Chapter 15

Chapter 15

A Chapter by Havatara

The boy led them through a small patch of forest, saying, "My parents were farmers here before, so we had a really big barn.  There's plenty of places for you guys to hide in."

Jane asked, "What do you mean, they were farmers here before?  Aren't they still farmers?"

The boy nodded.  "They still farm, just not here anymore.  They left when Princess Flora changed."

"When did she change?" Mr. Lou asked.

"A couple months ago.  Here's the barn."  They had left the forest and come to a clearing with a large barn in it.  The barn was red, and the paint was peeling.  It seemed as though no one had been there in years.

Something occurred to Eric.  "Jane, when did we find Bem's egg?"

"A couple months ago. . . ."  Her eyes widened.  "When we found Bem, that's when Flora changed.  And she was looking for him, too!  Do you think it's related at all?"

“Maybe,” Eric said.  As soon as they were properly hidden, he asked the boy, “How did Flora change, anyway?  She seems kind of nice.”

The boy nodded sadly.  “She used to be.  She was the nicest princess is all the land.  But then when she was visited by a goblin she became really mean.  She made all the farmers give her all the food they grew, and since she had been nice, they did.  But she won’t give us any food back.  We haven’t had any normal food for two months.  We’ve been hungry for so long.”

“Flora said that you never asked for her to share any of the food,” Eric said.

“I guess she lied,” the boy replied, even sadder than before.

“What were you going to do?” Jane asked in horror.  She was shocked that Flora had done that.  Sure, she was a little strange, but Jane had never thought she was mean.

“We were just waiting, like Christine is,” the boy explained.

Eric was confused.  “Christine?”

“The name of the mermaid on the fountain.  She’s alive, and she used to give Princess Flora advice on different things.  Then Princess Flora changed, and so she didn’t listen to Christine anymore.”

“What’s your name?” Jane asked politely.

He smiled.  “My name is John.  What are your names?”

She smiled back.  “I’m Jane, my brother is Eric, our friends are Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou, and our dragon is Bem.”

John became really quiet.  He whispered, “Dragon?  He’s a dragon?”  He stared down at Bem, who was curled up on the yellow straw that covered the floor of the barn.  “I’ve never seen a dragon before.”

“He’s in danger,” Eric said.  “Flora said that she wanted to capture him.  That goblin she met with, what did he look like?”

John furrowed his brow, thinking.  “He looked like a boy like us, but his skin was weird and his teeth were really pointy.”

Jane nodded.  “We’ve seen him before, when we were visiting our aunt in Alaska.  He was supposed to play with us, but then he had some ogre called Frank knock us out so he could capture us, too, but we got away.  He wasn’t very nice.”

“Goblins usually aren’t, but he’s the worst!  I think he’s the prince or something, and everyone knows that the royal goblin family is as mean as it can be,” John explained.  He glanced down at Bem and said almost to himself, “Christine would know what to do with the dragon, that’s for sure.”

“Do you think you could help us get back to the castle without getting caught by Flora?” Eric asked.

Jane looked even more shocked than before.  “Get back?  We just got out!”

Mr. Robert said, “I think Eric might be right, Jane.  Mermaids know a lot, so maybe this one knows how we can get Bem back to his mom.”

“I suppose,” she sighed, resigned.  “Should we go tonight?  It’ll be dark, and we’ll be able to sneak around better.”

Mr. Lou nodded.  “That sounds like a good idea.  Here’s another one.  How about when you and Eric and John get Bem wherever he needs to go, Mr. Robert and I will start fixing the boat so we can make a quick escape if we need to.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” Eric repeated.  “Now all we need to do is wait.”

So they waited and waited and waited.  They waited for so long it felt like forever.  Finally, when the sun had set a long time before and they could see all the stars, they got out of their hiding spots and went to do what had to be done.

“We’ll see you later,” Jane said to the rabbit and the turtle.

“It may be a while,” Eric added.

“We’ll be waiting,” Mr. Lou replied as he and Mr. Robert turned and walked down the path towards the sea where the boat was.  The rest went in the opposite direction, towards the castle.

As they were getting closer, John said, “All we have to do is get across the moat.  There aren’t any guards anymore, so we won’t have to worry about that.  Plus, Princess Flora should be sleeping.”

“She was supposed to be sleeping last night when she had us taken to the dungeons,” Jane reminded him.

“I’m sure she won’t be by the fountain, if she is awake.  Even if she is, I can easily distract her.  I’m good at that,” John replied with a mischievous smile.

Eric nodded.  “Okay, so that’s settled, but how are we going to get across?”

“Someone put a boat down by the water, in case someone had to make a delivery in the middle of the night,” Johns aid.  “We can use that now.  It is the middle of the night, after all.”

They crept down a little dirt path to the edge of the dark, smooth water.  It was really steep, so they had to be very careful.  Jane almost fell twice!  Finally, they found the little green boat among the reeds.  After the others had climbed in, John untied the little rope that kept the boat attached to the dock and started paddling to the other side.

When they got there, they had to have Bem fly up and tie the rope.  It place to tie the rope was taller than they were because it was meant for grown-ups.  Bem managed to tie it after a few tries, though, and soon they were on the dock, planning their next move.

“We have to get to the courtyard, but I think the doors are locked,” John whispered.  Bem looked around and made a small noise, and when Eric looked down, he was pointing to a little hook in the wall with a key on it.  Maybe it was the key to the front door!  Eric lifted the key off the hook and walked up rickety wood steps to the front door.  When he tested the key, it worked!  They were in!

They saw the fountain almost as soon as they walked in.  Jane was struck again by how pretty it was.  Especially in the moonlight!  It made Christine look even more sad, though.

John said, “I’m going to wait outside to make sure someone doesn’t catch us.”

“Sounds good,” Eric said as he was leaving.

Mary walked up to the fountain and sat down next to it.  “I wonder how we’re going to talk to her.  She’s a statue after all.”

Eric sat down next to her.  “I don’t know.  We have to figure it out soon, though, so Flora won’t find us and capture us again.”

Jane stared up at Christine.  “She’s so pretty. . . .”

All of a sudden they heard a lady’s voice say, “Why, thank you.  You’re very cute yourself.”

Jane jumped up, shocked.  “Who was that?”

The lady laughed.  “It was me, Christine.”  The statue moved, and before they knew it, Christine was alive!

“Now, I assume you have something to ask me.  Someone always has something to ask me.  What can I help you with today?  Or rather, tonight,” Christine said softly, almost as though she hadn’t talked in a while.

Jane sat down next to her again and said, “Bem was separated from his mom.  We found him as an egg in our closet back home, and all we want to do is get him to his home.  How can we do that?”

“Who is Bem?  Is he a sprite?  A human like yourselves?” Christine asked.

Eric shook his head.  “Bem is a baby dragon.”

Christine gasped.  “A dragon!  I haven’t seen one of those in a very long time!  Not since before they disappeared.  You two are very lucky to know him.”

“It doesn’t seem like it sometimes.  Someone is always trying to hurt us, and we’re always running away from scary things,” Jane replied sadly.

“But think of all the friends you’ve made!  I’m sure you’ve made some, haven’t you?” Christine pointed out.

Jane instantly smiled.  “We have!  We met a rabbit named Mr. Robert, and a turtle named Mr. Lou.”

“See?  Now, you said you want to get him home,” Christine said.  “I think I know just what you’re looking for.”

Eric’s eyes became bright with anticipation, and he asked, “Really?  How?”

Christine giggled.  “So excited!  A long time ago, before the humans in the other world became power hungry and drove the elves and the dragons into hiding, the dragons could go between our world and their world.  They came here through a special tree by the sea.  The tree is always on a cliff.  The people in the other world thought that the Tree had been uprooted, but it can never be destroyed.  It will always be there, like a mother’s love.”

“Where is the Tree?” Jane asked, glancing around nervously.  She had a feeling that they were being watched, but she couldn’t really tell why.

“It’s on the other side of the island.  It won’t take very long to get there, if you know where you’re going.  I’m sure that boy that standing outside, John, knows,” Christine replied.

“How did you know his name?  We never told you,” Eric said.

Christine smiled kindly.  “I’m a mermaid.  I know many things.  Now, I would hurry if I were you.  That evil goblin that captured you in the first place is here someone, and if you don’t want to get captured again, you have to get Bem to that tree.”

“Let’s get going then!” Eric said, motioning for Bem and Jane to follow him back to the boat to go across the moat.

Jane was about to leave with him, but then she remembered to turn around and say to Christine, “Thank you very much for all of your advice.  It’s really helped us a lot.”

Christine’s face up lit up as though she had just won the lottery.  “You’re very welcome.  I hope you find it safely.”

“We will!” Jane replied cheerfully, joining her brother, her dragon, and her new friend.  Together they rowed across the moat again and headed towards the sea, where they were going to get Bem back to his mom.

“It’s coming up soon,” John informs them.

“I think I can see it!” Jane said, running up the path.

For some reason, Eric felt scared.  He didn’t know why.  Looking around, he saw two red eyes looking at his sister with a pointy-toothed smile.  His eyes widened as he realized who it was.  He shouted, “Jane, watch out!  The goblin that kidnapped us is here!”

Jane stopped running just in time.  The goblin jumped out right in front of her! He laughed evilly and said, “You’ll never get away from me now!”

Jane screamed and ran away from him, towards her brother and her friends.  She was almost there when the goblin grabbed the back of her shirt and pulled her down to the ground.  She shut her eyes tight, thinking she was in for it, when all of a sudden the goblin started yelling, “I’m melting, I’m melting!  Somebody help me, I’m melting!”

She opened her eyes to find him dripping wet and melting right before their eyes.  John was holding a bucket, and he said, “Sorry, we can’t help you.  No goblin can survive getting salt water poured on them.”

“I’m melting, I’m melting!” the goblin’s voice said, getting higher and higher and fainter and fainter until it was gone.

Eric walked over to Jane and helped her stand up.  She told him, “That was really scary!  I’m glad it’s over.”

He nodded.  “Now we can finally get Bem to his mom.”

They looked down at the little green dragon by their feet.  He was smiling happily, like he knew that he was going to see his mom.  Together, the three of them walked up to the tree.  John went back to the village, saying that he was tired and wanted to get some sleep.  It was the middle of the night, after all.  They said good-bye and parted ways.

Bem walked up to the tree and looked at it.  It was really big and old, and the branches looked like they reached up to the stars.  At the base, the roots were clumped together.  They looked like a chair.  He looked up at Jane and Eric, waiting for them to come with him.

They guessed what he was thinking and smiled.  Eric said, “We can’t go with you.  Our family is here, Bem.  You’ll have to go on by yourself.”

Bem looked like he was about to cry.  Jane said, “We’ll miss you, don’t worry!  We won’t ever forget you.  You’ll always be a good friend to us.”

Bem was making some strange noise.  At first, Eric and Jane thought hew as crying, but then he said, “I-I-I wi-ill miss yo-ou t-t-too.”

“Bem!  You spoke!” Jane said, hugging him.

His eyes widened.  “I did!  I did I did I did!” he said fast, excited.

“We’re very proud of you,” Eric said, smiling.

Bem looked up at them and asked, “Can I come to visit you?”  His voice was close to breaking, he was so sad to say good-bye.

“Of course you can!  What kind of friends would we be if you couldn’t?” Jane laughed.

Bem laughed as well.  Then he walked up to the chair on the tree and sat down.  He said, “Good-bye!”  And just like that, he was gone.

Jane asked Eric, “Do you think he’ll come visit us soon?”

“I think so,” Eric replied.  “But for now, let’s go home.”  Together they walked down to the shore where Mr. Robert and Mr. Lou were waiting for them so they could sail home.



© 2011 Havatara


Author's Note

Havatara
End of plot with Jane and Eric

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Added on February 2, 2011
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

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



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