Chapter 21 Beach
Getting back in the truck, I feel sick to my stomach. I’m getting nervous about trying to get to the dolphins. I need to find the donax shells too. Hale starts to drive. I close my eyes and put my head on Violet’s shoulder. Country music is blaring, so it’s hard to relax. I need to mentally prepare myself for what’s ahead. I can’t stop thinking about the witch and what she told me about my dream. We aren’t driving ten minutes and the truck slows down. I open my eyes. There’s an exit to San Clemente, exit seventy-four.
“Wow, we’re here.” My stomach sinks.
“It’s ok.” Jon assures me.
Finally, Hale slows the truck down even more and beeps his horn.
“K, thanks,” I say.
“Yeah, thanks, Hale,” says Jon.
Hale just looks straight ahead and grunts. We get out of the truck. There are signs to the beach and a bait and tackle shop on the pier. Hale gets Miles out of the back. He closes the back and gets back in his truck, doesn’t say a word to us.
“That was weird.” Says Violet. “We should go there,” she says, pointing to the bait shop.
“I think we need to go to the beach. I need the Donax shells, remember?” I reply.
“Oh, I guess our right.” Violet says.
We head in the beach’s direction. It seems to take a while to get there, and it is pretty warm out. We are all thirsty and sweating.
The beach is so long. You can see the pier from where we are standing. It stretches so far out from the shore.
Red said there is a low tide at dinner time.
“We have awhile to wait,” says Violet. It’s only eight-thirty in the morning.
We take off our shoes and start skimming the beach for shells.
“Here’s some,” I say.
They look like colorful fingernails.
“Oh no, but these are dried up.” I say.
“I think we need them alive.” Says Miles, smiling.
“It’s not time yet,” says Jon. His face is red again, and he really looks mad.
“Dude, chill out, go swimming.” Miles says, taking off his shirt.
I roll up my jeans and wade in the water. Then Miles comes running from behind me. He takes everything off but his boxers. They’re orange and blue striped. I blush. He dives into a gigantic wave. His magnificent wings trail behind him, following his every move.
“Come on, Princess, this is amazing!” He looks back at me.
I set my backpack down and tell the moles and Louie I’ll be right back. I take off my jeans and fold them into my pack, covering Louie from the sun. I keep on my t-shirt and run into the ocean.
The water is so smooth. I walk closer to the waves, then dive right into one. When I come up for air, Miles is right beside me. He picks me up and hugs me. Then we wait for our next wave. There is a tremendous wave coming. We wait anxiously, then dive together into it. When we come up for air, the sun is shining heavily on us. I can taste the salt water in my mouth. Miles has his eyes closed and his face is facing the sun. He’s so handsome. I smile at him, and then he turns and comes over and hugs me again. He wraps his arms and wings around me and we float in the big ocean. He pushes my hair away from my face and looks into my eyes. Then he puts his hand by my ear and pulls my hair around it. He looks at my lips, then my eyes, then my lips again, getting closer to me each time he looks at them. Then he kisses me. We kiss for a few moments, but it seems like a long time.
Then a wave crashes right over our heads. We’re pulled under the water. Miles tries to grab my hand, but I roll with the tide instead. The sun tattoo opens and light shines from it, pulling me towards him. Fish swarm all around me and under me, protecting me from hitting my head on the ocean floor. Miles pulls me close and looks at me, examining me from head to toe.
“You amaze me, princess. “He says. We head for shore, where I can see my backpack on the beach. We wade along the shore for a little while and then sit down on the beach to dry off.
“That was fun,” I say, barely looking Miles in the eyes.
He reaches over and kisses me on the cheek. His wings are stunning in the sunlight. I put his jacket around them, trying to cover them up.
“You’re so shy,” he says.
I blush and pull my hair behind my ears. I look up at the sun and close my eyes, laying back to dry off. Everything is quiet for a few moments. It’s nice.
“Where are Violet and Jon?” Miles says, looking around. Violets cloths and Jon’s cloths are here but no sign of them. We get worried and look into the water. No sign of them. Then we see a beach house up the beach in the back. There are palm trees around it. It looks vacant. We see footprints in the sand towards it, so we grab our things and head over to the abandoned house.
People show up putting their towels and umbrellas down. There are some kids making sand castles down near the water. I peak in on my friends in my backpack.
“The worms are getting faster,” says Gibbons as he pokes his head out.
He puts his hand in front of his eyes.
“Sorry,” I say. I forgot moles don’t like the sun.
He squints and waves and goes back into my pack.
“Opie, look!” Miles runs over with a handful of sand.
“Don’t you dare!” I say.
“Dare what?” he asks.
“Throw sand at me.”
“No, look, these are shells we need, aren’t they?” Miles asks.
“The Donax?” I ask.
I get up and move the sand around in Miles’ hand. There are little shells as big as fingernails and they’re all different colors. I take an empty water bottle from my pack and we run over to the water. Miles scoops his hands like a shovel and makes a moat in the sand. There are tons of little Donax along it. They’re alive, hanging in the water just above the sand.
“Hey guys, I need to borrow you,” I say as I put a few handfuls into the bottle. Before you know it, the bottle is full.
“Do you think we have enough?” I ask, worried.
“We can always get more, now that we know where to look,” says Miles reassuringly.
“Let’s go we have to find Jon and Vi!” I shout, excited. “What could they be doing at an old abandoned house?”
Then I remember my dream. My stomach hurts badly, and I’m getting a cramp. I drop the bottle of Donax clams and fall to my knees, holding my stomach and shrieking in pain. Miles grabs ahold of my shoulders and bends down next to me.
“What’s wrong?” He says.
I can’t speak, my stomach hurts so badly. Then suddenly, the cramping goes away.
“I don’t know, my stomach. But I feel a little better now,” I say, looking up at him.
He looks so worried.
“I’m ok.” I look at him.
He gets me up and picks up the bottle of Donax, and we walk slowly to my backpack. Then he stops and looks around. Then he just looks at me, worried.
“What, what’s wrong?” I say, worried.
“I think we need a break,” says Miles, sounding demanding. “You need to get some rest, or you won’t be able to save anyone.” He holds his mouth. Like he’s holding his breath. He looks around quickly.
“What’s wrong?” I turn to him to look at me.
“I smell something burning, and I thought I saw something, it’s nothing. Whatever it was, it’s gone now.” He changes the subject quickly. “We need to get you out of the sun.”
“Where are we going to go?” I ask.
“To follow Jon and Vi to that abandoned beach house.” Miles points.
“I probably just need some water,” I tell him.
Miles picks up my backpack and takes my hand. We walk over to the beach house.
“Myrtle? Gibbons? You guys ok in there?” I ask.
Then Gibbons peeks his head out of the box.
“All good, Princess,” he shouts. “The wife is tending to the worms.”
Then I see Myrtle’s hand slap Gibbons in the back of his head. I giggle. Gibbons puts his hands up and gives me a half-smile. I smile back. Louie is asleep.
“All good here,” I say to Miles.
Then we share some water and keep walking. The foot prints in the sand are getting crazy. I see one pair of prints but the other pair is gone there is a line like something is being dragged.
“Miles!” I say, stopped in my tracks. “Look!” I point to the prints. He examines them and tells me to wait. He looks around and jumps up in the sky.
There is barely anyone at the beach that could help us if I screamed. I feel very scared what happened? Is Vi ok? Is Jon ok? What could they be doing? Miles jumps down, startling me. I hold on to my chest. My stomach hurts again. I fall to my knees from the pain.
“Are you ok?” he asks, worried.
“Yes, you scared me. I was scaring myself thinking the worst.” Even though I know something is wrong, I won’t tell him. I feel better and after a few minutes I ask him. “So, since I’ve known you, you have kissed me on the cheek, just to take my temperature?” I ask him.
“Well, yes, and no. I like to kiss you on the cheek. But it also helps me to know you’re ok. That you ’re safe.” He puts his arm around me. “You do not know what you’re in for, when we get you home, princess.”
“Omynora is my home.” I say out loud for the first time.
We stop in our tracks because we hear a scream. It sounds like Violet.
“Oh no. Vi!” I yell. Miles picks me up and we fly to the house. The doors are shut and windows are boarded up. We land on the porch. The door has been damaged it looks like someone tried to break in. I step forward to open the door and Miles holds me back. He puts his fingers up and whispers Shh.
“I’ll go first.” Miles says. He steps forward and slowly opens the creaky door. He puts one foot inside and then the other. He is gone.
“Miles!” I whisper loudly. “Miles!” I peak into the house as the door creaks even more it seems when I push it open. All I see is dust settling over white sheets covering furniture. I hear a muffling in the back of the house. I stroll toward the sound. The floor creaks in a few spots, scaring me. Where is Miles? I peak through doorways and finally get to the back of the house there is a big open room. Little light shines in through the boarded-up windows, so it’s dark, but the sunlight shines through so I can see dust everywhere. I see something glistening in what little light there is. I walk towards it. It’s annoying how I can’t see, so I go to the window and pull on one board to let some light in. When I turn around, I see Violet she is bleeding from her head and she is passed out tied up on the wall there is something in her mouth. Miles is next to her, he is bleeding blue blood, his eyes are open, he is looking at me hopelessly. I run to him and bend down to help. There are slimy snakes everywhere around them, holding them down.
“Look out.” Is all he says. Behind me comes a red, enormous fist, almost hitting me in the head it’s oozing puss from it. It bangs hard on the floor, letting dust muffle around us. I can’t see who it is because whoever it is, is in the dark hiding. I try to help Miles get him up. He can barely speak or move. Then I hear my thoughts. “Crystal, get your crystal from my neck.”
I reach over to his neck and something pulls me back. It’s dragging me across the floor. I scream.
“You are so pathetic.” The voice says. It sounds like Jon but isn’t.
“Jon, Jon, is that you? Wha-what are you doing?” I say, trying not to cry.
“Shut-up princess.” The voice says. It slowly comes into the light. I see its hand, it is red and swollen. It moves towards me. It is Jon! But he is huge. He is red and plump looking, his shirt is ripped from growing and his eyes are red, bloodshot and popping out of his head. His mouth has white, foamy stuff all over it. He is all sweaty. His shadow is the vulture from the witch at school. It must have left Danny and attached itself to Jon when she was whispering in his ear. There are hollow snakes everywhere. Getting closer to me, I have to remember that they aren’t real. One of them touches me and I can feel its slimy goo.
“Ha, princess. Give me your crystal now.” Jon says.
“I don’t have it.” I say. I look at Miles and Violet. They look so helpless I have to help them. But I’m scared to use my powers. I don’t want to hurt anyone.
“Use them.” Jon says.
“Use them? What do you mean? Can you read my thoughts?” I ask Jon.
“Ha Ha Ha, I am the most, darkest, fury straight from the hollow. I can do anything I wish and no one can stop me.” He kicks Miles in the wings. Miles lets out a wailing scream from the pain.
“Stop!” I yell. “What do you want?” I ask it.
“I want you princess.” It laughs. “And your crystals. Give them to me. NOW!” It screams in my face as spit gets all over me and its breath, moving my hair around.
“Jon, I know you’re in there, Jon it’s me its Opie.” I say to Jon. He just laughs even harder. He puts his fist down again and I bounce across the floor from the rumbling boards, tossing me one by one to the wall where the floor ends and the wall begins. He kicks me in the stomach with his heavy foot and I’m pushed over to miles and Violet like we are being huddled. I hit my head on the wall. I bleed from my forehead. I touch it, it’s warm from the blood. My stomach pain is so bad I can’t move. I want to cry. Louie peeks out of my backpack and jumps over to the fury, and bites him on the neck. The fury whips him into the wall.
“Just do it, open up.” I can hear Miles say to me.