It was a long story. When I finished, even I was surprised at what a long and dangerous adventure it had been. It was awkwardly silent, so much so that Jason broke in with a little joke.
“Wow,” he said. “I didn’t think anyone could have had a more dangerous adventure than me, but I guess I’m wrong.”
We smiled. Suddenly, I felt so happy. We were together and safe. Warm sunshine was patting my face, comforting me. Wait. Sunshine? But there was no window in this room! I turned around. Sunshine poured through a big window with a white frame. It was open, and the smell of something sweet floated in. I walked to the window. Outside was the most beautiful garden I had ever seen. Red, yellow, blue and white flowers blossomed. Green leaves hung from tree branches, and shrubs proudly showed their little leaves. I couldn’t help admiring it. A small “Wow!” escaped my lips, and I heard a louder “Wow” from my back. Silvia was right behind me, her blue eyes sparkling.
At just that moment, we heard a thundering voice. It was so loud it almost gave me a heart attack.
“Ah, finally,” the voice boomed. “You brought me the book.”
We all tensed. The voice was loud, hoarse and grumbling, too. It gave me goose bumps, like the sound of fingernails scratching a blackboard. I frowned.
Jason whispered to me, “That might be the goblin king.”
For a second, I was terrified. The goblin king, who had led all those goblins to this city? The one who forced the wolf king out? Who had locked Silvia in a hallway with thousands of doors? I could imagine him sitting in the wolf’s throne, ordering other goblins to do his hateful bidding. I trembled at the thought. What could we do to this terrible, cruel creature? What if it didn’t work?
Chapter Seventeen: Escape From the Swamp
I woke up. The sun was high, and I was still in the meadow. I rubbed dried-up tears from my cheeks. I sat on the ground and closed my eyes remembering how my mom and dad had saved me from the swamp.
As my thoughts began to organize themselves, the goblins and the wolf king came into my mind. The wolf king is an enemy of the goblins. Now that I was helping the wolf king, I must also be the goblins’ enemy, too. Somehow we had to get rid of the goblins if we wanted to get the city back. But how?
Chapter Thirteen: Out of the Hall
The woman was sitting on a chair, wearing a long black dress, sleeves covering her arms. Her curly, blond hair was tied loosely, reaching to her back. She looked young, but her blue eyes showed wisdom. She was smiling at me, but the smile was hiding something. I soon realized it was fear.
Feeling hot with embarrassment, I spoke. “S..sorry. I didn’t mean to stare at you like that.” I cleared my throat. “Um. Hello. I thought I should find the owner of this notebook. So...” I hesitated. What should I say to her?
While I was thinking, she stood up from the chair and walked toward me. She was a little taller than me. Carefully, she pulled the notebook out of my hand. Her eyes were full of sadness, as if she was remembering a time before the goblins. Then she whispered, “Thank you.” She sighed and showed me something. It was a crayon, but it was not ordinary. Something sparkly flowed out of the tip then disappeared quickly. Suddenly, a scene flashed in my brain. A pale, white hand, drawing a door on a wall with the crayon. The scene soon disappeared, but I knew that this crayon had drawn the door I used to get out of the room I was locked in. The woman grabbed my hand and began to run down the hall. I tried to tell her that we couldn’t escape the hall, but she didn’t seem to hear me. As she ran, she was drawing a line on the wall with the crayon. What was she doing? Did she know how to get out of here? Then suddenly, without warning, she stopped.
Chapter Nine: Going Up the Staircase
I sank deeper and deeper. Fiery pain swallowed my lungs until I thought I couldn’t hold my breath anymore. I opened my mouth, but instead of the gush of water I was expecting, fresh air rushed into my lungs. I let myself sink until I reached the door. The door had a golden doorknob and a key hole. I grabbed the doorknob and pushed and pulled, but the door didn’t move. I remembered the golden key that I had found after getting sucked into the box. I put my hand in my pocket, only to find it empty. Frantically, I looked around. Soon, I found it floating nearby me. Strangely, although the key was pretty heavy, it didn’t sink. As I watched, the key slowly moved to the door, all by itself. It went into the keyhole then made a small ‘click’. I grabbed the door knob again. I turned it, and this time it opened. As my eyes adjusted, I could see a stairway. I started to climb. It was a spiral staircase, but when I looked up, I couldn’t see the end.
Chapter Five: A White Shell, A Golden Key
Inside the box was a small, white shell. All that dizziness and running, just for this shell? I picked it up.
All of a sudden, I was in a different place, surrounded by four gray walls. I looked up. Instead of a sky, I saw a ceiling the same gray as the walls. A giant white shell stood in front of me.
I was inside the box! Hoping I could use the diamond, I looked for it, but it was gone! It’s probably outside the box with the wolf, I thought. I felt along the walls, looking carefully for any hint of escape. Nothing. I plopped down on the floor, looking up at the sound of thunder. Gray clouds were forming against the ceiling, and lightning flashed.
Until I was twelve, my life was happy and joyful. My home was in California, and we lived in a pale yellow two-story house with a big garden. As a baby, I fell asleep listening to my mother’s melodic lullaby. Encouraged by claps and smiles, I learned how to walk. I remember my brother, Jason, hugging me every morning before he went to kindergarten.
As I grow older, the memories become clearer. My first word was ‘flute’, which my mother played so beautifully. My father’s violin melody was always my greatest comfort. The sadness I felt when I gave up my cradle was soon followed by happiness for my new bed.