I started to laugh thinking we probably don’t need these apples after that huge feast we had eaten with the goblins, but found myself eating it rather quickly realising I had worked up a thirst and a bit of an appetite after all. I looked at the others and they were eating their apples very quickly too.
Once we finished our drinks and eating the apples we continued walking through the thick bush while moving leaves out of the way. It was very quiet here and there didn’t seem to be any animal life as there was no noise coming from birds or anything else. I could only hear us moving the bushes with our hands to walk through.
Simon stopped up ahead and held up his hand to announce that we had come to a water crossing. “I think this might be the murky waters” he said looking down at the brown murky water in front of him.
We all walked up to where Simon stood and sure enough it looked like a swamp in front of us.
“Ok, this is going to be interesting. How do we use the air and water of the crystals to get through this” asked Rachael?
“Let’s just have a think about this everyone” I said. “There must be a way to get through this. Now remember what the book said about clean air and clean water. It doesn’t really make much sense now that we are here”. I looked around scratching my head wondering how we were going to get through this. It was hard to see too far ahead due to all the weedy plants that were in the water. We had no way of telling how far it was to get on land again and away from these murky waters.
“Wait a minute” said Michael “what if I was to use my crystal and think of earth and that would make the ground hard and get rid of this water. Maybe that’s what the clean air and water means in the book. It’s not to use air and water as it said ‘breath clean air’ and water”.
“That makes more sense than air and water looking at this” said Rachael. “I don’t know how air and more water could possibly help otherwise” she said as she looked to me and then to the others.
“Ok Michael” I said “take your crystal and think of dirt only on the ground here covering all this murky water. Let’s see if this works”.
Michael took out his crystal and held it in his hand. He closed his eyes and held the crystal tightly in his closed palm.
We heard a strange rumbling noise and looked ahead in the murky waters that seemed to disappear right before our eyes. The water had completely disappeared.
“It worked Michael. You did it” I yelled. “Look right here the water has gone” I said looking down and pointing to where the murky water had been. The weedy plants were still there, but there was now just dry land.
“Well done Michael, you did it. Now we can cross through here without worrying about that horrible murky water and anything that may have been swimming in it” Rachael said.
Simon started to walk through the weeds and I found the ground to be quite dry and hard to walk on. Michael really had done a great job turning the murky water into earth or dirt. It was very hard, but it was far better than trying to get through that water.
We continued walking in silence for a while when Rachael suddenly stopped and said “Please can we stop and rest a while”.
As I was last behind the others I walked over to Rachael and held her shoulder and said “Let’s find a nice tree that we can rest on” and Rachael nodded and everyone turned around and continued on. Simon was still leading the way, but through the weeds it was clear to see a patch of trees up ahead. Simon walked towards the trees and once we reached them it was easy to see that these trees were very skinny and didn’t have a lot of thick bushy leaves like everywhere else we had been.
We all sat down around a tree on the blanket after I had spread it out on the ground. I took the small box and opened it to get five bottles of water. We sat for a while and Isabel asked if she could look through the book.
I reached for the book in the backpack and gave it to Isabel. I was sitting next to her and was looking with her for any clues on where we were heading and what we might expect next.
We got to the page that said ‘Murky waters’ and were looking for anything else that might explain what we needed to do or which way we needed to go.
There was a passage that read ‘find the match stick trees and follow them to the golden door. Once you have reached the golden door you shall look no more’.
“Does that mean we are almost at the end of our journey and getting back to the island” asked Isabel?
“I’m not sure” I said looking around and realising there were skinny trees that seemed to go on forever. I pointed around at the trees and said “I don’t think we are at the end just yet”.
Michael stood up and started walking around some of the trees. He walked towards us and said “these trees seem to go on forever. I’m not sure if we are going the right way”.
I put the book away disappointed that it always gave clues, but not much else and stood up next to Michael. Looking around it was evident we were going to be walking through skinny trees for quite some time.
“I think it’s time we get moving and see if we can get through these trees before it gets dark” I said looking at everyone else that were a little slow to get up and start walking again.
After everyone was back up on their feet I folded the blanket and put it back in the backpack and we started walking through the trees.
Simon was leading the way saying “We just need to make sure we are going in the right direction and that is away from that weedy area we just came through. This has to be the right way” he finished as he continued on without looking back.
It wasn’t long before the clouds started to come across blocking the sun and it was getting quite cold.
It looked as if a storm was coming and we really needed to try and find some bigger trees to shelter under if it rained.
We continued to walk through the skinny trees and there didn’t seem to be an end to them. They kept going and going. The sky was getting darker and I was sure it wouldn’t be long before it started raining.
“What are we going to do” asked Isabel? “Those clouds are getting darker and we have no shelter at all. Do you think if we call the fairies that they would come” she asked?
“I think that is a great idea” said Rachael “Otherwise we may end up very wet and I’m sure these trees are not going to provide much shelter.”
We all stopped and got our crystals out. It seemed without saying so, we all agreed that perhaps we needed to call the fairies and see if they could help us.
We stood in a circle holding our crystal in our hands. I called Lou Lou over and over. I could hear the others calling their fairies, but I kept my eyes closed and continued to call Lou Lou.
I opened my eyes and there before me stood Lou Lou. There had been no bright light this time, but she was there along with the other fairies.
Lou Lou stepped forward and smiled at me and said “Is there something we can do for you all”?
I looked at the other fairies and at my friends and then looked up at the sky and said “We seem to have a problem with some bad weather and no shelter”.
“That is no longer a problem” Lou Lou said and waved her hands through the air.
She then smiled at the other fairies and said “now you have shelter, turn around. You will be safe there until the storm passes”.
We all turned around and before us stood a large bushy tree. Lou Lou stepped forward and ushered us to step inside.
I turned and looked at her and said “Thank you. It’s a house inside isn’t it” I asked?
She nodded and said again “You will be safe there until the storm passes”.
We all thanked the fairies for returning and helping us once more and entered the tree house.
It was like one of the trees from the island.
Once we were inside, it opened up into a home. It was filled with furnishings including a table and chairs on one side while a lounge and other lounge chairs were on the other side.
There was a bowl filled with fruit on the table that caught my eye. It looked exactly like one of the tree homes we had been in when we were on the island. Maybe that is where the fairies got the idea for this house I thought.
Outside I could hear the storm and the wind howling and was glad to be inside away from it. It sounded really bad out there.
Rachael and Isabel took some fruit from the bowl and seated themselves in the lounge chairs. I went over to the fruit bowl and took a small bunch of grapes and then we all looked at each other and remembered not to eat anything as the fairies had instructed us. We placed the grapes back in the fruit bowl and the girls sat in the comfy chairs while we listened to the storm outside. “Shouldn’t the fruit be ok if the fairies created this tree house for us” she asked?
I looked at Rachael and then at the others and said “Let’s not take any chances, just in case”.
There was not much else in here and there seemed to be no kitchen or bedrooms, but this was from the fairies for us to shelter away from the storm. So I guess this is all we need. It is somewhere out of the weather and we can rest and be comfortable until the storm passes and then we can continue on our journey.
It wasn’t too long before Michael, Simon and I retreated to the lounge to sit and rest alongside the girls who had fallen asleep in the lounge chairs.
We sat there listening to the wind howl outside and began talking about the Enchanted Purple Forest and the jungle we had already been through. It was amazing that the volcano had erupted after we had left and entered the world of the Enchanted Purple Forest and we had missed it all.
We considered ourselves very lucky that we were not around when Old Fossy finally erupted and completed ruined the jungle, which was now just a pile of ash and rock.
“I wonder what happened to all the wild life including Albress I asked.
“They could still be there somewhere and maybe got out of the way of Old Fossy, but that is not something we can go back to find out” I finished.
“No, we cannot go back” said Simon “there is nothing for us there and we must keep going if we ever want to return home”.
The noise of the wind outside was whirling and seemed to be getting louder. This must be the worst of it now before it passes I thought. I started to feel sleepy and thought I might just shut my eyes and rest for a while. There was nothing else to do until the storm passed.
I fell asleep and woke to a loud bang noise and jumped up suddenly. I looked around and the others had woken to the same noise. We were all wide awake now and wondering what the noise was. It was loud and then we heard another loud bang.
By this stage the girls were curled up together hugging each other and seemed quite scared. I was not sure what the noise was, but it sounded really close.
Simon signalled that he was going to look outside the door and see what was going on. He placed his finger over his mouth to let us know to stay put and remain quiet.
Once Simon was at the door he grabbed the handle and started to turn it slowly to open it when there was another loud bang. We all jumped and Simon held onto the door handle and continued to turn it slowly until it opened. He peaked around the corner and then he was gone.
I ran to the door which was completely open and could not see Simon anywhere. The wind was still blowing and it was raining heavily. Simon was nowhere to be seen. I turned back to the others and said “he just vanished” and held onto the door handle while looking around for any sign of Simon.
After the others came over to the door, I pushed them back and yelled “No the wind is too strong. Go back inside away from the door”.
I shut the door and leant against it huffing and puffing that it had been so hard to shut the door against the wind. Simon was gone and we had no idea where. He could be outside around the corner or he could have been blown somewhere, but we don’t know where.
There was no way we could fight against that wind and rain and needed to stay here until it subsided.
Rachael cried “Simon is out there. We can’t just leave him”!
I reached over to her and said “It will be ok. As soon as it slows down, I’ll go out and bring him back”.
“What happened just then” asked Isabel? “Simon was at the door and then he just vanished right in front of us”.
“I’m not really sure” I said while looking around above where I was standing listening to see if the rain was going to stop.
“The wind is really strong so maybe he got blown out there somewhere” Michael said looking around with a concerned look on his face like we all did. Simon could be anywhere and the longer this weather was wild outside, the longer he was out there in it on his own.
It wasn’t long and we could hear the rain slow down and the wind . I walked over to the door and turned the handle to open it slowly. Once I had the door open I could see the rain had almost stopped and there was no longer that horrible strong wind.
“I’m going to find Simon. Stay here and I’ll be back soon” I said as I looked around at the others.
“Wait, there is no reason for us to stay here now” said Rachael “We should all stay together and find Simon together and then continue on”.
“Rachael’s right” Michael said. “We need to stay together and now the storm seems to have passed we can all go together”.
“Alright, let’s get everything together and go” said Rachael. There was only the backpack that I had left inside. I went back in and put the backpack over my shoulders and without looking back started walking amongst the skinny trees again. The others were right behind me as we began looking around in search of Simon.
We didn’t walk for long through the trees when a loud noise came from above and then the trees on our left caught on fire. “Lightning” said Isabel “and it’s hit one of the trees over there, look” she said pointing over to where the small fire had started in one of the trees.
“Wait a minute” said Rachael “Isn’t Simon’s crystal yellow that represents lightning”.
No sooner had Rachael spoken those words, Simon was walking towards us from the trees that had caught fire.
“Well that was a neat trick” he said “Isabel do you think you could conjure up some water to put out that fire” Simon asked? “I don’t think I’ve got the hang of this magic stuff yet” as he stopped in front of us looking very satisfied.
Isabel took her crystal and held it in her hand. She closed her eyes and stood there facing the same direction that the trees were burning in.
Rain came from above, but only over the trees that were burning. It seemed to rain in just one spot as if she had made a cloud over the burning trees and it was raining heavily. It was only seconds before the fire was out and the rain stopped distinguishing the flames with ease.
“Well done Isabel” said Rachael “you did it” as she looked over at the burned out trees.
“What happened to you Simon” I asked? “One minute you were standing at the door and then you just vanished”.
“I’m not really sure” he said. “One minute I was hanging onto the door handle and the next thing I know there was a flash and I remember getting my crystal out and thinking I need to make lightning, but I can’t remember why. The next thing I knew I was walking towards you guys and at that time I knew I had caused the lightning strikes that started that fire. I’m not really sure why I felt that I had to do it” He looked around at us all looking confused.
“Maybe it was to stop the storm” he continued. “I remember feeling like I was going around and around almost like I was stuck in a tornado and I remember thinking I need to make lightning to stop this”.
“You disappeared right before us at the tree house and then you just appeared walking back from the trees that had caught fire. It does seem kind of strange, but at least your here and your ok”. I finished and patted him on the back.
Simon still had the yellow crystal in his hand and opened his hand to show us. He put it back in his pocket and nodded to keep moving.
As we continued to walk away from the trees that had caught fire, the ground became softer until we realized that we walking in soft mud. The ground was becoming wetter the further we walked away from the trees.
Simon stopped ahead of me and looked back with a concerned but confused look on his face. “Didn’t we get rid of all this earlier” he asked? We all looked down at what was becoming watery ground that no doubt would turn into water before too long.
“It must be from the storm” Rachael said turning to Michael “Michael why don’t you use your crystal again and make the earth hard like you did before” she asked?
Michael got the green crystal from his pocket and held it in his hand. He closed his eyes and stood perfectly still. We all stood around him and I was looking at the ground waiting for it to harden up.
I seemed to be looking at the ground for the longest time when I eventually looked up to Michael shaking his head saying “It isn’t working this time” pointing to the ground.
Michael was right, the ground was still really soft and there was more water in the ground which would make it really difficult for us to continue walking through.
“Why isn’t it working” asked Isabel looking at me for the answer?
“I’m not really sure” I said “Maybe we need to call the fairies and see if they can help again”.
“No, we have to stop calling them every time something happens. We should be able to do this” Simon said.
“I have to agree with Simon” said Rachael “We have a crystal each and we are able to use the power of the element in that crystal. Let’s stop and think when we have used the crystals and figure it out”.
“Ok Rachael” I said “You used the white crystal to create a tornado in the tunnel when we were in London to see which tunnel to take”.
“Yes, that’s right I did” Rachael nodded.
“I think we have all used our crystals except for you Red” said Rachael. Your crystal represents fire and you are the only one who hasn’t used your element. Maybe you need to use your crystal” she finished.
“Rachael could be onto something there Red” Michael said “Maybe you need to create some sort of fire to soak up all this water”.
“That sounds ridiculous” said Isabel “I don’t think that is a very good option at all. That is far too dangerous. Look what happened to those trees over there” she said and turned around to point at the blackened skinny trees.
I wasn’t really sure if it was a good idea or not. It was one way to dry out the land, but it would put us in danger if we couldn’t get away from it quick enough.
“Why don’t we just walk back towards the skinny trees then” I asked? “At least the ground is drier and maybe there is another way we can get through”.
Without even answering, Simon began walking in the direction of the burnt out trees. The girls looked at me and I nodded and they started to walk behind Simon and Michael and I followed.
It didn’t take long and the ground became firm again and was easier to walk on. We continued to walk closer to the blackened trees when Rachael pointed and said “Look, over there”.
I had looked over at the same time and noticed a mountain just past the blackened trees. We hadn’t noticed it before, but it was easy to see through the burnt out skinny trees.
We walked towards the mountain and it wasn’t long before we reached the base of it and could see an opening almost like a doorway. Simon turned to us and said “it appears there is a tunnel here or we can go around it or over it” as he looked at us all and then back to the tunnel entrance.
“Why does it seem we always have mountains everywhere we go and tunnels” asked Isabel?
She was right. It seemed everywhere we had been there was a mountain and a lot of tunnels. Maybe that was just a coincidence or maybe it was part of this journey to get back to the island. I looked around to the left side of the mountain which was lined with more skinny trees and then looked up to see if there was a way to get over it. There was an entrance right ahead of us and it seemed the most logical way to go. I looked to the right and it was also lined with more skinny trees.
Simon entered the tunnel which had no door, just an entrance. It seemed ironic that we had walked back towards the burnt out trees and come across this. Earlier we were going the other way, but the book was not going to tell us too much and we were going to have to figure it out ourselves.
As we entered the inside of the tunnel I could see that it was very bright and not dark at all. There were lanterns hanging on both sides of the tunnel making it easy to see. It was a large tunnel and very high. It was not dimly lit or low like the other tunnels we had been in. Surely this meant we were getting closer to the island I thought.
The walls were a green colour. Another thing we had not come across before in any of the other tunnels. It was a dark green, but the lantern lights made it seem lighter.
We walked for a while and the tunnel seemed to curve to the left and then to the right. It wasn’t straight at all, but you could see far up ahead. There was nothing inside to see except the walls and we continued to walk until Rachael stopped and said “I think it’s time for a rest”.
“Yes, I couldn’t agree more” said Isabel and they both sat down leaning against the wall.