Category Archives: Incredible Stories Written by Kids

WRITING CONTEST WINNER!

SAND DUNES

BY

ANA HAAPALA

_ Fellow Citizens _

As you know, time is running out in India.

Soon time will stop. That will be the end of India.

Soon after that, the world will end too.  

As you must realize, I am devastated and wish to

help. I know where time is and I know how we can find it. 

I cannot go, of course, because I have a kingdom

  to rule. I am offering 200,000 rupees to anyone

who finds time. I will accept 10 soldiers to go on the

quest. If you wish to save India and get your name

in history books (whether you fail or win) report to

the royal castle of Prince Nads tomorrow at dawn.

Please save India

-Prince NADS

 

It was the middle of summer in India. It was hot and sticky. Still the younger children were confined upstairs while Momma cooked dinner. I watched my second to eldest brother enviously from the window. He was handsome and tall and riding an elephant. I would kill to ride an elephant, with my parent’s approval of course. I have ridden an elephant before… in the dead of night, once around the block and back but not any farther than that.

A yell from downstairs awoke me from my daydream. “Malika, boys, come down for dinner.” My younger brothers scrambled down the ladder, trying to be first. They always did this, all four of them.

I returned to gaze out the window at my brother. “Malika Bedi, come down for dinner right now. Your brothers are starving!”

My mother is tall and beautiful. Her hair is dark and very long. You can’t tell though because she always has it in a bun and tucked in a scarf. When she smiles, her whole face twinkles. When she looks at you, you feel amazing like she will always be there for you.

I descended down the ladder following the smell of dinner, Momma’s famous curry. My eldest brother had just gotten finished telling my mother and father about a quest he was going on. There was some scribbled notes next to him that said:

  Sand Prince     steal time     time in shape of a symbol

Arabian Desert     cave = lair     search    200,000 rupees reward

Camel herd for 10 solider     name in history books     only men

 

The last bit wasn’t surprising, but it still infuriated me. “Why can’t women quest too?” I asked.

“Because women aren’t strong enough,” explained Papa. He got an evil eye from Momma.

“That is right,” Momma said anyway, “Other things too.”

“Well it’s not fair!” I yelled.

“Do not raise your voice at the table, Malika! There is nothing you need to get so worked up about, you can’t change a thing.” Momma said.

“I don’t care!” I screamed.

“That’s it, go to your room!” boomed Papa.

I ran to my room. I could hear faintly my youngest brother saying, “Papa you raised your voice at the table.”

When I got to my room, I decided I would get a girl’s name in the history books, my name. I was going on a quest.

My papa is an elephant herder, so naturally my best choice for companion and animal was an elephant. I took my favorite, Nagali. I packed Nan bread, leftovers from Momma’s curry, dried fruit and some dry pig. I packed blankets, changes of clothes, dried herbs, A LOT of water and a painting of my family.

         I was scared and nervous and my belly was doing flip flops. Even though my stomach was threatening rebellion, I would do anything for justice, I was like that.

 On the other hand, I was leaving my family and I was only 12. I have no idea what I am doing. A thought hit me I had never had before. No one knows I am going, so if I die I will never be in history books, EVER. Well, I thought, I will just have to succeed.

I left a letter so my parents wouldn’t freak out as much and think I was kidnapped. Then I was off.

My days in the Arabian Desert were mostly a routine. Wake up, eat, ride, eat, ride, eat, ride, and sleep.

Then on the eighth day, I found the lair of the Sand Prince, well at least the map said it was his lair. It was a crazy big cave with stalactite formations on the ceiling. The mouth of the cave was very frightening and I assumed that was the way the Sand Prince meant it to be.

I slipped off Nagali and tentatively crept toward the cave mouth with quiet steps. Prince Nads hadn’t mentioned if the Sand prince would be there or not. Wait a second Prince NADS, SAND Prince. They sounded awfully alike. Then it hit me, Prince Nads was the Sand Prince!

I froze. Well I still need to get in there and find time, I thought, no reason in stopping now. I have come too far to stop now.

I stepped through the cave entrance and into darkness. All of a sudden, lights flickered and flaming torches lit up the walls making the stalactites grin like teeth. From the dim light I could see shelves with bottles of strange critters in pale green sludge and dark colored leather bound books. There were trinkets like genie bottles and stuffed eagles. There were also samples of sand with labels like, Saharan desert sand with ground sage. Now I knew where he got the name Sand Prince.

A dusty journal lay on a table. I opened it and started to read. I had learned how to read from my eldest brother. It read: i am Prince Nads and i will take over the world by stopping time. i will send soldiers out to my own lair to find time for a reward because i am too evil i cannot touch it, i have a black soul.

I stopped. Wow he was openly admitting a lot and just leaving it out on the table… men really are dumb sometimes.

I heard a whoosh of air and suddenly the Sand Prince or Prince Nads was standing before me. He had dark skin, dark eyes and dark hair, really everything about him was dark, even his height, which was a good six inches taller than Papa.

I took one look at him and ran. He charged after me as I knocked over bottles and books. Evidently he didn’t care that I was ruining his lair. I slid down one of the isles of bottles and jars to a dead end right next to an hour glass.

I was cornered. I looked around for a way out. Then I spotted the hour glass. Then I realized that was time sitting right there on the table. I started to panic. Then I got an idea. I grabbed it and the Sand Prince floated away in dust.

Was that the end? No. He laid a curse on me. I could feel it running through my veins. I could no longer save anyone. That was his curse, well thought out actually.

For the next 3 hours I sat dumbfounded. So many thoughts were rambling through my head. My family, how worried are they? Will I ever see them again? The Sand Prince and how much I despised him and how horrid he is. Most of all I thought of my eldest brother, my favorite brother, was he okay? Did he die? He had taught me so much and loved me so much too. I cannot bare losing him.

As all of these thoughts were swishing around my head, then a light bulb flickered on. If I killed the Sand Prince the spell would lift and I could go home and save India and possibly the world too.

I flipped through the Sand Prince’s book of spells that was right next to the hour glass.

All I need to find is a summoning spell. I thought as I flipped through the book. Ah ha! There it is… that is the weirdest spell I have ever heard. I wrote it down. Then I found the spell for death. Also really weird, but it will save people in the long run so I don’t care. I wrote that down too.

I summoned the Sand Prince. “Abalaga tumo randolusca,” I tried to boom in a loud voice.

He appeared and as soon as humanly possible I uttered “tanisco lavandinria”

Then he crumbled into fine dust, no, sand. The sand blew away into the next room. I followed it outside and there stood the camel herd with the ten soldiers staring at me.

I jumped back with surprise just in time to see the sand float away.

“Little miss,” a solider said appalled, “What are you doing here? Why are you holding time, and please explain yourself!”

“Well,” I stuttered “um… hi my name is Malika Bedi… and I think I just saved the world… I think.”

Another solider stepped down from his camel and said, “that is an awful lot of thinking for you to be doing but, under the circumstances I do believe that you did just save the world.”

That was a lot less glorious then I would have expected for someone who just saved the world. Then a cheer rose up from the crowd of soiliders. People were clapping and hooting and in that manner I was carried home on the shoulders of the soldiers.

When I got home people had already got wind of the story and we were greeted with a loud roar.

When I got down from the procession I spotted my family and I sprinted over to them. We hugged for a long time. Then my oldest brother joined us and we did a lot more hugging. My brother whispered in my ear, “Malika, you deserve a special place in history and so do all women. Papa was wrong, you are strong enough. I don’t care if you are a girl or a boy, you are a hero.

When the new king, King Mali, the son of the Sand Prince who was not evil, took his throne my name was printed before my eyes in the history books.

I showed all of them what girls can do. I was the first girl ever recorded in the history of India and I am proud of it. My name is Malika Bedi.

 

Special thanks to Malika Bedi, my old friend, for letting me use your name.

Thank you also to my parents and language arts teacher Miss Anderson for helping and encouraging me.

I dedicate this story to the 5th grade class and all my class mates and to my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Galati.  

-A.H.

Runner Up in our Writing Contest!

Hope

Written by

Maggie Farra and Abby Francis

May, 2015

 

 

I stood on the cobblestone street right outside the tan and pink bakery. The angel in my head whispered no, but the devil was too loud.

“Look!” I shouted.

Everyone in our small town came pouring out of their shops to see what was the matter.

“Sorry everyone, false alarm,” I said, eying my three friends in the crowd.

Everyone moaned and went back to their lives.

“Did you get it?” I asking, looking at the brown sack in Jalen’s hand.

“Yup,” replied Mandy.

“Ok, great.” I sighed and relaxed.

The devil in my head was very pleased. He finally stopped yelling. He had won this battle and would probably win the rest.

My friends and I were orphans, living on the streets of Venice, Italy. We worked together, robbing different shops and collected thing to survive.

We started to walk down the musty, dark, abandoned alley where we currently resided. It was located behind a small restaurant called Vinnie’s.

Sam took a large loaf of stolen bread. He broke a piece off and popped it into his mouth and handed the loaf to me. I tore a piece off and bit into it. The bread was plain, but fresh and yummy. We hadn’t had anything so fresh in weeks. I passed the loaf to Jalen.

That night I woke up to Sam’s obnoxiously loud snoring. The devil was hungry again. I shook Mandy.

“What?” Mandy moaned a little too loudly. She rolled over to face me.

“Shh,” I whispered, putting a finger to my lips. “Help me wake up Sam and Jalen.”

We quietly and quickly woke Jalen and Sam. Once everyone was awake, I motioned them to follow me. We walked down the stinky alley, out into the main street. It was completely deserted. Only a few cars were parked on the side of the street. A couple street lights were flickering, but most had already burned out. We ran, ducking in and out of side streets and alleys. It took us 15 minutes to get to the fish shop.

“Ok, here’s the plan,” I whispered.

I crept around the back side of the building. I checked the door the see if it would be an easy break in. Sadly, it was locked tight.

“How are we going to get in?” Mandy asked, again, too loudly.

“Shh,” I glared at her.

“Sorry,” she said more quietly than before.

The only way in was a window, about 20 feet off the ground.

“I have a plan,” I said. “See those crates?”

We started piling up the the crates. I climbed onto the pile. I was just about to unlatch the window when the crates collapsed under my feet and I fell. The last thing I heard before I blacked out was the yell of a man’s voice.

When I woke up I was slumped against a concrete wall. My vision was still a little blurry. It smelled like sweat. When my vision finally returned, I saw bars in front of me. For a split second, I hoped I was on the outside of the metal bars, but soon realized I was inside of them. I looked around the room. Mandy, Jalen, and Sam were also in cells. They were all asleep. There was a desk sitting on the opposite side of the room. The named tag on the desk read Officer Ben Stoffel. I lay back against the cold wall. How did this happen? I remember going to the fish shop to steal fish and I was some how caught. This was making me dizzy. Closing my eyes, I drifted off to sleep.

I woke to the sound of the lock on the door click open.

“Hope!” someone kicked me lightly. “Are you still alive?”

“Duh!” I said getting to my feet. “How did you get out?”

Mandy held up a hairpin. “The locks are terrible.”

“Let’s get out of here,” urged Jalen heading out the cell door.

We snuck out the office and arrived in a dark room with two police officers watching a very disturbing boxing match.

“Let’s crawl,” suggested Jalen. We nodded, dropped to our hands and knees, and creeped behind the sofa undetected. We arrived at the closed door.

“RUN!” I shouted out of nowhere.

We ran through the door and out into a hallway. We burst through the police station and out into the street. People bustled with bags and boxes in their hands. I dodged people, sprinting as fast as I could. I heard a man yell, “Slow down kid!”

“Get back here kids! Someone stop them!” a police officer yelled. I glanced behind me. My friends were right on my heels. The two police officers were a good distance behind me. I gave myself an extra boost of strength to go faster.

“How close are they?” I yelled.

“Too close!” replied Jalen.

I pushed my way through the crowd. I turned onto a side street. The street was not busy at all. I heard my footstep echoing off the of enormous buildings. There were a few lighted houses, but most were abandoned and there were hardly any shops. I ran faster. I felt adrenaline pulsing through my body and I heard my heartbeat in my ears. Faster, faster, run!!

The devil jolted around. Look what he had done this time around. I was always trying to NOT to listen to him every time. Maybe the angel was right, she just can’t find the courage to speak up.

I jumped over a pile of old moldy bricks and arrived at a beautiful, gray, lite house.

“Maybe we could ask the people who live here for help?” suggested Jalen.

“Look at the sign,” said Sam.

A yellow sign hung on a pole. It read, The Big House for Orphans.

“What! Who would live here? It’s a broken down shack! Even the roof has caved in!” replied Mandy.

“Mandy can’t you see, it’s an orphanage!” I said heading up the step of the big house.

“Yeah, Hope is right,” said Jalen.

“This is freaking me out,” said Mandy. “If this is a joke, then the joke’s over.”

“This is not a joke,” I replied walking across the porch. Sam and Jalen followed me.

“Stop!” Mandy yelled. “I don’t want you to get hurt!”

“Shh, they’ll hear you, the police……”

I was cut off by a deep voice behind me.

“Hold it kids,” the large police officer said.

“Run!” I yelled. All of us ran into the orphanage, even Mandy.

“You got me kids. I’m not going in there. I could get killed!”

“Told you it was dangerous,” murmured Mandy. “Let’s get out of this run down shack.”

“Run down shack? Boy, you got some high standards for orphanages,” replied Sam. Jalen nodded in agreement.

We were standing in a huge room. We were in front of a great maple wood desk. I could feel the cold marble floor through the hole in my old sandal. The desk was in the middle of the room and a staircase was on either side of the desk. At the top of the staircase, there was a balcony with big, brass, double doors behind it. The doors bursted open. A group of about ten kids ran down the staircase, followed by a young woman. Her blond hair was pulled back in a tight bun. She had on a light blue blouse that brought out her ocean blue eyes. She also had on a green skirt with white loafers.

“Hello. Welcome to the Big House for Orphans. I am Angela Merriweather but you can call me Angela,” she said. “Are you orphans?”

“Yes, we are,” I replied. “But some of us think this is a rundown shack.”

I glanced a Mandy.

“Who are you talking to?” asked Mandy.

“Mandy, stop it,” said Sam. He was starting to get annoyed.

Mandy began to tear up, “I’m sorry. I really can’t see anything!”

“Is your friend ok?” asked Angela.

“Apparently, she can’t see any of these amazing things,” I replied, looking around the orphanage.

“What’s her name?” asked Angela.

“Mandy,” I replied.

“Thank you,” Angela said. She walked over to the desk and pulled out the biggest book I had ever seen. It had a leather cover with five words sewn into it in yellow thread. It read: The Big Book of Orphans. She opened the book and flipped to the M section. We crowded around the desk, well everyone except Mandy.

“Her mother still alive,” said Angela still not taking her eyes of Mandy’s name. We stood there in shock.

“Mandy,” I paused and finally said, “your mom is still alive.”

Mandy froze in shock. Then she looked at the ground.

“You can only see the orphanage if both of your parents are dead,” Angela explained.

Angela pushed a few buttons on a keyboard behind the desk. Mandy gasped.

“Wow, this is amazing!” shouted Mandy.

A girl of about six years old started at us.

“Go back to the kitchen,” said Angela and the girl scurried up the left staircase.

“Hi, I am Mandy,” said Mandy quietly.

“No, you’re Mahalia,” Angela said, a tear ran down her cheek.

I looked at a picture of a handsome man standing with Angela. Angela was holding a beautiful baby girl with brown, wavy hair like Mandy’s. Mandy’s eyes looked a lot like the baby’s eyes in the picture. I suddenly realized the baby in the picture was Mandy.

“My baby girl!” Angela ran up and hugged Mandy. For a second Mandy just looked stunned. Finally Angela relaxed, tears were streaming down her face.

“I-I,” Mandy choked back tears. “You, I recognized you the moment I saw you.”

Angela kissed her. By now about 10 children and four staff had stopped to watch the scene.

“Angela, I mean Mom,” Mandy began. “These are my friends, Hope, Jalen, and Sam.”

“Hello.. again,” laughed Angela. “Would you like to stay?”

“Yes!!!” I squealed, basically jumping off the floor.

“We have plenty of room,” replied Angela. “Girls rooms 11- 13 are on the left staircase, and boys rooms are the same on the right staircase.”

“Thanks,” I said as Sam and Jalen ran up the right staircase. “One question?”

“Yes.”

“What is my real name?” I asked.

Angela took out The Big Book of Orphans.

“Your name is Hope,” said Angela, “just like your name tag.” Angela closed the book.

 

10 Months Later

         “Where’s my shoes?” I yelled.

“You haven’t told me where you’re going,” replied Angela. “I don’t even know where I’m going and by the way, it’s not shopping.”

I was pretty sure that she had a good idea that we were throwing her a baby shower at her new husband Adrian’s house.

“I told you I was helping Mahalia with homework,” I lied, finally finding my white flats. I smoothed out my white dress and walked downstairs. Angela was standing at the bottom of the stairs, her hands rubbing her stomach. Her baby would be born in about a month, so there was a huge lump in her white dress.

“And why do I need to wear this to go shopping?” Angela asked.

I ignored her question.

“Bye,” I said, pushing the door of the house open. Adrian’s house was only four blocks away, so I got there in a matter of minutes. I knocked on the door. Mahalia answered.

“Help us blow up balloons,” Mahalia said, shoving 10 deflated balloons in my hands. I started to blow them up. Sam and Jalen were having a fight with blue and white streamers. People started to arrive.

“Ok. Listen up,” Adrian yelled over the murmur of the crowd. “I’m going to get Angela, so when you hear a knock on the door make sure to hide and turn off the lights. When you open the door, yell SURPRISE!”

“Will do,” I replied and Adrian left the house. Five minutes later we heard a rap on the front door. I quickly turned out the light and whispered, “Everyone hide!”

People crouched behind the sofa. I opened the door while flickering on the lights.

“SURPRISE!!!” everyone yelled.

Angela laughed. “Thanks everyone.”

Soon people were settled down, talking, and laughing. Angela came up to Mahalia, Jalen, Sam, and me. “Great décor.”

“Thank you,” replied Mahaia and giggled.

“And thank you for the best months of our lives,” I said and hugged Angela.

The angel finally found courage again.

Red Hand Writing Contest Winner!

Ana Haapala is our contest winner! Her story Sand Dunes was very innovative. She added great texture with her opening that set the scene and we enjoyed the illustration she did for the cover.

Well done Ana!IMG_6517

 

RULES:
Student can choose one of the following subjects to write about:

- a chase scene. This can involve anything at all such as a cat chasing a mouse, a car chase, a policeman chasing a robber, a bully chasing a good kid. Be descriptive and a plot (why they are chasing and being chased).

- a hero: have them create a hero. The hero can be male, female, an animal, a historical figure.. anything. Have them describe the character and why they are a hero. Have them give some plot line of their antagonist and what they’re trying to save.

- a villain’s lair: have them create a villain’s lair. Where it is located, be a descriptive as possible, and what kind of things the villain does in the lair.

Nate Capener- First Place Winner for August’s writing contest!

Honorable Mention winner for July's Writing Contest!

First Place winner for August’s Writing Contest!

Nate Capener is the First Place winner for the writing contest in August! Here is his story:

The Golden Tomb

By Nate Capener

I stopped in front of the large, oak-wood over polished door and hesitated before knocking. Written in gold letters was a name.
Alfred D. Anderson
Alfred Anderson was an Archaeological employer, and a good one. Mr. Anderson hired the best Archaeologists, and I do consider myself to be… pretty much the best.
I lifted my hand and knocked three times on the door. From inside I could hear the scraping of a chair and then footsteps making their way towards me.
The door swung open and I found myself face-to-face with Alfred Anderson. He was slightly larger and taller than me, with a completely shaven baby face and beady brown eyes that looked down at me with a small greedy glint. His wispy brown hair was matted to the right.
“Mr. Nathan Turner, at last you show up at my doorstep!” He boomed and slapped my shoulder so hard that I had to re-set my footing to avoid falling to the floor.
“That’s me”- I started, but he cut me off. “Well, we don’t have all day Mr. Turner, please, sit down.”

I did as he requested.

“Very good, now before we start talking Archeology, Mr. Turner, we must talk contract!”

“Mr. Anderson,”- I started.

“Please, call me Alfred.”

“Of course, Alfred,” I began again, “I never talk contract before I talk Archeology,” I stated.

Alfred frowned as the paper contract crumpled to the ground.

“Very well,” He started slowly. “Let us talk… Archeology.”

“Egypt.”
1 Year Later
Egypt- 1924

A sweltering heat blasted my face as I stepped out of the cramped white plane. My eyes adjusted to the brightness and I looked around the small airfield. Several small planes were scattered around the asphalt, and yellow stripes painted the center of the runways. I looked up at the sun and shaded my eyes with my hands.

Perfect.

I searched for the person who I was supposed to be meeting. According to Anderson, his name was Pedro. Pedro would lead me to the tomb, where I would collect all the treasures that I could. I would then pay Pedro his modest share, get paid handsomely for my efforts, and then continue on with my rich, happy, life.

My eyes finally caught onto two figures on camels riding towards the plane. The Camel’s hooves kicked up sand sending a billowing trail of brown out behind them that glinted gold when it reached a certain point from the sun. I smiled as I thought of the riches I would be holding in my hands in just a day or two and began to walk quickly towards the two riders.

I raised both my arms in the air and waved. Both riders waved back and I began to jog towards them excitedly.

Making a living as an Archaeologist isn’t the easiest thing, so when Anderson told me about this dig, I was all for it.

“Trust me, Mr. Turner, nothing will go awry, and by the end of the job I- excuse me- we, will be millionaires,” he said.

I knew that he was planning on taking most of the dough for himself, that he thought he was just using me, but the truth was, I was the one getting the gold. I was the one going into the tomb. The only reason I needed that greedy slime was because of flight payments and guide arrangements.

I made it to the camels and slowed down, breathing hard.
To my right was an Egyptian man, who looked skittish and nervous from his body posture, but his face showed nothing but kindness and warmth. I reached up and shook his hand firmly.

“You must be Pedro, my guide?” I asked.

“Oh, yes hai am yor guide, but my name is Puebloto,” he smiled.

I finally managed to get my hand out of Pueblos, or whatever his name was, iron grip and turn to the rider on my left.

“Who are you?”

The rider on my left quickly pulled off her white hood and mask revealing that the rider was a blond haired girl. For a moment I was taken by surprise, but distracted by her looks. Her face was sunburned and tan with dark lines under her eyes; she had slender eye brows and shoulder length hair.
“Hi, I’m Nathan Turner,” I started, and then reached out my hand.
She nodded and replied, “Amanda. Mr. Anderson told me a lot about you.”
I shook her hand politely, but frowned.
“Mr. Anderson never mentioned another… are you an Archaeologist?” I asked, a little frustrated. This girl might be here to spy on me for Anderson, and would most likely be getting in the way of everything.
I turned back to my guide and said, “When do we start.”
“Now-eh- would be preefered please,” He replied.
“Look, Pesoto”- I started.
“Puebloto.”
“Whatever, listen Puebloto,” I said, “I just got off a plane ride across the Atlantic Ocean, didn’t either of you arrange a place to stay?” I begged.
“No, tonight we sleep outside in ta desert!” Puebloto answered.
I sighed and looked past them to the dull sea of glinting brown and gold, which matched perfectly with the bright blue sky and small whispy clouds behind it. Sand flew upward occasionally from random spots, flying high into the sky then disappearing.
I thought about sleeping out there in the dark without another soul in sight for miles and shook my head.
“Your crazy, Pueblo,” I muttered.
“toh,” he replied.
“What?” I squinted up at him.
“Puebloto, my name… it is Puebloto,” He explained.
I was about to say something smart, about how I was pretty sure Puebloto probably isn’t a real name but was interrupted by Amanda, who I had nearly forgotten about.
“So!” She exclaimed loudly. Both Puebloto and I looked over at her.
“Nathan, your camel is back there.” She turned in her camel-saddle and indicated towards the third camel of the bunch. His head was hung, and when I looked closer I thought he might be asleep, but then he started to slowly shuffle backwards until he was yanking on his ropes.
“His name is Amun, after the god of mystery,” she continued. “Have you ever ridden a camel, Nathan?” She asked.
“Uh, yeah, Once,” I replied, and walked over to the camel. In truth, my first camel ride left me with a bruise on my back the size of my hand.
“What’s eating you?” Amanda asked. I just waved her off and walked up next to Amun.
“Hey, Amun,” I began. The camel looked up at me for a second with dull eyes.
“You’re my camel now, we’re gonna have some fu”- I was cut off as Amun spit right onto my white shirt, then went back to trying to escape.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, but when I looked back at Amanda and Puabloto, they were both hunched over laughing in their saddles.
I fumed silently and wiped the spit off of my shirt, then pulled myself into the saddle.
From the time I had set foot in Egypt, nothing had gone my way. The girl, the annoying guide, and now a camel that hates me. Great. Couldn’t get any worse.
“Let’s get out of this airport,” I grumbled and, to Amun’s delight, turned around back to the desert.

Two hours later

Middle of the Desert.

The sun beat down on us in wave after wave. I reached into my saddle bag and pulled out some water. After two hours I had drunken almost one whole canteen. I only had five. Also inside the saddle bag was my small pistol that I had brought along just to be cautious, and my archaeological tools like a brush, a chisel, that kind of stuff.
I looked up from my water then and nearly spit it all out. Directly ahead of us was a billowing cloud of… sand.
“What is that!” I already knew the answer.
Amanda had been writing inside some journal about Egyptian artifacts or something, but now she looked up.
“Oh, that?” she answered, “that is a sand storm.” Then, calmly went back to writing in her book.
“Oh yeah?” I was starting to freak out a little bit now.
“Do not worry, they are not doo bad,” Puabloto reassured me, though Amun didn’t look sure. He was trying to turn around again- away from the storm- but I held him in place with the reign.
I stepped down from the saddle and turned to the other two.
“We should make camp here for tonight,” I said, “Publo, how long do we have until the storm reaches us?” I asked.
“Perhaps, er, tirty minutes, perhaps less,” He replied.
“Alright, we can set up the tent in that time,” I said.
I walked over to Puebloto’s camel and opened the large saddle bag. Inside were the supplies for one small white tent. I took out the supplies and placed them on the ground.
One large white cloth and six wooden poles laid before me. I was about to begin setting the tent up, when something caught the corner of my eye, opposite to the sand storm. I turned and squinted beneath the sun’s glare. From the direction that we had just came, I could just barely make out four camels, coming directly for my group.
I turned and sprinted to my archeology bag attached to Amun. The bag was a beige brown color and had one large flap and a long strap to throw around your head onto your shoulder. I flipped open the flap and reached my hand inside, feeling around until I found the binoculars I had brought on the trip.
“Um… Nathan, are you alright?” I shut out Amanda’s voice and ignored her question, then turned back to where I had seen the camels. I put the binoculars up to my eyes and scanned the horizon back and forth until I saw them. As I had thought, four camels were walking straight towards us, and I could just make out four riders on them. On one of the rider’s backs, sticking out just behind his shoulder, I thought I could make out the long muzzle of a gun. A big gun.
I turned back around to Amanda and Puebloto, kicking up the soft sand that I had been standing on.
“We’re being followed,” I stated as I returned the binoculars to my bag on my camel. Amanda squinted towards the mysterious riders.
“Are you sure?” She asked nervously. “They could just be travelers.”
“Always prepare for the worst and you’ll get the best possible outcome,” I replied. I usually didn’t like to use that term, one that my old man had practically lived by, but now seemed like a really good time. Besides, I could just feel it in my gut. Some sort of sixth sense. We were being followed, and honestly, I was scared.
“What are we going to do?” asked Puebloto.
I thought about it for a moment, then said, “Unless we want a fight, we’re going to have to lose them, but how….” I trailed off. We thought for a second, then, simultaneously, we all turned our heads towards the oncoming sand storm.
I turned back to the others and swallowed.
“We can lose them in there, cant we Pedroso?” I asked.
“Well, tee storm weel cover our tracks, and we will be out of sight, so I believe so,” He replied.
“How will we be able to stick together if we can’t see anything?” Amanda asked.
I thought about that for a moment, then came up with an answer that I thought was pretty genius.
“We can tie the camels together with a rope!”
“Do we have any rope?” Amanda asked again
“Yeah, I got some in my pack,” I replied.
“Do you have everything in that pack!” Amanda exclaimed
“Everything we need,” I hoped that was true.
I looked back towards our pursuers.
“We have to hurry!” I found myself yelling now. The wind had begun to pick up making it hard to hear, and it was throwing sand into my eyes. I pulled my shirt over my mouth so that I could breath properly. Then I grabbed the rope from my bag and handed it to Amanda.
“You tie the camels together, I’ll be right back!” I yelled. The wind kicked up sand in one huge gust and made a loud hissing as it was thrown onto us.
Then I ran, with my binoculars in my hands, towards the oncoming riders.
After I ran for about a minute, I knelt down and put the binoculars to my eyes and inspected the group once more.
Their camels looked tired, walking slowly with their heads down, which was good. There were four riders, the one on the far left was wearing thin white puffy clothing with a scarf to cover his mouth from sand. The man in the back was the one with the rifle, I was sure it was a rifle now, and dressed similarly to the other man to the left. The third was just about the same as the other two, and he had just taken a drink of water from a small brown cylinder. The last rider was different. He was wearing brown archeology clothing, with a bag similar to mine, and a wide brimmed hat and a white scarf. By now I estimated that they were maybe three hundred and fifty yards away, maybe more.
I watched them for another few seconds before returning to my group. When I got back the camels had all been tied together, and Amanda walked over to meet me.
“Who are they?” She asked, frowning towards the group.
“I don’t know, but they don’t look friendly, and I think one of them might be looking for our tomb and treasure,” I replied.
“Well, the camels are all ready to go when we are, I tied them with a double fisherman’s knot, invented by”- I cut her off by saying,
“That’s fine, let’s get going,” Then hopped up onto Amun.

Ten minutes later, all I could hear was white noise. Sand flew up everywhere getting into my eyes, down my shirt, filling my bag, and when I tried to talk, into my mouth.
I looked next to me and could vaguely make out Puebloto shielding his eyes from the sand. I covered my mouth with my shirt and gestured for him to come closer. He nodded and turned his camel towards me.
“Do you still know where we are going!” I yelled into his ear as hard as I could and felt sand in my mouth.
“I think so!” he screamed back.
“How long will this storm last?!”
He was about to answer when suddenly, a large rock blasted past both of our heads and bounced on the ground where it rolled to a stop, then was blasted off again and I lost sight of it.
“We have to stop. We can use the camels as shelter, dey are well used to these storms!” He yelled. “Otherwise we may die out here!”
I looked behind me. There was no sign of our pursuers, but I knew they were still going as we were. When someone is hired to follow another, they don’t stop while the other keeps going.
“No, we keep going!” I yelled back.
“Alright, but we should get to some high ground, it will help!” Amanda’s voice nearly made me fall off of my saddle. I looked to my left and saw her not ten inches away.
“Uh, good idea!” I replied. The only problem was that I couldn’t really see anything, let alone a specific mound of tall sand.
“This way!” Puebloto gestured and I looked at Amanda.
“Well, what are you waiting for?!” She yelled, “That way!”
I turned and followed the rope that attached me to Puebloto. I hoped he knew what he was doing.

The storm ended about two hours later. I sat breathing hard in my saddle, hunched over the camel’s head. All of us were. I slowly twisted around in my saddle and smiled at what I saw. Nothing but sand hills and blue sky. Perfect.
“We might av gone off course, Mr. Turner, but I will figure it out,” Puebloto breathed.
I was just happy we had survived.
“Hey, over there!” Amanda jerked up in her saddle as she yelled, “What is that?”
I followed her eyes and saw it. To our left was a huge sand-colored tower, reaching most likely as high as the great sphinx and as wide as… maybe the plane I had arrived in. It was a giant box.
“The tomb,” Confirmed Puebloto.
“That’s it?” I said with disbelief, “We actually found it?”
“You doubted me?” Puebloto teased.
“Not for a moment, Publoso,” I replied, then led Amun towards the Tomb.
“Puebloto,” He mumbled in return. Amanda followed behind me, smiling, though it was clear she was exhausted.
“Once we reach the tomb, I must stop,” Puebloto said sadly. “You two will be fine as long as you don’t do anyting stupid.”
“Oh, alright, are you sure?” Amanda asked.
“Yes, yes, quite,” he reassured.
“Well, thanks for leading us, I’m sure Mr. Anderson will”-
A echoing bang rang out suddenly. I ducked instinctively and looked around, just as Puebloto was thrown from his saddle and hit the ground causing sand to erupt around him.
“Pueblo!” I yelled. The bang must have been a gun shot. Another shot echoed around and this time, sand exploded to my left. “Get down!” I screamed and rolled off my saddle. Amanda jumped down and crawled over to me.
“What was that!” She hissed.
“Someone is shooting at us,” I replied. I pulled on Amun’s reigns, who grumbled and looked at me, his eyes were no longer dull but excited, darting around nervously. I pulled him down and took shelter next to his belly. Amanda did the same and looked at me nervously.
“What now?” She whispered, panic rising in her voice.
I slowly turned around and peeked over Amun’s belly. In the distance, I could make out four figures, one knelt on the ground aiming a rifle. I took shelter again and glanced at Puebloto who groaned and began to stir.
“Puebloto, stay still!” I hissed to him. He did not show acknowledgment, but stopped moving. I hoped he was just following my orders, not….
“If we wait until he takes another shot, then it will give us time to run to the tomb, where we can take shelter inside because he has to re-load,” I said hurriedly, “We just have to get him to shoot.”
“Let’s do it,” She said.
“We can’t just leave Pesblono there,” I replied, looking accusingly at her.
“Well, I don’t want to die!” she raised her voice.
Anger built up inside of me, from exhaustion, fear and hope, I retorted, “Ugh! I knew you would get in my way!”
“I get in your way?” she yelled. “I’m trying to be reasonable, how long is he going to live if we save him, heck it might get us killed!”
“I”- I was cut off again as another shot fired, hitting the ground next to us. Amun started to rise, I turned and calmed him, making shh ing noises softly. He slowly relaxed and spit in my eye.
“Ugh!” I exclaimed.
“We just missed our chance!” Amanda hissed.
“I told you, I’m not leaving without”- another loud shot erupted. It sounded closer now. I looked at Puebloto, then back at Amanda, and nodded.
“Alright, lets go!” I screamed. We both scrambled to our feet and bolted, not looking anywhere but the large opening to the tomb. We were almost there when a part of the wall to the tomb exploded next to me. I hadn’t even heard the shot, my ears were plugged and for some reason I felt weak. Then I dove into the entrance and slid to a stop on what felt like marble floor. A moment later, Amanda slid into me and we both crashed into a solid wall where we laid, breathing hard side by side. I slowly turned my head towards her. Her skin was pale and her eyes fluttered open and closed before she looked at me too. Then I kissed her. I don’t know why, she had just stopped me from saving a man’s life, but then again, she did just save mine. We kissed for just a few seconds before I pulled away and blinked. She looked surprised, but happy. Then I felt it. In my left arm, pain erupted, rippling through my arm until it reached the rest of my body. It felt lik e I was on fire, or maybe I was freezing, I couldn’t tell and I didn’t care. I cried out and fell onto my back.
“Oh god, what’s wrong?” She exclaimed, “are you hit?”
I nodded and pointed with my good arm to the wound.
“OK, just lie there, the people are still outside, we need to move,” she was looking around frantically for another exit, another route, a door, something.
My vision was going dark and for a second I lost sight of her running around and banging on walls desperately. Then I noticed something. Just above me was a small lever, just big enough to fit my hand around.
“Here,” I groaned weakly, and pointed to it with my right hand.
“Yes!” She exclaimed, and ran over to me then yanked down the lever. For a second, nothing happened. Then, I felt the floor begin to shake, slowly at first, vibrating just a little, then getting bigger and bigger until the floor was actually swinging and I realized we were moving downwards. The floor was sinking lower and lower, leaving the door, the armed men, Puebloto, and Amun behind.
“Alright,” Amanda sighed with relief and sat down next to me. “How does it feel?” She asked.
“It burns, but I think I can get up, if there’s any trouble,” I replied, and pushed myself into a sitting position with my good arm. We kept sinking lower and lower, and the room kept on getting darker.
“What now?” She asked, pulling her legs against her chest and glancing around.
“We wait, I guess,” I replied.
“Alright… Nathan, there’s something I have to tell you”- she stopped and gasped suddenly.
I opened my eyes and saw what she had been so excited about. The floor was sinking slower and had just lowered into a larger room, lit by hundreds of small holes reaching all the way up to the surface. All over the side of the chamber were Hieroglyphs, seeming to glow from the light. An inside the room was gold: tons of it, piled on top of itself, gleaming off the sunlight from outside. Gold coins, gold cups, and gold necklaces all circled around one large coffin.
I couldn’t help but laugh excitedly and slowly stood up and looked around, despite my injury. “It’s Amazing!” I yelled, “We did it!” I turned back to Amanda who was not as happy as I was. She stood as the floor jerked to a stop and walked closer to me. She looked sad, and angry, and maybe a little disappointed.
“Nathan, I’m sorry,” She sobbed.
“What – for what? we made it!” I exclaimed excitedly. “I don’t know how to get back up, but we can figure that out later!” I spread my good arm out and sighed contently.
“No… Nathan…,” She trailed off, then her gaze shot towards the ceiling. I heard it to. It sounded like ropes bouncing off a wall or something. I frowned.
“Amanda, what is it?” I said.
“No,” she breathed. Just then, the end of four heavy ropes fell to the ground and hung there. Amanda looked conflicted now.
“Amanda, it’s the gunners, run!” I yelled.
She didn’t move.
“Amanda?” I frowned.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want”- Suddenly, four men dropped down to the floor with one solid thud that reverberated all throughout the chamber, guns all pointed at me. The three wearing white all had long black beards and carried pistols, except the one with the rifle. The man in the middle had buzz cut blond hair, a bag like mine, and a pistol aimed at my heart. He had familiar eyes that gleamed with a small greedy glint.
“Excellent work, Amanda,” He turned to her and lifted her chin. She glared him, her arms at her side helplessly. I immediately realized what I had been coming to realize for the last minute.
“Your with them!” I yelled furiously.
The Buzz cut guy raised his arm and pointed it at me without taking his eyes off Amanda.
“Hands in the air, Turner,” His voice was cold and smooth, and it scared me. I slowly raised my right arm into the air. One of the men in white gestured with his gun to my other arm, the one that had been hit by his bullet, and then gestured skywards.
“I can’t lift it, you shot it you idiot!” I yelled at him. He scowled but did nothing else.
“Why did you do this?” I turned my fury back to Amanda, “Who set me up with you!”
She shook the other man’s hand off her chin.
“You fool, she was sent to kill you if we didn’t,” he said as he turned back to me.
“By who?” I growled.
“Well, Mr. Anderson of course,” He explained, “When you took control of his deal, setting yourself up with most of the money, he got angry and sent me, his son, Andy Anderson, and his daughter, Amanda Anderson, to stop you and get the gold for the family,” Andy chuckled, “And it seems to me, you fell for her act more than we suspected.”
I thought my situation over carefully. Four men with guns pointed at me, most likely they are going to kill me and take all the gold, then rip open the coffin and the mummy inside.
I glared at Amanda. She gingerly met my eyes.
“You’re going to regret this,” I muttered. She had just got me killed, well, pretty much killed. I closed my eyes and calmed down. There is no such thing as a no-win situation. There is always a way that this could turn my way. Of course, it could also turn their way… a lot easier.
Andy Anderson holstered his weapon and smiled.
“Now, Mr. Turner, I think I will take your gold, which is now my gold, and then replace the mummy within that coffin with your live body, and seal it so that you cant get out,” he said. He took a step forward towards me.
I glanced down at his gun holster and noticed it. Nothing. Andy’s gun was missing. I frowned and looked around. I was sure he had just put it in there….
“Any last words?” He asked.
Suddenly, a gun shot went off from right behind Andy, and he was blasted forward, his hands jerking to the left as the bullet hit him in the right shoulder, landing in a pile of gold and spraying coins everywhere. The three guards turned to see where the shot had come from, and something told me to act. I reached into my pack and found my gun. I stretched out my arm and fired, hitting the man with the rifle on his right arm.
“That’s for shooting a hole in my arm,” I muttered. One of the men was closing in on Amanda, who had fired. I shot the other just as he was turning around and he spun once in a full circle before slamming into the wall behind him. I then ran forward. The last man had realized the threat of two enemies against one and dove to the side as Amanda fired another shot. I was about to shoot him when my pistol was ripped from my hand by another bullet. I looked back in surprise and saw Andy, struggling to stand, with his gun outstretched. I dove into the gold and rolled, the bullet missing my head by inches. I sprang up and dove onto him, not really able to throw a punch with just one arm. We were on the ground now, rolling in gold as we struggled for control of the gun. Another shot fired and the bullet bounced off of the wall next to me, ripping hieroglyphs to chunks. I let go of his gun arm and elbowed his face. He cried out, and I finally knocked the gun away fr om him. I struggled, slipping, to my feet and kicked him down a pile of treasure. I looked back at Amanda, who had been cornered once more by a man with a black beard.
“No, wait!” I yelled, and then, just as the man was about to fire his gun, another shot went off. I looked around. My eyes were then drawn upward as the man fell to the ground. Leaning over the edge of the top of the tomb, was Puebloto and Amun, who spit loudly and hit me in the eye.
“You made it!” I yelled up.
“Yes!” He smiled, the cringed in pain from his wound.
I looked back at Andy. He was laying in a small pile of golden coins, unconscious, one tooth missing from his mouth and his head resting on a small golden pillow. I looked at Amanda and, despite my efforts to still stay mad, I smiled.
“Lets get this gold back home,” I breathed.

She nodded again and looked at the ground.
“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed and put her hands over her face and began to cry. “I killed all these people, and I almost killed poor Puebloto and Amun!”
“Hey,” I said, “It’s over now, lets just go home,” I looked back up at the two figures watching with interest.
“We’re ready to go,” I said.

 

July’s Writing Contest Winners

Honorable Mention winner for July's Writing Contest!

Honorable Mention winner for July’s Writing Contest!

The writing contest topic for Red Hand Adventures in July was to write a story set on the Irish Sea. Here’s Nate’s wonderful story!

The Irish Sea
Part 1
The Drafting

“The mist had been getting hard to see through, clouding up everybody’s vision. It was a menacing fog, it’s white tendrils sneaking out to the Irish Flagship, The Merriment.”
“The crew wasn’t scared though, as they were a tough lot, not afraid of nothin’, they just took it as an opportunity to have a few cups of ale while waiting for the sky to clear up. It was just a routine trading trip, mind you lads, but the cargo was precious. They were carrying huge amounts of gold, weapons and armor, trying to get it to the Castle Mckain.”
“Well, soon as they were all drunk as I on me birthday, singing and laughing in merry ways, it happened. A ship, bigger than any in port here in Dundalk, emerged from the mist, coming at them flying the skull and crossbones flag. Pirates. The ship, the men, and the gold was never heard from again.”

The man speaking, Carrick, lifted his mug to his lips and drank, throwing back his head and letting clear golden droplets of ale run down his pale, slightly chubby face. He stayed that way for a few seconds before slamming the empty mug down onto the old wooden table.
Three pairs of wide eyes stared back at him, excitement and fear coursing through their bodies. The candle at the center of the table flickered unexpectedly, causing all three boys to flinch. Outside, rain pounded the ground, creating an even more eerie setting for the three lads. The boy on the far left, Seamus, shuddered. His thoughts reached out to the next day, when he and his two friends seated next to him, Finnick and Brandon, would most likely be drafted onto the next ship heading to Castle McKain. Finnick was Seamus’ brother, but they always joked that he was adopted. Seamus had long straight brown hair, while his brother Finnick’s hair was a tangle of red curls, reaching down almost to his shoulders. The last boy in line had brown hair not quite as straight as Seamus’ but not quite as curly as Finnick’s. His name was Brandon.
“Wait just a wee second, Carrick!” Brandon exclaimed before the large man could go on talking, “If none of them were ever heard from again, how did you hear of em?”
This got Carrick’s attention. He tapped his fingers on the table and said,
“You’re a smart lad, you are Brandon.”
“So none of it was true?” Finnick put in. He sounded disappointed.
“I didn’t say that!” Carrick boomed, “The ship went missing, that’s a fact, and we know there are pirates out there these days, so naturally if you put two and two together, it’s the only reasonable explanation.” Seamus noticed Carrick’s words were slurred and he was starting to go slightly cross-eyed.
Just then, an apple flew across the tavern room and struck Carrick in the back of the head. The man’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell to the ground.
Seamus’ head snapped up to the direction that the apple had come from, and he could hear Finnick stand up in anger, his chair clattering down onto the floor. The tavern had gone completely silent now, so that the only sound was the rain outside and the snickers of the four boys across the tavern, where the apple had come from.
Seamus could feel his temper rising and he stood to stand next to his brother. Next to get up was Brandon. All three boys stood next to each other now, staring at the four seemingly drunk young men that were about Seamus’ age.
“Oy! What’d you do that for?” Finnick challenged the four boys. Seamus stayed quiet, stooped down and picked up the apple that had rolled over to him.
“Hand me that,” Brandon whispered to Seamus, not taking his eyes off the four men.
“Your fat friend was getting on our nerves with all his yellin’ about pirates and all that,” The boy that had thrown the apple, who looked to be the leader of the group, replied.
Brandon bit into the apple, then tossed it back to the bullies.
Brandon chewed for a few seconds, then spit it out onto the polished wooden floor.
Seamus couldn’t figure out what that was supposed to mean, but he figured it scared the bullies enough.
“Lets get out of here you guys,” Seamus whispered to his brother and friend. They nodded and turned to leave. Just as they were getting to the door something hit Finnick on his shoulder.
“Just keep walking,” Seamus muttered. Finnick’s face was beat red, but he kept going.
“Bet your father wouldn’t have run away like that, but he’s dead now, isn’t that right Seamus, Finnick?”
Just then something clicked in Seamus’ brain. He leaned over to a table where another apple lay in front of someone’s plate. He picked it up and threw it directly towards the bully who had spoken about his father. The boy ducked just in time. The apple flew over his head and bounced off the wall to his left. The apple flew to the left and struck a man on the cheek. He turned in anger towards the wall and saw the closest man to it. Thinking that man had thrown the apple, he stood up and punched him in the face.
Meanwhile, the man who Seamus had stolen the apple from stood up growling. Seamus shrunk back slightly, preparing himself for the blow when his brother, Finnick, jumped in front of him yelling,
“That’s my brother you over-drunk oaf you!” and caught the man’s fist in his hand, then uppercut him in the chin. The man fell to the ground hard, and Finnick nodded in satisfaction. Then the man’s wife stood up. She was even bigger than her husband and Finnick shrunk back in fear.
“And that’s my husband, you reckless ruffian you!” She screamed and began slapping his face back and forth with her meaty hands.
Suddenly, her husband stood up once more and charged at Seamus. Seamus stepped out of the way easily and the man flew onto a table. The young boys sitting there poured their ale onto his head and then threw them across the room where they hit another couple of men. Soon almost everyone in the room was fighting.
“Finnick! Brandon! Lets get out!” Seamus yelled. The two boys nodded, but were busy dodging flying bowls of stew and mashed potatoes. The bartender came out from behind the bar. He was a spindly man, skinny as sticks and he was pushed around as soon as he left the shelter of the bar. He tried to calm two men who were both punching each other randomly. The bartender ended up with a potato in his face.

Seamus managed to make it to the door and shooed Finnick and Brandon out into the cold night air and rain. They only made it a few feet before a huge man, carrying a scroll and holding himself with authority, stopped them.
The three boys recognized him. The man was known all throughout the town. His name was Captain Brekker. He looked down at the boys.
“Get inside,” He growled. Seamus followed his brother back into the tavern, where not much had changed from before, except that Carrick had woken up and was busy jumping on the bartender.
As Captain Brekker entered the room, Seamus slowly saw people one by one stop fighting and look at the captain. Soon everyone was staring at him except for Carrick, who was still bouncing on the bartender.
Brekker cleared his throat and Carrick looked up. He stopped jumping, helped the wheezing bartender to his feet and brushed some dust off of his shoulder.
Seamus finally got a good look at the Captain. He had long black hair to match the dark brown eyes that glared around at the drunk men and women who were now looking down at their shoes and shuffling their feet. He was muscular and wore a long broadsword at his belt.
Overall, Seamus thought that Captain Brekker was scary.
“So sorry to interrupt your playtime, lads, but I’m here for the draft. We need able sailors to carry this month’s cargo shipment to Castle McKain. For some reason nobody signed on to be sailors voluntarily, so before I get started, would any of you sad lot like to volunteer?” The room was silent for a moment, before one voice could be heard from a far corner of the room.
It was the bully.
“I will… Father,” He said.

“Very good Sterrin, anyone else?”
The room was silent this time.
“Very well, let’s get onto the drafting then,” the Captain took out a large scroll from his belt and unrolled it.
“Is there a Brennan Storrer here?”
A boy who looked to be about nineteen stood up and said quietly, “That’s me, sir,” Then sat back down.
“Good, is there a Brandon Merriman?”
Brandon was silent. Seamus didn’t blame him after what they had heard about all the ships disappearing.
“Sir Merriman, if you are here and I find that you are not speaking up, you will be punished.” The Captain let that sink in.
Finally, Brandon closed his eyes and said, “Here…, Sir,” then walked out of the tavern, slamming the door behind him.
“Well, we’ll give him some time to cry,” The Captain said, “Next is”- but he was cut off by Finnick, who said, “Oy! If Brandon’s going, so are we!”
Finnick pulled Seamus closer to him and stood up straighter.
“What?” Seamus exclaimed to his brother.
“Very well, and what are your names?” Captain Brekker asked.
“Finnick and Seamus Carrison, Sir,” Finnick replied.
“You know boys, only one able bodied man from the family has to go, does your father have any interest in taking your place?” The Captain asked.
“No, their father is dead,” Sterrin replied for them. Seamus glared at him.
“Very well, Finnick and Seamus, report to the docks tomorrow morning just after 8:00.”
Seamus pushed Finnick out of the door and yelled at him.
“Why did you do that?”
The rain wettened their heads and flattened Finnick’s usually large red curls.
“Because Brandon is going… And those might as well be the pirates that killed father, don’t you want some revenge?”
Seamus stayed silent.
Great, I’m going to die out on the ocean like my father before me.

Part 2
The Irish Sea

Seamus woke to a loud banging from outside his room. He shot straight up in bed and waited. It was still dark outside, but the sun was starting to rise casting small light rays into his room. But it wasn’t his room. He looked around and saw that he was in a bunk, to his right there was a wooden wall, to his left were more bunks. Seamus stood up and stretched, yawning.
“Where is everybody?” He asked.
“Seamus,” a voice whispered from the slightly open door directly ahead of him.
“What? Who are you?” Seamus could feel the fear entering his bones. His father used to say that being brave isn’t about not being afraid of anything, but rather facing what you are afraid of. So Seamus let the fear set in, and opened the door. A huge burst of fog seeped in and Seamus was walking blindly. Then it all cleared and he saw a man, his hat black, his beard and leather vest was black. In his left hand was a sword, long and curved, in his right was a piece of gold.
“Wake up, boy,” The pirate spat, “Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!”

Seamus opened his eyes to see Finnick standing over him, shaking him back and forth. He was dreaming.
“Oy, Seamus! Wake up, we gotta go,” Finnick then left the room leaving Seamus.

After Seamus had gotten ready, he left his room. The same fear from his dream was now entering his body. He walked into the kitchen and saw his mother crying, her hands at her side, letting her tears roll down her face freely. Finnick had already left.
“Mother, please don’t cry,” Seamus said, and walked over to her and placed his hands on hers.
“Don’t go, my poor child, don’t go,” She pleaded, taking her hands and placing them on my cheeks.
“I’ve got to mother. Don’t worry though, I’ll be fine, we’ve got Captain Brekker” Seamus insisted.
“Your father was better than Captain Brekker, he was Captain Carrison, the finest Captain of the Irish Sea,” She replied.
Seamus thought about his father. He had been the Captain that everyone looked up to, respected and loved. Then he disappeared.
Seamus masked his agreement with his mother and said, “I’ve got to go, I’ll see you soon,” he kissed her on the head, and left for the docks.

The docks were filled with bustling people, about fifty focused on the two ships that floated waiting to be boarded by the mostly unwilling sailors. The sun was shining and the heat was frying everyone, but it was a great day for sailing. Seamus pushed through a couple kissing, breaking them up. He saw Finnick and Brandon in the line, waiting to board the bigger of the two ships called The Accomplished. Seamus was almost to them when Carrick appeared in front of him.
“You can’t go, the pirates will kill you!” Carrick exclaimed.
“I’m going,” Seamus said.
“Aren’t ye afraid, lad?”
“Yes,” Seamus pushed past the surprised Carrick and was about to reach his brother when another sailor, who looked like he was one of Drekker’s men, got in front of him.
“You Seamus Carrison?” The sailor asked.
“Aye, that’s me,” Seamus replied, annoyed now.
“You, laddie, are over in that line, right behind young Sterrin Drekker,” The sailor then moved on to another person, raising his hand to stop him from walking any further.
Seamus swallowed, then turned from his brother to walk over to the line leading up to the smaller ship, the Hopeful Glider.
He walked up to where Sterrin was watching the small waves splashing up to the deck. He looked sad, though Seamus couldn’t figure out why.
Maybe he’s tired of being a jerk
It was hopeful thinking, and Seamus sighed as he thought of the bar fight the night before.
Soon the line began moving. Seamus was bustled up onto the ship and what he saw blew his mind like a hurricane. The deck was much bigger than it looked like from the outside, three masts reached up to the sky with billowing white flags on the top.
Seamus followed the group as they looked over the edge of the ship, waving goodbye to friends and family. His mother was not among them. There were about fifteen men on the deck of his ship, Seamus also noticed a man who wore an apron walk down the stairs below deck.

Just then, a horn blew from the bigger ship, The Accomplished. A jolt went through the ship and they were off. The Hopeful Glider wobbled on the water for a moment then started slowly moving foreward as the wind caught the sails.
Next, a voice yelled from above, at the wheel was Captain Brekker.
“Full sail ahead! Lets get this gold to McKain, Lads! Arrg! Adventure!” He yelled and several of his men, in green vests over white sailor’s shirts began scrambling up the masts, until they reached the half sails. They then worked to unfurl the sails, tie them down, and then scramble down again. Within a minute they were done. The ship gained speed until they were at a steady pace just behind the bigger ship, where Seamus’ brother stood watching the same predicament with different workers.
Seamus leaned over to Sterrin and said, “Why is your father on The Hopeful Glider?”
“I don’t really know, he should be on the lead ship with the treasure, but when I asked him about it, he just told me not to worry about it,” Sterrin replied.
They both thought about it for a moment before Sterrin started,
“Hey, Seamus, about last night… I’m sorry about what I said, about your father, I didn’t mean it,” He said humbly.
“Oh, sure yeah, it’s fine,” Seamus replied.
“Well you threw an apple at me that started a bar fight, so I figured it wasn’t exactly fine, but I was drunk and…”
“It’s fine,” Seamus cut him off.
“Great, thanks,” He said, then one of the green vested men walked up to the group of new sailors-in-training. He had long blond hair that nearly covered his eyes.
“Are you lot even alive, shiver me timbers you’re a lazy bunch, but if you’ll follow me, I’ll show you where you can be lazy all you want when your not working yer buts off ,” He yelled out to them and gestured for the group to follow him.
One night passed with no dinner, and morning came with a meager breakfast, but it was still clear, with no sign of eerie mist or pirates. But it was only the first day. They spent the day learning about how to navigate, how to fight, and how to climb up to the crow’s nest. By the time the day had ended, everyone was exhausted.

That night, most of the men had gone to bed, but some had stayed up to talk either about pirates or girls. Seamus had seen the inside of the bunk room and his eyes had widened. It was just as it was in his dream. He sat now, in the same bunk, listening to the conversation.
“I ‘erd the Captain’s here because the tresure’s ‘ere,” One man whispered.
“That’s impossible, we saw the gold being loaded onto The Accomplished,” Another man started, but he stopped as Sterrin stood up and said,
“How about we find out.”

Five minutes later, Seamus followed Sterrin and three other men out onto the deck. It was eerie, quiet, and dark. The only sound came from the small splash of waves against the ship.
“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Seamus asked.
“Course, now follow me,” Sterrin replied. The boys tiptoed over to where the Captain’s quarters were and crouched low.
Sterrin put a finger up to his mouth telling the boys to be quiet.
They could hear the Captains voice, and another, talking in hushed tones.
“The gold must be protected,” The other man said.
“That’s why I put it on this ship, Derris,” The Captain’s voice spoke.
“So the other ship, it’s a decoy?”
“Course ye half wit, if Captain Carrison lost to the pirates, we can’t go down the same way, we need to become creative,” Dekker said it like he was some kind of a genius.
Just then, a shiver ran down Seamus’ spine. He felt cold and… in danger. Just then a bell rang from The Accomplished. The other boys heard it too.
Sterrin’s face went pale.
“The distress bell!” He hissed.
“Ship spotted! Unidentified, sir… Wait… Sir, their waving a black flag!” Panic welled up inside of the man who had spoken. He had been at the crows nest, looking over the calm seas when he had spotted the ship. It was possibly the biggest ship he had ever seen, with six sails on three tall masts and a hull the size of both The Hopeful Glider and The Accomplished.
The ship was heading straight for The Accomplished, as if to board it.
Now the Captain barged out of the door as it slammed onto the wall next to it. The five boys and Seamus were too shocked to realize that Captain Drekker had emerged. Fortunately for them, Captain Drekker was too shocked to notice them.
“Oh my sweet mother Mary’s Lamb Stew, they can’t be here already!” Drekker exclaimed.
A gasping look-out man replied,
“They are, sir.”
Seamus thought of Finnick and Brandon and sprinted to the mast where the ladders were lined up all the way to the crows nest. Glancing around, he saw that everyone was up now, running about and yelling. He could hear the Captain screaming to the men,
“Get below to the cannons! Lower the sails! Prepare to kick these pirates in their wee”- The Captain was drowned out as an unexpected roll of thunder roared from above and all of a sudden, rain began to fall.
Seamus began to climb. One hand, then one foot, one hand, then one foot, one hand, then one foot, and on like that until he had reached the top. He found if he focused not on how high up he was while climbing, but instead on the climbing itself, that he could completely repel his slight fear of heights.
Seamus pulled himself up into the crow’s nest. On the floor of the nest, the folded spyglass lay unused. Seamus reached down and picked it up, and just before he put it to his eye, he heard a voice from right behind him.
“Seamus! Tell me what you see and I’ll report it down to the others!” Sterrin yelled. He was sitting on the edge of the nest and waiting for a report.
“Got it!” Seamus replied over the now pounding rain. He pointed the spyglass first towards The Accomplished. He searched the deck, where men were getting ready to man the battle stations, for Finnick. Finally he spotted the red curls of his older brother. Finnick was racing up the ladder to the crow’s nest of his ship. But before he could make it to the top, A cannon fired from the oncoming pirate ship. Then another, and another and soon fifteen shots had fired at The Accomplished. Explosions erupted all around the ship and men went flying off the ship. Finnick lost his balance and for a moment was only holding onto the ladder with his feet as his arms struggled for balance. Then Finnick fell. He landed in the black water and Seamus lost sight of him in the storm waves. Then he saw something even worse. Sharks. Tons of them were circling the men.
Seamus stopped looking. He was about to put down the glass and jump into the water after his brother, when he saw something else. On the pirate’s ship was a man, preparing to board, who looked familiar to Seamus. He adjusted the spyglass and gasped. His father stood with a long gleaming sword in his left hand and a small glinting piece of gold in the other. He was dressed in all black and by his side was another man, who had a cane and a blindfold around his eyes. Seamus dropped the spyglass and ran to where Sterrin was waiting for him.
“Well, what did you see?” Sterrin asked.
“Its my father, he’s the captain of the pirates. The reason he was the first to disappear was because he is the pirate! He’s been robbing the royal treasure!”
Sterrin gaped.
“Are you sure? He’s not just a captive?” He asked once more.
“Yes, we have to save The Accomplished.” Seamus said firmly.
Sterrin nodded and began heading down the ladder.
Seamus was getting scared, and he was beyond mad. His father had just killed his own son. Seamus was getting scared, so it was time to be brave.

They reached the deck and bolted to Captain Drekker.
“Sir, we have to help The Accomplished,” Seamus blurted.
“No, they are just a wee little distraction so that we can get past and get the gold to the castle safely,” He replied, without looking down at them.
“Father, people are dying on that ship,” Sterrin put in.
“They were all willing to when they signed on,” the captain went on.
“I wont let you kill those people.” Seamus stated.
“Is that a threat, boy,” Drekker spat, now looking down at Seamus.
“A threat I intend to carry out,” Seamus spat back, then wheeled around and kicked the Captain between the legs. Drekker went cross eyed and before he could do anything else, Seamus punched him in the face three times and watched as he fell to the ground.
Sterrin nodded and said, “What’s the plan?”
“Listen,” Seamus replied.
Seamus then told Sterrin the plan and ran up towards the wheel. He altered the ships course directly to his father’s ship. The crew waited as they pulled up next to the pirates.
“All hands, prepare to fire!” Seamus yelled.
“Who made you in charge?” Yelled one man. Seamus took a small flintlock pistol out of his pocket and shot directly at the man’s feet. The man just barely got out of the way.
“I’m not in the mood to be dealt with right now,” Seamus threatened.
The man swallowed and said, “Aye… sir.”
` “Good, now fire all cannons!” Seamus yelled.
Ten cannon blasts fired out at the pirate’s ship. The pirates, who had boarded The Accomplished and came back empty handed already, knew the trick. They knew it was on the smaller of the ships.
“Someone ready the white flag of truce,” Seamus ordered.
“Aye sir,” Sterrin said and bolted to get the white flag.
“Prepare to be fired upon!” Seamus screamed, just as fifteen balls were fired from the pirates. Seamus caught a glimpse of his father at the helm, ordering his men just as Seamus was doing. Captain Carrison vs. Captain Carrison. Then the balls hit The Hopeful Glider. Chaos instantly erupted as explosions wracked the deck. Men were thrown overboard and Seamus skidded over the wheel and fell onto the deck. But then it was all over. Lightning flashed, illuminating the black hull of the pirate’s ship.
Seamus groaned and pushed himself up to his feet. He found his voice and ordered, “Raise the white flag!”
Sterrin got to his feet and began to raise the flag.
“Prepare to be boarded!” Seamus alerted the crew, “but do not fight!”
“How do we know they won’t kill us?” one man questioned.
“Because my father is the captain of that ship,” Seamus replied. Before the sailor could question further, they heard woops and hollers as the pirates swung from ropes onto the ship and began boarding.
“Seamus’ Father landed with a heavy thud, then a dozen pirates all landed afterwards. Captain Finn Carrison was broad shouldered, had brown eyes and curly brown hair. He held the sword in his hand and it glinted as lightning illuminated the sky. Rain poured down on them.
“Who is the Captain of this ship, tell me now or I will kill every member of your crew,” Finn Carrison the Pirate spat.
“I’d like to see you try,” Seamus muttered.
Finn turned to him and said, “Who are you then, pipsqueek?” Finn asked.
“The current captain of this ship, The Hopeful Glider, my name is Seamus Carrison.”
Everything was quiet. Even the thunder stopped. The rain slowly stilled. Whatever Finn Carrison was about to say was lost. He gaped and his arm looked weak.
“Seamus?” He squeaked.
Seamus nodded solemnly, and then went on, “The ship you just fired upon before us was The Accomplished, and aboard her was your oldest and first born son, who is even your namesake, Finnick Carrison. He was killed upon the first volley of cannon shots.”
Finn Carrison dropped his sword. It clattered to the ground. Everyone had made a circle around the father and son and were watching silently.
“No… It cannot be…” Seamus’ father cried.
“So now you may either fight us and perish, or take the gold peacefully and leave. Just don’t kill the crew, that’s all I ask.” Seamus stated.
“I will let you go, just don’t ever come out to sea again or I won’t have mercy,” Finn replied, then ordered his men to stand down and retrieve the treasure. Seamus nodded to Sterrin. It was time to put the plan into action. The pirates whooped back to their ship with the treasure in hand. For a moment, all was silent. Suddenly, an explosion rocketed the pirate’s ship.
Seamus grinned at all the confused faces of his crew.
“Sterrin hid explosives in with the gold,” He explained. One by one, realization dawned on the passengers. Next they started smiling, and then laughing and soon all the men were whooping and crying out in joy and laughing in relief that they had defeated the pirates, and that they weren’t dead.
They could hear the remaining crew of The Accomplished cheering as well.
Theywere all laughing even more when the gold started raining down onto the deck of the ship. The explosion had blown the gold right back to The Hopeful Glider.
Seamus was only half excited. His plan had worked, but he had lost two family members, one by his own hand, yet he was still happy. He was ready for the trip safely to Castle McKain. The Irish Sea was safe from pirates, although some will claim that the ghost ship of the Pirates still roams those waters, looking for the ones who tricked them, waiting for their revenge.