Chapter 4: Maddie
“Will, wake up. You’ve been asleep for eight hours.” The girl. Her voice soothes me. But who is she? What’s her name?
I slowly open my eyes, and I meet hers. Oh gosh. Why does she have to be so beautiful?
She smiles and says, “You definitely look a lot better.”
I feel better. My strength is slowly coming back. This girl is an angel. She must have sprinkled me with magic while I was asleep.
Sitting up, I see that I am in another room, but it’s not the room I started off in. There’s a window, a balcony, a TV, chairs, and tables. The Sun is setting outside. I climb out of bed, a little wobbly on my feet, but the girl catches me.
“The doctor says that he thinks you’ll be more comfortable in our cabin,” she explains. Oh, so that’s what the white-coated man is called? How am I supposed to know?
I stumble towards the window, but I stop briefly when I pass a mirror. I take a minute to check my weary being. My brown hair is out of the ribbon. It reaches for my shoulders. Wow, is that really how long it is? I have a few holes in my pants, and there are some rips at the edges of my shirt sleeves. Sure enough, my necklace is missing. Although, I know I’m safe around the girl.
She meets me at the mirror. “My name is Madeline, but everyone calls me Maddie.”
Maddie. That’s her name. It’s gorgeous. Oh no... Am I blushing? Embarrassed, I quickly hide behind my hands and turn my back to her.
“There’s no need to be shy,” she says.
Oh, there is every right to be shy! I’m stuck in a room with the love of my life! How am I supposed to keep myself together? Removing my hands from my face, I look over my shoulder at Maddie.
“Anyway, my parents and I are from Charleston, South Carolina. We’re on a cruise to The Bahamas,” she continues.
The Bahamas. I’ve been there before. Mom, Dad, and I passed through the islands on our way to my island in the Triangle.
“Where are you from?” Maddie asks.
She’s not going to believe me, but I have to try. I turn to face her and make a triangle out of my hands.
“Triangle? You’re from a place called ‘Triangle’?” Maddie guesses.
She’s half right, but not entirely. I turn my left hand to the side to illustrate this.
“Don’t you speak English?”
I shake my head no and point at my mouth.
“Really? Well then, how am I supposed to know where you’re from?”
I hold my finger up to Maddie’s lips. It’s an indication for her to pay attention. She watches me closely as I make a second triangle out of my hands.
“Triangle?” she asks again.
Almost there, Maddie. Almost there. I nod and draw an outline of Bermuda Island in midair.
Maddie squints her eyes. “Bermuda?”
Getting closer. I smile and clench my fists, bringing them close to each other. This is my way of telling somebody to put two words together.
Maddie tries. “Triangle Bermuda? The Bermuda Triangle?”
Yes! There we go. I crack a smile and bob my head up and down.
But of course, she doesn’t believe me. “The Bermuda Triangle? Oh, you’re worse than I thought, kid! I think you need to lie back down!”
I huff and puff out my cheeks. Maddie tries to sit me back down on the bed, but I push her away. I feel fine! She doesn’t need to help me! I can take care of myself! After all, I live alone on an island and have been for seven years.
A sparkle from Maddie’s neck catches my attention, and I look at it. My mouth drops. It’s my necklace. Maddie has my necklace!
“What’s wrong? Do you want me to get the doctor?”
No, I want my necklace back. Why did she steal it? What sort of cheap trick is this? I like this girl, and she just betrays me like this?
I narrow my eyebrows and point at the necklace.
Maddie reaches for it. “This necklace? Is it yours?”
Nodding, I place my hands on my hips.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I found it when we fished you out of the ocean.”
Oh, so she didn’t steal it? Aw, now I feel bad about getting angry. She takes my hand, and I jump. Omg, I’m blushing!
“It’s okay,” Maddie says. She flips my hand over and puts the necklace in my palm. “Here. This belongs to you.” With that, she lets go.
My necklace is safe and sound. I can finally change my form again, but I don’t want to leave. Maddie is the only person I need in my life. I think I should thank her. I open my mouth and sing my song.
Her eyes widen. “Wait a minute! Your voice! I know your voice!”
Oh snap! I just had to do that! I’m going to blow my whole cover! No, Maddie, I’m not the mysterious creature you saw on the mini golf course.
I stop singing and beg that I’m still safe. I am. Whew.
“Hey, Mom, Dad, and I are getting ready to head down to dinner,” Maddie says. “How about you join us?”
Dinner? Oh, that sounds nice. My tummy rumbles, and I reach for it.
Maddie laughs. “You’re definitely hungry.”
I blush again.
“But before we go, let me get you some shoes,” she adds.
I look down on my bare feet. She just has to rub in the fact that I’m barefoot. I’ve never worn shoes in my life.
Maddie hurries to a closet, and she starts to dig through it.
I step out on the balcony. It’s small, but cozy. The floor is wooden, and there’s a railing as well as three chairs. The Ecstasy is sailing on the open Ocean. There is absolutely nothing on the horizon–no mainland and no islands. Am I even still in the Triangle? There is not a cloud in the sky now. It’s hard to believe that just this morning, I was still on my island.
I feel a tap on my shoulder, and I jump. What is that? It’s the Ocean. A wave is hovering next to me. I can see right through its turquoise water. There’s something in it, something orange. It’s my conch shell. The wave has it. It bumps the shell up to its crest and holds it out to me.
I take it. The shell has absolutely no sand on it. It looks like the Ocean polished it for me. I tap its head with my hand, but the wave quickly dives overboard when Maddie speaks up from behind us.
“These should do. Oh, where did you get that pretty shell?”
Well, um, I... Hey, are those shoes?
I quickly take them out of Maddie’s hands. The shoes are brown and made from leather. They have hooked tops, which reminds me of the sandbar back home. I put my shell down on one of the chairs and pull them on. They fit me perfectly and are actually quite comfortable.
Maddie seems to forget about the shell. She just says, “They look good on you.”
I kick up my legs and move my feet inside each shoe. I stumble when I try walking in them.
Maddie chuckles. “Oh, you’re hilarious. It’s like you’ve never worn shoes before.”
“Maddie! Will! It’s time to head down to dinner!” a voice yells from inside Maddie’s cabin. Her mother. She appears at the sliding door, with Maddie’s father close behind, and glances at me. “Oh, Will, you look a lot better.” She then looks at Maddie. “Well, Maddie? Do we know anything else about him?”
I’m still trying out the shoes when Maddie answers. “I think he has amnesia, Mom. He says he’s from the Bermuda Triangle.”
Amnesia? What’s amnesia? I’m not used to these human terms.
Maddie’s mother nods. “Oh yeah. That definitely sounds like amnesia. Well, I’m sure a nice, hearty meal will help him. Eh, Will?”
I glance at her, still very confused.
Maddie’s mother chuckles, and she bumps Maddie’s chest. “He’s quite handsome. Don’t you think, dear?”
“Mom!” Maddie’s whole face turns red.
Wait, does this mean she likes me back? Oh my gosh! Does she?
Maddie’s mother hands me a strange object. It’s white and has a handle. The head of the object is oval-shaped, and it has sharp, little points on it. She tells me, “Will, you should probably brush your hair before we go down. The captain is trying to find you some new clothes.”
Oh, so this thing’s called a brush? What do I do with it? I stare at it, not moving a muscle, and give Maddie’s mother a confused look.
She nods. “Yep, he definitely has amnesia. Maddie, why don’t you help him?”
“Mom!” Maddie repeats.
“He seems to like you quite a lot. Your father and I will be waiting in the hallway.”
“It’s not hard, dear. Just help him remember how to use a brush.” With that, Maddie’s mother gives her shoulder a pat, and she ducks back into the cabin.
In the meantime, I bring the brush up to my eyebrows and move it across them.
“No, no,” Maddie says, “you don’t brush your eyebrows with it. You brush your hair.” She takes the brush out of my hand and stands behind me. Then, she runs it down the back of my head.
Ouch! That hurts! Maddie’s trying to hurt me!
“I’m sorry, but your hair’s very tangled. When was the last time you brushed it?” she asks.
Um, never. I puff out my cheeks to hold back the pain. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
“Wow, you have long hair,” Maddie admits when she’s finished. Now that it’s brushed out, I finally see just how long it is. In the mirror, it touches my shoulders, but the true length of it is down my back.
Maddie saunters in front of me and shakes her head. “Who are you? It’s like you’ve never been around humans before.” Once again, she picks up my hand, and she squeezes it tightly. “Don’t worry. We’re going to help you. The doc’s called for an ambulance when we reach Nassau.”
Wait, what? Ambubince? Is that it? What are these human terms?
“Until we find your parents, Mom, Dad, and I have agreed to take care of you,” Maddie adds.
Take care of me? I don’t need anybody to take care of me. This girl is beautiful, yes, but I have no idea what she’s saying.
She lets my hand go and gives me a gentle push. “Come on. Let’s go meet up with Mom and Dad.”
I reach for my shell, but it’s too late. Maddie and I are back in the room. Now I have no choice but to join her for dinner. What does a human dinner look like? I guess I just have to wait and see.