

A tiny sliver of sunlight made its way through the window in Snowy and Cookie’s room. Snowy had already gotten up, dressed for the day and ate some of the breakfast Master had for them, saving some for Cookie. Snowy walked towards the bullet-proof glass window and peered out. Her crystal-blue eyes rested on the beautiful horizon. Purple, orange, pink, and yellow streaked together, painting the sky and shining across the land. It was so beautiful, that there wasn’t even a fitting word to describe what Snowy saw.
Just as the gorgeous sunrise began to become just… the sun, Cookie woke up.
“Uh… hey?” Cookie grumbled sleepily, rubbing her purple eyes, “You’re not…” a yawn escaped Cookie’s mouth before she continued, “Not thinking about escaping, are you? I… I think we’re stuck here for a while.”
“No,” Snowy sighed, “I think you’re right. We will be here for a while. I just wish we were back home. I mean, yesterday, we risked our lives, Cookie. No ordinary girl does that! This isn’t safe and I have a feeling once Master doesn’t need us, she won’t set us free. I… I think she’ll kill us, Cookie.”
Snowy sighed deeply. It was good to get that all out to a person she trusted. Snowy glanced at Cookie, waiting for her to respond.
“Hey!” Cookie said, getting up and patting Snowy’s back, “What happened to the brave girl with the pretty looks I used to know?”
“I think she got flushed down Master’s toilet… um, if Master uses a toilet that is,” Snowy said. She had never been this willing to give in.
“No!” Cookie yelped, staring with determination at Snowy, “We are not going to give in! I would fight to the death for you, as you would for me! We are going to survive and win!”
Snowy’s eyes widened. She had never seen Cookie act like that. At that moment, Master entered the room, chuckling softly.
“Well, Cookie!” Master cooed, “I never knew you had such a voice! Such an attitude! Your power may not be near as good as Snowy’s, but you have potential!”
Snowy and Cookie spun around to face their kidnapper, “What do you want us to do today?” Snowy asked accusingly, her spirit gaining back, “Kill a helpless bunny mercilessly?”
Master’s eyes widened innocently, “Oh no! I love bunnies… they make excellent gourmet dinners for you humans, don’t they? Today, you will do something… similar though. I want you to go catch my beautiful unicorn that I own. It’s loose somewhere in this chamber and I really don’t have the time to find it! After you find it, I need you to take it back to it’s stall which is located in the center of this place. Calm it down, of course. Then, please kill it and make me a nice unicorn stew, will you? I want to make sure you can have the potential to kill when asked.”
Snowy and Cookie’s jaws dropped. They couldn’t kill a unicorn! It would be amazing just be near one, much less touch it! Killing a unicorn… it would be worse than killing a horse.
“No! We aren’t going to kill any innocent creatures!” Snowy warned, “Nothing you can do will make us.”
Master’s innocent smile dropped and she frowned angrily, “You will, Snowflake! I will be watching through my globe to make sure you do the job and do not escape. Oh, and chop off the unicorn’s horn and save it for me. It posses great magic that I need for a task of my own.”
When Snowy and Cookie still stayed firm and would not agree to the assignment, Master added, “Or, you could slay my invincible dragon, White Flame.”
Snowy and Cookie exchanged looks. They couldn’t fight a dragon, so the unicorn it was. Snowy nodded sadly, “Alright, fine.”
Master’s face lit up under her top hat and long black hair, “Perfect! I just knew you would!”
Master let Snowy and Cookie out of their room to explore the chamber on their level of the tower, then left them alone, leaving in a snap of her fingers.
“I can’t believe I’m going to kill a unicorn,” Cookie sighed, “Wow… put that on my list of horrible things to do.”
“Yep, but we better get started on finding it first. Master says she’s watching. Plus, there’s no way to get out of this anyway. Even if we sneak the unicorn away and try to make a substitute stew… which would never happen, Master has probably tried unicorn meat before and know what it tastes like!”
Cookie nodded, “Okay, Snowy. Let’s split up.”

. . .

Snowy looked around Master’s potion sets, which apparently were on the floor of Cookie and her prison. She saw bubbling vials of all sorts of different colored liquids and some vials that were steaming out strange steam or gas.
“Here, little unicorn,” Snowy whispered gently, looking around. Out of the corner of her eye, she swore she saw something move, but when she turned, nothing was there.
Snowy spotted a vial that looked like something was moving it in, as if it were darting around. She walked towards the strange potion, and then gasped when she saw what was inside. There was a little eye… like a deer eye in the vial and the pupil was moving around frantically. When Snowy came closer, the pupil stared at her.
Snowy nearly gagged as she caught her breath. A unicorn raised her majestic, white head out from behind the vial and glimpsed at Snowy. It’s so beautiful. Snowy thought, and it was true. The unicorn had a spiraling horn on her forehead, bursting out from a black, star-shaped birthmark. The unicorn’s eyes were gentle and caring, yet powerful and strong. The mare had shimmering gold chain around her neck, hanging loosely. Her fur was a perfect, snow white and her mane and tail were shining silver.
Snowy dared to take a gentle step closer to the unicorn, moving around the table. She motioned her hand out slowly for the unicorn to inspect. As if by understanding, the unicorn nuzzled Snowy’s palm with her soft, white muzzle and whinnied softly. Snowy gently took the unicorn by the chain to lead her to Cookie and the unicorn did not battle back.
Chapter Seven

Cookie was busy hugging a small white thing when Snowy approached with the unicorn.
“What’s that?” Snowy asked, as the unicorn was busy searching the ground for any grass.
Cookie looked up to face Snowy and revealed something incredible. The object Cookie was hugging was a small unicorn, a baby. Cookie gasped as she saw Snowy’s full-grown unicorn and Snowy did the same.
“You got the unicorn?” they exclaimed in unison.
Snowy felt she was falling off a mountain. The unicorn had a faun! Master probably didn’t know about that, so maybe they could save at least one of the unicorns.
“I… I can’t believe this,” Cookie admitted, “Two unicorns???

Alone Under The Bed by Emma B

The blanket frowned,
As another dust bunny crept closer like a tiptoeing tiger
Not making a sound.
Under the bed for nine months.

The blanket was soft and there
So why, she pondered, am I alone?
Remembering the years of care
Being a super-girl cape that fluttered in the air
An invisibility cloak to hide from mom
Warmth to cuddle at night.

A long lost friend, the blanket thought.

The blanket yearned,
not knowing
That she was loved… a lot!
Not just a lost toy.

But for now,
She was gone, the blanket knew

Gone.

Gone.

Moving Guide For Older Students by Emma B.

Introduction

Moving can be one of the most stressful times ever, especially when you’re a kid or a teenager. The hardest things are breaking the news to your best friends, packing, being on the travel, unpacking, and settling in. Also, you’re probably thinking, “Oh my gosh! I’m never going to be the same again! I’m going to hate the rest of my life!” But guess what? That’s normal! Just remember: You are going to settle down eventually and yes, you are going to never be the same again, but that’s a good thing! This guide will help you feel much calmer during your moving adventure. Relax and enjoy!

Breaking the News To Your Best Friend(s)

Breaking the news to your best friends can be really difficult. Boys actually tend to take it a bit better than girls, usually, so the reaction you’ll get from your friends may depend on their gender. Use these steps to make breaking the news much easier.

1. Think of a good place and time to tell your friends. For girls, a sleepover with all your friends may be a good choice. For boys, maybe a group together playing video games or after playing a sport with all your friends.

2. It may not be a good idea to tell your friends the news too late or too early. If you tell your friends early, you might find you’re not ready to accept the fact that you are moving yet yourself. If you tell your friends a bit late, you won’t get to spend quality time with your friends before you leave.

3. At the time and place you chose, first tell your friends in a kind of serious voice that you need to tell them something. Don’t make it too casual, but not too serious either. That sounds complicated, but when you say it, what you need to say will probably flow out nice.

4. Be honest and clear. If you know, tell your friends the exact day, week, or month you will be moving.

5. As hard as it, you’ll probably receive a whole bunch of reactions from your friends. If they think you are kidding, tell them you’re not kidding and you are going to move.

6. Spend as much time with your friends until you move. Make sure you spend the last few weeks, months, or days with your friends and make them treasurable.

Packing

Packing is a hard time for many kids and teenagers, because that’s usually a time when your parents say, “Okay, you should throw away this and this and this. Oh, and give this whole box of stuff to charity…” Let’s face it. Nobody wants to give or throw away his or her stuff. Also, knowing what to put in what pile is frustrating. Use these steps to let the smoothness flow.

1. As boring as it sounds, clean your room. You’ll feel more prepared to take on the packing job when everything is sorted pretty well.

2. If you want, ask your parents to help you figure out how to sort everything and how to squeeze the most stuff into only one box. Of course, you should probably not ask your parents for help if they are the type who wants you to throw your most meaningful items out.

3. Separate your room into three piles: A Pack Up Pile, a Give Away Pile, and a Travel Pile. The Pack up pile is for everything your going to pack up. The Give away pile is made up of your old objects that you don’t want anymore and will give away or sell (See? You can make money of off your move!) The Travel Pile is for items you want to put in your carry-on or backpack, such as your small electronics, a few books, etc.

4. Bring in some boxes and packing tape

5. Move the Give-Away Pile and the Travel-Pile to the side for now. You’re focus at the moment is the Pack-Up Pile.

6. Organize your Pack-Up pile into small groups, like electronics, school stuff, books, etc.

7. Pack those items in, keeping the items as much in their own groups as possible.

8. Label the boxes with a permanent marker.

9. Tape up the boxes with packing tape.

10. Do steps 4-9 with your Give or Sell Away Pile.

11. Pack up your Travel pile in a backpack or carry on the same way, but wait to do pack that up until about two days before your flight or drive. Don’t forget to pack your suitcase with clothes and other necessities.
On The Plane

Plane rides can be a normal, but in many ways horrible way to travel for many people. The food can be as disgusting as a cat’s hairball spit out in an anthill and the hours can seem tedious. Use these steps to survive the horror known as the plane ride.

1. Don’t pack too much stuff in your carry on, for it will crowd you and make you uncomfortable during the trip.

2. If you’re bringing a device with batteries, bring extra batteries!

3. Try to get a window seat or aisle seat. Aisle seats allow you to get your food faster and get to the bathroom faster without disturbing people. Window seats allow you to see all the way down to the Earth and enjoy how the Earth looks like an ant village.

4. Pack some snacks, because sometimes airplane food can be unbearable and disgusting.

5. Pack a water bottle and ask the flight attendants to fill it up when they come around.

6. Wear a short sleeve shirt, but pack a jacket. You don’t know how warm or cold the plane will be.

7. If you have long or medium hair, brush your hair before and after your flight, because hair tends to get horribly tangled when you sleep on the plane.

8. If you have a portable DVD player, you should use it! This will help prevent your ears getting plugged from the flight, and it will help keep you occupied during the trip.

9. If you have something that helps you sleep, don’t forget to bring it. You’ll want to catch that sleep. The “something” may include blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals.

10. Unless you get air sick, read a book on the plane. Also, try those puzzle books like look and finds. You may be older and would like to purchase some really challenging puzzle books!

11. Bring a chargeable device with games galore.

12. Bring a sketchbook or notebook if you like to draw or doodle.

13. Don’t pay attention to the clock! Time goes slower when you’re watching the time.

Unpacking

Unpacking is hard, because you have to find a place for everything and decide where everything should go. The deciding can be frustrating and the last time I unpacked… it took me nine very hard tries… Well, that shouldn’t happen to you, so follow these steps to make your unpacking much more different then mine.

1. If your room is completely empty or not, sweep/vacuum to get a fresh start. Nobody wants to see dust bunnies when they come home.

2. Get some fresh air spray, like Febreeze, to make your room smell nice and welcoming.

3. See if you can paint your room a nice color. Your parents have a 75% chance of saying no, but you can still try to ask!

4. Get some furniture for your room if there is not already some. Either way, arrange it in a way you want it.

5. Even if you already have furniture, try to get a fun chair (beanbag, roller, etc.).

6. Try to get a carpet too!

7. Lay out a bedspread that fits your personality.

8. Hang up some pictures in your room if you have any.

9. Get some Post Its or other tiny sheets of paper to put on desks, dresser drawers, etc. to label where you want stuff to go so you’ll be prepared.

Settling In

Settling can be hard, because you’ll need to find a new best friend. You can keep in touch with your old friends, but nobody wants to be lonely the whole time they’re in a new area. Follow these steps to find a new friend in no time!

1. If your starting sometime in the school year, be friendly to everyone in your classes. You should at least be in the “becoming friends” stage with every person in your class of your gender.

2. If you’re moving in the summer, try to see if there’s anyone your age that lives by you. You may find a best friend before the school year starts.

3. Some people may not want to be kind to you. Some may even start bullying you. Stay away from these people, and if that’s not possible, either ask them to stop. If the problem persists, look online for ways to get people to stop bullying you.

4. Don’t stop what you like to do. If you like sports, find a sports team. Try clubs. Even though some things are changing, you don’t have to make what you like change.

5. Bring your lucky charm if you have one. Lucky charms are confidence boosters.

6. Get back into old routines. That can also help with jet lag.

7. Say yes instead of no. Boosting confidence is key to helping with the stress of settling in.

Fall in Spring by Emma B

Haseya shielded her head. Her long, black hair dangled next to her and little by little, dampened from her tears. The gunfire was too much and it frustrated her. She didn’t want to know who had died. Haseya did not want to see her village in the Four Corner Range, how broken it must be. Haseya imagined the turning-green forest near her home (which was really called Strong Wolf’s Forest because of a legendary Navajo leader, yet everyone in Haseya’s tribe just refered to it as the forest), the trees red from the blood of her friends and family. Haseya had known deep inside herself that it was silly for her to think that the forest was actually blood drenched, but her brain and heart were enemies at the moment. Another gunfire and Haseya winced. The gunshot ringed in her ears and it made her soft earlobes burn. The sound pushed to the sky. The bullet was so small, so why could it cause so much suffering and even death. Haseya heard the bullet’s path stop and a loud grunt of pain replaced it. Was that the death of a tribe member? I’m only twelve years old, she considered sadly, so why should I have to face this?

Earlier that exact same day, it had been perfect. Haseya had woken up to the first beautiful day the Navajo tribe had seen in months. Her mother had made a wonderful loaf of bread to celebrate the coming of spring. Her family had devoured the bread with her mother’s last bowl of strawberry jam. Even Haseya’s father came to join them to celebrate spring. This was rare, because most of the time, on regular days, Haseya’s father got up before dawn and went straight to work. Haseya considered herself lucky when she caught her father to give him a hug before he left out the door in the morning. Haseya felt a sense of mistreat when she didn’t see her father at breakfast most mornings, but usually she tried to be positive and cheerful. Haseya’s little sister, Awee, was noisily chewing her bread with Haseya’s wolf, Bear. No. Haseya thought, Its me and Awee’s wolf. Bear loves Awee almost as much as me. Besides, Mother let me keep Bear when I found him as a pup, because Father says it would be a great lesson on responsibility and how to care for another. So, why can’t Awee have that same lesson?

                  After breakfast and their prayer to Mother Nature, her father went off to his work, promising he’d be there for the spring coming party in the evening. There would be music, a huge fire, dancing, and a great feast to celebrate! There was even gifts going to be exchanged at the end of the feast. Haseya couldn’t wait.

                   Smiling, excited about the evening, Haseya set off to Johona’s hut, with Bear following loyally behind her. Haseya welcomed herself in as their culture allowed as long as the person who is coming in has met at least one person in the family. If they have not, they must either call into the hut or wait patiently outside until a family member notices them.

“Ya at ehh, Haseya!” Johona greeted her best friend. “I see you have brought Bear again?”

“Yes, Johona, I think Bear missed you…” Haseya started, but then her voice faded a little. “It’s been a while, but…” Haseya shook away the horrible, lonely feeling and chirped in her usual joyful tone, “I’m so very happy to see you, and Bear is too! Just look! It’s the beginning of spring and I heard that the tribe is throwing a party tonight to celebrate! Even the forest looks happy, with all the flowers trying to burst out their beauty!”

Yet, Johona was clever, and saw right through Haseya, “Something is on your mind. Come and sit down. You are welcomed to tell me everything.” Johona assured Haseya as they sat on the deer fur rug, Bear laying down in between them.

Johona stared with her milky brown eyes into Haseya’s lilac purple eyes. Johona was wearing boy’s clothes, because she hated wearing dresses or skirts like the rest of girls of the tribe. The only time Johona dared put herself in a girl outfit was during ceremonies and even then sometimes she couldn’t stand it. Now, though, she simple asked Haseya, “What’s troubling you?” The tiny sentence meant so much to Haseya and she couldn’t help but tell Johona everything.

“I have that feeling again, Johona. I feel like something bad it going to happen, like the time I felt this way when a tree fell over part of our village. I know it’s the first of spring and I should be thankful and joyful, but I have that nagging feeling, Johona. It’s just… there.”

Haseya blurted out, unable to control her thoughts any longer.

Johona was Haseya’s best friend and would not lie to her friend, “Hmm, I see. I am not sure what is going to happen, Haseya, but it is no use worrying about it. Let’s go make some moccasins for your father. He’d love that, especially since I’ve noticed his are getting a little worn out.”

Haseya at once regained her joyful mood and nodded. “That’d be very nice.” Haseya admitted and patted Bear to wake him from his slumber.

The two girls, along with the wolf known as Bear, went outside with the moccasin materials. They all sat down and began to work. Johona began working on one of the moccasins and Haseya worked on the other, stopping once and awhile to give her wolf a comforting pat.

Haseya was almost finished with the bottom of the moccasin when she felt something past her ear. It was much too fast and direct to be wind, so what could it be? Haseya looked at Johona and saw that she was trying to say something. Johona was waving her arms franticly, and screaming at Haseya. At once Haseya went out of her thoughts and into the reality.

“Watch out!” screamed Johona, still waving her arms, “Haseya… duck!”

Haseya knew Johona was truthful, so she ducked. With horror, Haseya looked up and saw a bullet streaming over her head, only missing her by a fraction of an inch. Haseya shouted at Johona, her hands over her head, “What’s happening?”

Johona screamed back, “I think some cowboys from Arizona are attacking! I think they may be trying to take our stuff! I hope… Haseya, move!”

Haseya rolled to the side as a bullet shot into the ground beside her. That’s two times Johona has saved my life. Haseya thought, almost smiling, even in the chaos around her. I’m going to owe her a lot! Maybe even Bear…

Haseya looked up. Where was her wolf? At the same time she looked up, she saw something even more horrifying then the disappearance of Bear. An Arizona cowboy was aiming one of their gun items at her father, the chief!

“Father, watch out!” Haseya screamed, terror, confusion, and rage on her face.

As soon as her father turned to find the source of the sound, the gunfire sounded.

Haseya dropped to her knees, crumpling, almost in the same way her now dead father fell, bleeding. Haseya couldn’t bare it anymore. She didn’t care if she was shot; she might have wanted to be.

Haseya’s long black hair tumbled next to her as she put her head in her knees. Her tears dampened the strands of hair near her eyes. Haseya had always been positive; she hardly ever got down in the dumps, as the Americans called it. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had cried (not because of pain, but because of sadness or anger) or felt outraged.

Haseya then smiled. She was thinking about all the happy times with her father. Her father swinging her around and then pretending Haseya was a little American metal bird (a plane), swinging her from side to side. Her father sometimes pretending the American metal bird crashed and they both went on the floor, laughing. Haseya remembered her father taking time out of his work to show her the forest and it’s beauty. She saw the image of her father telling Haseya about Mother Nature and how Mother Nature loves plants, animals, and of course, little Navajo girls.

Yet, for once, the negativity went into Haseya’s heart. No. She reminded herself, tears filling her eyes yet again. Those days are over. My father is dead, and others are probably dead too.

                  Haseya heard a wimper and saw a frightened Bear, hiding in a corner of Johona’s hut. Haseya crawled towards him, her face covered in dust and a little blood from some scratches. She wasn’t going to stand this a minute longer and neither was her wolf. Haseya had gotten up, knowing her loyal wolf would follow her, and headed toward the forest in a swift sprint.  The flower buds on the small, growing leaves on the trees seemed to welcome her, calling her so loudly to join they’re beautiful wonders, that Haseya didn’t even hear Johona’s call for her to stay.

The branches from the trees hit Haseya’s face as she ran deeper and deeper into the forest, her wolf on her heels (who was getting quite to a liking of getting to run with his master). When Haseya thought she had gotten deep enough into the forest that no one would find her, she stopped in a clearing of soft grass.

Haseya sat on the thin sheet of grass, that was trying to open into spring, and she cried. Not even the beautiful sun, glinting in the spaces in between the trees, shining most amazingly in the clearing, could make Haseya joyful. The sweet smell of the grass didn’t cheer her up. The breeze mixing with animal calls to make music did not make her feel like dancing. Even cuddling a fawn wouldn’t make her day any better.

Bear hated to see his master devastated and rested his head on Haseya’s knee, gently rubbing against her for comfort.

Haseya sniffled uneasily and stroked Bear. It wasn’t fair that he had to be sad, just because she was. Haseya saw the homesickness in Bear’s eyes and decided she’d go home. Maybe, she thought to herself, maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe father is just badly hurt and maybe he can get better. Even if he is dead, I still have the tribe to keep me going.

Haseya got up and began to make her way out of the forest. She passed by a little stream for a drink. Her relfection showed something she did not know of. Blood was on her face from scratches and she was unbelievably dirty. Usually she bathed in a pond near her village and kept clean. Now, she looked sorrowful and she felt that a little too. Haseya got up from the stream’s bank and saw Bear waiting for her.

Then, Haseya noticed something. On her way to the clearing, she had never seen a stream. Quite to the fact, she hadn’t remembered seeing anything from her way to the clearing she had been in a few… a few what? The trees loomed over the sun and Haseya didn’t even know how long she had been in the forest.

“Oh no, Bear!” Haseya whispered, tears once again flooding her eyes, “We strayed too far! We’re lost in the forest!”

Now, the forest didn’t look so beautiful to Haseya, as they were trapped inside its blooming trees.

Had she’d gone too deep into the forest? Was she ever going to see what was left of her family again?

 

 

. . .

 

 

 

Back in the Navajo camp, Awee was devastated. She knelt by her father, a circle of tribe members mourning around her, for the loss of their great chief.

“Father, why? Why aren’t you here? You promised we could go horse riding tomorrow. Now, we can’t…” Awee sobbed. This was rare, because usually Awee was the most joyful in the tribe, even though she was the youngest and there wasn’t a child younger than her (except for Bear, if you counted his age in our count of years). It was evening, but the celebration of spring was not to happen. Even Awee’s sister, Haseya had disappeared and the tribe feared the cowboys had taken Haseya hostage to force Haseya to tell them all of the Navajo secrets, after she ran into the forest.

Ahiga, who was second in command of the tribe, stepped forward. “I’d like to say a few words.” Ahiga announced, “We all grieve for our chief’s death. He was my best friend. Our chief was a brave leader. He has given his life for our sake. We also grieve for his eldest daughter, Haseya, who has been taken by the invaders. Haseya always boosted the tribe’s spirits and we all share our sorrows for Johona and Awee who loved dear Haseya very much. We also grieve for Bear, the best wolf this tribe could have.”

Then, Ahiga reached down and gave Awee and warm hug. Ahiga was like an uncle to Awee and she was glad that Ahiga cared for her.

Ahiga patted Awee’s little shoulder and stood up again, “Let’s all take 100 heart beats of silence for our lost members of our tribe.” Ahiga announced, not knowing what minutes and hours were, like the rest of the tribe didn’t.

Awee hugged her father; he was freezing, but there was that expression on his face. The proud, happy expression he made whenever he saw his daughters. Tears dripped from her small, freckled cheeks (she being the only one in the tribe with freckles, which was very odd, but made her rather special) and splattered on to her father’s stiff upper-body. Where are you, father? Awee thought, tears streaming from your eyes, Where is Haseya? Why did she run into the forest to let those bad men catch her? Doesn’t she love me, still? Did I do something wrong to make her run away? Did I play with Bear too much and that’s why he left me too?

The gears in her little brain turned. She was confused, depressed, and tired. Everyone else had gone back into his or her hogans, log huts covered in mud and grasses.

The chilly night made her father’s body seem even colder. Awee shivered. Now, she was confused, depressed, tired, and chilled. The night air set a peaceful look on the Navajo area. The far away stars glinted beautifully in the dark blue sky. Awee’s mother came out and knelt next to her daughter.

“I know it’s hard.” Awee’s mother whispered in her ear, “Your father and Haseya may be gone, for perhaps quite a long time, but don’t let this make you sad. They still love you, but they just can’t be with you right now. I love you very much too, and I’m still here. Awee, they’re will always be someone to guide you, remember that.

“Haseya and your father would want you to be joyful and celebrate good days to come like they would’ve. You can be like Haseya. You can be a happy little girl for the tribe, can’t you? Tomorrow we can go and look for a wolf pup or get a pup at the trading post. You can keep a pup, just like Haseya. You can feed him and take him for walks. See? Not everything has to be bad.” Her mother calmly spoke, stroking one of Awee’s braids.

Awee sniffled and nodded. Maybe mother was right. Maybe a pup would make it better. Maybe if she acted like Haseya it’d be better.

Her mother held out her hand for Awee to hold and got up. Together, they walked toward’s their hogan, in the peaceful night. Awee knew everything was going to be all right tomorrow. It was going to be different, having no sister and no father, a different chief, a new pup, yes. Yet, to Awee, she was happy. Awee knew that father was in a better place with Mother Nature and maybe Haseya was too. Even so, Haseya could come back. Holding hands, Awee and her mother walked into the beautiful night sky, their lives going to be different, but a new beginning. New beginnings, new starts, whatever anyone called them, were good. Maybe even better then before.

 

 

 

 

Wild Heart Free by Emma B

“What the… hey no!” I screamed as water splashed everywhere, soaking the carpet and me with soapy water.

Earlier that day, I stirred from sleep to the dawn appearing over the stunning Rocky Mountains. It was a gorgeous summer day, probably one of the last ones before fall arrived.  Today, I’ll bathe Ginger, my golden-furred guinea pig. I thought, sitting up in my soft, frosty white covers. I mean, how hard could washing a shy, little rodent be?

I wouldn’t believe it at that time if someone had told me bathing a guinea pig is as hard as getting a small baby to go to sleep at a rock concert.

I got out of my snowy white, warming covers and went down the hall for breakfast as usual. Dad was in his exercise clothes, doing push ups on the living room carpet. His bald head went up and down as he did it. His head was shiny from sweat and as I passed him, he greeted me with a classic “Good morning.” Mom was preparing a family special breakfast for my little brother called, Cocoa and Toast. Her brown-grey hair gently bounced behind her as she worked. She was only 38 so I don’t know why she has grey in her hair, but she blames us kids. Mom says it’s us that gave her grey hairs because we stress her out… a lot. I went over to the fridge for something to eat. I’d bathe Ginger after I did my usual morning schedule. I got myself a hurried bowl of Cocoa Pebbles, which I ate up like I had been famished, even though I was just in a bit of rush. This would be the first time I ever attempted to give Ginger a bath. Most female guinea pigs with short fur hardly needed baths at all, but I figured to the saying, “Better safe then sorry.”

I went upstairs and got an old T-shirt and a pair of jean shorts. I knew bathing Ginger was going to be as simple as Albert Einstein reading a picture book, but that didn’t mean it was not going to be messy. I slid into my clothes and practically danced my crocs. I headed outside and into Ginger’s house.

Ginger, my guinea pig, lives in an old playhouse of the daughter of the person who really owns the house. It’s painted a vivid purple and white. Painted pictures decorated the inside along with a chalkboard and a couple windows. It had a nice carpet on the floor. The only bad thing about it was that it let heat and cold in real easy and in the winter we had to keep a heater in there. The other thing it lets into the shed is bugs. I don’t mean the ladybugs, ants, and butterflies. I mean crickets, and cockroaches and the grossest of things. They certainly love to take our hospitality in the Spring and Fall.

I opened one of the two doors. The other one was jammed shut, so really there’s only one that works. I gasped at what I saw. There was a bunch of hopping crickets in there. Some cricket must have had eggs in here. Some were hopping so high and some were as dead as a doornail. There were cricket legs everywhere, as crickets lose their feet easily. Ginger was running circles in her cage, freaked out (like me) about the gross crickets everywhere.

Dad came over and helped me shoo out the dead crickets, alive crickets, and cricket legs with a broom. I relaxed a little, but there was still tension. I could almost feel the crickets around me. I shuddered.

I gave a sigh with relief and went over to Ginger’s cage. I carefully opened it, still scanning for hiding crickets, but saw nothing. I stroked Ginger’s fur and spoke to her softly, saying, “Alright, girl. Today’s the day we clean that beautiful pelt of yours. I promise I’ll do it exactly like the guinea pig care book says. Maybe I’ll treat you when I’m done!”

I knew Ginger hadn’t a clue what I was saying, but the gentle words calmed her down after the cricket chaos. I gave her a couple pieces of hay to nibble on and shut the cage. I had to go get the bathing supplies.

I went back into the house, passing my siblings as they played with Dad.

“Can I borrow the big green bowl to wash Ginger?” I asked Mom, who was doing the dishes, “You know, the one we use for spaghetti? I promise I’ll wash it really well after I’m done, so its not all gross.”

Mom nodded and went back to her dishes, while I got the big green bowl. I went over to the sink and filled it up with water that was slightly too hot. By the time I would be ready for Ginger’s bath, it’d be a perfect warm. I didn’t want to have a boiled guinea pig or a guinea pig ice pop!

I set the big bowl of water on the table for a moment and ran to the bathroom. I picked up the old bottle of Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. This was recommended by the guinea pig care book I owned. I also grabbed two washcloths to dry Ginger off with to use as tiny towels. If she was wet and cold overnight she’d get sick and I didn’t want that.

I took the items back in the kitchen where the big green bowl of water sat. The tiny waves splashed against the side. I filled up a pink cup with warm water to rinse off the soap that would get on Ginger’s fur.

I brought the items one by one to Ginger’s little shed and put them on the carpet. I went over to Ginger who was done with the hay I had given her and I gently took her out. I sat with her for a while, assuring she was okay. I had only adopted her about a year ago. For all I knew, this may be her first time bathed, if her old owners didn’t wash her. When I tried to get Ginger into the bowl after petting her for a while, her claws flew everywhere, trying not to let one bit of her touch the water. I had to smile, because it was pretty funny, but I still managed to get her in there.

I cupped my hands and got some water from the bowl in them and gently dripped the water onto Ginger, letting her settle in the water. Ginger struggled, trying to escape, not yet sure of the water, but I used my cupped hands to also hold her steady.

As I held Ginger down, not willing her to escape I began to wet her fur. I reached for the soap, letting one hand loose of the grip and then I heard a cricket sound and froze. Disgust and fear flooded my mind. I let go of Ginger for a moment, trying to listen for the sound. Then, Ginger took her chance.

Ginger dashed out of the bowl, spilling the water, soap flying from her fur and headed outside.

“What the… hey no!” I screamed, as water splashed everywhere, soaking the carpet and I with soapy water.

For a few moments I was silent, in shock of what happened, and not allowing myself to get up. I felt like breaking down into tears. Right then, I didn’t believe that I would be able to catch my little Ginger and I just knew it was hopeless. Then, another part of me told me something I hadn’t thought of. Emma, get up and go get Ginger! If you don’t get off your bottom and try to catch Ginger, then of course she’s going to get away! Now, are you going to sit all wet and do nothing while your only pet is going to escape and die of a cold with all that soap on her?

                  I couldn’t argue with myself. I had to do this. That part of me was right. Sitting on this carpet while there is a good chance that Ginger will run away from her natural wild mind and freeze tonight was no help to anybody. I had to try.

I ran out, chasing Ginger into the grass of the backyard. Dad was still playing with my siblings, so I yelled at him, “Dad!!! Ginger’s somewhere running in the grass! Help me find her! She’s all wet and soapy! If she gets away, she’ll die of a cold!”

Dad nodded and began to search everywhere. I suddenly noticed a shuffle of grass near Dad and shouted, “Dad! She’s right next to you, I think!”

He yelled back, “Okay! I think I see Ginger! Hold on…”

Dad searched the floor around him and in a few moments picked up Ginger, who now was wet, soapy, dirty, and had grass all over her. I ran over to her and laughed with relief, thanking Dad and took Ginger back inside her little shed.

I put her back in the water and this time, paid close attention to Ginger. I used the warm water come to gently sprinkle water on her to get the soap out. Then, as soon as I was sure Ginger didn’t have any soap in her fur, I lifted her out of the bowl and on to the floor beside me, holding her with my hand.

I got one of the two white washcloths and dried Ginger up in it. I got the second one and rubbed it over her fur in case I missed some damp spots. I smiled, and wiped the sweat from my head. Bathing Ginger was hard.

I lifted up Ginger and sat on the little chair in her house. I talked to her softly and brushed her fur. By the time I was done, Ginger looked beautiful. I looked back to her cage and saw that Dad had cleaned it out for me.

I thanked Dad as I reached Ginger into the cage. I could imagine that Ginger was exhausted. I went inside, deciding that Ginger deserved a reward for what she did. Sure, she had run away, but that was in her blood. Who could blame her for that? I opened the fridge and took out a few lettuce leaves and a couple of baby carrots. I went back outside and into Ginger’s little house.

I opened the cage and spoke a soft “hello” at Ginger and took out most of her hay, because if she ate the treats and the hay, she’d get sick. Ginger began squeaking with protest at her food being taken away, but as soon as I put the carrots and lettuce in her cage, she began munching it up like it was the last piece of food in the whole world.

I laughed as she ate her food in that cute, noisy way. I watched her for a while and then shut the cage and left her to eat in peace.

I went over to Dad and hugged him. “Thanks, Dad.”

“It’s okay. Ginger may have just needed a good run and this was her perfect chance to go to a perfect get away in… Hawaii?”

I laughed, “Every week I let her out in her shed to take a good run, but I guess she prefers grasslands to a suntan on the beaches.”

Dad went with me back to Ginger’s cage. To my amazement, she had finished all of the baby carrots and lettuce. Dad and I gave each other a wide-eyed glance, because he had see me put those veggies in there only a few minutes ago. We laughed again. Pets are sometimes trouble and hard to work with. Yet, we still keep a wide place for them in our hearts… and usually our families. I thought to myself.

That night, snuggled under my covers, I thought, Bathing Ginger is as difficult as trying to wrestle a bull! I guess you can adopt a pet and take it as your own, but you can never take away its wild spirit.