10th January 2008 – Australia, Eagle Bay
“But why?” A little blue eyed, black haired girl asked her hair glinting silver from the white crystals that clung onto her messy dried hair. She had tripped and fell into the salty water while being dragged to an abandoned boat shack. If not for the hand that had hers gripped tight and pulling her out of the water, carrying her until they passed through the doors, now locked, the little girl would have been drowned.
“Please Missy! Just… Promise me you won’t follow after me!” A twenty or so year old girl pleaded bearing similar traits to that of ‘Missy’.
“I have to do this! Maybe if I can get it back then we can go home; we all can!”
“Don’t leave me alone P…” The elder shut the little girl’s mouth as a sound of men passing by sounded just outside the collapsing shack they were hiding in. Missy saw the water glint through a crack in the floor as the last light of the day caught on the water’s surface.
“Stay here!” The little girl watched as her ‘protector’ left. Hours seemed to pass in just a few short seconds. A crash sounded from somewhere outside and then shouting. Missy tried to make out what the men were shouting…
“Don’t let her get away!”
“Damn it! She has the jewels!”
“Get back here you wrench!”
“If you want the jewels back you’ll bring me what’s mine! Before then I’m not helping you with any of your heists!”
Missy couldn’t keep herself from crying for fear of her guardian protector… Without realizing that someone had heard her shudder…
“Sshhhh…” A gentle voice said, his hand clasped over the little girl’s mouth.
“We’re here to help you! You and your sister are not easy to find!” Another voice spoke up, an older wiser voice. The first slowly removed his hand allowing Missy to speak, but ready to stop her screams should she decide to do so.
“Darwin? Delian?” Missy recognized the voices from the one time she had met them, before her sister got involved with the people outside.
“Come on! Before they figure out she’s only luring them away from you!” The younger of the two guys held his hand for Missy to take.
“We’ll get you home! Pearl will be right behind us.” Missy allowed them to lead her to a place she had come to call home and had not been near since Pearl got caught up in all this mess.
“This is all my fault! If I never told Heinz about Pearl he wouldn’t have gone and stolen it from her and gotten her involved in all this!”
“It doesn’t help you blaming yourself! And maybe you should try being a bit quieter, she’s sleeping!”
“What does that stupid little stone have to do with her and Missy being unable to return home? I can understand that it is a part of them, but…”
“There’s a lot you will never be able to understand about our kind, Darwin. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to keep my family stone safe since it’s not as powerful, and I don’t need it anymore. But theirs… They’re like royalty! Pearl would be able to return without it since she already completed her Rites and earned her own stone. But Missy… Missy still has about fourteen years to go, and at this rate she would lose that chance if her light isn’t restored by her seventh birthday. Our stones hold the light of our family’s magic. And since Missy was born on land she isn’t allowed home until the day she turns twenty one. It’s why Pearl came back. And… I would never let her out of my sight! It’s because of her I was able to become one of them despite not having been born to the sea… Your stories Darwin… They’re closer to the truth than you realize!” Delian told the older man. Missy could hear them speak, only pretending to have been asleep. She had not known about why her sister was so fixated on the idea of getting some stone back, but it was all so that she could go ‘home’. Not to this little house, not back to the orphanage from which Pearl ‘stole’ her or to living with her mom and dad who had died nearly two years ago in a car accident, she somehow having lived. According to Pearl they had the same mother.
“You love her don’t you?” Darwin could see Dalian’s eyes spark and soften when he spoke about Pearl, and now the young man’s ears turned blood red.
“I do. She’s like this part of me that keeps me moving forward. And whenever I think about the possibility of losing her there’s this ache right here…” Dalian held is hand over his heart.
“That’s what love does to a man! She’s lucky to have you. “
“No. I think I’m the lucky one to have her! Pearl would do anything to safe those she cares for. When she heard that she had a sister last year, she wasted no time to get to the surface to bring the stone to Missy. Just like she helped me when I nearly drowned… She gave her first Scale to me… And helped me make my own family stone.” Taking something from around his neck he showed it to Darwin. Missy’s eyes started to feel heavy sleep taking her over.
“No one would know it’s my family’s source of power. A great white shark’s tooth, she found it, thought it would make for a good ‘family stone’. Despite what it is refer to in English, it doesn’t have to be a stone like item. It’s more accurate to say that it’s a family symbol or crest. I’m the first member of the Great White Shark Family. So before anyone can get their own stone in my family they have to pass the Rites and be ‘lighted’ with my stone, same with Pearl’s Family Stone which is the only Mer Tear Drop gem, while Pearl’s own stone is a pearl which can’t help Missy at all, she has to have her mother’s stone or the Family stone to be able to keep her light. And since their mother is dead and her stone missing…”
“Pearl stole the family’s stone to help Missy, didn’t she?” Darwin finally understood how serious the situation was for both Missy and Pearl.
“Pearl’s a firm believer that everyone who’s heart is connected to the sea, whether a child of the sea, land, or sky, should be able to have the chance to go ‘home’.” Quiet remained between the two when suddenly rapid beating fist pounded on the door.
“Pearl! You’re safe!” Delian pulled Pearl into the house and hugged her tightly.
“I can’t stay! Take this and give to her. I’ll be back for it later. And Darwin? Thank you for everything.” Pearl was already heading to the door when Missy stirred slightly from her sleep.
“Hey…” Pearl went to sit kneel in front of the drowsy little girl.
“I want you to stay with Darwin for a while, me and Delian need to get going. I promise I’ll be back real soon!” Pearl kissed her little sister on the forehead and laid the already sleeping girl back own.
“Take care of her. I will be back, we just need to stay low for a while. Heinz doesn’t know who she is to me, and so long he doesn’t know she has the stone with her, he wouldn’t suspect it. She has to be holding it on her seventh birthday. It’s on the 10th March.”
“I’ll make sure she stays safe. No go!” Just like that the two slipped into the dark night.
Getting to work Darwin, skillfully hid the small crystal like gem in a locket he had bought as a birthday present for Missy behind the small metal plate that held a picture of Missy and him in its delicate groves (a picture of Missy Delian and Pearl hidden behind the first photo.) While he was busy wrapping the gift, box another knock sounded on the door.
“Heinz! What are you doing here?” Darwin asked shocked that his brother would show up this late.
“That sneaky thief somehow figured out where I was hiding her precious little stone and ran off with last night’s heist. Ten Million dollars’ worth of jewels! The only persons who knew where that stone was you and me. She didn’t even know that I took it. So I’m only going to ask once. Where is she?”
“Heinz, I want no part of your schemes! I promised not to snitch to the cops so long you keep me out. Deal with you thief yourself.” Darwin tried to close the door, but Heinz pushed his foot in the way.
“No little brother. It doesn’t work that way. You told her where the stone was, you know where she is. She’s the only one who can lead the cops to us, you and her, so you will tell me or I will have that girl back in the system. It’s a shame what happened to her parent, but just because her father was our mentor does not make her our responsibility!”
“I don’t know where she is! Haven’t cared where she was since allowing Missy to nearly drown and haven’t seen her since she hooked up with you two months ago. I thought the two of you had that ;ove you forever’ thing going on? What that woman sees in you and you in her, I would never know! But if she got her stone back… And left… I can only guess. Seeing that she has it back you might try looking for her starting with scouring the sea.” Darwin said with as much sarcasm he could that would not warrant suspicion.
“Fine! I’ll believe you. Where’s Missy?”
“Did she enjoy her sleep over with her friends?”
“No she, showed up here before the sun was up crying, cried herself to sleep just a hour ago. They teased her about being an orphan, that she killed her parents…”
“Beastly critters! I’ll be sure to pay them a visit!”
“Heinz… Just let it be. They’re children. “
“For her to have come here all the why from Yelverton… Do you know what could have happened to her? And then you say just let it be?”
“Talk for yourself threatening her back into an orphanage just a moment ago! I already spoke with the parents, turns out they didn’t know she ran off. The kid told her mom that Missy was picked up by Pearl, her mom said it was around eight. So you’re run-away thieving girlfriend is partly to blame for this as well. If she did pick up Missy I want her to tell me why she didn’t bring her home right away. Besides I told you before to keep Pearl away from Missy! I just don’t understand why Missy likes that woman so much, but I want her to stay away from Missy.” Darwin snapped at his brother having stepped out of the house so not to disturb Missy.
“We were already staking the joint, Pearl already inside the vault, she didn’t pick Missy up!” Heinz tightened his fist ready to hit something. Taking a deep breath he relaxed and dug something out of his jacket’s pocket.
“Give this to Missy. I wanted to give her Pearl’s stone as a gift instead of just this.”
“It’s a collar?”
“A dog. I saw her look at that puppy the other day, she was smiling so much I bought the thing for her as a birthday present, the Stone was supposed to be something extra, something she could show off, but keep secret from Pearl of course.”
“She’d show of her puppy more than some stone, and you know it! You know, you could have made a pretty good father to her. Why you stuck her into the system before consulting me…”
“I didn’t want her to be a part of this! And you didn’t need to know that Mike had a kid, you spent more time surfing than working. I didn’t think you would change for her sake, you proved me wrong. I’m glad you found her when you did. She seems to like running. First from the orphanage then from me then from the cops when they found her and now from some snot nose brats.”
“I’m glad I was able to get them to agree to me being her guardian.”
“Heinz, don’t do anything stupid.”
“I can’t promise that! Just take care of the girl. I’m sorry I threatened her; guess my anger still gets the best of me!” Darwin nodded, thank full that he could get Heinz to believe his story. Missy did run away from the kids and turns out they did lie to their parent’s but Missy didn’t run to him she had ran away to find Pearl. And after Pearl found her at the harbor sleeping on some guy’s boat, brought her home, but Missy just ran away again and right into the ‘gang’s’ territory. If Pearl hadn’t gotten to Missy first and hid her… And if he and Delian hadn’t been able to track down the two. They all would have had been in a whole lot more trouble.
“Keep an eye on my little brother. His lying, keeping secrets, I’m sure he’s protecting our thief.” Heinz ordered two of his lackeys.