The Time Travel Machine…Part 9

ScorpionEmma and Marian crawled for a little while. Everything was quiet, everything was splendid. At least for awhile.

Soon, both girls felt positively drained. Emma began to feel pangs of hunger, and Marian was getting thirsty. Both girls’ throats felt as dry as the Sahara Desert. And to top it all off, Marian was feeling pessimistic.

“I bet…we’re gonna die…from…hunger!” gasped Marian. She clutched her throat. “Or thirst!” Emma turned, and pulled a strand of hair from her sweaty face.

“Marian?” she asked, her voice ringing with anger, “Do you think this is helpful? Do you think this makes me want to keep going? Cause it’s not!” Marian’s face suddenly froze. She stared at her companion, obviously stunned at what Emma had said.

Silence. 

Finally, Marian mumbled “I’m…sorry,” and kept crawling. That was the last time she spoke for awhile. Emma sighed and slowly turned, thoughts churning in her mind.

I should say something, she thought. I mean, I was being kind of rude.  Suddenly, Emma snapped into attention. Everything was quiet. Emma turned her head, looking around for Marian. “Marian?! Marian! Hey, where are you?!” All at once, Emma felt more frightened then she ever had. She turned around as best as she could in the small space, and yelled again.

With no success, Emma kept crawling. A hissing sound filled the air.  Emma wasn’t sure where the noise was coming from, but she was quite scared. How far can a girl crawl in two minutes? she thought with exasperation.

Emma stopped in her tracks. What could be looming in the tunnel? Emma gulped, and slowly backed up. Her knee bumped into the plate the girls’ had found earlier. Wait! thought Emma. I thought Marian stuck this in the wall! Emma slowly looked down. A small, hissing scorpion stood right in front of her. “AHHH!”

Frantically, Emma picked up the plate and threw it at the menacing insect. “Get away from me!” she screeched. “Get away!!” The scorpion jumped at Emma. “No!!” Picking up the plate, Emma smacked the scorpion flat.

Carefully, she peeled back the plate and found the scorpion dead. “Phew!” Emma thought, setting down the object. I’m so glad that plate was in here! She thought. Emma turned around in the small space, but stopped. Emma had thought she had heard a familiar voice behind her. It was Marian!

“You’r back!” Emma squealed, swiveling around. Marian stepped over the dead scorpion and hugged Emma. “Where have you been?” the young girl asked. Marian smiled.

“Just a little ways up,” she answered. “I felt like you didn’t need me, and decided on secretly going back home.”

Emma turned to face her friend. “I really am sorry about that. Please forgive me.”

Marian nodded eagerly. “I forgive you.” she answered.

Emma thanked Marian, and then added, “Oh, and one more thing: I will always want you around. Ok? Now listen, I think we’re almost there. We’ve got to be. So are you with me, or not?”

Marian grinned. “Totally!”

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

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Walking Up To A Stranger

Don’t worry…The Time Travel Machine, Part 9 in the series will continue right after this post. 🙂 

It was a hot, muggy Wednesday night at Care Group. Usually, I wasn’t a huge part of the group: I said hi to people before leaving to my bedroom, and that was it. Kids weren’t really allowed, and I knew that. But last Wednesday was different.

My dad’s Care Group had decided to join another Care Group. We met at Chapin Station, a nearby park in Winter Garden. My parents told me that the reason we were going to the park was so that we could invite people to our church. And the way that we were to attempt that was first inviting people to eat with us. And people told me I could do it. An 11 year-old girl.

I was excited yet frightened to invite people. And so was one of my best friends, Olivia Peine. I asked what I was supposed to do, and Mr. Michaelis carefully instructed me on what to say. I was to ask people in the park area if they would like to join us for dinner. If they said no, I would move on and give them a card about our church.

I decided it was best to practice before doing the real thing, and pretended Olivia was my target. “First be the person that says yes,” I commanded, slowly backing up the sidewalk. She laughed, and agreed. But it was strange asking your friend to join the church she already attended.

“Hi!” I said, approaching Olivia. “I’m Allison. We’re having a-” I stopped abruptly. Olivia was smiling at me, teeth showing. “What?” I asked, feeling weird.

“Nothing,” she answered with a grin. I sighed.

After a while of trying, Olivia and I asked when dinner would be ready. Mr. Derry, a rosy-cheeked man with the appearance of Santa, answered: “Uh- whenever the dogs are ready, really.”

I nodded. After that, I looked out for people. But I was scared to go up and invite people myself…and Olivia wasn’t up to it either. Anyway, it was time for dinner. I filled my paper plate with a hot dog and other delicious foods. Sitting down on the top of a playground platform, I ate with my friend. I really want to invite someone! I thought stubbornly.

Just then, a lady with her three kids entered the playground. The squealing children raced up onto a jumpy bridge. This is it! I scrambled up and left my plate. I walked over, and one of them said, “Are you having a birthday party?”

Excited, I answered, “No, but it’s kinda like your birthday. You can come if you want! We have dinner.” The kids got excited as well.

“Mommy, they’re having a birthday party! They said we can go!”

The woman, surprised, answered, “No…”

Coming to the rescue, I answered: “Actually, you guys are totally welcome.” Stepping forward, I explained the situation, although the lady still seemed un-sure.

“Are you sure?” she asked. I nodded.

“Totally. I’m not kidding.  I can get my mom if you want!”

The guest waited, as I tore down the sidewalk to the pavilion. “Mom! Mom! There’s a lady, but I think she needs a parent to say it really is okay to come.” So my mom walked with me, and reassured the lady, who we learned was named Sharon.

Sharon decided to come, and even cried, my mom reported. I was so happy. Olivia and I helped watch her kids and others, and felt like we really were doing something. Cause we were.

And to top it all off, Sharon even showed up to church today with her husband and kids. Sharon’s family has been looking for a smaller church. And guess what? She’s looking in the right place.

The Time Travel Machine…Part 8

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Escape!

I am sorry that this post is so late….school has been kind of busy for us. 🙂

Emma squeezed her eyes shut. Think! she urged herself. Come on, think! Emma’s eyes fluttered open. “I’ve got it!” she yelled excitedly. Marian glanced around the room and gave Emma a warning look.

“Shhh!” mumbled the old man in the bed.

Emma lowered her voice to a whisper. “Oh, right. Sorry.” Her cheeks burned a bright red color. “Anyway, I think I figured out how to escape, Marian….so here’s my idea: I tell the guard I have to go to the bathroom-he let’s me out to go-and I actually escape. It’s perfect!”

Marian stared at her with amusement. “The bathroom’s over there,” she said with a wave of her hand.

Emma glanced at a dirty curtain tied to the wall with a string. The “bathroom” was tucked away in a cob webbed corner, a few steps away.

“Behind that curtain?” Emma asked with disgust.

Marian nodded. “Okay, cross out that idea!” Emma said, discouragement filling her voice.

“Hey! Wait! I think I might have an idea,” Marian said, with a mysterious smile. “How about we crack that window open, and sneak out into the hole? Now, that’s perfect.” Emma tapped a finger to her chin.

“Hmmm…I don’t know. If the guard hears us, he’s going to kill us…and we kind of want to live. So, how about we dig a hole in the dirt floor here”-Emma tapped the dirt with her foot-“and dig all the way to the hole?”

Marian’s eyes lit up. “Let’s do it!”

Emma grinned, and began pacing the room. “Hmmm…shovel, shovel, shovel. Ugh! No shovel anywhere!” Marian silently searched behind her partner.

“Hey, Emma! Will this work?” she asked, holding up a long stick. Marian took a piece of flat wood and attached it to the stick.

Emma nodded vigorously. “That’s perfect!”

Very diligently, Emma began tossing away dirt with the “super scooper”, as Marian had named it.

Emma poked the stick’s flat top into the smooth, wet dirt, and scooped it upward. Then she kept going. Six hours later,  there was a large enough tunnel for a child to crawl through. Emma was working very hard, even though she was pooped.

Marian was also working hard, constantly checking for any un-invited visitors, especially guards. When at last they had finished, the tunnel was quite lengthy, and dark. Yet, nevertheless, the plan worked.

The two girls carefully crawled through the under-ground tunnel, watching for any snakes or spiders. As Marian was following Emma, her knee landed on something sharp. She let out a yell of pain, and looked down to see the remainders of a plate. “Are you okay?” Emma asked with concern. With a laugh, Marian picked the plate up, and tucked it into the wall of the tunnel.

“I’m fine… it was just a plate.” Emma nodded, and turned away. After awhile, Emma whispered: “Almost there,” Marian peered over her shoulder.

After awhile, Emma whispered: “Almost there,” Marian peered over her shoulder, and saw that she was right.

They really were almost there.

To be continued…

The Time Travel Machine…Part 7

Emma looked at the hero for a while, and then said, “So-uh-what’s your name?”

“Marian,” answered the girl quietly. “From Israel.” She pulled back her hair, and tied it as neatly as she could. “And yours?”

“Emma…and I would tell you where I’m from, but the last time I said that-well-I was put into slavery.”

Marian stared at Emma, and then said, “I bet your home country isn’t as bad as you think. I mean, it’s not like you’re not from the future or anything!”

Emma tried to smile, but inside her head she was thinking, actually I AM. She kept quiet, though.

Emma let her eyes drift over to where the burly guard stood. The man stared back at her. “Am I free to go to bed,” Emma asked the man, anger instantly burning inside her, “or do I have to work some more?”

Slowly, the slave master turned to look at her. “Yes.” he answered coldly.

Emma stalked into the small “Cottage”, along with Marian. The guard watched as the rest of the group entered the shack, and then clasped the door shut. Adding a lock, he smiled, and then walked away.

Emma sat next to Marian on the floor. There was a strange silence, but Emma decided to break it.

“Marian?” she whispered. Marian looked up. “I know this might sound….rude…but, how long have you been here?”

Marian’s eyes glassed over. “I don’t really want to talk about it,” she said, while staring at the floor. Emma felt very uncomfortable.

Eventually, though, she scrambled to her feet, and looked around the bedroom. A tiny, thin-looking cot was in the corner. Stretched out on it, was the old man. His eyes were shut, his body motionless.

Emma turned and noticed a slanted table. The young lady that had told Emma what the Cottage was, seemed to be playing invisible checkers with herself. Emma slumped against the wall and let out a long sigh.

Finally, Emma turned and noticed Marian quietly crying. Her head was in her hands, and her long ratty hair was brushing the floor. Slowly, Emma tiptoed over to where Marian sat.

“Listen, Marian,” she began. “I don’t know why you’re crying, and I’ve never been a slave. But I have a plan: I’m going to try to get us out of here…but I need you’re help.”

Marian swiped away her tears. “Are you sure it’ll work?” she asked, hope rising in her voice. Emma nodded.

“Ok,” Marian said slowly. “Just tell me what you need me to do.”

Emma smiled, and helped Marian to her feet. “Ok, first of all, do you know if there’s any windows in here? We could shatter the glass, and climb out.” Marian turned on her heel, surveying the area.

“No windows,” she finally answered. “but I have noticed a big hole in the ground-outside the Cottage! It has a piece of wood that sometimes covers it.”

Emma squinted, trying to picture what Marian was describing. “Oh! Wait, like, a sewer?” she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling.

Marian shrugged. “I guess so,” she answered. “But I’ve never heard of a sewer.”

Emma felt like slapping her forehead. “Of course,” she answered quickly, trying to avoid questions. “It’s from where I live.” Marian seemed to accept this answer.

“Now we just have to figure out how to get outside,” Marian said, while jiggling the doorknob. Emma groaned. “Oh yeah,” she answered slowly. “I didn’t think about that.”

To be continued…

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Don’t worry, The Time Travel Machine Part 7 will appear right after this post. 🙂c37208

A few days ago, I completed the challenge of reading 2,014 pages of books. Turns out, I actually read a grand total of 2,333 pages. That’s a lot more than I expected! Also, the last book I read was extremely good. So good I bought the sequel.

Summary:

The book was The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart. It is an exciting mystery story about four genius kids: Reynie, the lovable leader, Sticky, the nervous wreck, Kate the Great, and Constance the grump.

Each kid is different, yet all have one thing in common: they’re all orphans, and each is a genius. So when the crew sees a newspaper advertisement about children looking for special missions, they instantly apply. But this adventure gets even stranger.

The children must pass a complicated test that’s hard for even the craziest geniuses. Somehow each kid passes the quiz, yet not all the same way.

When they complete the test, the team must go to the dreaded Institute For The Very Enlightened. (An academy for advanced students.) Why must they go? To stop a dangerous man named Mr. Curtain.

Can just four children prevent a nation-wide, despicable plan? Find out in this fast-paced mystery story.

What I Liked The Most: 

I loved all the cool ways the Mysterious Benedict’s Society out-smarts adults. For instance, they grind up a poison-filled plant and slip it into the foods that the students of the Institute eat. (Including the adults.) Or how about the time when they used morse code to send secret messages to Mr. Benedict using a flash light? The author of this book is extremely creative.

My Favorite Characters, And Why I Like Them:

My favorite character in the book, I’d have to say would be Kate. Kate is an adventurous girl from the circus. She is a born acrobat and a kind companion. Why I liked Kate so much is because she always brings a smile wherever she goes. And I try to do that as well. Another reason I like her, is because she is so cool. Who has a bucket hooked to your belt that contains all sorts of things?

Don’t Enjoy Mystery Stories?

Even if mystery is not your favorite genre of book to read, I’m almost positive you’ll enjoy this witty book. Mystery isn’t my top-pick, either, but I loved The Mysterious Benedict’s Society. (I never buy books without reading half of them, and I got the sequel after reading a chapter. That says something.) Oh, and, don’t worry, it’s not a murder mystery. 🙂

 

 

The Time Travel Machine…Part 6

Emma examined her arm carefully. With narrowed eyes, she swapped at the pesky bugs that constantly circled her. The lady with dark brown hair glanced at Emma with a bored expression, then turned away. Emma didn’t try to kill anymore buggies.

“Where are we going, Lady?” Emma asked.

The girl in front of her slowly turned and said, “To our Cottage.” Emma stared at her, expecting a longer explanation.

Finally, after no answers, Emma crossed her arms and replied, “Anything else?” The slave shook her head with a slow, sad face. Emma huffed. They were almost to their “cottage” (whatever that was). Everyone was completely silent, which aggravated Emma terribly. Silent was not a word in her dictionary.

At last, the group had made it to their Cottage, which was a run-down, stinky shack as big as Emma’s bedroom. The guard opened the creaky door, smiled an ugly smile, and said, “Welcome to your Cottage, Rats!” Emma burned with fury.

“Rat? Rat!? Really? While, what does that make you?!” she screamed. The guard stepped back in surprise. “Oh, I’m not done, Mister! Stay there…you…you…you ugly, good-for-nothing meanie man! UGH!”  she stomped her foot.

Again, there was silence. The brunette haired lady stared with wide eyes at Emma, along with the rest of the group. The guard was even silent…but not for long. “Ok, you Rat! If that’s the way you want it, that’s the way you’ll get it!” He looked earnestly around, then bent down to collect a black wip. “Stand still.”

Emma suddenly felt a pang of fright. Her body tensed up, making it hard for her to stay calm. Whispers and murmurs erupted. Emma could here a few. “…she’s dead, now. Doesn’t weigh too much, I’d say.” Not helpful. A silent prayer arose to the heavens. Emma hoped that someone would do something.

The guard lifted the wip above his head, and cracked it on the dirt, sending a flurry of brown snow everywhere. Emma gulped. She glanced behind at the girl with ratty hair and studied her face. Was that- anger? She followed her stare, expecting it to land on her. But, to her surprise, it fell upon the guard. “Get over here,” commanded the man.

Emma inched forward.

“More,” the guard said through clenched teeth. Emma inched forward again.

“MORE!”

One more step. The longer I can stall the better, Emma thought to herself.

“MORE!!!” Emma smiled smugly at the guard and stood dead in front of him. She could tell the cruel man was angrier than ever, and enjoyed teasing him. The Egyptian lifted the wip above his head. Emma screwed her eyes shut. He then moved it down with surprising force, just as Emma thought it was game over. She waited a few moments.

Emma thought she felt something grainy and moist under her entire body. She opened one eye and saw that the girl with the mussed hair had knocked her to the ground. She opened both eyes. The guard was staring at Emma, than at the rats nest girl. She was dusting off her hands, as if nothing had happened. “Thank you,” Emma whispered, as she scrambled to her feet. And for the first time since Emma’s arrival, someone actually smiled.

To be continued…