Sunday, November 23, 2014

Twice the Fun - Part 24

       Ariana H. King

          Everything had stayed the same since we'd left. I guess I expected the whole world to change. But no, it was like we never left the mysterious, magical place called Bernabe. The vegetable garden was still behind the chain-linked fence, the crystal clear water from the stream was still right in front of us, and the trees behind the stream were still swaying peacefully. The rock was still dug into the shallowest part of the stream. Wow, that rock was huge! I had almost forgot how big it was.
           I wondered where Natalie was. I never really got to say goodbye to her and Melanie. They both probably thought I was a stuck-up, short-tempered, 12 year old girl who had a messed up life. And quite frankly, all of those were true. Maybe I didn't want to see Natalie so much after all...
          We took a step forward into Bernabe together and at the same time. Then, we looked at each other and both of us started sprinting towards the steam and I cannon-balled. Roar hesitated before she pencil-dived. I guessed she was still a little nervous around water.
          My legs got all tingly and stuck together, and they turned pink after forming into a long tail. Beside me, Roar was also changing into a mermaid. Except her color was lime green again and her hair was floating all around her face. She saw me looking at her, and I turned away, my ears getting hot.
           "Ready?" she asked. I nodded and we took off towards the bottom of the stream. "I'm so excited to see Natalie again. I'm glad we came back." She sounded a little odd though. Like she was happy, but still a little sorry that we came. No, not sorry. Guilty.
            "Yeah, me too. Except I'm a little embarrassed that I swam off like the way I did, just because you won the stupid vote about highlights. I mean, come on! I'm so stupid..." I said as I examined the fish that surrounded us. I didn't really ever look closely last time we were here.
            "No your not. And they'll understand, I'm sure of it. You just get angry quick. Lots of people do." Roar shrugged. "Just don't even bring it up."
            "Okay. How long do you think it'll take us to find Natalie?" I asked.
            "I don't know. It'll take a while to get to Crystal Waters, and then there's the problem that we don't know where she lives." Roar said flatly. "And besides, you're the math geek out of the two of us."
            "What has that got to do with anything? That has nothing to do with this conversation!"
            Roar threw her hand up and groaned. "Are we seriously going to fight about something so stupid as this?"
             I didn't answer. We were silent for a long time, because I didn't want to be the one to break the silence, and obviously Roar was disgusted with us both-but mostly me. Finally, after about 15 minutes, she said, "Do you remember where Melanie lives?"
             "Uh...I might remember...Why?"
             "She knows where Natalie lives no doubt. And if she knows where Natalie is, she can bring us to her. And then all of our problems are solved." explained Roar. I tried to think back to when we first met Melanie, after Roar embarrassed us in the middle of the town of Crystal Waters by screaming how she didn't want to go shopping. Yep, that was my sister for you. Roar was shaking her head. "We are so going to get lost."
              "Quit being so negative! Think that the glass is half-full." I said, a little too sweetly, because I was about to crack.
              Roar glared at me. "Just leave me alone and stop talking to me. I was trying to be positive before you said anything."
             And the silence prevailed...

             About an hour later, we were roaming around Crystal Waters. We had probably knocked on at least a quarter of the population's doors. We skipped all the apartment buildings, since we knew that Melanie didn't live in an apartment. We wouldn't have even looked for Melanie, except she was our only way to find Natalie River.
            My tail was starting to get all sore and cramped up, and my knuckles hurt like crazy from knocking. Gosh, never knock on 50 seashell doors in one hour. I'm telling you, it's the best advice I can give you in my lifetime. "Your turn knocking on the doors." I told Roar. We were taking turns once we realized our knuckles started hurting. "I think my knuckles are swollen."
           "Melanie better be home once we find her!" Roar said as she started knocking on a random door.
           I agreed with her one hundred ten percent. If Melanie was out shopping when we got to her house, I was going to strangle her to death!
           A woman with pale skin opened the door. She had beautiful blue eyes, and her tail was a deep, dark purple. Her hair was long and golden with silver highlights. It was basically blinding me.
           "Hello, is there possibly a Melanie Aquatic who lives here?" Roar asked brightly for about the fiftieth time that day. Her expression was hopeful.
           The woman smiled at us. "Well that depends who's asking!"
           "Oh yeah, sorry. My name is Aurora and this is my-er, shell Ariana King. We're a friend of Melanie's and we've been looking for her." Roar said politely, but from the look on her face, she was feeling really awkward.
           "Oh, I was just messing with you girls! Melanie's here. I'm Melanie's mother, Chandler Aquatic, by the way. Come inside, come inside." she opened the door wide and gestured for us to come in. She seemed so nice, it was almost as if something was up. Don't be ridiculous! I thought. It isn't a crime to be nice to people!
           We stepped inside, me in the back behind Roar. That's when I realized that the house we just entered was not Melanie's house at all. The Aquatic's house had been decorated beautifully, but this house was as plain as a brick. No pictures, just a plain brown chair and ottoman. At that moment, I remembered what my mom had always told us.
           "Just this way girls. Melanie's in here." Chandler said, as she lead us into a long, empty hallway and turned toward a door to the left. She opened the door to a dark room.
           I looked over at Roar. She didn't look like we were in any danger.
          While I felt like I was going to throw up, we both took a step into the room. The second we were in, the door slammed shut with a creak behind us. My heart leapt into my throat.
          "Never talk to strangers." my mom had said to us when we were little. Mom, I thought. I think we just broke that rule and definitely worse ones yet.
           We were surrounded by pitch black. I felt something wrap around my wrist and I tried to yank it away. It squeezed me hard. My heart pounding, I screamed at the top of my lungs.
            I think we just got ourselves kidnapped.

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