Alice rolled over and opened her eyes, blinking in the bright sunshine. She glanced down into her sister’s bunk and was surprised to see her still sleeping soundly. Puzzled, she looked over at the alarm clock. It was already eight o’ clock! She sat abruptly, causing the bunk to creak loudly. Alyssa grumbled something and opened her eyes.
“What time is it?” She asked, looking over at the alarm clock as Alice had done. She shot out of bed with a cry of exasperation. “Oh, no! How could I have slept in?”
Alice climbed down out of her bed. “Well, I guess now we could both take a walk.”
Alyssa smiled, despite her annoyance at herself for waking up so late. “I guess that’s true, come on.” The girls dressed quickly into matching jeans and tee-shirts.
Stepping outside, Alyssa took a deep breath and let out a sigh of sheer pleasure, but Alice was already regretting the warm bed she had left inside.
She shivered. “I don’t see how you can stand this!”
Alyssa grinned. “Once we get going you’ll warm up nicely.” She replied. “In about five minutes we’ll be walking so fast you won’t notice its cold.”
Alice groaned. “Do you think that’s going to console me?”
Alice merely glanced down at her watch. “We have to be back by eight-thirty, which means we have almost half an hour to walk, breakfast will be ready by then.” Alice didn’t reply, she was preserving her air for breathing as she struggled to keep up with her sister’s fast pace.
They were just finishing their walk around the neighborhood when they came face to face with none other than Diana.
She came up to them grinning. “I thought I might meet you out here.” She said when she was within talking range.
Alyssa returned her grin. “And so we meet again! How are you?”
Diana smiled. “I’m fine, what about you two?”
“Fine.” Alyssa replied.
Alice shivered again. “C-cold.” She answered. Alyssa and Diana exchanged a smile over Alice’s head.
Diana broke the short silence. “I have to get right back, Mom let me run out to visit, but she asked me to come right back after saying a quick ‘hi’.”
Alyssa took a peak at her watch. “We have to go back too. See you later!” The girls parted again, and Alice and Alyssa took off running towards the house, arriving breathless and exhausted. Sinking into the nearest chair, the girls took a rest.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Breakfast came and went, the morning dragged by, and the girls worked on their book. Alyssa paced up and down their room’s floor, her mind racing with ideas and trying to form them into sentences that would make sense. Alice’s pencil raced over the notebook as she put her sister’s thoughts down on paper.
“She felt a hand clamp onto her shoulder, and a pointed object pricked her back, warning her that to cry out would bring death quickly. With a sinking feeling in her stomach, she made herself turn around and face her enemy. It, for that was truly all she could call the creature standing in front of her, was horribly ugly. Gathering up all the courage she could muster, she spoke.
‘Who are you?’ she asked, trying to hide the trembling in her voice. The creature gurgled a reply. For though it didn’t speak her language, she could somehow understand its words.
‘I am a messenger from Slumef, Queen of the Swamp Legion. You are to come with me to her.’ It said.
The girl shuddered inwardly. ‘And if I won’t come?’ she asked.
The creature let out another horrible laugh. ‘Than you will die.’ Worriedly, she glanced around. If there were others, and she was sure that there was, than she would have to go. She could only hope to find mercy in the hands of this queen.
The creature must have noticed her glance, for he gurgled again, “There is no escape, you are surrounded. Come with us and the punishment may be less harsh.’ The girl glanced around again. To run, perhaps a slim possibility of survival if the creature was lying, but more likely she would be killed in the attempt. However, if she went with them, she may have a larger chance.
She scolded herself for the hundredth time for even coming on this adventure. Where was the cloaked stranger? Wasn’t he supposed to be protecting her?
She took a deep breath. ‘Very well, since I have no choice, I shall come.’ The creature grunted something under his breath, and led her away. She did get glimpses of other creatures behind the marsh grass and cattails. Escape would have been impossible, and she was glad she had decided against it. She would have to think, and think fast.”
Alyssa stopped, her tongue running over her dry lips. Alice encouraged her with a smile, although her wrists were aching from writing so fast.
“It sounds really good so far, you’re outdoing yourself Alyssa.”
Alyssa grunted doubtfully, studying the crack in the ceiling above her. “I’m glad it sounds good, but I need to come up with good names for my characters. The only name I have so far is the name of the Swamp Legion Queen. I’ll have to figure out the other names this afternoon. Also, should the queen be good or bad? We’ll have to wait on the story for another day. I’ll probably have it figured out by tomorrow. Let’s stop and eat.” Alice agreed by closing the notebook with a resounding smack, and the girls went to eat as planned.
The day passed uneventfully, though both girls had plenty to do. Evening fell, and the girls went off to bed, little realizing what change was beginning to happen.