Chapter 1: The Incredible Sight
It was so big. Then it exploded. All over everyone. Everyone except me. So, technically, I was an outcast, again. Oh, hello, I’m Jake. You could kinda say I have special powers, but nobody notices when I use them, so I guess that was an upside to my plan.
It all started one day when Aunt Marge was babysitting me. I had just come home from school when she asked me if I wanted to go for a drive. It was my stupidness that made me say yes. We got in her old Jeep and drove off. The ride wasn’t comfortable. She wasn’t a good driver. Once she got on the road, she really stepped on it. We started to come to an area I didn’t recognize.
She said, “Welcome to Circus Mirandus.”
I started to get nervous. I saw the sign, and she wasn’t lying. I had heard of Circus Mirandus in stories Grandpa told me. I was always his favorite grandson ‘cause I was his only grandson. My older sister, Lise, died in World War ll. Lise was such a great sister. But anyways, Aunt Marge had parked the Jeep in a vacant parking lot, right next to Circus Mirandus. She told me to get out and stop daydreaming, as she always did. We walked inside the biggest tent and saw a pig the size of the sun.
That brings us back into the present. Suddenly, it exploded! The pig’s body split in half, and all the goop came flying out. That’s where my powers came in. Everyone got covered in the goop, except me. Aunt Marge had some old shrimp hanging off her T-shirt. Everyone looked at me, and I ran out of the tent and headed to the Jeep with Aunt Marge stumbling behind. I knew I couldn’t drive. I didn’t know what came over me. I opened the door and put my foot as hard as I could on the breaks. An angry mob, followed by Aunt Marge, was right behind me. I went as fast as I could and crashed into some trees not far from the mob. I hid behind the tree, and the mob ran past it, thinking that the car was just a decoy. I stumbled into the woods. My head was spinning, and I fell down on the ground and fainted.
Chapter 2: The Family of Beavers
I woke up in a lodge with a shadowed figure looming over me. I screamed. A hairy paw was put over my mouth. I screamed even more, but it turned into a muffled moan. Some sort of strange elixir was tossed into my mouth. It made me cringe.
I woke up again. There were needles all over my body. I got up and pulled all of the needles out of my body. They tried to give me something that looked like grilled worms. I didn’t want to eat it, so they stuck a needle between my eyes, and then I fainted. They put the worms in my mouth, then pulled the needle back out, and then I was back.
I asked them, “Why did you bring me into your lodge?”
“To save you,” they said.
They were furry. I hadn’t really noticed that, considering they were beavers. Their tails looked like spatulas as they slapped them against the floor. Seven children ran around the lodge, screaming. The mom tried to settle them down. The dad grunted. I thought I saw a grandma beaver. Her fur was all gray. The mom rushed over to me. I was lying in a bed made of leaves. My back ached, and I could feel my butt vibrating.
I can’t believe I’ve been rescued by beavers, I thought.
The mother came over to my bed and said, “Welcome to the lodge. I know you were chased by a mob, so we rushed out to save you. We put you in our boat and traveled down the river to our lodge. Eventually you started to move. We came over to you, but it was just the kids messing around. But when you actually did move, we tried to concoct a potion that would make you spontaneously combust, but we realized that wasn’t right. We searched all over the house to find the life potion. We found it in the the life potion bureau. So convenient!”
At this point, I started to get nervous and afraid. Talking beavers. I must have been mad!
Chapter 3: Three Questions
After a night’s rest, I woke up in the lodge and silently yelled at myself for thinking all this was a dream. The beavers started flocking me with questions about Aunt Marge and my powers that allowed me not to get spilled on by any substance. I know, I know, it was an extremely lame power, but it was given to me by the god, Stains the Magnificent.
The god of stains said, “JAKE, YOU ARE SPECIAL! YOU WILL HAVE THE POWER TO NOT GET ANYTHING SPILLED ON YOU!”
I was scared after that night when the god came. I didn’t eat for a week! Eventually, I tried his gift, and it worked! The beavers gawked at me like I was crazy! I bet I asked like a gazillion questions, but sadly, they allowed me three. So I said okay. It was my only way to really question them.
My first question was, of course, “Why did you save me?”
And they just said, “We saw someone worth saving.”
Chapter 4: Inquiry With The Beavers
I just stared at them. What did that mean, We saw someone worth saving? I was confused. My questions were running out, even though I had two more. And that was enough. But I still couldn’t figure out what made me worth saving. Then, I used my second question.
“Why was I worth saving?”
And they said, “You’re the one in the prophecy, Jake. You’ll restore the moonstone to the heart of the forest.”
“What’s the moonstone?” I said.
“Looks like you’re all out of questions after this one. But, since you asked, I can tell you,” said Granny Beaver from behind me.
“Once, long ago, the moonstone made the forest flourish. But one day, an evil man dressed in a black cloak came and stole it. He took it to his palace high above the clouds, where four evil dragons guarded it. They guard the moonstone to this day. But one day, a voice rang out from the clouds. ‘THE ONE WHO CANNOT BE SPILLED ON WILL COME AND STEAL THE MOONSTONE FROM YOUR CLUTCHES, ISAYA.’ Then the man in the cloak went into hiding and took the moonstone with him. On the eighth of September, 2017, the forest will die, and everything living inside will, too. That is why you, Jake, must go to the palace and find him.”
I want to help them, I thought, but I was too scared.
Granny said, “Even if you are scared, you must do it.”
I was scared, she could read my mind! But I wanted to help my furry friends.
So I said, “How do I get to the palace on the clouds?”
“I’m afraid you’re all out of questions, young man,” said Mother Beaver. ”But I guess we could make an exception, given that you’re going to save the forest and all.” “Thank you,” I said.
“To start,” said Grandma Beaver, “You need to go to the end of the world to find the lighthouse that reaches to the top of the world, and travel across the Bridge of Grace, and then you will reach the palace. But, there is a twist. You must answer a riddle that will open the doors to the palace. The answer is a river. Good luck.”
Chapter 5: The End of the World
The next day, I went to the docks and looked for port 45 ½, like Grandma Beaver told me, and waited the 17 minutes until the ferry arrived. When the ferry arrived, I got on, and the porter took my bag filled with food and supplies. I was directed to my seat and watched the ferry leave the docks, and when I looked to my left, I saw we were heading straight for a wall! The ferry started to speed up, and it went right through the wall. When we came out on the other side, we seemed to be heading down a river towards a lighthouse, the one that would take me to the top of the world. Suddenly, it looked like we had hit the rapids. The boat bounced up and down, and I flew across the room. I fell on the floor, and that was even worse! My body flew up and hit the floor. I felt like I could’ve thrown up. It felt like the end of the world.
Chapter 6: The Lighthouse
Eventually, the rapids stopped and night fell. I went into my bunk and fell asleep to the sound of waves. When I woke up, I saw that we were getting closer to the lighthouse! I felt the boat stop, and I rushed outside. I saw the lighthouse in all of its red and white glory. The porter handed me my bag, and I ran to the door. I handed my ticket to the person in the booth that was in front of the lighthouse. He asked me my purpose, why I was visiting the lighthouse. I told him I was meeting a friend. I lied. I couldn’t believe it. Every time I lied my cheeks turned red, so the guy at the booth became suspicious. But since I was a kid, he let me through.
I tried to rush up to the top floor, but on the 20th floor, I threw up all over the stairs. When did I have pizza? I thought. I tried to get to the top and made it, thankfully. The light flashed around the circular room. I rushed to the door and bolted it open. I saw a gate, but there was no bridge. I tried my luck. I opened the gate, took a good running start, and jumped right off the edge of the lighthouse.
I opened my eyes. I was flying! I flew over the edge of the world and saw the waterfall that took all the unfortunate boats off the cliff. My wings were a striking green. I flew above the clouds and spotted the Bridge of Grace and tried to maneuver my way over to the bridge. The maneuver was successful, but my landing wasn’t very graceful, and I crashed into the bridge. I managed to get up, and I noticed my wings were gone, and so I started my journey across the bridge.
Chapter 7: The Bridge of Grace
As I walked across the bridge, I felt the gentle ocean breeze, and it reminded me of the trips my family and I took to the beach every summer vacation. Lise and I would build sandcastles so big, crabs could come inside and live like kings! We would always have PB&J sandwiches and bask in sunlight, but those vacations were in easy times. After Lise’s death, we never went on any family vacations. After my long stretch of daydreaming, I realized that I was almost at the end of the bridge. I looked up and saw the dark pillars of a castle with angry gargoyles looking down at me like I had done them wrong. I knocked on the door, and it opened with a slam.
Chapter 8: The Castle
The doors opened, and I walked through them. There was a long corridor with a red carpet streaming through it. I started to walk down it, and I saw paintings of kings that had come before Isaya. I entered a throne room, and there was a golden throne plopped right in the center. A figure in a dark cloak sat there with his fingers together, in an almost scheming way. He stood up. His face was covered by his hood. He was a lanky sort of man, his skin was dark gray, and his eyes were a deep red. He lifted up his hood, and I saw his face. I gasped and fell down. Right smack down in the middle of his face was a scar the size of a watermelon.
He said, “Welcome, Jake Conboy. To your death! Muwahahaha! Here in this castle, you may find secret passages and death chambers, but I know why you are here. Not to be accommodated by me, but to steal my precious moonstone.”
Wow, he’s reading my mind just like the granny beaver did, I thought.
He said, “Try your best, Conboy, but you can never steal my moonstone.”
Chapter 9: The Dragons of the Earth
Isaya dropped through a hole in his throne. Water started to fill up the throne room. The clear liquid fell out through the gargoyles’ mouths and pooled onto the floor. I was scared. I didn’t know how to swim! I spotted a trap door in the floor, and I rushed to it. I opened it and dropped down the dark hole. When I got down, I noticed that there was a glass case with some sort of glowing orb inside it.
It looked like the moonstone! I reached out to get it, and then I heard a roar! Something moved in the corner, and a dark shadow rose, then three more. I gazed up at the dark shadows and screamed, but not just any scream. It was the loudest scream I could possibly generate. The dragons did not seem intimidated, so they roared back at me. Then, one of them spoke.
“I’m the Dragon of Water! My three siblings and I have guarded the moonstone for a million years. Now we shall destroy you because you have touched the moonstone!”
At this point, I was trembling. I grabbed the moonstone, and I ran up the ladder. They flew after me, their snake-like bodies slinking around the ladder. I ran through the corridor. The king saw me, and now all five of them were on my tail. I rushed out of the palace.
Then I heard the king shout, “Retract the drawbridge!”
Right then and there, I took the biggest risk of my life. I ran up the drawbridge and jumped right off the edge and landed on the platform that was on the other side. The drawbridge closed just before they could get there, and I could hear curses from the king. I ran across the Bridge of Grace, and came back to the lighthouse with the moonstone still in my clutches. I ran down the 30 flights of stairs, and I saw the ferry pulling out of the docks. I took another risk and jumped right onto the end of the ferry. The wind was almost knocked out of me. The moonstone rolled onto the floor and was so close to falling off the edge. I grabbed onto it just as it started to go over the edge. I looked back at the lighthouse, then I looked up. The bridge started to disappear. The forest was safe for another year.
Chapter 10: September 8, 2017
The ferry got back to port 45 ½ by morning. I got off the ferry and walked towards the forest with the moonstone in my bag. I checked my watch. The date was September 8, 2017. I gasped! If I didn’t get the moonstone to the Grand Tree today, the forest would perish and everything in it too! I must have lost track of time when I was inside the palace!
I ran into the forest and hurried to the lodge where the beavers lived. I pushed the door open, and I held the moonstone to the ceiling so they could see it. But they weren’t there. Books were scattered all over the floor, the bed sheets had been ripped, and there was blood all over the walls. I ran upstairs and saw them huddling in a corner.
I asked them, “What’s going on, what happened?”
Granny Beaver said, “The dragons came. They attacked the lodge. They asked us where you were, and if we didn’t tell them, they would’ve kill us.”
“You told the dragons? They want to kill me!”
“Did you get the moonstone?” said Granny Beaver. “That’s the only thing that matters now.”
I showed it to them. They seemed to smile, even in this time of worry.
“Go to the middle of the forest,” said Granny Beaver. “There you will find the Grand Tree.”
“Okay,” I nodded.
I ran out of the lodge, took one last look, and ran into the dark forest. I started to see a glow of light in the distance. It must’ve been the Grand Tree! But, when I got closer, I saw it was four snake-like bodies around a dead-looking tree.
“No!” I screamed.
“Welcome, Jake Conboy,” said one of the dragons. “To your doom! Muwahahaha-ughughughugh. Sorry, got a little dust in my throat.”
They stood on their hind legs and blew fire out of their mouths. Then a thought struck me. If the tree is dead, how am I supposed to restore the moonstone? The tree has to be alive and well! I checked my watch. It was 10:59. I had one more hour. Then I asked a question.
“How did you get here? I thought I saw the bridge disappear.”
Then, a grainy voice said from behind, “You are asking all the wrong questions, Jake Conboy.” A hooded figure emerged. “I think we’ve met. My name is Isaya, king of the skies. I hope you like goobly-goo, because I have plenty in store for you.”
“Ah, but you have forgotten! Or, I just haven’t told you, I cannot be spilled on!”
I felt proud. I had stood up to a bully like Isaya.
“Ah, but you have forgotten, again,” said Isaya, “I am a god. Ruler of the skies. You might have heard of me in the life or death prophecy,” he cackled.
I was definitely afraid. Then I thought of something, but for it to work, I needed to ask another question.
“Why do you hate the forest?’
“Because,” he started to say, “When we were given the chance to pick who was to rule the earth, we fought over who would get it. So, we had a competition, and we rolled a dice, and whoever got the bigger number would get the Earth, and as you can see, I lost…”
He kept talking and didn’t notice me slide past his dragons, who were also listening. I gently pushed the moonstone into the hole that was in the tree’s roots, and a golden dust seeped through the tree, and it started to come to life. The sky king turned around and immediately went into a rage.
He shouted, “Idiots!” to the dragons as midnight struck. I felt triumphant for my achievement, but Isaya was still raging.
“Ahhh,” he shouted, and a blast of fire set the tree on fire! I was so scared as the flames blazed around the outside of the tree. Eventually, the flames died out, and all that was left was a smoldering shell of what was once the Grand Tree.
Chapter 11: The Grand Tree
I gasped. The tree was dead! I started to see the ground disintegrate around it. Isaya laughed and took to the skies, to his palace on the clouds. I ran back to the lodge, but I stopped in my tracks. I turned, ran back to the tree, grabbed the moonstone, and headed back. I opened the door to the lodge and went upstairs. The beavers were frightened by me and thought that I was a dragon. As I walked towards them, the wooden floorboards creaked, and my foot fell through the ceiling of the first floor. I pulled it up as quickly as I could, my heart racing.
I came closer to them and said, “The tree is dead. Pack your bags. We’re leaving.”
I slept there that night, and the next morning, I took them to my house. Suddenly, we heard a crash! A tree had fallen right onto the lodge! I saw a tear come out of Mommy Beaver’s eyes, so I tried to speed them up. I took them home and told them that they would stay in the tree house until I had enough guts to go back and defeat the evil sky king.
Chapter 12: Defiant Declarations
Three days later, I traveled back to the lighthouse, flew to the bridge, and walked across the drawbridge. I walked down the same corridor and put a decoy moonstone in the glass case. I went back and then went down the hole that the king had dropped through when he had disappeared the first time. It led to his room. Thankfully, he wasn’t there, so my plan sprung into action! I put death poison in the king’s soap and left without a trace. When the king got home, he thought he needed a nice, warm, eeeevil bath, so he poured the soap into the watery tub, and the water immediately turned black.
Hmmm, poison, he thought. He had been tricked! He went to the case and checked if the moonstone had been returned. He was surprised to see it had been returned! He thought he was back in power and took to the tree to have the power restored through his darkness!
Back at my house, I was getting ready for his return so that I could defeat the evil king.
Chapter 13: The Moonstone’s Triumph
The king traveled down into mortal territory, as he called it, to bloom the moonstone in the presence of the dying tree. He floated on a cloud to the middle of the forest and dropped the moonstone into the hole in the center of the tree, then watched the black dust flow throughout the dead tree.
I was getting ready to leave. I slid down my pole from the treehouse and started to run to the docks. I stopped in my tracks and looked at the forest, only to see a black glow coming from the center of the forest. I rushed toward the glow and was horrified to see the king raising the moonstone up to the clouds as the black dust came and was absorbed into the moonstone.
I rushed towards the king and slid down on the ground and tripped the king! The moonstone now had turned completely black, fell out of the king’s clutches, and was taken into the Grand Tree. The tree came back from its dead form into a black, live tree. The leaves withered away, and the bark started to peel off.
“Muwahahaha,” said the king. “I have defeated you, Jake Conboy!”
“Aha,” I said, “But what you don’t know is that was a fake moonstone all along! I have the real one right here!”
And I pulled it out of my messenger bag and lifted it up so that the lanky king could see it.
“Why, thank you, Jake,” said the king. He took the moonstone out of my clutches and lifted it up to the clouds.
“No, thank you!” I said.
I jumped up and grabbed it.
“No!! Thank you!!” said the king, and he grabbed it once again.
“Oh, for goodness sake!” said Granny Beaver, who came out of the treehouse. “I am going to end this madness once and for all!”
She slapped the sky king’s butt with her tail, and the moonstone slipped out of his hand and dropped into the dirty roots of the grand tree. The golden dust started to flow through the tree, once again bringing life to the forest around it. The tree that had fallen onto the beaver’s lodge came up and resumed its place as a sturdy elm.
The forest sprung back to life, and everything was back to normal!
“Nooo!!!” shouted the evil sky king as the positive, gold dust blasted him far, far away.
“Well, that’s the last we’ll be seeing of him,” said Granny Beaver, with a grainy voice. “Come! We must celebrate in the lodge!” she said.
After all the beavers had moved back into the lodge, they celebrated with a cup of hot cocoa. Dad Beaver banged a wooden drum as they danced in circles.
“Uggghh,” I said.
I spit out my cocoa when I found it was just water and dirt. We danced around the fire.
To this day, you can still hear the faint cries of the evil sky king if you listen very closely. His palace made of clouds is still there, and the dragons still fly around the sky, guarding the palace, and the Grand Tree guards the forest of Hobblenob every day.