This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The mastiff rabidly tightens his bite on the green hose attached to his best friend and tugs violently. “Take my hand Chey! TAKE MY HAND!” (Cheyenne scrambles frantically to take hold of Sike’s hand.) She cries helplessly, “I can’t!” He changes his tone to a calmer approach in desperation, “Chey, I’m losing my grip, please just try!” Cheyenne stops struggling and looks up at her big brother with determination, “Just make it to the final level; you can do this, fight Sike! You must fight!” During the emotional seconds of silence between the two siblings, Cheyenne’s black sleek coat seeps through Sike’s fingers. He watches helplessly as his little sister plummets down the icy jagged embankment. He extends his hand; he loses site of his baby sister, his distraught eyes begin to water as the rugged mountainsides begin to echo his screams….
Barefoot, Dakota has not always been so chaotic, in fact, just the opposite. The island is a wondrous creation of mountainous territory surrounded by the wicked Dakota Sea. Pine trees meticulously line a beauteous side road which circles the lake. Cabana shops sporadically dots the outer banks of the clear blue lake which harbors the fun stuff for all of your winter and summer activities. Barefoot Zoo is one of the main attractions on the island, it boasts exotic animals, and carnival rides as well as an amazing view of the vast ocean. Beautiful sugary white snow capped mountains surround the island in the winter. Although beautiful, winters here can be extremely brutal for those brave enough to embrace it. Warmer weather vaunts assorted colors of lilies against the green canvas which illustrate an exquisite portrait of an impending summers bloom.
Our perplexed story takes place on Ernie Drive, the Dashing home; the slim old three story white cabin sits on 2 acres of manicured lush green lawn while tall maturing pines line the outside of the compounds. On the Dashing porch, hanging clay pots boast an array of colorful perennials a few rocking chairs and Buster, a lazy brown Mastiff with droopy eyes.
Buster has been around for many months showing up on the Dashing porch seemingly out of nowhere. Mrs. Dashing saw something in his eyes that made her buckle and take him in as their own. Matty, the Dashing tabby is none too happy about her competition for affection.
Mrs. Dottie Dashing, a homemaker is thin and sports a 1960 bunted hair look, shiny red lipstick and enjoys canning her own assorted jams. Her husky, salt and pepper hair husband is Doug, a local forest ranger. The Dashing family is currently distraught over the disappearance of their child, Devin Dashing. Devin has been missing for five long months. He was last spotted walking home from his job at Kick Flippers, a highly popular spot for teens. Kick Flippers contains a dozen or so indoor skate ramps, bleachers for observing the skateboarders, a snack bar and free wifi for the kids. A wall proudly displays a wide variety of broken skateboards by those who lost a battle to the wooden ramps and thin rails.
Devin Dashing is sixteen and popular among many island girls including his sisters best friend, Cheyenne Tucker. He sports long brown surfer type hair and the deepest blue eyes and is quite the skater. Island police have no leads in the local disappearances, but what is strange is that it also comes at a time when calls are flooding the police station with reports of a variety of unique wild animals roaming the town.
Devin’s twin sister is Lakota Dashing, long blonde hair, thin face, loves her assorted Hollister clothes and is also very active in skateboarding and sports. She is a typical curious teen and loves to play games on her new tablet which she and her brother both received as Christmas gifts from their doting grandparents who live on the mainland.
Lakota misses her big brother tremendously and is counting on her forest ranger father to bring him home safely. She took hold of her brother’s tablet after her father scrutinized it for any clues as to what may have happened to the dashing Dashing. She notices he was playing a game called Globe.
The Tuckers also share a spot on Ernie Drive. They are a Native American family and have been good friends with the Dashings for years. Their cozy home sits on four luscious green acres. The home is a sweet two story cobblestone and log chalet with sprawling windows. Tom (a construction company owner) and Tia Tucker, (a computer programmer) designed and built the incredible home. They have two children, Cheyenne and Sike.
Cheyenne is fifteen and is best friends with Lakota Dashing; she boasts long sleek black hair and green eyes and a natural tan. She loves to design clothes and dreams of owning her own clothing line one day.
Her brother Sike Tucker is best friends with Devin Dashing. He, like Devin, is sixteen, long silky black hair and also has a naturally sun kissed tan and is also very popular with the island girls.
Sike, Cheyenne and Lakota have been putting in time at the command post down town for the missing island children. They along with tons of other volunteers have put up hundreds of missing person posters around the island. The ever expanding posters of the disappearing kids are painting the town paper. There is no more room on the power poles and window fronts.
It’s a sunny day in June, the last day of school as a matter of fact and the kids are not so excited. Instead of throwing their papers in the air and celebrating a long three month break, they are looking over their paranoid shoulders and rightfully so. The teachers and parents warn the kids to heed the buddy system until the mystery of the disappearances is solved.
The second day of summer rolls along and the three remaining best friends, Cheyenne, her brother Sike and Lakota are sprawled on the carpeted wooden floor of the fort which sits in between the two houses on Ernie Drive close to the large apple tree. They’re consumed playing a new game on their tablets. The same one Devin had been playing before he vanished. Lakota had seen it on her brother’s tablet and wanted to play it. She thought it would somehow make her feel closer to her missing brother. The new game is called Globe. An animal of your choosing completes various tasks through the five levels until you reach the final level. That’s when you have to conquer the all mighty Anaconda.
The three kids enthralled in their game jump when Mrs. Tucker knocks on the fort door, “Enough of the tablets, go play outside, it’s a beautiful sunny day.” The kids sigh, “But we can’t stop right now, we will lose our place!” Mrs. Tucker turns stern, “You heard what I said. Do you want me to take the tablets?” The kids surrender, “No ma’am.” She reiterates what the kids already know, “And don’t leave the yard!” The two kids speak in sync, “We know mom.” Sike asks his mother, “Can we take the golf cart for a ride?” She answers a flat no and that dinner will be done soon.
Lakota looks at her two friends, determination is written all over her face, “I will be right there, I am about to conquer level one!” The two bow their heads and mosey over to the wooden make shift apple stand which sits under their large fruit tree. It’s not much, but the kids like to take the red juicy apples that fall to the ground and sell them.
Cheyenne and her brother take a broom and dust pan and begin to clean the apple stand when Lakota emerges excitedly from the fort, “I won! I conquered the first level, the zealous zoo maze! It was kind of hard, but I got it. Now I can advance to level 2, Jungle Jaunt!” She runs to Cheyenne excited to show her.
Cheyenne wipes her dirty hands on her sparkly yellow sun dress and walks toward her porch, “Come on Sike, let’s go inside.” Lakota seems clueless, “What’s the matter? Are you mad because I kept playing?” (Cheyenne ignores her best friend and continues on to her red front door.) Lakota shrugs, her curly golden pony tail bobbles as she bends down to pick up the last apple from the ground to place it in the crate. She observes an abnormally monstrous hawk sitting atop a light pole gazing at her as she turns toward the house.
His loud eerie screech is enough to compel Lakota to peer over her shoulder just long enough to notice, his sights, were on her. The immense hawk draws his sharp claws forward as he approaches his prey. Lakota tries to out run him with her tiny pink Van’s. She screams for someone to help her. The hawk’s vast wings begin to over lay her fast moving shadow as he soars in and clutches her favorite pink Hollister t-shirt. Her feet kick wildly and her screams are deafening. Cheyenne turns in time to capture the gigantic hawk attempting to fly off with his enormous prey, her best friend.
Cheyenne shrieks, “LAKOTA!” Cheyenne runs swiftly towards the hawk and Lakota’s flailing feet. The fierce hawk wrestles with his heavy prey as he struggles to lift off. Cheyenne stretches her fingers as far as she could and managed to touch the bottom of Lakota’s sneaker only to trip and summer salt onto the soft plush grass. She watches helplessly as the enormous bird flies off into the glaring sun with her pony tailed friend.
Lakota’s mother hears the commotion and runs outside still wearing her apron running frantically towards a stunned Cheyenne. “He took her! The hawk took Lakota!” Lakota’s distraught mother scours the blue sky but sees nothing. They drop to their knees on the fresh cut green pasture stunned and sobbing.
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
Cassie Jacobson: So many twists and turns. Keeps you wanting to read to see what happens next. The main character is detailed well. The struggles and growth of Joby makes you admire her. It gives you a proud satisfied feeling while reading it. A refreshing difference then most books out there today, and in a w...
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...
nikole carr: After starting and stopping several books tonight, this book caught my attention from the very beginning and i stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading. The plot has many twists and the sexual scenes keep it interesting, too. im a florida native so the Caribbean location is fun to read about. th...
Theresa Alley: right from the start it is of the genre I love!! And it doesn't slow down from there!! I love that it kept me reading til I had no more story left to read!! I finished it in one day!! love this book!! looking forward to more from this author, if not about ASTA, more of the same style!! PLEASE!!!???
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...