WordCrafters 2

These are the main characters in WordCrafters 2:

Esme (Esmeralda) Kokani:

There are so many Esme pictures! Ahh this is perfect! She is so beautiful... I LOVE this!:

{via}

Esme:

{via}

Esme is a gentle soul. She is very timid around strangers, but loves being with her friends. She is kind, tender, and affectionate, but also a bit vain and fragile – she’s afraid of getting her hands dirty or her dress torn. Although she is easily frightened and often cries about small things, in true trials she is amazingly strong. Esme loves animals, especially baby animals. She can’t stand to see anyone be in pain, but she’s squeamish at the sight of injuries. She is a brilliant artist with a vivid imagination. She always carries a small bear in her pocket to comfort her, but she is too embarrassed to tell her friends about it.

Esme is small and slender, with long, straight black hair; dark brown eyes; and creamy skin. She is eleven years old.

Vivi (Vivian) Brown:

Vivi at last! My favorite picture of her.:

{via}

Vivi is always on the go. “Vivacious” is the perfect adjective for her – she seems to have an endless supply of energy. She stands up for her friends if they are bullied or looked down upon. Vivi is athletic, outgoing, and very smart, but sometimes her strong nature gets the better of her and she becomes bossy and overbearing. Vivi also has a short temper; she never cries, but easily gets angry. She is very strong, both mentally and physically. Vivi shares Esme’s love of animals, but she prefers the big, noble animals like elk, bears, wolves, and eagles. She is a very good nurse.

Vivi is short and wiry, with shoulder-length, wavy blond hair; gray-blue eyes; and tanned skin. She is thirteen years old.

Pippin Merlin:

Character Inspiration: Pippin?:

{via} I couldn’t find a very good picture of Pippin, but this is sort of him. Just imagine that his hair is curlier and he has a huge grin.

Pippin is always ready with a grin and a laugh. He often plays pranks on his friends, but he is tender-hearted and quick to comfort his victims. Pippin is easy-going, funny, and loyal, but he sometimes unintentionally hurts people with his frank comments, and is always accidentally getting himself and others into trouble with his lighthearted pranks. He is prone to spouting off terrible puns. He hates being called “Pippi.” Pippin is always prepared – he adores wearing clothes with lots of pockets which he stuffs with a conglomeration of useful and not-so-useful objects. Pippin is an optimist with an eager sense of humor that lightens every situation.

Pippin is tall and lanky, with curly red hair; twinkling hazel eyes; and freckled skin. He is sixteen years old.

_________________________________

Chapter 1, by Josie

“Alright, the meeting of the Vivi Brown Fan Club will now come to order,” Vivi said, using a hairbrush as a gavel. “Today we’re discussing the building of the Vivi Brown Museum.”

“Hey, we never agreed to call it that!” Pippin yelled.

Esme smoothed her dress to get rid of the dirt that had somehow managed to get on her dress and combed through her jet black hair. “I’m okay with it.”

More than anything, Esme hated fighting.

“Well, what were you planning on calling it?” Vivi asked.

“The Pippin Merlin Appreciation Club!” Pippin exclaimed.

Vivi rolled her eyes. “Well, whatever you want to call it, we need to find some stuff for our museum. There’s got to be a ton of stuff out here in the woods.”

“Yeah!” Esme said. “We could press flowers and hang them up on the walls.”

“Ew, gross. I hate flowers,” Pippin said. Esme started tearing up.

Vivi crossed her arms. “I know you’re all, like, manly and stuff, but that’s just wrong. I think that’s a good idea, Esme.”
Esme squeezed the teddy bear she was hiding in her pocket and stopped crying. “Yay!”

“Maybe we could include a stuffed platypus!” Pippin suggested.

“That would stink up the place,” Vivi said.

“What’s a platypus?” Esme asked.

Pippin smiled from excitement. “It’s like a cross between a beaver and a duck. It’s my favorite animal- it looks hilarious.”

“Seriously, we should start looking,” Vivi said.

“Okay!” Esme said. “What about over by those fallen trees? Or by the beach?”

Vivi shook her head. “No, the beach is too far away. We could go look by the trees. I bet the storm unearthed some cool stuff.”

“I guess,” Pippin said. “I brought my shovel.”

Esme jumped up. Vivi ran over to the trees and Esme tried to catch up with her.

“Hey, no fair, you guys have longer legs than I do!” Esme exclaimed as Pippin and Vivi passed her.

Vivi smiled. “One day, Esmeralda.”

“Don’t call me that!” Esme said. “Oh, it’s so muddy over here.”

“Oh, stop whining,” said Pippin, who was already knee deep in dirt. “It’s mudgical!”

“What does that even mean?” Vivi asked, annoyed.

He smiled. “It’s a cross between mud and magical.”

“That’s horrible, Pippi Longstockings,” Esme said and giggled at the nickname she’d come up with.

“Seriously, I’m going to complain to the school for making you read that book,” Pippin said. He hated nicknames more than anything.

Vivi walked a few feet away. Pippin and Esme were as different as night and day, especially since they were so far apart in age.

Something was shining in the leaves. Vivi ran over and picked it up. There was a purple and blue shiny egg, covered in mud. Vivi wiped it off with her shirt, her blonde hair blowing in her face.

“Guys, come look at this!” Vivi shouted and the fighting Pippin and Esme suddenly perked up.

Esme ran over. “Oh, that’s pretty! Can we take it?”

“Well, I still think a stuffed platypus would be better…”

“Pippin!” the girls unanimously shouted.

“Okay,” he said and gave up. What was it with girls?

Esme shrieked. “Oh, I can’t wait to take it to our museum! Can we go right now?”

“Sure,” Vivi said and the three started to walk towards the abandoned barn they’d found a few weeks earlier. It was Esme’s idea to start a museum in there. Vivi wanted to turn it into a gym, and Pippin wanted to turn it into a “Cool bro hangout”. Esme won, like she always did.

“Can I hold it?” Esme asked.

“It’s pretty heavy.”

“You can then, I guess.”

Esme skipped off and ran ahead. “Come on, slowpokes!”

To Esme, it took forever to reach the barn. She was a couple minutes ahead, so she cleared the dust off of a low shelf.  It had to look perfect for their first item. She could imagine twenty years in the future thousands of people coming to look at their museum, paying tons of money to look at the exhibits…

She sighed, knowing it would never happen.

“Esme!” Pippin yelled. “You could’ve gotten lost.”

“But I didn’t,” Esme said with a grin. “Vivi, come put it here!”

Vivi placed the egg on the shelf Esme pointed to, and frowned when it tilted on its side.

“We could make a nest,” Pippin suggested. “It’ll be egg-celent!”

“That’s actually not a bad idea,” Vivi said. “Let’s go get some grass.”

Esme thought she head a cracking and turned around. The egg was shaking.

“Wait!” she exclaimed as the egg shattered.

Vivi and Pippin turned around.

“Woah,” Pippin said, staring at the small, baby dragon before him.
Esme picked up the destroyed egg shell to look at it, but in doing so dropped it. There was a flash of light that temporarily blinded her. When Esme could see again, she realized they were somewhere else.

Chapter 2, By Aria

“Where are we?” Esme shouted above the howling wind and the rain coming down in torrents.

“I don’t know, but we need to find cover from this storm!” replied Pippin.

“Look over there guys, there’s a forest! We can go under the trees!” yelled Vivi.

“Great idea Vivi, let’s run for it!”

The trio ran for the woods, and as they ran, the storm seemed to lighten, until finally they were under the trees. Once there, the rain completely stopped.

“Hey guys, look!”

“What, Esme?” asked Vivi.

“The rain! It’s in the middle of that field. It’s just storming there!”

“That’s odd,” added Pippin. “But at least we’re out of the storm. Let’s rest a bit. That was an egg-traordinary adventure,” he finished, winking.

“The egg! What happened to the dragon?” asked Vivi.

“Ummmh yeah, something’s wiggling in my pocket, now that I think of it,” replied Pippin. The baby dragon struggled out.

“You know, that thing is so cute!” said Esme. “Do you think we can keep it for our museum?”

“Seriously Esme, a dragon?”

“Well….”

“Goodness! Guys, look over at that tree!” exclaimed Vivi.

There was a tree across from where they sat, and carved on it was “PUSH THIS BUTTON WHEN RESTED”. The button was just a little purple circle below the words.

“Well, that’s interesting,” remarked Pippin. “Are we rested?”

“Sure! Let’s try the button!” replied the girls.

Pippin pressed the button. Suddenly, a figure in all black appeared in the now visible path. The girls screamed and Pippin…well, Pippin jumped, but the girls always testify that he screamed with them.

“Guys, it’s okay! I’m not like a ghost or anything.” The figure now unveiled its hood and they saw it was a girl, with chestnut golden hair and violet eyes. “I’m here to help you. You see, you have an important job. You have to replace that baby dragon to its home in the mountains, far away.”

“But how did the dragon get to where we found it back home?” asked Esme.

“The dragon was accidently sent across space into your world. You are no longer in your world, Earth. You are in Icxlwocjg.”

“Icxlwocjg?”

“The world of dragons, elves, and faeries.”

“Once the dragon was hatched out of its shell, it would directly come straight back to its home in Icxlwocjg. Unfortunately, you three found it and were with it when it hatched. This means that your punishment for seeing it is that you have to bring it safely back to its home.”

“Punishment? But we didn’t do anything wrong! We just found it!” exclaimed the indignant Vivi.

“In your world, that is nothing wrong. In ours, it is. And you could have left it where it was. However, I am not the one to punish you and I have been sent to help you take it back.”

“So how are you going to help us? Show us the way?”

“No. As you can see, this path is here. At the end of the path is the dragon’s home. Once you have taken him there, you are allowed to return to your home.”

“Excuse me, girl, but what is your name?” asked Pippin.

“Oh! You can just call me Katri. I’m a faery.”

“Good to know. But if the path is all laid out, how do you help us?” asked Esme.

“I have things for you that will help you along the way. First, put on these black cloaks like mine. Now, take this basket, Esme. Pippin, you take this sword, and Vivi, you take this bag.”

“Oh, cool, a sword! This is going to be fun after all!” exclaimed Pippin, brandishing the sword.

“What’s in my basket, Katri?” asked Esme.

“In your basket are potions. One, for Honesty. If someone is lying to you, sprinkle some of Honesty on them and they will tell you the truth. Another is for Healing. If one of you – or someone else is in pain or badly hurt, sprinkle some of that on them and they will be well. The third is for Happiness, and the last two for Invisibility and Wings.”

“Invisibility? Wow! You’re right, Pippin, this is going to be so much fun!” exclaimed Vivi, jumping up and down. “But what’s in my bag, then, Katri?”

“Vivi, in your bag is food. Of course, this will be a long journey and you will get hungry and thirsty. There will be a stream accompanying you that you can drink from, but no food. In your bag are little pellets of food that will enlarge.”

“So when do we start?” asked Esme.

“I have two last things to give you. One, a map. If you ever stray off the path, climb a tree and use the map. And finally, a compass. This compass you must show to every dragon, faery, and elf that you come by and they will not hurt you. It will also help you to get back on the path if you veer off of it, and lastly, it will bring you back home. It is unbreakable until you have accomplished your feat. Then, simply throw it against a rock and it will break, and you three will be back in the same place where you left Earth. Are you ready?”

“YES!” shouted the trio.

“Wait, where’s the dragon?” asked Pippin.

“Oh, the dragon will follow you wherever you go. You don’t have to worry about it.” replied Katri. “Now start down the path! Oh by the way, if you ever need help, just call.”

“With a phone?” asked Pippin, smirking.

“No, you silly boy, with your mouth! Just shout my name and I’ll come. But you only have three chances to call me. Save them and use them wisely. Now go!”

As the three started down the path, Esme looked back. Katri had vanished. She shivered. “Vivi and Pippin think it’s fun, and it is in a way, but it’s a little scary too.” she thought, starting to wish they had never picked up the egg in the beginning. And her bear had disappeared in the trip between the worlds. Well, she must be brave. And so, putting the thoughts out of her head, she went with them down the path.

Chapter 3, by Grace

For the past two days, Esme, Pippin, and Vivi had been trudging along the path, soaked to the bone.  The sky had poured bucketful after bucketful of rain, leaving the children wet, annoyed, and miserable. Even Pippin wasn’t his usual easy going self. Vivi, who usually helped keep the spirits up, grumbled and muttered under her breath. Esme was simply miserable.

The children awoke that morning to a cloudy sky threatening even more rain. Vivi grumbled as she prepared breakfast, jerking the food pellets from the bag and sprinkling a little water on them. They expanded, as Katri promised, into small sweet cakes covered in honey. Vivi passed them out and plopped on a log by the fire.

Vivi groaned. “I can’t stand this any longer! I’m sick of trudging through the mud and being soaked to the bone!”

“Ditto,” Pippin sighed, “but we can’t get home until we deliver the dragon. Speaking of the dragon,” Pippin turned to Esme. “How is he?”

“How do you know it’s a he?” Vivi asked defiantly.

“Because I’m the oldest and I make the rules around here!” Pippin shot back.

Esme had begun to cry. “Please, stop fighting!” she said through sobs.
Vivi patted Esme’s hand. “Sorry Esme. You’re right.”

Pippin nodded and turned to Esme. “Now, what about that dragon?”

Esme wiped her eyes and turned to the basket that Katri had given her. She removed the cloth covering and peeked inside. The baby dragon was curled up, snoring contentedly. Its violet skin was flecked with bits of silver, reminding Esme of a starry night. The dragon’s wings were folded up like a fan, and its tail was tucked underneath its body.

Esme smiled and looked back at the others. “She’s fine.” She said.

Vivi looked relieved. “That’s a relief. If anything happens to her, we’re dead meat.”

“I know,” Pippin replied.

Vivi jumped up. “We’d better get going,” she said. “This dragon isn’t going to deliver itself!”

********************************

By the afternoon, the sun had begun to peek out from behind the clouds, lightening everyone’s mood. Vivi skipped and danced ahead, Esme hummed a tune to herself, and Pippin was back to making up horrible puns.

Pippin ran up to Vivi. “What eats more tacos than one dragon?” he asked.

Vivi rolled her eyes. “What?”

“Two dragons!” Pippin yelled. He burst out laughing, but stopped when he saw Vivi’s face.

“Sorry,” he said. “That was corny. Ha! Get it?”

Vivi shook her head and slapped him. But he continued to call out, “Get it? Corny!”

Esme was paying no attention to the others. Instead, she kept peeking at the baby dragon. She would take a few steps, then stop, lift up the cloth, and smile at the baby dragon that was awake. Its milky eyes met Esme’s own brown ones with affection.

“You’re just the cutest thing ever!” she exclaimed. She stopped suddenly, straining her ears. From behind her, she heard rustling and hollow whispers.

Esme walked faster, her eyes fixed on the dragon. Before she knew what was happening, she tripped and fell to the ground. The basket flew through the air, landing near her. She winced as she tried to stand. Her ankle was throbbing. She managed to hobble a few feet, but fell back to the ground.

Tears welled in her eyes. “Oh, please, someone help me!”

“Esme!”

Esme looked up and saw Vivi and Pippin running to her. Vivi crouched and examined Esme’s ankle. She reached for the potion labeled Healing and lifted it to Esme’s lips. Esme drank, and sighed.

“How’s that?” Vivi asked.

Esme nodded and managed to croak, “Better.”

In a flash, Vivi fastened a makeshift splint and soon they were on their way again. Vivi helped Esme hobble along, while Pippin was in charge of the basket.

Vivi glanced at the sky. Clouds had begun to gather on the horizon, threatening rain. “We’d better find some shelter,” she said.

Soon the children were safe inside the mouth of a nearby cave. Vivi had made a roaring fire and Esme was feeling much better.

From somewhere to their left, came a voice.

“Leave immediately!” A twisted figure emerged from the shadows, covered in a dark cloak.

Pippin reached for his sword, but the figure shook its head. “You must leave,” said the low, gravelly voice. “They’re coming for you.”

“Why?” Vivi asked defiantly. “We have resources. We can fight.”

The figure shook its head again. “You must leave. You are only safe when the dragon is returned to its home.” The figure glanced around feverishly. “Quickly! You don’t have much time!”
Vivi glanced at Pippin, then Esme. She nodded and helped Esme to her feet. “Pippin, grab the basket and the food bag. Let’s go.”

The figure led the children to the back of the cave, where a passage led upward.

“Follow this path,” the figure said, “you will end up back outside. Quickly!”

The children nodded and made their way up the passage. As promised, they found themselves back outside, at the edge of a cliff face.

Esme sighed and leaned against a rock. She retrieved the basket from Pippin and lifted the cloth.

Esme gasped in horror. The dragon was gone.

Chapter 4, by K. A.

“What’s the matter, Esme?” Vivi asked, looking over her shoulder.

“It- It’s…g-go-“ Esme started crying. Vivi saw that the dragon was missing from the basket and looked over worriedly at Pippin.

“B-but …how? I thought you were checking on it, Pippin!” Vivi looked accusingly at Pippin. He lowered his head, thinking.

“I saw it in there a couple…days ago.” He said the last part a whisper.

“Pippin!!! How could you! You were in-“ Vivi started, but Pippin interrupted.

“It’s probably not far… maybe it’s even close!” He said, trying to believe his own words.

“Yeah..” Esme joined in, trying to end the fight. Pippin turned around and walked toward the trees and cave again. Vivi helped Esme up and she hobbled over to a tree. “We’ll search, then come right back. Stay here.” Vivi told Esme.

After searching for nearly 2 hours without any luck, the two finally went back to Esme and sat down for a rest. Vivi leaned against a tree and scratched her head.

“Man, it’s HOT out …wait…” Vivi trailed off. “it’s…hot..?” She was more talking to herself now. It wasn’t pouring rain anymore! In fact, it was very sunny and hot, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!

“What in the world…?” Pippin asked, realizing also that it wasn’t raining. Esme had pulled off her black cloak and was trying to put her black hair in a bun, to keep it from sticking to her neck. They were all covered in sweat too. “This is strange.” Vivi muttered. “Should we call Katri?” She asked Pippin. He shrugged.

“Katri!” She called loudly. Nothing happened. “KATR-“

“What is it?” She heard someone say. Vivi spun around to see Katri behind her, looking annoyed. That was quick. she thought.

“We…we need your help. We-we lost the dragon…” Vivi lowered her head, afraid of what Katri might say.

“The dragon…but …it should be here soon..you did let it trail behind you like I said..right?” Katri asked, now fully alert to what they were saying.

“Well…” Esme said. Katri’s eyes darted over to Esme and she walked toward her.

“’Well’ what?” Katri seemed angry now, and Pippin stepped forward.

“The dragon seemed so friendly. I just carried it in the basket.” Esme replied, sniffing.

“yeah, you never said not to!” Pippin declared, sticking up for Esme. Vivi glanced from Esme to Pippin. Then she walked over.
“yeah!” Vivi put in. Katri nodded quickly.

“If that’s how you want it! Just look for the dragon. I told you, you are not safe here without the dragon being returned. Now that you have held it and kept it close to you, it will not be able to defend itself. You had better find it quickly, because if it dies, you die. And…” Katri’s eyes filled with fear, and then she quickly disappeared into thin air. Esme lowered herself to the ground and sobbed. Even Pippin looked as if he might cry. Vivi was just mad.

“C’mon guys! We have a dragon to find!” She announced, marching off into the woods. Pippin dragged himself off the ground and took a turn helping Esme up and putting her arm around his neck, then followed after Vivi, looking to the left and right trying to find a little dragon.

Pippin leaned up next to a tree and took a deep breath. There was no sign of the dragon, and none of them had any idea where they were! But every time they tried to call Katri, she just ignored them. All three of them were dripping with sweat, and didn’t want to keep on. For all they knew, the dragon could be 20 miles from them.
“Come on, Pippin, we have to keep going.” Vivi said tiredly. He nodded and took another step, then stopped again. “I…I can’t, Vivi. Just keep going without me…” He said, sitting on the ground. Vivi looked at him hard and saw that he was thoroughly exhausted.

“Okay, I guess I’ll keep-“

“NO! We stick together! If Pippin stays, we stay!” Esme declared loudly. Vivi looked back at her, surprised.
“Okay.”  She gave in. Pippin flipped back his cloak hood and Esme gasped. His usually freckled face, was as red as a tomato.

“Oh, Pippin…” Vivi said, her eyes huge. “You didn’t say…”

“What!?” Pippin asked angrily, “That since I’m a redhead, I get sunburned very, very easily and badly? Well I do…” He sighed, and rubbed his face, leaving it stinging even more. Vivi brought over some of the potion for injuries and sprinkled it onto Pippin.

“Better?” She asked. But Pippin shook his head when nothing happened.

“Oh no…the potions, they..they aren’t working!! Do you think Katri did something…” Vivi trailed off in thought.

“Owww…” Esme groaned in pain. Her ankle was all swollen up and sore. Vivi sighed. “Well… I guess we’re staying here tonight…” She set up camp and Pippin helped her find some wood and kindling. He had a lighter in one of his pants pockets, and they used that to start a fire.

Esme was curled up inside her cloak, sound asleep. Vivi was using her pocket knife to scrape at a stick, and Pippin was deep in thought.

“Vivi? Do you have any siblings?” He asked thoughtfully. She shook her head, then seeing that he wasn’t looking at her she said no.

“Well…I do…”

Vivi stopped scraping and looked up.

“Really? I never knew that!” She admitted.

“An older brother…Devin. He looks sorta like me actually…I miss ‘im..”

Vivi didn’t like to see Pippin this sad, it was too weird. Vivi was about to reply when she heard a whistling noise. What was that? Pippin heard it too. Then all of the sudden a blur fell out from the sky, landing about 10 feet from them. Pippin walked over there to see what it was and gasped. Vivi walked over, and was surprised to see that there was a boy, that looked like an older version of Pippin, sitting on the ground. He looked about 18 years old. “Ouch.” He said simply. Pippin smiled hugely. “Devin!” He yelled, helping the 18 year old up.  Just then a huge beast ran up from behind them. Devin turned around. “There it is again!!!” He cried, as if he had seen it before.

Vivi looked  closer to see that the beast was their once small dragon!

“Well, we found our dragon! RUUUN!!!” Pippin yelled, running for the camp as the monster screeched hideously and flared its nostrils.

“We’re dead.” Vivi muttered under her breath.

Chapter 5, by CutePolarBear

Esme trembled and couldn’t move.

“Come on, Esme!” Pippin cried. He shoved her from behind, urging her on.

Esme shrieked as she fell to the ground and stained her dress. The dragon was almost upon them, and Vivi wasn’t running if Esme and Pippin weren’t running. Devin wasn’t running if Pippin wasn’t escaping. And Pippin wasn’t about to leave Esme crying in the dust. So the whole group stood their ground as the dragon bore down upon them.

“Pippin! Your sword!” Vivi remembered. She yanked Esme off the ground.

Pippin took his sword and brandished it in front of the dragon. The dragon stopped in its tracks when it saw the shining piece of metal. With one mighty roar, it seemed to shrink, the roar becoming smaller as the dragon became smaller. Then the dragon was as small as it had been when they had began their journey. Pippin put his sword back in the sheath.

“I wonder why that happened?” he wondered aloud. Then a grin spread across his face. “Maybe it was so scared of my sword that its ‘spunk shrunk’!”

“Pippin!” Vivi and Devin cried in unison.

“Sorry,” Pippin grinned. “Hey, Esme, are you all right?”

“I think so,” Esme sniffed. The joke Pippin cracked had made her feel better. “Where’s the dragon now? We mustn’t lose it.”

“Over here,” Devin called. He pointed to the base of a tree where the dragon was cowering.

“Let’s do what Katri instructed this time,” Vivi said, “and let the dragon follow us.”

The group, now a group of four, traveled down the path.

“How did you get here, Devin?” Pippin inquired immediately.

“It was the strangest thing,” Devin replied. “I was walking in the woods with my buddies. We saw a spherical thing and I picked it up. It looked like an egg. But then it cracked, and a tiny fairy jumped out. But then I wasn’t in the woods anymore and…” he trailed off. “That sounds really confusing. But it was confusing. The fairy started talking, but I couldn’t understand a word she said. Finally she motioned that I was to go down a certain path. I obeyed, and she flew after me. She led the way that I was ‘supposed’ to go. We met that dragon- only a lot bigger- several times, but the fairy always waved a sword and the dragon would run away.”

“What was the fairy’s name?” Vivi interrupted.

“Katri,” Devin replied. “Why?”

“We met her!” Esme exclaimed. “She gave us these potions for honesty and happiness and healing and invisibility and wings. And she also gave Pippin his sword.”

“That’s interesting,” Devin replied. “But then Katri disappeared, and when the dragon returned, I didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t given me a sword or any instructions. I climbed a tree and eventually the dragon left me. I fell out of the tree, and found you all on the ground.”

Pippin told his older brother of their journey. “We were supposed to let the little dragon follow us, but we didn’t, so it got lost,” he ended.

“Well, when can we eat? I’m hungry,” Devin said.

Vivi frowned at the older boy. He barged into our group just like that. And he doesn’t belong. She didn’t say anything, however, because Pippin was clearly happy to have Devin along.

“We can eat and rest right now,” Esme suggested. “I am a little tired.”

“Great idea,” Pippin said. He plopped down on a rock. “Who’s got the food?”

“I do,” Vivi said grudgingly. She didn’t look forward to the prospect of sharing with Devin. “We need some water though, to enlarge the food pellets.”

Esme noticed Vivi’s sour face. “Why don’t I come with you to find the stream,” she offered. Vivi readily agreed, and they left the boys setting up camp. “What’s wrong, Vivi? You look mad,” Esme said when they were out of earshot.

“Me? I’m not mad,” Vivi assured her. “I’ll have to use some of that Honesty powder on you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong,” Esme warned.

Vivi sighed. “It’s just that Devin… well, he doesn’t belong here.”

“He’s Pippin’s brother, Vivi. Pippin’s happier with him around.”

Vivi sighed again. “I know. But I just wanted this trip to be a special time with my friends. And, I’m sorry to say, Devin is not my friend.”

“Just try to get along with him, okay, Vivi?” Esme pleaded.

“I will,” she grunted. The stream wasn’t far off, and the girls were soon walking back to the campsite. What they found, though, wasn’t anything like it had been when they left.

“Where are they, Vivi?” Esme gasped. Pippin and Devin had disappeared! Vivi looked as shocked as Esme. She searched Esme’s basket for clues.

“Look! The Invisibility bottle is almost empty!” she cried.

Chapter 6, by Zielle

“What in the world?” Esme grabbed the bottle. “We haven’t even used a drop!”

Vivi spotted Pippin’s sword lying on the ground and pulled it out from the sheath. “Something’s not right here.” Her sharp eyes darted around the forest.

The little dragon sat beside the food, gazing up at Esme innocently. She scowled, remembering how terrifying it had been when it was grown, but softened a little as she looked into its’ eyes.

“How’s your ankle, Esme?” Vivi asked, as if she needed the answer to that question to find the two boys.

“It’s fi-” Pain ripped up her foot and she gave a cry and sank to the ground. “It keeps healing and then getting worse, Vivi.” Esme cried, tears sliding down her flushed cheeks.

Vivi’s eyebrows creased, as she looked down at the little girl in the dirt. Placing the sword on the sword back in the sheath and helped Esme to sit against a tree, and fixed a splint tightly to her leg. “Better?”

Esme nodded. “Thanks.”

“I betcha’ those boys used the potion,” Vivi growled. “I bet Devin told Pip to to it.”

“He wouldn’t waste it,” Esme whispered, hoping she was right.

“Pippin!” Vivi yelled.

“Devin!” Esme screamed.

Complete darkness hovered over the leafy roof, blocking out every squint of sunlight. The path beside them darkened as shadows slid over them.

“Vivi,” Esme whimpered. “What’s going on?”

The shadows grew larger and the trees parted and snapped like chopsticks as a beast landed on the dirt in front of the girls.

Esme screamed, scooting backwards as best she could with her swollen ankle.

“Oh my goodness!” Vivi rushed over to Esme, pulling the sword out of the sheath.

The little dragon backed off, frightened.

The beast in front of them blew smoke from its’ nostrils, its’ gleaming teeth threatening to plunge them into the girl in front of him. Red lines laced its’ back, as if it had been cut with a sword to mark itself.

Sweat trailed down Vivi’s face, and she clutched the sword tightly.

“Show it the compass!” Esme yelled.

“It’s not a Dragon!” Vivi yelled back.

“Try!”

Leaning over to the basket beside her, she rummaged frantically around it, and tossed the compass to Vivi.

Grabbing it, Vivi held it up to the muscly beast. It ran its’ claws deep into the soil and charged.

“Vivi!” a yell came out of nowhere and Pippin leaped at her, knocking her to the ground. The beast slammed into a large tree in front, giving the children time to escape towards the denser forest.

Scooping up Esme from beside the tree, Devin pointed towards a clump of trees in the distance. “We might be able to loose it in there!”

The beast gave a roar of anger and tore after them. Its’ wings beat down the trees and the children could hear trees falling all around.

Esme clung to Devin. Looking up, she saw the little dragon flying above the beast, beating its’ little wings up and down.

“In there!” Pippin slid inside a small cave and pulled Vivi behind him. Esme and Devin slid in after them, and they could hear the animal tearing past.

A flutter of wings hummed silently, then the little dragon landed clumsily beside Esme on the stone floor.

“That was close.” Pippin gasped.

Vivi pushed him away from her and glared. “Where in the world did you go?” she demanded.

“We just went looking for more food.” Pippin held up his hands in defense. “Calm down!”

“You didn’t happen to use this, did you?” Vivi pulled the Invisibility bottle from her pocket and thrust it in Pippin’s face.

“No,” Pippin took the bottle, gazing at the little contents within. “Why is it almost empty?”

Vivi shrunk back, a little ashamed of her outrage. Pippin never lied. “That’s what we wanted to know.”

“Strange.”

“I don’t trust Katri,” Vivi spoke up, after a few seconds of silence.

Pippin shrugged and huffed. “All I want is to get this dragon home, and get back to our home!”

Devin had laid Esme gently on the stone floor and peeked cautiously out of the cave. “All clear!”

Vivi stormed inside, clenching her fists. Since when did he become part of this group?

“Hey you guys!” Esme stood up and hurried outside, limping a little from the wooden splint fastened to her leg. “Where is the path? And where are our baskets?”

Chapter 7, by Nicole

The others looked around and realized that the path had indeed disappeared, along with their baskets. Vivi rushed to the spot where they had left the path and spun around, frantically trying to re-trace their steps. “Vivi,” Esme said, “what happened to it? Where did it go?” She clutched the edge of her dress and twined her fingers into it until they were almost white. Vivi glanced at her and Esme glimpsed the hot tears pooling in her blue eyes. “Vivi?”
Vivi shoved past her and Pippin and sunk back into the cave. Esme, Pippin, and Devin stared as soft sobs shattered the eerie silence. Pippin began to walk towards the cave. “I’ll go talk to her.”
“No. You won’t help anything,” Esme said as she grabbed his arm to hold him back.
“What do you mean?” His glare looked more hurt than angry.
Esme drew in a shaky breath. “I just know. Please trust me.” She pleaded with her eyes until he retreated back to where Devin stood. “I’ll go talk to her.” Esme walked into the cave and sat down beside her friend.
Seeing Vivi defeated was heartbreaking. Her eyes were swollen red and her hair was tangled, like she had been yanking on it. “Vivi? Are you all right?” Esme asked. Vivi sniffled and wiped her nose.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m scared and angry and–and I want to go home!” She kicked a rock shard and winced.
Esme sighed. Sometimes she felt like the older one. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.”
Esme stood up to leave.
“Esme?”
“Yeah?”
“I’m sorry I’ve kind of been acting like a brat. I think I’m just mad because Devin showed up without any warning, and I’m sorry I’ve been treating this kind of like a game. The reality of it all didn’t set in until that monster attack.”
Esme smiled. “You don’t have to say sorry, Vivi. You have a right to feel how you feel. You’re the adventurous one who’ll face anything. I kind of admire how you keep yourself so calm amidst the chaos. If it helps you, the way you’ve been leading us has helped comfort me.”
Vivi snorted. “I don’t know about calm, but I’m glad I’ve helped one of us.”
“Just one thing.”
“What?”
“Just try to get along with Devin for the time being. He shouldn’t be here too long.”
Vivi groaned. “How do you know that for sure?”
“I don’t,” Esme replied, “but it’s a hunch.” She turned and hobbled out of the cave back to Pippin and Devin. A moment later, Vivi joined them, all traces of her tears gone. She turned to Devin and eyed him disdainfully. Then she turned away and motioned for the group to follow her.
“We came this way, so the path should be around here somewhere,” Vivi said.
“How about we follow the path of destruction that monster left?” Devin suggested, pointing to a trail of trampled bushes and fallen trees. Esme cringed as Vivi bristled. But when she didn’t say anything, just shook her head, Esme breathed a sigh of relief. They followed the trampled trail for several hours, but it seemed they were going in circles. To Pippin, every fallen log looked like the Trail of Destruction, Devin wasn’t exactly experienced in tracking, and Vivi ignored everyone’s comments. Finally, tired and weary, Esme plopped down on a rock to rest her injured ankle. She rubbed her temples. This was not how she had thought this would go. She listened as Vivi tramped through the bushes with Pippin at her heels and Devin searched for a new lead. “Ugh, I wish there was someone here who could actually help us,” she moaned.
“I can help you,” a chirpy voice answered. Esme jumped. She glanced around wildly for the source of the voice. “Down here!” Esme looked down.
At her feet stood a tiny person about five inches tall, barely visible beneath the pine needles coating the ground. It wore a brown coat and brown leggings, along with a pair of ankle boots with little, curling sprouts growing out of the toes. It stood up and dusted off its jacket with its tiny hands. Esme marveled at the tiny cap it wore on its head; it seemed to be made out of an acorn. Little brown tips poked out from underneath the cap and hung down to the person’s chin. It stretched out its arms and screeched, “Up!” Esme scooped it up in her hands and lifted it. The person plopped down in her palm. As Esme studied it closer, she realized it was a girl with freckles and round, green eyes.
“You look kind of like a–” Esme started to say.
“NO, NO, NO! Don’t say that word!” The girl shouted, closing her eyes and holding her hands up like she was about to be squashed.
Esme was very confused. “How did you know what I was going to say?”
“You were going to say ‘fairy’, right?”
“Umm, yeah. Is that bad?”
The girl rolled her eyes. “Duh. Never call an elf a fairy. We’re very sensitive about that.”
Esme couldn’t help being curious. She asked, “Why?”
“Don’t you know anything? Fairies are big, fat liars. They only help people when it benefits them. Everyone knows to avoid fairies at all costs. As generous elves, we prefer not to be associated with such forest-folk as themselves. So don’t ever say that word in our presence.”
Esme squirmed in her seat as she realized what this new information meant. Katri was a fairy. Could she have lied to them? But she didn’t really seem like the lying type. “How can I tell you apart?”
The elf girl rolled her eyes again and said, “Wings, duh. Fairies have wings, elves don’t. Now can we please leave this conversation? Saying that word just brings you bad luck.”
“Uh, sure.” Esme replied. “Can you help us find the path we’ve been looking for?”
The elf brightened her smile. “Sure thing! All you have to do is–“
Pippin’s voice rose from the trees and shouted, “I found it!”
“NOOOO! I was supposed to help you find it! Ugh! Boys,” she exclaimed. Then she gave a little wave and jumped off Esme’s hand. Esme gasped and looked down, expecting to find the little elf at her feet, but there was nothing but pine needles.
Suddenly, Devin darted out of the woods and sprinted towards Esme. He scooped her up in his arms before jogging with her back to where Vivi and Pippin stood. Pippin grinned at her as he bent over her basket, making sure the potions were all in order. Devin set her down and they all began to walk down the path. Esme shuffled along in silence for a while. But then the worrying became too much, “Guys,” she squeaked, “I need to tell you something.”

Chapter 8, by Lainey

“What’s wrong?”  Pippin asked with worry framing his brows.

Esme fingered nervously with the sleeve of my dress and replied slowly with a sigh.  “I think we’re walking into a trap.”

Vivi glanced around cautiously as if searching for danger.  “What makes you say that, Esme?”

“I-I just t-talked to an elf, and she s-said that fairies are tactical and that you should be cautious around them, an-and she also sa-”

Pippin lifted up his hands.  “Woah, woah, woah, Esme.  An Elf??!  How about you calm down and start over, ok?”

“I’ve got an idea!”  Devin snapped his fingers.

Esme noticed that Vivi’s eye twitched and her face tightened as she crossed her arms.

“It’s getting dark.  How about we find a place to pitch camp for the night, and then Esme can tell us everything?”  He suggested.

“Sounds like a plan.”  Pippin readily agreed.

Vivi just nodded her head as she groaned “Yeah, sure.”

Devin took the lead followed by Pippin and Esme, while Vivi shuffled  reluctantly behind. They walked along, stumbling occasionally over rocks and menacing tree roots as the Sun began to sink below the horizon, casting eerie shadows across the forest.  The boys had started a conversation, but Esme was oblivious to what they were saying.  She was lost in thought; the dragon trudging clumsily beside her.  Should I trust Katri or believe the Elf?  Katri seemed nice enough, but things are getting a little too suspicious.  And how on earth did Devin get here?  I wish that little Elf would come back.What if my friends don’t believe me?  And-

Her thoughts were interrupted by the feel of a scaly touch on her hand.  Emse looked down in surprise to see that the dragon had stood uprightly and had placed it’s small little hand in her fair one. It seemed to smile up at her, and it’s beady little eyes looked pathetic as Esme returned it’s gaze.

“Don’t worry little guy,”  she whispered.  “You’re going to be just fine.  I promise.”

“How’s this spot?”  Devin cheerfully asked, his arms spread in a “Ta-da!” kind of way.

Esme looked around the tiny clearing that they had just entered; towering oaks seemed to cover it like a forbidding fortress, and the shadows seemed especially large in the twilight. The light of the moon sifted its small beams of silver on the darkest spots and a lonesome creature howled in the distance making chills shake her body, despite the fact that the humidity seemed to only increase with the coming of night.  This certainly didn’t seem like the most “homey” spot.

“Uh…well…”  Esme shifted my eyes to Vivi, wondering what she would say.

“Whatever.  It doesn’t matter to me.  I’ll go get some fire wood, if we’re all agreed, that is.”  Vivi sighed in a defeated manner.

“Yep!  I’ll help you, Vivi!”  Pippin began to follow her.

“No thanks, Pippin.”  She walked off alone amidst the shadows.

Pippin stood there looking after her with a confused look on his face.  He turned to Esme and said “I can’t get her.  What’s up?  I’ve never seen her act this way before.”

“It’s complicated.”  Esme replied.

Pippin shrugged and began to help Devin make a fire pit with some large rocks that were lying nearby.

Esme had plopped down on a log and began to pick apart blades of grass absentmindedly for several minutes until Devin said “Ya know, that Vivi sure has been gone awhile.”

“Yeah.  Maybe I should see if she’s ok.”  Pippin replied as his eyebrows came together in a worried form.

Esme jumped up quickly.  “It’s ok, Pippin.  I’ll go check on her.”

He scratched the back of his head with a hesitant expression.  “I don’t know, Esme.  I don’t like the idea of both of you girls being alone out there.”

“I’ll be fine, really,”  she reassured him and took off before he could respond.

I do hope she’s ok.

Esme had been walking down the path in the direction Vivi had gone for a few minutes, when she heard a rustling of leaves directly in front of her. She froze instantly and felt her heart nearly coming out of her chest.  The rustling increased, and then suddenly stopped.

“Hey Girl!”

“Who-who’s th-there?”  Esme stammered in fear.

“Down here!  Look at your feet, Human!”  The small, and seemingly familiar voice, replied.

Esme looked down at her feet and saw a little figure lit up by moonlight. The Elf!

“Oh how relieved I am to see you!”  Esme knelt down with a sigh of relief.

“Yes, well, we have to leave now!”  She grabbed Esme’s finger and proceeded in trying to pull her.

“What’s wrong?”

“Your friend is in trouble!”

Chapter 9, by Clara

Esme’s eyes grew wide. “What’s wrong with Vivi?”

The elf closed it’s eyes and tugged her hand, grunting. “No time to explain!” it squeaked. “Come on!”

Esme glanced back at the golden light of the fire and the shape of the boys sitting close to the warmth, with the dragon curled up in Pippin’s lap. They were too far away to hear her if she called, and the elf said there was no time.

She would have to go alone.

She hurried after the elf, taking deep breaths and trying not to trip in the darkness. Tree branches brushed against her, making her jumpy and nervous.

The elf would pause every now and then, listen, and take off again. Esme could hardly keep up with her as she pattered quickly along.

Suddenly, the elf froze. She whirled around and lifted her arms to Esme. “Pick me up,” she whispered.

Esme lifted the elf to her shoulder. “What’s going on?”

The elf pulled Esme’s dark hair over her small body and leaned close to the girl’s neck. “Don’t let her see me.”

“Don’t let who see you?”

Two cold hands clutched Esme’s arms and twisted them behind her back.

Esme struggled and thrashed, but the cloaked figure was strong. Soon the young girl was pinned on the ground, a rope binding her hands. She gazed up into the cold eyes of-

“Katri?”

Katri frowned disapprovingly down at her prisoner.

“You’re pretty slow, you know that? I’ve been waiting for ten whole minutes for you to arrive.”

Esme started up at Katri, trying to form words but failing. Finally, she whispered, “Why?”

Katri smiled and spoke in a mocking tone. “You’re not very smart for such a big girl of eleven. You walked right into my trap.” She leaned down and lifted the tiny elf from where she cowered on the ground. “And now I have this creature, too. We’ll call it an… added bonus.”

Esme’s face darkened. “You’re evil.”

Katri ignored the words and yanked Esme to her feet. “The plan isn’t complete until your friends get here.”

Esme scowled. “They don’t know I’m here. They won’t come.”

“Oh, but they will.”

Katri grabbed Esme’s arm and twisted it sharply, causing a shriek to escape the young girl’s lips. Esme moaned as Katri released her arm.

Right on cue, Pippin’s voice floated through the woods. “Esme! Vivi! Are you okay? Where are you?”

Esme bit her lip to keep from screaming again as Katri stepped hard on her foot.

The boys burst into the clearing, followed closely by the dragon. Pippin froze, his eyes darting back and forth from bruised Esme to Katri, who was staring at the boys. A few seconds passed. No one moved. Pippin’s eyes filled with anger.

“You…..”

He leapt forward and landed on Katri, slamming her roughly to the ground. He held her down as she kicked and struggled. “Let me up!”

Pippin snorted. “Fat chance of that.” He grabbed her shoulders and slammed them against the ground with each word. “Where. Is. Vivi.”

Katri panted and gasped. “I- you- she-”

Suddenly, Esme’s voice rang out, bright and clear. “Don’t hurt her, Pippin.”

Pippin’s mouth dropped open. “She hurt you, Esme!”

Esme struggled to a sitting position. “I want to hear her side of the story- but she’d better give us Vivi first.”

Pippin nodded. “Right.” He glared at Katri. “WHERE IS SHE?”

The girl moaned softly as he dug his fingernails into her arm. “Fine… fine. She’s over there.” Katri jerked her head towards a patch of shadows a few yards away.

Devin rushed to the place, leaned down, and let out a strangled gasp.

Pippin shouted, “What is it? Is she okay?” Esme tore frantically at her bonds, trying to get to her friend.

Devin emerged from the shadows, holding a limp figure in his arms.

Vivi’s hair was caked with mud and leaves, and a deep, ugly gash was etched across her forehead. Blood was streaked over her face. She lay still in Devin’s grasp, her breaths soft and few. Her eyes were closed, her face pale.

Esme’s bonds tore with a loud ripping sound as she broke free. She dashed to Devin and lifted Vivi’s limp head in her arms.

Pippin expected to hear the sound of sobs, but she was strangely silent.

Esme pulled Vivi’s hair away from her forehead and shot a look of pure hatred at Katri.

“Someone get me some bandages already.”

Pippin, startled by her sharp tone, kept one foot on Katri’s chest as he lifted her cloak into the air. The tiny elf tumbled out of it and scurried away, squeaking it’s thanks.

Pippin began to tear the cloak into thin strips. He handed them one by one to Esme, who silently wrapped Vivi’s head with the makeshift bandages.

Katri had fallen quiet at the sight of the injured Vivi. She stopped struggling and lay still as Pippin tore the cloak and Esme bandaged Vivi. She watched the way the two worked together, trusting each other, caring for their friend.

Then, she burst into tears.

Pippin paused his work and started down at her in utter amazement. “What on earth…”

Katri was sobbing to hard to reply. She simply stared at Vivi as tears poured down her cheeks.

Esme coldly ignored Katri and finished caring for Vivi. She helped Devin to lay her on the leaves, then sat down and lifted Vivi’s head in her lap. Pippin handed her what remained of the cloak to use as a blanket. Esme pulled Vivi’s hair away from her face and gently adjusted the bandages.

All the while, Katri wept.

Finally, Esme turned her head slowly, and her dark eyes met Katri’s.

They were filled with tears.

Esme’s face softened a tiny fraction- but her expression was still murderous. She turned away and spoke to Pippin. “Let her sit up, Pippin. Don’t let go of her.”

Pippin obeyed, leaning Katri against a tree and clutching her arms firmly.

Esme stared at the older girl for a long moment. Then, she spoke.

“Why would you hurt Vivi?”

Katri swallowed hard and blinked quickly. “I-” she trailed off into sobs again.

Esme’s face darkened. “Oh, stop that,” she snapped. “Even I can cry better than you. You sound like a blubbering horse.”

Pippin and Devin both snorted.

Katri stopped crying.

Esme spoke slowly, as if she were speaking to a very young child. “Why did you do this?”

Katri’s violet eyes were wide and sad as she whispered, “I’m sorry. My father told me to.”

Chapter 10, by Anika

Pippin squeezed tighter on Katri’s arms.

“Who is your father, and why did he tell you to do this?” Esme pushed.

Katri breathed in deeply and replied, “My father is the ruler of the fairies – Lord Zilch.”

“But why did he tell you to do this?” Devin asked as he stood up and leaned against a nearby tree. He stroked the baby Dragon’s head softly as he stared at Katri, waiting for an answer.

“He wants revenge on all Humans,” Katri’s eyes flooded with tears. “Ten years ago, Humans like you came to our world – but they were older and they had weapons.”

“What kind of weapons,” Pippin asked.

“They had metal – and dragons and fairies are extremely sensitive to metal. That is why your little dragon shrunk from Pippin’s sword.” Katri tried to squirm but Pippin held her tight.

“Pippin,” Esme raised her eye brows and Pippin let go of one of Katri’s arms so that she could talk comfortably, but he kept a firm grip on her other arm.

“You may continue.” Devin urged the fairy.

Katri moved into a comfortable position and continued. “They came with metal, and wanted to rule Icxlwocjg. So my mother and father fought them, but they killed my mother. From that time on, my father has been bringing Humans to this world with baby dragons that he takes from their mother and leading them down a path. Once the Humans reach the end of the path, they are captured and locked in my father’s dungeons forever.”

Esme smoothed back Vivi’s hair and stared cold and hard at Katri. “I thought you where good.”

“I never really agreed to do all this – but I am my father’s daughter, and he expects me to obey his commands.” Katri pulled a little bottle of blue liquid from a pocket. “Here is some real Healing potion – it will take all of Vivi’s pain away, but that scar won’t leave as quickly.”

Pippin snatched the potion away from Katri and handed it to Devin. “How do we know that that isn’t some poison that will kill her?” He snapped angrily.

Esme’s eyes filled with tears. “Please, Pippin – it’s our only hope.”

Pippin’s face softened a little. “Alright, Esme. Just, please, don’t cry.”

Esme nodded and squared her shoulders bravely, brushing  away her tears. Devin opened the bottle and held it up to Vivi’s lips. He poured the liquid slowly down her throat and then popped the cap back on, sticking the bottle into his jeans pocket.

All four stared at Vivi, hoping that the medicine would work. None of them spoke for five minutes, but where silent, bringing an eery feeling about the forest.

Suddenly, Vivi gasped for breathe and started coughing. Esme sat her up a little hugged her tight.

“I was so scared.” Esme whispered into Vivi’s hair.

Vivi  smiled weakly and looked around. When she caught sight of Katri she growled and gritted her teeth.

“It as her. She tripped me!”

“We know,” Devin said.

Esme could feel Vivi tense up and she could see her jaw set firmly. Esme squeezed Vivi’s shoulder gently, and she relaxed.

“Okay, then why, Katri, did you do this?”

Then, Esme, Pippin and Devin explained the whole thing while Katri sat silently, listening to her own words and finally understanding her father’s wickedness and her own mistakes.

Vivi looked over at Katri. “I have one more question – what was that beast who chased us earlier?”

Katri’s eyes grew wide with fear as she remembered the horrible creature that she had sent after the four. “That was my Father’s pet – The Webinar. And he’s still after you – and now that I’ve told you my father’s plans, he’s after all of us.”

Leaves rustled and the little Elf appeared. She ran to Esme and climbed onto her lap.

Esme picked the elf up. “I never did catch your name.”

The elf smiled. “I thought you would never ask! I’m Faun.”

Esme stuck her finger out and shook Faun’s hand. “Nice to meet you, Faun.” She smiled and set the elf down.

Vivi looked over to Pippin and Katri. “I think you can let her go now, Pip.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.” Pippin let go of Katri’s arm. “Now, what do we do about the Webinar?”

Katri looked towards the East. “The sun is rising, we better find some shelter. My father and his men will be tracking us down with the Webinar.”

Pippin helped Vivi up and she placed her arm around his neck. Devin walked next to Katri and Esme placed Faun on her shoulder, and the five walked off to their camp with the baby dragon trailing behind.

Chapter 11, by C.

No one saw, no one heard the wrinkled old man from behind a tree cackle cruelly, and suddenly disappear.

“Katri, do you know how much longer we will have to return this little guy home?” Esme asked.

“Well, let’s see. Mmm, I think about 350 miles.”

“350 miles?!” Pippin squeaked. “That’s impossible!”

There was a short silence. Then Faun spoke up. “If we could find a griffin or unicorn, maybe it would be faster.”

Esme squealed. “There are unicorns around here?”

“Well, yes, but they are very, very hard to find,” Katri told her.

“But we can try, can’t we?” Devin asked.

“We could,” Faun replied.

Esme immediately jumped up. “Let’s go! I’ll look over by those trees.”

“Well, okay, but don’t go too far please.”

She headed towards the very spot the old man had stood. As soon as she reached the spot, the ground opened and she plunged into the ground, too stunned to scream.

“Well, well. What do we have here?” asked a little old woman who had apparently been picking mushrooms.

Esme blinked. She was in a little underground community. “What? How? How do I get back up?”

“Once you are down, there is only one way to get up, and that is to fly,” the woman replied in a feeble voice.

“Oh, no!”

“Oh, yes.”

Esme looked very dismayed. “I have to get up!”

“Well, while you wait, go scrub my windows. Now!” The woman suddenly looked very evil.

Shy Esme shrunk back. “Which house is yours?”

“That one,” said the woman, pointing to a black house that looked like a mushroom. “And those windows better shine, shine, shine!” Esme took the bucket and sponge the lady gave her, and started scrubbing the windows. Soon, other people were bossing here around to do their household chores.

“Where are they?” Esme thought, wondering if her friends knew she was missing.

They didn’t. Devin, Pippin and Katri were searching for unicorns and griffins. Vivi and Faun were waiting for them with dinner.

By now, Esme had scrubbed windows, weeded gardens, cooked dinners, and washed clothes. And no one was coming to find her.

Back at camp, Vivi was wondering where the others were. Devin and Pippin bounded out of the woods, with Katri close behind.

“Where is Esme?” Vivi asked.

“Esme!” Pippin yelled. Silence.

“Esme! Esme?”

“Where is she?” Katri asked. Suddenly, a huge roar split the air.

Underground, Esme hardly heard it, but the villagers did. They started running all over the place, screaming their heads off.

“What is it?” Esme asked. One of the villagers stopped screaming and shouted “I actually have no idea!” before he ran off.

Suddenly, a cold, wrinkled hand grabbed Esme’s arm, and she was suddenly in a different place.

“I’ve got you now!” Katri’s father screeched. “Hehe! You’re a hostage, and don’t try to scream. No one can hear you.”

But Esme screamed anyway. “Do that again, and I will hurt you!” Katri’s father held up a dagger. Esme gasped and kept quiet.

“Now that I have you, you may as well be useful. Clean the cave!”

Esme swallowed. But she did as the man commanded. “Hmmm. You are useful in more than one way.” Suddenly, he screeched as a man came up behind Esme and snatched her. This was too much for Esme, and she fainted.

Chapter 12, by Lily

The man held Esme tightly with one arm, hitting Katri’s father with his free one. The fairy let out another terrible screech as he was beat again and again. “Mortal!” he shouted. “You have nothing against my wrath!” Katri’s father hit back, surprisingly strong for such an old man.

Esme’s savior grimaced at the blows and kicked wildly at his opponent’s legs. The man tightened his grasp on Esme as Katri’s father pulled on her arm, his sharp fingernails leaving scratches on Esme’s pale skin. The pain jerked Esme back to consciousness, and she let out a shriek.

Katri’s father smiled, revealing rotten, yellow teeth. “You’re mine,” he whispered, and yanked forcefully on her arm. Esmeralda screamed again and bit her lip so hard that she tasted blood. The man, still grasping her tightly, shoved the fairy away from them and took off running. He grabbed hold of a jagged rock protruding from the wall and hauled himself up onto a ledge, then braced his foot against a hollow in the wall and reached high above him, grabbing onto another small ledge. Esme hung on tightly to the man’s shoulders and craned her neck, trying to see in the dim light. Katri’s father was not far behind them, his ragged breath coming in pants and wheezes. If they could keep this pace up for a little longer . . . But where would they go? They couldn’t just keep on climbing forever.

Right on cue, Esme and the man burst through a tangle of dirt, moss, and leaves, and heaved themselves onto the forest floor. The light of day blinded Esme for an instant, but as soon as her eyes adjusted, she looked at her mysterious savior in the face. “Devin!” she exclaimed.

Devin gave her a happy smile and looked behind his shoulder. Katri’s father was pulling himself onto the ground, sweat pouring down his face. He snarled, and pulled himself up, grabbing onto a low branch.

“Come on!” cried Devin.

Esme and Devin took off, leaping over roots and scrambling through bushes. Katri’s father was close on their heels, running with all his might.

“Faster!” whispered Esme urgently.

Devin and Esme doubled their pace, their hearts in their throats. The forest floor vibrated with the sound of horses running, the air ringing out with cries and screeches. Esme and Devin zigzagged through the trees, jumping over bushes and ducking under branches. They burst into a clearing, panting and clutching their sides.

Suddenly, a roar filled the air. A humongous beast, with black scales streaked with red, seemed to materialize out of thin air in front of them. Esme and Devin wheeled around. A spear was pointed toward them, with Katri’s father’s wicked face twisted into an evil grin at the end of the shaft. Esme gasped and looked all around them. Fairy warriors mounted on black pegasi lined the clearing.

“Well, well, well,” murmured Katri’s father. “It looks like our little adventurers are trapped.”

Chapter 13, by Megan

Devin glanced around at the warriors. Then he looked back at the old man and shrugged.

“Just as well. I was getting bored anyway.” And he took Esme by the hand and started walking away. Katri’s father gave a shout and the fairy warriors urged their pegasi closer. Devin drew his sword and pointed it at each Pegasus in turn. They snorted and backed away, despite their masters’ weak efforts to control them. The fairy warriors were frightened of the metal as well. But Katri’s father wasn’t. He grabbed Esme by the wrist and pulled her away. He quickly and skillfully tied her to a tree. Then he went back into the fray of snorting pegasi and frantic fairies.

Esme saw Katri’s father grab Devin by the arm and then the swirl of the battle hid them from her.

Twenty-one on one – not fair, Esme thought before closing her eyes in exhaustion, trusting Devin to take care of himself.

****************

Vivi peered out of the underbrush, looking for any signs of that beast. The roar that had frightened everyone so badly was the roar of a strange monster. It had hooves like elephants, tree trunks for legs, and the fuzzy body of a cat. It’s head was hidden among the trees, but it’s tremendous stomping split the ground right under Devin’s feet. Now, she needed to find Katri and Pippin and get away from this place lest the monster come back. Then they could continue their search for Esme, and maybe they’d stumble upon Devin somehow. Vivi walked further into the woods. She gazed upwards as a large bird or some sort of creature flew around in the tree-tops. Then there was the shout of a human and Pippin fell down through the thick branches onto the ground beside Vivi.

“Pippin! Are you alright?” Vivi cried anxiously, rushing towards him.

Pippin managed a small grin. “Maybe. What did you think I did, fall?”

Vivi raised an eyebrow. “Yeah… that’s what it looked like.”

“Nonsense! The ground just needed a hug,” he grinned, then he blacked out.

“Oh bother,” Vivi sighed.

******************

Esme woke with a start. As she looked around, she recognized that she was no longer at the battlefield, but instead she was floating on a cloud.

“How odd,” she mused to herself.

She peered over the edge of her cloud and saw Vivi sitting next to Pippin, feeding him something that resembled wilted blue spinach. Beside her sat a humongous beast who was carrying Katri on its back. Esme leaned over a little further. Then, the next thing she knew, she was falling off the cloud, down towards her friends and the beast.

Instead of landing though, Esme woke up again. It was all very confusing to her; waking up and then waking up again. But this time she really had woken up. She was back at the battlefield. It was empty. Esme got to her feet and walked around. Then she felt a soft nudge to her arm. She turned around to see a fuzzy gray unicorn looking at her.

 

Chapter 14, by Rebekah

Esme stood there and stared at the unicorn. Katri had told her that unicorns were very rare and people hardly saw them anymore. So Esme was shocked to be face to face with one.

“Yo, girly. Watcha starin’ at? You’re starting to offend me,” the unicorn said.

“Hi,” she whispered softly when she finally found her voice.

“Hiya kid! My name is Daisy. I know what your thinking,” the unicorn said rolling his eyes, “Why is your name Daisy if you are a guy? Don’t get me started. Anyways, I’m here to rescue you.”

“Ok! Will you help me return a baby dragon too?” Esme asked.

“Yikes, this situation is more complicated than I thought. Normally, I wouldn’t even bother to help any human, but I sense something special about you, girly. Yes, I will help you. Now where is this dragon?” the unicorn replied.

“Well, it is with my friends and I don’t know where they are!” Esme said worriedly.

After that he muttered something like, “This is what happens when I help out humans. Why did I decide to help this girl? I don’t want to start sprouting dandelions in my mane like last time.”

Then he sighed before saying loudly, “We must leave now. Lord Zilch will be back any second to take you to his dark dungeons. C’mon.”

“How do you know all this?” Esme asked.

“I’m always up in the sky. I’ve been watching you and waiting for a time when Lord Zilch is not around to help you,” the unicorn whinnied.

“Also,” the unicorn added, “I know your friend Devin. He is in danger. We must go find your friends and then go save him!”

As they rode off into the woods Esme clung harder onto the unicorn’s mane. She hoped with all her might that she would find Vivi, Pippin, Katri, but most of all Devin. He had saved her. Now, it was her turn to save him.

*****

Devin’s head pounded and his whole body throbbed. The darkness around him was so thick he thought he might choke. He couldn’t see anything. It felt like he had been in the despicable dungeon for years.

After he had saved Esme, Lord Zilch had grabbed his arm with such force Devin couldn’t move. Then he positioned his spear lightly on Devin’s back. “Not so fast mortal. If you move, you are a goner.”

Knowing he couldn’t get away, Devin used the most used threat in the book, “You’ll never get away with this!”

“Ah, Devin. This is my world. Who will stop me?” Lord Zilch replied haughtily.

“My friends will, that’s who,” Devin announced.

“No, they will not,” Katri’s father lied, “I have already captured them and now that I have you we can complete my plan.”

The old man gave a sinister snicker. Devin had been too distraught and worried about his friends to resist as he was roughly thrown into the dungeon. “What will I do?” he thought, suddenly helpless.

*****

Night was falling quickly. Pippin, Vivi, and Katri hadn’t found Esme or Devin yet. After Vivi had healed Pippin they had begun their search for Devin and Esme again. The problem was, they dared not call out for fear of calling attention to themselves, and riding on this beast they now had was also out of the question.

“I hope they are all right!” Vivi said fearfully.

“I’m sure they are. I bet the battle is around here somewhere. We heard it earlier,” Pippin replied assuredly.

All of a sudden they heard a gallop of a unicorn’s hooves coming through the woods.

 

Chapter 15, by Allison

 

“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.

“NOOOOO!”

“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.

It shattered.

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.

_______________________________________________

Didn’t everyone do an amazing job? Thank you so much for participating! I look forward to doing WordCrafters 3!

***Allison***

Advertisements

295 thoughts on “WordCrafters 2

  1. Hey Allison! GAH the story is amazing so far, and can’t wait to write my part. Just wondering if you could put the character profiles at the top of the page? I can’t seem to find the post with them, and I’d like to make sure I write them well.
    ~ Suzy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Allison! I’m sooooooo sorry I haven’t entered my WordCrafters story! My mom’s had some health problems going on, and I’ve had to babysit my little sisters and haven’t had time to finish writing or post it. If you want to take me out so Suzy can go, I completely understand. I’m so sorry!!! ~Bella

    Like

      1. I’m super disappointed to have to leave, but I just don’t think I’m holding up my end of the deal by not posting it. Thank you for understanding, though!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t usually do posts, although sometimes I add P.S.’s to other posts. But if you want to be up-to-date on the latest chapters, just keep visiting this page! You can also click the link of the person whose turn it is to see if they posted it on their blog before I got around to posting it on this page.

          Like

  3. Hey Allison! Ok, so I’ve been really busy, and I’m am procrastinating like crazy. So I just wanted to tell you that if I don’t post my story in two more days, then just take my name off the list. But I will try to get it up! Thanks!

    Like

  4. Hello, Allison! I’m currently not able to write my part for Wordcrafters. 😦 There’s a lot going on, especially with school, as I can practically see Midterms looming around the corner and I’m afraid I’ll delay everyone for too long if I try to write it now. So could you maybe move me to the end of the line? Maybe I could write the part right before the ending. I still definitely want to participate in Wordcrafters, but if you’re able to move me a little closer to the end of the line, I might have the time then.
    If not, that’s okay too. 🙂 Loving how those story is unfolding!! We have so many talented writers participating!

    Like

I ♥ Comments! But please keep them squeaky clean and respectful of God and man. :) Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s