Reads: 48

“I wish Malcolm and Pàl were here,” Jamie whines.

 

“I’m here, though,” Mungo says.

 

“Yeah, you are here,” Jamie says and smiles.

 

“I wonder why a lot of people would rather go with Emerald and Aonghas,” CrossBones says.

 

“I don’t know?” Jamie says.

 

“I have me, Rain, you, Mungo, and Fraizer. Well, 5 are better than none right?” CrossBones asks.

 

“Yep!” Jamie agrees.

 

“You are in the good group. We are here to protect you if a monster comes,” Fraizer says.

 

“Yay, thanks!” Jamie says.

 

“...I wonder about something...” Rain says.

 

“Ooh, what?!” Jamie asks.

 

“...Memories lost in time...” Rain says.

 

“Oh,” Jamie says.

 

“What does it mean?” Rain asks.

 

“I don’t know?” Jamie says.

 

“I wasn’t around to hear it, but I’m pretty sure someone said it, who was it?” Rain asks.

 

“Who was what?” Jamie asks.

 

“Who said “...memories lost in time…“?” Rain asks.

 

“You did,” Jamie says.

 

“No, I mean a while ago, it had to be yesterday or a couple hours ago. Someone said it, I didn’t hear the rest just that one part,” Rain says.

 

“Emerald did, I think?” Jamie says.

 

“Have you ever felt as though you’ve already done something, but everyone else says you haven’t? I kinda feel like something in my past has happened, but I can’t remember all of it,” Rain says, sighing.

 

“No? Maybe you did?” Jamie suggests.

 

“I know what’s going to happen in a few seconds; CrossBones is going to find a clue and get overexcited,” Rain says.

 

CrossBones is watching the ground as he walks. Suddenly, he finds a clue.

 

“Hey, look! I found a clue! Yay!” CrossBones says excitedly.

 

“Okay, could you put me down for a second, I don’t want to lose my potting soil,” Rain says.

 

CrossBones puts Rain down.

 

“Wow! How did you know?!” Jamie asks.

 

Rain just shrugs her plant shoulders.

 

“These little foot prints are too small to be ours, and Emerald said Mysie was small. Someone came down this path not too long ago! I just know it!” CrossBones says.

 

“Let’s go tell them!” Jamie says, about to run off into the darkness.

 

“A wolf’s howl can travel through the forest, that’d be the best way to alert the other group,” CrossBones says.

 

“Okay,” Jamie says and howls.

 

A loud long howl arises from the trees and falls into a small rumbling sound.

 

“They know!” Jamie says.

 

“They should arrive soon then,” CrossBones says.

 

Soon the others arrive. Emerald rushes over to the spot of evidence right away.

 

“Tiny foot prints? You’re a genius, CrossBones!” Emerald exclaims.

 

“Thanks!” CrossBones says.

 

Emerald sniffs the shoe print and says, “Hmm...”

 

“Should we follow them?” Jamie asks.

 

“These are Mysie’s alright! Mysie! I’m coming!” Emerald says and takes off following the scent.

 

The others follow.

 

“Mysie?! Mother?! Mysie?!” Emerald cries out, running really fast.

 

Jamie runs really fast after Emerald. Emerald stops suddenly.

 

“AUGH! Jamie, stop!” Emerald cries out.

 

Jamie stops and is confused.

 

“What’s the matter, Emerald?” Jamie asks.

 

“We can’t travel through here,” Emerald says.

 

“Why not?” Jamie asks.

 

“Leading this big of a group is hard with the tricky path we’d be taking,” Emerald says.

 

“What about Mysie?” Jamie asks.

 

“We can’t just charge through this pink stuff. We could go around it or over it,” Emerald says.

 

“Okay,” Jamie says.

 

“Which will it be? Up and over or around?” Emerald asks.

 

“Up and over,” Fraizer replies.

 

“Okay, follow me carefully and don’t look down!” Emerald says.

 

He jumps up ledges hanging out of a nearby tree to a long thick branch. The whole group goes up except for CrossBones and Rain.

 

“How am I supposed to get up there?” Rain asks.

 

“This is going to be a problem...” Aonghas says.

 

“What are we going to do?!” Jamie asks.

 

“CrossBones, do you have any rope?” Emerald asks.

 

“Yes!” CrossBones says and holds up a rope that he clearly didn’t have earlier.

 

“Toss me an end!” Aonghas says.

 

CrossBones throws the rope to Aonghas. Aonghas grabs the rope in his mouth.

 

“Now tie it around yourself and pick Rain up!” Aonghas says, his voice muffled by the rope.

 

CrossBones ties the rope around himself, and picks up Rain.

 

“Hang on tight!” Aonghas says and pulls on the rope.

 

CrossBones holds onto Rain. Aonghas pulls as hard as he can on the rope. CrossBones holds on tighter to Rain.

 

“Grip the tree with your feet, you are about to come up!” Aonghas says, his voice still muffled.

 

“Okay,” CrossBones says and grips the tree with his fake feet.

 

Aonghas pulls one last time, allowing CrossBones to reach the tree branch safely.

 

“We made it, thank you!” CrossBones says.

 

“And I didn’t lose my potting soil! Yippee!” Rain says.

 

“Do you need your potting soil to live?” Jamie asks.

 

“Yes, if I didn’t have any, I would fall out of my pot!” Rain says.

 

“It’s a good thing you have some!” Jamie says.

 

“Ah-hah! We are making our way to the end of the branch! Mysie! I’ll find you soon!” Emerald cries out.

 

“Emerald, won’t Mysie be scared of us?” Jamie asks.

 

“Oh, I never thought about that, but I still need to find her!” Emerald says.

 

“Okay,” Jamie says.

 

“The branch stops here,” Emerald says.

 

“Oh no, now what do we do?!” Jamie asks.

 

“If we plan correctly, we could leap over the space left. The smaller group members will have to ride on our backs,” Emerald says.

 

“What if we fall?” Jamie asks, he’s clearly terrified.

 

“We won’t fall, but if we did...I don’t know,” Emerald says.

 

“This is going to be scary...” Jamie says.

 

“I’ll carry you across! CrossBones, you will be able to float over if you transform into a shadow,” Emerald says.

 

“Oh boy!” CrossBones says.

 

“Thank you,” Jamie says.

 

“What about me?! If CrossBones is a shadow, how will he hold me?!” Rain asks.

 

“Um...” Jamie says.

 

CrossBones ties the rope tightly around the pot and then ties it onto Aonghas’ back.

 

“Well, that might work...” Mungo says.

 

“Wow, CrossBones, you’re smart!” Jamie says.

 

“Really? Thanks!” CrossBones says.

 

“You’re welcome!” Jamie says.

 

“Fraizer, will you carry Target, Drip, and Drop?” Emerald asks.

 

Fraizer grabs Target, Drip, and Drop.

 

“Okay, everyone else will jump solo, I have Jamie. Let’s jump!” Emerald says.

 

Fraizer jumps first. Emerald leaps over next, carrying Jamie by the scruff. Jamie closes his eyes. Emerald scrambles at the edge of the land then pulls himself up. He puts Jamie down.

 

“Wow, I didn’t realize how big of a space that was!” Emerald says, glancing behind himself.

 

“It’s a good thing we made it!” Jamie says.

 

“Let’s step out of the way, the others are going to come down,” Emerald says.

 

Jamie and Fraizer both step out of the way. Next, Aonghas jumps off the branch with Rain.

 

“AHHHHHHHHH!!” Rain screams.

 

“You can do it!” Jamie cheers them on.

 

Aonghas’ feet land safely on the ground with the soft click of his claws on a rock.

 

“You did it!” Jamie says and smiles.

 

“I thought he was going to drop me!” Rain says.

 

“He didn’t, which is good!” Jamie says.

 

“That wasn’t too hard actually,” Aonghas says.

 

“Good job!” Jamie says.

 

“Here comes Malcolm!” Emerald warns.

 

Malcolm jumps over. Aonghas backs up so Malcolm can land. Malcolm lands easily.

 

“Was that fun?” Emerald asks Malcolm.

 

“No,” Malcolm says.

 

“Why not?” Emerald asks.

 

“I’d rather just walk,” Malcolm says.

 

“Fine,” Emerald says.

 

CrossBones appears and says, “Hello! Did you miss me?!”

 

Malcolm gets startled and cries out, “Don’t scare me like that!”

 

“I’m sorry! I like being a shadow...” CrossBones says.

 

Malcolm starts yelling, he’s very mad.

 

“Malcolm, calm down,” Jamie says.

 

“You calm down!” Malcolm yells back.

 

“I am calm,” Jamie says.

 

“I’m calm too! I wish I had a tail again!” CrossBones says.

 

“I have a tail!” Jamie says.

 

“Use it while you have it, it’s a real pleasure!” CrossBones says.

 

“Okay! I wonder if we’ll be wolves forever?!” Jamie asks and smiles.

 

“I don’t want to be a wolf forever, Mysie would be at least a little frightened,” Emerald says.

 

“Not if she knew it was you,” Jamie says.

 

“I miss Mysie so much; I’ll do anything to be back with her!” Emerald says.

 

“Don’t worry, we will find her,” Jamie says.

 

“Is everyone down yet? We need to keep moving!” Emerald says.

 

“Yep!” Malcolm says.

 

Emerald sniffs at the ground and says, “Let’s go!”

 

“Why does Emerald get to lead?” Malcolm asks.

 

“Because he’s the one who lives in the forest, he knows his way around,” Mungo says.

 

“I should lead,” Malcolm says.

 

“Tell me your reason, if it’s good enough I might tell Emerald,” Mungo says, if he was still in his shadow person form, he would have floated lazily onto his back.

 

“I’m a better leader than anyone here!” Malcolm says.

 

“Not good enough!” Mungo says, he turns around and walks ahead of Malcolm.

 

Malcolm glares at Mungo.

 

Mungo teasingly wags his tail at Malcolm. Malcolm growls. Mungo growls back.

 

“Guys! Don’t fight!” Jamie cries out.

 

Mungo turns back around.

 

“Jamie is right, fighting is getting us nowhere,” Fraizer says.

 

“Malcolm started it,” Mungo blames.

 

“I don’t care who started it, I will finish it!” Fraizer snaps.

 

Mungo backs up a little.

 

“Fraizer, calm down...” Jamie says.

 

“I’ll just quit arguing...for now,” Mungo says.

 

Fraizer sighs and says, “Good, let’s go.”

 

Mungo obediently follows. Malcolm follows behind Mungo, annoyed.

 

“Sometimes, Malcolm, the shadow must lead and the body must follow,” Mungo says.

 

“Shut up,” Malcolm says.

 

“I am your shadow,” Mungo says.

 

“I know that,” Malcolm says.

 

“Are you starting an argument?” Aonghas asks.

 

“Yeah,” Malcolm says.

 

“Hey, Malcolm, do you want to be a Beta wolf instead and stand right behind me?” Emerald offers.

 

“Sure?” Malcolm says, confused.

 

“Do you know the order wolves’ use?” Emerald asks.

 

“No,” Malcolm says.

 

“All wolves are arranged by how they lead, how they fight, and how they protect. The levels range from a low Omega wolf to a high Alpha wolf. Betas help protect the leader and work next to them,” Emerald explains.

 

“Sure, I’ll be one,” Malcolm says.

 

“Okay, everyone scoot over so Malcolm can get through,” Emerald calls.

 

Malcolm pushes though.

 

“What?!” Mungo asks and stares at Malcolm.

 

“What?” Malcolm asks, confused.

 

“How did you get to stand in front of me again?” Mungo asks.

 

“Because, I’m awesome!” Malcolm says.

 

“The bends in the road,

The light will show,

Just where the shadow goes,

Sometimes the shadow leads,

Sometimes the shadow follows,

And sometimes the shadow is at your side,” Pàl says.

 

“Poetry?!” Malcolm snarls.

 

“Yep, poetry can solve any problem!” Pàl says.

 

“No, it can’t!” Malcolm argues.

 

“Give me an example of when poetry can’t help,” Pàl says.

 

Malcolm falls silent.

 

“I’ll give you a moment to think,” Pàl says.

 

“Math? Math! Poetry can’t help in math!” Malcolm cries out triumphantly.

 

“You can make a poem to help you memorize how to do a math problem. A poem is similar to a song, but with shorter lines and it’s arranged into stanzas,” Pàl says.

 

“I know what a poem is!” Malcolm snarls.

 

“Okay, okay, calm down, Malcolm...” Pàl says.

 

“You calm down!” Malcolm snaps back.

 

“I am calm, Malcolm,” Pàl says, smiling peacefully.

 

Malcolm is very mad, but he remains silent for a few minutes.

 

“Watch where you are going...” Pàl says.

 

“Shut up!” Malcolm growls.


Submitted: February 02, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Violet-Of-Course. All rights reserved.

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