Black Pearl

All Rights Reserved ©

The Best Summer Vacation

“Here it is,” Garai said and stopped swimming. Ally looked ahead of them and saw a large black rock that glowed a dim red. At first, Ally was confused on why they didn’t bother to move closer until she realized how much heat radiated from the rock.

“What do you want me to do?” Ally asked.

Maria put an arm around Ally’s shoulder. As a reaction, Ally’s body heat up and blood rushed to her cheeks. “Look in the center of that rock, bonita.”

“Did you just call me__”

“Look in the center, you’ll see something.” Ally swam towards the rock. The closer she got, the more hotter it became. But soon, she was close to the rock and the water that surrounded her was bubbling. It was boiling hot but to Ally, it was cozy and warm. Ally scanned around the black rock. She ran her hands all over the rock, it texture was like sandpaper. It was rough and scratchy. But as for the temperature, it should’ve scalded her hands to the point where her flesh would’ve melted off, but it didn’t. It felt warm to the touch.

“What am I supposed to look for?” Ally said while still running her hands over and around the rock.

“It was like a slip of paper or something, right, Maria?” Garai turned to Maria for reassurement and Maria nodded.

Ally continued to search the rock until her fingers felt something feathery and smooth. Ally looked closer and she saw a corner of a slip of paper. Ally’s first instinct was to yank it out but she realized that the corner of the paper was wet from being underwater. But because most of the paper was entombed in the rock, it was dry and safe. Ally knew what she had to do; she had to split the rock. But the big question remained: how?

“Why are you stalling?” Garai shouted from afar. “Split open the rock!”

Ally didn’t have to look behind to know that Alima had given her a dirty look and Victoria gave her a little icy zap. Ally didn’t know exactly how to use her powers. Was she supposed to use a magic word? Or did she have to wave her hand around it? Ally’s head pounded with useless ideas on how to split the rock, but one pesky thought rushed to her mind. Ally thought about weird she felt when Maria had her shoulder around her and when she had called her bonita. Ally had only taken her minimum requirement of two years of Spanish, which was enough for her to know that bonita meant beautiful. Heat rushed all over her body and it took her a moment to realize that she was on fire, literally on fire. But the flames were different from the ones you would see on a candle. These flames were a deep orange red like flowing magma.

“Punch it!” Victoria said.

Ally was hesitant to do so but she did so anyway. Ally balled her right hand into a fist and punched the large black rock with all her force. And with that single punch, the rock split in half and Ally quickly swiped the paper from the crack and watched the entire rock crumble.

Ally swam victoriously back to her group and they all slapped her on the back and flinched from their minor burns.

“Nice job Flame Girl,” Maria said and curled her full pink dark pink lips. “I knew you could do it.”

“Uh...well...it was nothing,” Ally said and scratched her hair which was still sizzling.

“Let’s hurry up and read it already,” Victoria said and rubbed her hands. “I’m dying to know what’s written on that paper.”

“Are you always this hasty?” Garai rolled her eyes and smacked her teeth. She and Victoria had a short-lived stare down until Ally straightened the paper and squealed.

“I know what it is! I know! I know! It’s a castle!”

Alima laughed weakly and patted Ally’s blonde head and said, “Yes Ally, it’s a castle.”

The picture was extremely detailed and was hand drawn just like the portrait of Abhilash they found the last time. But this portrait was detailed to where each individual brick of the castle was seen and the surrounding background of the castle was just as clear. The castle was surrounded by a large body of river. Although the portrait was drawn with one color: black squid ink, the shading was perfect and the portrait was a masterpiece itself.

“I believe this is the Rhine river of Germany,” Alima said and narrowed her staggering grey eyes. “The Rhine river is known for its famous castles built along its sides.”

“But why would the princess go to the Rhine river?” Victoria said. “It doesn’t add up. First, Abhilash’s portrait, then the Rhine river.”

“Maybe Abhilash has captured her and is keeping in a secret hideout somewhere in the Rhine,” Maria said.

“We should find him and torture him. Maybe then he will confess to his crime,” Garai and folded her black muscular arms.

“Hm,” Alima said and turned to Victoria and Garai. “Maybe you two aren’t that different after all.”

“I’M NOT LIKE HER!” They both shouted and pointed at each other.

“Never mind that,” Alima said. “Anyways, the only way we can find out more is by following the clues. And if this clue says we have to go to the Rhine, then we go. Do we all want to go together?” Alima looked to her groupmates for an approval but they all were indecisive.

“I don’t like Victoria,” Garai grunted and Victoria gave her another icy sting.

“I’m going if Garai is going,” Maria said and turned to Ally. “And if you are too, bonita.”

“Please don’t call me that,” Ally said, her face pink, but not as red as before.

“If we can get rid of Garai first, then I’ll go,” Victoria said grudgingly and froze Garai’s fist into another ice block.

Alima sighed and said, “Can’t we all just get along for the sake of the mission?” The girls mumbled among themselves and agreed. “Good, we leave in three days. That will give us plenty of time to prepare and pack our belongings. Ally?”

“Yes?”Ally said.

“Can you do me a favor by inviting your brother along? I know he’s only human but it’s sort of my way of compensation.” Alima rubbed her arm awkwardly and it wasn’t that hard for Ally to guess that being nice wasn’t Alima’s forte.

“Sure, I’ll tell him, but compensation for what?”

“Well…” Alima’s eyes dropped to the sandy sea floor and her black tail swished side to side nervously. “It’s like everytime me or some other mermaids show up at your place, something bad always happens. And it’s natural really. Mermaids are bad omens. Sirens are no better. So...if your brother wishes to have an adventure of two human lifetimes, I suggest he would join.”

“I’ll try to convince him. And can I come along too?”

“Why not?” Alima said. “The more the better,” she said and smiled.

“Until it’s time to turn on each other,” Garai added in and Alima lost the sparkles in her eyes. “We’ll turn each other faster than starving piranhas. And believe me when I say I’ve seen it happen. Those things are insane,” Garai’s expression darkened.

“You just had to kill the mood, didn’t you,” Victoria said.

“Piranha scum.”

“Seal jerky.”

“Antarctic sea monster!”

“Man-eating__”

“H_Hey!” Maria said and squeezed herself between Garai and Victoria. “We’re allies now. Let’s calm down and_”

“NO!” Victoria and Garai both shouted.

“Okay…” Alima said sighed another tired sigh. “Ally, you should head back. I’ll take the girls to my place where they can stay for a while until we set off on the trip. Remember, it’s going to be in three days. Bring what you need and we’ll go. Make sure to bring some shoes and clothes too because once we hit the mouth of the Rhine, it’ll be difficult to maintain your tail since we’re salt-water mermaids, not fresh. Farewell until then,” Alima said and waved.

Sara Zvakanaka!” Garai said.

Adiós!” Maria said.

Victoria roared a deafening sound which could only be described as a walrus and an orca having a fight to the death. Confused on everyone’s stunned expression she said, “What? It’s Antarctic for__”

“Bye!” Ally said and she swam back home.

“Freddy!” Ally said as she opened the door. She walked into the living room and saw that Freddy was lounging on the sofa, lying on his side while watching t.v. He turned his head to Ally and said, “I was wondering when you would come back.”

“Um...Freddy, I have good news!”

“Really?” Freddy said and reached towards the t.v. remote. With a press of a button, he turned off the t.v.

“We’re going on a trip, the girls and I, I mean. You can come too!” Ally said and her hands fumbled against each other behind her back.

“Where?” Freddy said. He sounded slightly agitated and worried. He ran his hands through his sun-baked brown hair.

“Germany,” Ally said. “I’m joining them on their quest to find the princess.”

“You can’t go, Ally.” Freddy said and sat back down on the sofa.

“Why not?” Ally said, slightly annoyed.

“Because!” Freddy snapped and fixed his volume. “Because, Mom and Dad are coming back,” Freddy tossed a post-card to Ally. The post-card had a huge waterfall on its front cover. Ally opened the post-card and read it.

Dear Freddy and Ally,

We’re more than overjoyed to say that after about a year of travelling around the world, we will be coming back home to you two in approximately three days. Get ready for some tight hugs and a long talk together as a family. I hope you haven’t blown up the house or anything like that.

Love, Mom and Dad

P.S. We’ve brought back some souvenirs.

“No...in three days?” Ally said and shook her head. “That means I can’t go.”

“And how will we be able to explain the kitchen?” Freddy said. “Mom and Dad won’t ever trust us at home, ever again!”

Ally sat down by her brother and they spent the next hour rummaging their brains for ideas. Ally’s mind tingled and she came up with something.

“Freddy, we’re going.”

“What?”

“We’re going to visit Grandmother. She lives in Boston now which is close to the north Atlantic sea which is also the route I’m taking to get to Germany!” Freddy was still skeptical but it did sound possible.

“So we’re just going to use Grandmother as an excuse?”

“I kinda need to have a talk with Grandma. I need to know if she’s really...a mermaid,” Ally said. “Plus, it’s been awhile since we’ve visited her.”

Freddy patted Ally on the back and said, “Okay, pack your bags and let’s go visit Grandma.” Freddy flashed her a smile and Ally gave him a tight squeeze.

“Thanks Freddy!” Ally gave him a peck on the cheek and Freddy rubbed the side of his face.

“Well what are you waiting for?” Freddy said. “Go to your room and start packing!” And the two siblings raced upstairs and stuffed their suitcases with clothes and food. It was going to be the start of the best summer vacation of their lives.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.