Redmond Rogers & the Riches of Life

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A journey through an unknown world

Simon started off first and the girls quickly followed, then Michael and myself. We waved good bye to Winnie and started walking through the tunnel again. It wasn’t too long before the tunnel became much narrower and it seemed darker too. The torch lights were further apart, but it was still enough light to see clearly through the tunnel. We continued to walk and there was nothing but walls. We seemed to walk for quite some time when Simon suddenly stopped.

We all stopped behind him and Simon simply pointed ahead. We all looked ahead and could see two tunnels. “Which way should we go” Simon asked?

“This is where the elements may come in handy” I said. I turned to Rachael “Think about it Rachael you have the element of air. Do you think you could try and get this element of air to work and send the air like the wind down the tunnels? We can then see how far the wind goes and if it stops, then we know to take the other tunnel”.

“That is a great idea” Isabel said. “Come on Rachael. Remember what Winnie said. Put the crystal in your hand and close your hand around the crystal. Then close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Think about the wind travelling through the tunnels”.

“Isabel is right. Remember what Winnie said and try it. We all have to learn to use this ability to help us get back to the island. Your ability is the element of air” Simon said.

Rachael took her crystal out from her pocket and held it tightly in her hand. She closed her eyes and started to take some deep breaths. We all stood behind her waiting to see if anything would happen. She took quite a few breaths and then this loud wind noise started and tore through the tunnels in front of us. Rachael opened her eyes and let out a cry. We all looked into the tunnels and could see what looked like two small tornadoes whirling through the two tunnels in front of us. It was amazing to think that Rachael had just made this happen. I wasn’t sure what would happen and while we were staring into the tunnels one tornado just disappeared in one tunnel. The other made a huge noise and then vanished.

“I think we should take the tunnel where the tornado made no noise” said Isabel. We all stood there in disbelief of what just happened. I nodded in agreement and tapped Rachael on the shoulder. “Come on” I said to everyone “Let’s go”.

Rachael put the crystal back in her pocket and started walking with Simon who had already started heading into the tunnel on the left that had been silent from the tornado.

It was hard to take in what had just happened. We really did have some power. Power of the elements it seemed, as long as we had the crystals. Rachael had proved that. She had thought about wind and these tornadoes appeared and starting whirling away from us inside the two tunnels. Then one had disappeared out of sight perhaps further into the tunnel, while the other one had smashed into a wall and disappeared. It really was impressive.

We all continued walking through the tunnel. There was less light the further we went on, but there was still enough to see clearly ahead of us. The walls seemed darker in this tunnel. The tunnel we had been in first was a dark orange colour, but this tunnel was brown and it seemed to be getting darker the further we walked.

“I need to stop and have a rest” Rachael said. It seemed as if she had used her energy to get the element of air to work and she was tired. She was puffing and sat down and leaned against the wall of the tunnel.

“Maybe it is a good idea for us all to have a small break and rest. We are not sure how long our journey is and we need to rest when we can” I said.

I had the backpack on my back and took it off and thought I would take a look through the old book Winnie had given to us.

As I unzipped the backpack it seemed to expand and at the top of the bag I started to pull on what was a big thick blanket.

“Oh my goodness” Rachael said. “Winnie has packed a big blanket for us” clapping her hands together. We all gathered closely and placed the blanket over us. It was time to rest for a while and gather our strength.

My intention was to read some of the book and get an idea of what was in there that could be useful. I started to quickly look through and flick through pages, but my eyes became very heavy and it wasn’t long before I had fallen asleep.

I awoke suddenly and looked around realising where I was and who I was with. Everyone had fallen asleep and I was the first to wake up.

The book was sitting in my lap and I quietly picked it up and started to look through it. This book was going to be very handy indeed. There were pictures and descriptions of places that we would have to visit. Once we got to the end of this tunnel, we would have to get through a jungle of some sort and be very aware of the giant animals that lived within the jungle.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea looking through this. My heart began to beat faster at the thought of coming across these animals. What if they were prehistoric or something else? There were paths and explanations of how to get through the jungle. We were going to need to use the element of Earth and maybe Water to help us. This is going to be one journey just to get back to the island and back home. Just then I started thinking about Mum and wondering if she was out looking for me or worried about me yet. Surely there would be people out looking for us by now. I think it would be a couple of days since we were last in Kendall Springs and I’m sure there would be a lot of people out searching for us by now. Well it sure seemed that long ago since we were last there.

Unless somehow time had stood still and even though it seemed we had been gone for a couple of days, it may not be like that back home. Only time would tell when we managed to get back to Kendall Springs and at the moment I had no idea how long it was going to take us.

I decided to put the book back in the backpack and see what else Winnie had put in the backpack that may come in handy on our journey.

I put the book back in the backpack and started to feel around to see what else was in there. I pulled out a small box. Curious to see what could be in the box, I opened it straight away. As I lifted the lid off the box, some drink bottles appeared right before my very eyes. I almost dropped the box in amazement that once I had opened it, these drink bottles appeared.

I put the lid back on the box and returned it to the backpack.

Rachael had awoken and screamed out “Oh my goodness! How did you do that” she asked?

I started to say that I had only taken the lid off the small box and then Isabel said “Winnie has special magic powers and he has made sure we have some goodies in the backpack”.

Everyone was awake and staring at me and at the bottles of water. We were all amazed at what had happened, but happily took a bottle each and started to drink the water. It was nice and cool and refreshing.

Michael stood up and ushered all of us that it was time to move on.

I closed the backpack and stuffed the blanket back in the best that I could so I could zip the bag and put it back over my shoulders.

We began walking again and it wasn’t long before we reached the end of the tunnel and found a very narrow opening. Once we reached it Simon peered through and turned back at me with wide eyes. I realized this was the jungle that I had started to read about in the book.

Simon quickly said he would go first and that we all needed to keep an eye around everywhere and look out for any animals or anything else we may come across.

After Simon and the girls had gone through, Michael followed and I was closely behind him. As I knelt down to get through the small opening I could hear birds chirping.

Once we got through the opening I turned around to look back at the tunnel and it was so well hidden that I realized it would be difficult to find looking from this side. No wonder we had not come across anyone or anything while we were in the tunnel.

Simon led the way and we walked rather slowly looking around everywhere and taking in the beautiful surrounds we found ourselves in.

This was indeed a jungle full of lush bush and large trees. Nothing like I had ever seen before. The bushes were really thick and it was completely different to the bushes and trees we had seen on the island.

It wasn’t too long before we saw some birds in a tree in front of us, but these birds were full of bright colours and were chirping happily in the tree. They looked like normal birds although I think they were a little bigger than normal birds we were used to seeing in Kendall Springs.

There were so many colours here and everything was so bright. The bushes were bright green and the trees were full of bright green leaves. We continued to walk when suddenly Simon stopped ahead of us. He turned around and simply put his finger to his mouth telling us to be quiet.

Right in front of us was what looked like a dinosaur. We stood frozen staring at this prehistoric creature not knowing what to do. Before anyone could say anything, I quickly whispered “let me check the book and see if there is anything in it”.

We all knelt down in the thick dense bush hoping the prehistoric creature wouldn’t see us. I took the backpack off my back and quickly opened it to get the book out.

After flicking through a few pages I found the entry listed simply as ‘The Jungle’. I placed my finger on the page and pointed “Right here I remember seeing something in here when I looked at this earlier in the tunnel” I said.

“What does it say” asked Isabel?

“Well” I began “it says to get through the jungle without being seen, you need to stay low and go, go, go”.

“That’s it! Is that all it says” asked Rachael?

“Well yeah there is nothing else here, except well there is more here saying that if a tree can be climbed there are vines that can be used to swing from tree to tree” I added.

Maybe this place is a step back in time and is full of prehistoric animals that would gladly eat us if given the chance” Isabel said.

“Well I’m not going to let them see me to find out” Rachael blurted out.

“It also says to head north to get to the other side, whatever that means. I am sure that means to get out of this jungle” I said.

“Alright then” Simon said. Let’s get out of here”.

I put the book back in the backpack and put the backpack over my shoulders and stood up. I looked around looking for a tree that we could climb. Maybe it would be easier to swing on vines to avoid these creatures to get out of here.

Simon was also looking around for a tree for us to climb, but I could tell from the look on Isabel’s face that she was not that keen to swing from vines.

“I’m sure we will be fine” I said looking at her and seeing her look of worry. She nodded and began looking around in the air at trees to climb.

“Over there” she said pointing at a tree not far from where we were standing. That tree has a lot of low branches that we can probably use to climb”.

We all walked over slowly to the tree Isabel had pointed at. She was right. There were a lot of low branches and it would be easy to climb.

Simon went first and climbed branch after branch until we could no longer see him in the thick leaves. Isabel and Rachael went next and Isabel copied every move Rachael took. It wasn’t long before they too disappeared into the thick leaves above and couldn’t be seen. No wonder the book had said climb a tree and swing from vine to vine. There is no way we would be seen high in the trees. Michael went next and I followed straight after.

Once I had climbed through the smaller branches I could see the others above me. There was plenty of room in this tree. There was a ledge high up in the tree that everyone else was sitting on by the time I got there and joined them. We sat there just looking out, although it was hard to see too much as the tree had such thick leaves. We couldn’t tell what was below us as the thick leaves had shielded us well up in the tree, but also given us protection from being seen.

I looked up and saw a vine and pointed to it. Simon stood up and pulled on the vine. “I want to make sure this thing is really going to hold us and allow us to swing on. I sure don’t want to end up falling down there and find out what could be on the ground waiting for us” he said.

Simon pulled and pulled, but the vine was strong and it was easy to see that this would carry us to the next tree. There was an opening and it was easy to see the next tree that we would land in. It almost looked like it had been made for people or maybe other creatures to swing from tree to tree. I began to wonder how an opening could be right where we needed to swing to, as if to let us know that was the way we needed to go. This place had some kind of magic as well I thought.

Simon held onto the vine and swung straight over to the next tree. We all watched him and he landed easily in the next tree through the opening.

Isabel waited for the vine to come back after Simon swung it back to where we were waiting. Isabel looked at me nervously and I nodded to assure her it would be alright. She took the rope and with a huge swing took off from the edge and swung straight over to the tree where Simon helped her land. They swung the rope back and Rachael swung herself across followed by Michael and then myself. Once we were all safely in the next tree, I looked around realizing that the next tree was the same. There was a small clearing and you could easily see where to swing to. Everyone was looking around while we continued to hear birds singing and chirping and other noises within the jungle that we weren’t sure if we really wanted to know what they were.

Simon grabbed hold of the next vine and swung across to the next tree. One by one we all swung across and landed in the next tree. We continued to do this on another eight trees and then when we landed on the last one, we found there were no more trees to swing to.

“I think this is where we need to continue on land” Simon said looking around. “We have run out of trees”. Before we climbed down the tree, Simon climbed down a little and peaked underneath the bushy leaves to try and see what was below us. He came back up and nodded that it was ok to climb down.

Simon started down the tree first with Isabel and Rachael closely behind. One by one we landed at the bottom of the tree and stood there looking around. There was a path and it was lined perfectly with trees. However these trees were only small and there was no way we would be able to climb them and use them to swing further along in the jungle.

We all started to walk continuing North as we remembered from the book, but very slowly while continually looking around. I wondered whether we would come across any of those creatures like what we saw before we climbed the first tree.

It wasn’t too long when we came across a large plant that had large red flowers on it. What was most puzzling was the large bee that was sitting in the flower. It was huge.

Just as we all came to a stop to look at it, the bee stopped and looked straight at us.

“Well hello” said a voice. We all looked around puzzled by this voice and were looking around to see who had spoken. Again the voice said “well hello, yes you’re looking straight at me”.

“Oh my goodness” said Rachael “the bee just spoke”.

I couldn’t believe it, but yes indeed the bee was the one who had said hello.

“Um hello” I said. “We are just passing through and heading north”. The bee stood up straight in the flower and said “well best you continue on your way and be sure to steer clear of those dinosaurs” and returned to feeding on the flower.

The most bizarre thing I think I have ever seen. A talking bee and it seemed friendly too.

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