Just then we heard noise coming from the distance. It sounded like someone walking and talking or more like singing. Someone was singing in the distance.
We all hid in the bushes and waited to see who it was. Before too long one of the small people was walking along and singing as she walked.
It was a girl and she didn’t look very old at all. I stood up and leapt out from the bush, but slowly so I didn’t startle her.
As soon as she saw me she stopped singing and stood still. She was frozen in that spot just looking at me. Before she could run off I held out my hand and said “It’s ok I am a friend and I’m not going to hurt you”. She hesitated and looked around and then put her hand out to take mine.
“My name is Red” I said looking at her.
She said “My name is Gretel” and smiled while she continued to look around.
I beckoned the others to come out from hiding and told Gretel that I was here with my friends, but we are friends and don’t want any trouble.
Everyone slowly came out from the bushes from where they had hidden and said hello to Gretel.
Gretel smiled and looked around as if she was waiting for others to come.
I asked her if there were others coming with her and she simply nodded no. Then she started to tell me that she had snuck off as she didn’t like too much dancing and chose to walk around the pathway and sing instead. Gretel looked very young and I couldn’t help but ask how old she was.
“I am nearly 92” she said. “It’s my birthday next month”.
We all looked at her in bewilderment. This person before us looked no more than a child. She was perhaps 12 or 13 at most.
“You are nearly 92, but you look like a child” said Rachael.
“It’s the island” Gretel told us. Apparently you didn’t age as long as you remained on the island. Most of the people on the island were around the same age.
Gretel told us how she came to be on the island.
“We were on a plane, a school mission and we were heading to Chaing Mai in Thailand. There were 24 kids all from one class and four teachers. Then there was the pilot and co-pilot and two hostesses. We had left in really good weather and sunny blue skies when suddenly the pilot announced that we were heading into some rough weather and to remain seated with our seat belts on. It wasn’t long after that announcement that there was a loud bang noise and a bright light and then the next thing we knew we were on the ground. On a beach and that beach is part of this island. Once we had all realised that we were all ok, we headed for the rear of the plane to get off and see where we were. No one had been hurt and everyone was alive and well”.
“You mean to say that you all crash landed here many years ago and now you remain the same age, but you can’t leave the island” asked Isabel?
“Well we have never tried to leave once we realised that no one was looking for us anymore and we had everything we needed here on the island. We all know how to cook and look after ourselves, so there is no need to go anywhere” Gretel said.
The pilots and hostesses are here and everyone gets along really well. None of us can have babies, so the population stays the same. We have never questioned it over the years and we have managed to have food in abundance right here on the island”.
The food just replenishes itself and we have never run out. It really is an amazing place” Gretel continued. “So we came to the conclusion a long time ago that it was just easier to stay here and no one has ever left and no one has ever come here until now”.
Gretel looked at us all “How did you get here” she asked?
Simon said “Well we have quite a different way to how you arrived that’s for sure”. He looked around at all of us and we laughed and he said “We were in a cave at Kendall Springs”. Gretel was looking at Simon and frowning as if to not understand where that is as Simon continued “this cave had a few different obstacles that we had to get through that led us into a room with a huge skull on one wall. Once we got near the skull we found rope steps and climbed up the steps. This is where it gets really crazy” as he looked around to each of us and then back to Gretel. “As we were all walking towards the inside of the skull, the ledge we were walking on gave way. We figure it must have been too much weight with all of us on the ledge at the same time. The next thing we knew we had fallen into a large waterfall and landed right on the beach on this island”.
“What makes it even crazier is that we landed at different times and some of us landed in different spots. Although it wasn’t too long and we all managed to meet up and be together again, but it was really crazy how it all happened” Simon said looking at all of us to confirm what he was saying.
“It was also interesting that while we were walking looking for each other that we stumbled across these trees. I went into one of these trees and it was like the whole tree suddenly turned into a house” said Michael “It is like they just expand once you’re inside, but from the outside they look like any normal tree. This place has some sort of magic and if you say the food replenishes itself, well why would you want to be anywhere else”.
Gretel nodded and continued “After a few weeks, we realised that no one was looking for us here and we weren’t being rescued, but we also realised that it wasn’t so bad here and we could live a happy life. We just didn’t realise that we would not age and we really don’t know how long we will be here. No one has ever been sick and no one has died” she explained.
“We all perform a dance on a weekly basis, just to keep the mood happy and everyone joins in most of the time” she said.
Isabel said “That’s what I saw everyone doing, but then they came and locked me in a room at the top of a tree”.
“Oh yes” said Gretel “they were saying someone else was on the island and they weren’t sure if you were alone or what you intended to do, so they locked you in the tree house” she said and looked at Isabel and asked “So it was you they had locked up and you got away from the tree house”.
“Yes I did get away” Isabel said looking at Gretel “and I had a sheet that I used to get out from the window and quickly ran off before anyone noticed I had gone”.
“This truly is amazing, this island and the magic here” said Rachael. “I wonder if anyone even knows it exists” she asked?
Gretel added “We thought the same thing for a long time and always wondered when someone would come and what we would do. Especially if it meant there was a way to leave this island. Everyone agreed that they were happy and as we were children when we left, we didn’t know anything else. The teachers and flight staff agreed that they preferred it here to what they had left behind”.
We always thought there might come a day when others would come and we really hadn’t thought what we would do when that day came”.
“You know Gretel” Simon started “We have by chance found our way to the island, but we have also”
“Umm you know Simon, maybe we should leave Gretel to get back to her friends” I cut Simon off before he had a chance to tell Gretel about the crystals. That could be a bad move and maybe something we need to keep to ourselves for the time being.
Simon realised what I was doing and simply nodded in agreement.
Gretel was quick to add that everyone was friendly and surely they could make room for five more.
“Maybe we will just take a look around the island first and then maybe head over to that beach rocky area where you say all your friends are” I said.
“Ok” Gretel said “I will see you all a bit later” and she started walking toward the path again that lead to the beach.
Once Gretel was a fair way down the pathway and out of sight I quietly told everyone that maybe we should keep the crystals a secret for now. These people had some of the crystals, but not all of them and I don’t believe they have any idea the power that they have. Or maybe they will not work for them and they just thought they were a nice crystal. It seemed it was only when the crystals were together that they glowed and then when we all thought of the same thing, we teleported there.
“I think Red is right” said Isabel “We need to use these crystals and see what we can do with them and how they work”.
Rachael added “Maybe we should go and meet everyone else and not mention anything about the crystals”.
“The only problem with that is maybe trying to get away from them, so we can get back to Kendall Springs without them knowing. Maybe we are better off coming back another day” said Michael.
“I think Michael is right” I said “I think we need to learn about the crystals and how to use them and we can always come back just like we did today”.
Everyone nodded in agreement. I got my crystal out from my pocket and everyone else did the same.
“Ok, it’s time to think of the beach in Kendall Springs” I said. I shut my eyes and thought about the same spot that we had been before we came back to the island. I could see the bright light and then it went as quickly as it had come. I opened my eyes and looked around to see that we were in fact back on the beach in Kendall Springs.
These crystals really were amazing and we needed to learn how to use them properly and keep them safe.
I said “I think we need to keep these crystals a secret and figure out what they can do apart from teleporting us to the spot we all think of in our mind. Maybe these crystals can do more than just take us places and we have only gone back to the island and returned here. We need to work out what else we can do with them”.