YAYAYAYAY! I’m so excited to show you guys the last chapter of WordCrafters 2! To all who participated, thank you soooo much! I loved reading all of your chapters, and you did such a great job! If you need to read through the story again first, click here.
Are you ready to see how it ends? It DID get rather long, so settle in. 😄
“Esme!” shouted Pippin, Vivi, and Katri in relief. Esme looked quite relieved to see them too, but not for long. Suddenly she started talking faster than her friends had ever heard her talk.
“Guys, we have to find Devin! I was looking for unicorns but then the ground opened up and I fell into this weird underground place and this really mean guy grabbed me and hurt me but then Devin came and saved me but all the sudden a super scary dragon or something appeared and the mean guy was going to catch us both but Devin fought him and saved my life AGAIN but now I don’t know where he is and Daisy said he’s in danger and… and…” Esme stopped for breath, then broke into tears. “Now we have to save him.” She raised her teary eyes to look at Vivi. Vivi dropped her head and kicked at the ground, muttering something under her breath. Pippin looked a little stunned that Esme had just talked faster than he ever had, and Katri… Katri had her face in her hands.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered.
“For what?” Vivi said, a little ferociously.
Katri breathed a trembling sigh. “Well… that ‘mean guy’ was…” her voice dropped even lower. “My father.”
Everyone’s head shot up.
You could practically see the steam hissing out of Vivi’s ears. She gritted her teeth so hard you could hear it and shot imaginary flaming daggers at Katri.
“Listen,” she hissed. “I know Devin isn’t my favorite person in the world, but did your dad really have to do all that to him? And what about my friend Esme? Huh? Oh, and what about you? Are you hatching a secret plan to kidnap all of us?” She bit off each word sharply, as if snapping a cracker in two.
Katri backed away. “No, no! I promise I’m on your side! I mean I was supposed to be against you guys at the beginning, but once I really met you, I knew I never could be.”
Pippin spoke up. “Hey, but how do we know you’re telling the truth? I vote we use some Honesty Powder on her.”
Katri dropped her head again. “It’s not real. It doesn’t work.”
Now it was Pippin’s turn to explode. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT DOESN’T WORK? And how do we know that you’re not lying to us AGAIN?”
By now tears were rolling down Katri’s face. “Please,” she whispered. “Please, you can trust me now. I… I want to be your friend, not your enemy.”
“STOP!” Esme wailed. “Can’t you see how much you’re hurting her? Can’t you see she’s telling the truth?” She looked disapprovingly at her friends. “And you know arguing isn’t going to save Devin, no matter how mad we are.”
For a moment everyone was silent, ashamed and taken aback by Esme’s unaccustomed air of authority.
Pippin and Vivi both sighed at once. “Sorry, Katri,” they mumbled.
Katri gave them a little smile and wiped her eyes. “It’s alright.”
Esme let out a long breath. “Okay, is everyone good now? Because I really want to go find Devin.”
They were quite a procession walking down the path: two girls (one astride a fuzzy gray unicorn), one boy, a fairy and an elf (who were keeping their distance), and a tiny baby dragon who had started it all.
Katri led the way, flying quickly until they reached her father’s “office” a.k.a dungeon where Devin was held. They all stayed outside while Katri slipped in stealthily to find Devin’s cell. Finally she appeared at the entrance. “Number 38” she said quietly.
Daisy, Faun, and the baby dragon stayed outside, but the rest of the friends all tiptoed down the long, dark hallway where the voices and moans of prisoners echoed off the wall. Esme moved closer to Vivi. Finally they reached cell number 38. There was Devin, sitting dejectedly on the hard stone cot at the back of the cell.
Pippin’s face lighted up when he saw his brother. “Psst, Devin!” he hissed. “Over here!” Devin looked up quickly, clapping a hand over his mouth to stifle a yell.
“I knew you would find me!” he beamed. He and Pippin grinned at each other for a moment until Devin’s smile faded. “Um, excuse me for asking, but what do we do now? How are you going to get me out?
Katri clenched her fists. “Leave it to me.”
Thirty long, slimy minutes later, the whole troop emerged from a trapdoor in the ground, covered from knee to toe in gooey greenish mud. Daisy sniffed them disapprovingly, and the dragon and elf on his back turned away in disgust.
Esme gasped and fell onto the grass. “I hope… I never… have to do that… again,” she said between gags. She looked ruefully at her lovely black hair which was currently striped with a startling shade of mossy green. “Why doesn’t your father clean up those passages every once in a while?”
Katri shrugged. “He only ever uses them in case of emergencies, which we haven’t had since… well, since a long time.”
Vivi scowled. “Well you’d better be grateful Devin, after all that.”
“Oh, I am!” he beamed Vivi a sincere smile, which quickly melted her scowl.
Suddenly they heard footsteps rounding the side of the cave. There was no time to do anything but stand still, looking scared.
It was Katri’s father.
“RUN!” Katri screamed. “FOLLOW ME!”
For a moment, Katri’s father was too stunned too move. His daughter was helping those children? She should be hurting them. His shock gave them just enough time to disappear into the woods, only stopping to rest when they finally reached the main path.
“Now that was close,” Pippin panted. “Too close. Let’s just get this dragon back to its home without any more mishaps, okay?”
And they did – mostly. Most of the tenser moments were caused by words rather than actions, like the time when Pippin referred to Daisy as a “she.”
“FOR THE LAST TIME, I AM NOT A ‘SHE’!” Daisy exploded. “MY NAME IS DAISY AND I AM A VERY IMPORTANT, VERY RARE MALE UNICORN THAT CAN SURVIVE ONLY IN DAISY FIELDS, OKAY? OKAY! WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO TEASE ME ABOUT MY NAME?!”
Pippin grimaced. “Sheesh, okay. You don’t have to take it so personally, Mr. Daisy.” He grinned at the unicorn’s indignant huffle.
Or the time Katri and Faun got in an argument about whether fairies or elves were the best. (“At least I don’t have an evil father,” Faun said triumphantly.)
Or that time when they thought they lost the baby dragon (again), but found him curled up in Pippin’s pocket. (“Oops. Heh heh. Honest, I just forgot he was in there!”)
But the worst of their adventures happened when they finally reached their journey’s end. Esme stared at the wicked-looking mountain looming over them. “Th-the baby dragon lives here?”
Katri nodded grimly. “That is the happy home of Snow White. The worst, most bitter person I know besides my dad.”
“Hold on,” Esme squealed. “Did you just say SNOW WHITE?”
Katri nodded again.
“But why is she such a bad person now? I thought she was good!”
Katri sighed. “It’s a very long story. But pretty much she was jealous of my sister Ariel”
“Wait, as in Ariel the MERMAID?” Esme broke in.
“Yes,” Katri said shortly. “So anyway, she was jealous of my sister so she basically banished her from this world and now no one knows where she is, and that’s why my father’s the way he is.” Katri hung her head. “That’s why I am the way I am. We miss her, so terribly. It’s horrifying to think that she could be anywhere – even in the human world! That’s why we staged the dragon egg thing in the first place. We need people like you to find Ariel for us – we could never pass unnoticed among humans. I was supposed to assign you this journey as at test, to see if you were up to the task. But it was a test for me too, and I failed. Miserably.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, digesting this large chunk of information. Then Vivi spoke up.
“But… if you’re on our side, why did you make us take the dragon all the way here instead of taking him yourself and letting us go home?”
“Because my father programmed the compass not to take you home until you completed your mission… at which time he and I would show up at Snow White’s mountain and blackmail you into agreeing with our plan before you went home to search for Ariel.”
“Oh.” Devin said in a small voice, the magnitude of this adventure finally coming home to him.
Esme looked around nervously. “So why isn’t your father here now?”
“Because he wasn’t prepared to leave his duties this soon and come here. Not to mention the fact that Daisy was a very helpful transportation device.” Daisy whinnied proudly. “But you’re right, he’ll probably be here awfully soon. You’d better leave while you can.”
As if Katri had conjured him up on the spot, a dark speck appeared in the sky. Katri’s father on his terrifying flying beast.
And he was flying fast.
“OH NOOOO!” Esme wailed.
Katri jumped into action. “Here, quick! Where’s your compass? Who has it?” Everyone looked at each other with terrified blank stares.
Then, “I have it,” Faun jumped up, holding the precious compass in her tiny hands.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. “Here, let me have it,” Vivi demanded. She grabbed the compass and slammed it hard onto the mountainside.
It didn’t break.
“My father’s trying to deactivate it!”
The black dot was a dot no longer. It was a terrifying, fire-breathing arrow shooting straight for them.
“Here, let me try,” Devin said frantically. He scooped up the compass and heaved it downward with a mighty effort.
Everything went blindingly bright, but before she totally disappeared, Katri shoved something into Esme’s hand.
“For when you come back,” she shouted above the whirling, swirling noisy light surrounding them.
“WE’RE COMING BACK?” Esme screeched, but it was too late. She could see nothing now, feel nothing except the hard object in one hand and the strong grip of Vivi on her other.
And then they were home. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and everything was exactly like it had been the minute the dragon had hatched. But everything, everything had changed.
The four friends looked at each other, blinking and shaking their heads. They gathered around the object in Esme’s hand.
It was a small, leather journal stamped with strange characters on the front. Slowly Esme opened it. Katri’s Diary. STAY OUT! Proclaimed the first page in bold letters. Then, Esme knew. Katri had given them her precious journal because she had not had time to answer all their questions. And she knew something else, too.
They were going back someday.
There, done! So how did you like it? Did you see what I did there at the end? I don’t know if you remember or not, but Snow White was the one who captured Alalia and Jacob in WordCrafters 1, because she was jealous of a certain Ariel and needed their help. Hmmm… Hee hee! If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It should make sense later when… well, you’ll see. 😉
Well this has been quite a long post already so I won’t go into many details about WordCrafters 3, but suffice it to say that there WILL be a WordCrafters 3, hopefully around June, and Josie and I have some very exciting plans for it!
Thanks once again for helping us create this wonderful, fun story, guys. Give yourselves a round of applause. 😀