Chapter 13

Chapter 13

A Chapter by Havatara

Eric, Jane, and Bem were having the time of their lives with Mr. Lou and Mr. Robert.  It was so much fun being on a boat!  Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou even let them steer sometimes!  Even though it was really fun, it was also really tiring, so every night when they went to bed, they were asleep before their heads even hit the pillow, or in Bem’s case, before he even curled up at the foot of Jane’s bed.

One day at breakfast, Jane asked Mr. Lou, “Can I steer today?  I haven’t gotten a chance in a few days.”

“You steered yesterday!” Eric argued.  “Let someone else steer.”

“Did I really?  I was so tired that it seemed like such a long time ago.  But can I?  It’s really fun!” Jane begged.

Mr. Lou laughed.  “I don’t see why not.  Yes, I think you should steer today, until lunch.  After lunch, Eric can steer, and then he can steer tomorrow, too, so we’re fair.”

“Yay!  Thank you, Mr. Lou!” Jane squealed, finishing up her breakfast quickly and running to the steering room.  Eric finishes more slowly, sad that he couldn’t steer until lunch.

“Oh, cheer up.  Lunch is only a few hours away, and then you can steer until dinner,” Mr. Robert pointed out.

“I guess, but it seems like such a long time to wait,” Eric said.

“Mr. Robert!  Mr. Lou!  I think I see something, and I don’t know what it is!” Jane called from the steering room.

Mr. Robert quickly hopped there, and Mr. Lou slowly crawled there.  Eric stayed behind to finish his breakfast with Bem.  He heard some gasping, and Mr. Robert yelled, “Eric!  You had better come see this!  I think we’re in trouble!”

“What is it?  What’s wrong?” Eric asked, finishing his last bites of scrambled eggs.  When he had placed his plate in the sink, he walked to the steering room to see what the big fuss was about.

Mr. Robert pointed out the big window in the front and said, “Do you see those black dots over there?”

“Yeah, but I can’t tell what they are,” Eric said.

“Well, they’re ogre ships, and that’s bad news!” Mr. Robert said, looking worried.

Eric squinted.  “How can you tell that they’re ogre ships?  They just look like dots to me.”

“I have better eyesight than you, because I eat a lot of carrots,” Mr. Robert explained.  “And it looks like they’re heading for us.  We’d better hurry and change our direction, or else they might attack us!”

“Why would they do us?  Do they know that Bem is on here with us?”

Mr. Lou nodded.  “They might, because didn’t you say that there was a spy in the castle that we were just at?  The spy might have found out that you were with us, and all the ogres would have to look for is our boat.”

“Oh, this is terrible!  What are we going to do?” Jane asked the rabbit and the turtle.

“Like I said, we have to change direction.  You should steer into those rocks, but be careful that you don’t hit any of them.  We might sink if you do,” Mr. Robert advised.  Jane nodded and turned the big wheel, looking at the treacherous rocks in the water.

“Do you want me to do anything?” Eric asked.

“Why don’t you go out on the deck and keep a look out.  You’ll be able to see better from out there, and Bem could fly up to the top of the mast for an even better view,” Mr. Lou said.  The boy and the dragon left the room and stood on deck, watching to see where the ogre ship was.

Jane was successfully steering through the rocks, and they were almost to a big, green island that would hide them from the ogres.  They had almost reached it, but all of a sudden, there was a big rumbling noise, and their boat started rocking and there was a loud noise.

“What was that?” Eric asked Mr. Robert, who had come out when the boat started rocking.

“We were hit by a cannonball.  I guess they can still see us,” he explained.  “We have to get to that island before it’s too late!”

“I guess we’re relying on Jane,” Eric said gravely.  Mr. Robert nodded in agreement.

Jane was having a hard time steering now that they were hit.  She guessed that their boat was filling with water, because the boat was getting slower and slower.  She just hoped that they weren’t going too slow, because the ogres were gaining up on them!

“Oh, Mr. Lou, what would happen if the ogres caught us!” she asked.

“I don’t know.  Maybe they would take Bem away, and he would never get to see his mom,” he replied.

Jane gulped.  “I don’t want that to happen.  We’d better hurry!”

Eric looked at the ogre ship.  It was getting closer, and he could see the ogres with their bald, green heads and big, flappy ears.  He shouted to Jane, “Go faster!  They’re gaining on us!”

“I already know that!” she called back, steering past a really sharp looking rock.  They were almost there!  That was when they were hit by another cannonball, and this time she could hear the water rushing into the bedrooms.  She knew they didn’t have long before they were going to sink.

Jane looked through the window behind them.  The ogres were right there!  She could see their ears flapping in the wind.  Gritting her teeth, she pushed the button that would make the steam engine work faster and make them go faster in the water.

Eric was watching everything the ogres were doing.  One of them was putting another cannonball in the cannon!  If they didn’t go fast, they really were going to sink!  He watched as the ogre lit a match, and he was about to put it up to the cannon.

All of a sudden, the ogres stopped.  They had run into a rock, and they were stuck!  They were safe!

Jane steered the boat to the shore and turned off the engine.  “That was a close one!  I’m so glad that they ran into that rock.  But how are we going to deal with the holes in our boat?  Are we going to be able to get off this island?” she asked Mr. Lou.

He shrugged.  “I don’t know yet.  We’re going to have to think about that when we get to it.  For now, we should go see how the others are.”

“That’s a good idea,” she agreed, walking out to the deck to check up on Eric, Bem, and Mr. Robert.  When she could see them, she asked, “Are you okay?”

“We’re fine.  That was some nice sailing there, Jane,” Mr. Robert said.

She smiled.  “Thank you.  Should we get off now?”

He sighed.  “That would be smart.  All of the bedrooms and the kitchen are full of water, so we can’t use anything down there.  Maybe there’s someone on this island.  We aren’t that far away from Alaska, are we?”

“Only a mile or two, I think,” Mr. Lou replied, slowly walking towards them.

Bem asked excitedly, “F-o-o-o-o-d?”

Jane giggled.  “Yes, Bem, we know you’re hungry.  We’ll be able to eat as soon as we find someone, okay?”

There was a noise in the bushes on the edge of the beach, and everyone jumped.  “What was that?” Jane shrieked, hiding behind her brother for safety.

“I don’t know,” he whispered.  “Whatever it is, we should be careful.”

“Who’s there?” Mr. Robert called out.

Out of the bushes came a girl with blond hair tied back in a bun.  She was older than Jane and Eric, but younger than Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou.  Quietly she said, “I’m sorry to scare you, but I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re hungry.  My palace has plenty of extra food for you, and I would love to give you some of it.”

“That would be so nice!  Would you really do that for us?” Jane asked, stepping toward the girl, no long afraid.

The girl smiled.  “I don’t mind.  I have so much food that I wouldn’t be able to eat it all in ten years!  You can have as much food as you want, because there is definitely enough.”

“Food!” Bem said, jumping up and down excitedly.

The girl giggled and replied, “Yes, food.  Why don’t I bring you to my palace so we can eat?”

Jane gasped.  “You live in a palace!  Are you a princess?”

“Yes I am.  I’m Princess Flora, but you can just call me Flora,” the girl replied, walking down the beach to a small path that cut through the bushes that were surrounding them.

Jane glanced excitedly at Eric before racing off to follow Flora, and Eric shook his head.  He said to Bem, “I will never understand girls.  Never.”

“Food,” Bem said, running off after the two girls.

The path the to palace was very long and very narrow, and there were a bunch of leaves and branches on them, almost as if no one had walked down that path for years.  Jane asked Flora, “Does anyone live here with you?”

“A few people, but not as many as before that happened,” Flora replied.

“Before what happened?” Eric asked, getting a little suspicious.

Flora shrugged.  “It’s not important.  Let’s just get to the palace and eat.  I’m starving!  Oh, watch out for some of these holes.  The rain made the holes, and no one has bothered to fix them.  They’ve had other stuff on their minds.”

“Like what?” Mr. Lou asked, slowly walking around one of the big holes in the middle of the path.

“Oh, just other stuff.  We’re almost there!” Flora said, walking faster towards the big castle just in the distance.  Jane and Eric looked at each other, worried.  Flora was starting to act a little weird.

A little further along the path they came to a little village.  In the village lived the rest of the people on the island.  When they walked through the village, no one said hello to them, and they all looked pale and thin.  As soon as they were out of the village, Mr. Robert said to Flora, “They all looked very hungry.  Do they have enough food?”

“They have plenty.  Besides, they’ve never asked me for food,” Flora replied.  “Why do you think I have so much?  I don’t share with them.”

“Why not?” Eric asked.

Flora shrugged.  “They don’t share with me.  That, and I’ve never gotten the chance.  Why don’t we just go on to the palace and get some food in you.  You look even hungrier than them, in my opinion.”

“Maybe they’ve just been hungry longer,” Eric muttered.  Thankfully, Flora didn’t hear him.  She was already twenty feet ahead of them.

“She’s a little weird.  How can’t she notice that those people are hungry?” Jane asked Eric.

“I don’t know.  Maybe some people just don’t notice things like that,” Eric whispered back.

Jane sighed.  “She is not fit to be a princess.”

That’s when they got to the palace, and when they did, they had to stop and stare.



© 2011 Havatara


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Added on January 12, 2011
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN



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