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Mystery Adventure

Rātia raced the wind through the trees, climbing over the long brown branches effortlessly. Her wavy, long brown hair danced behind her and her soft laughter merged with the sound of the waves. In her eyes lived the reflection of the sea, a swirling blue mass with an edge of white. The island was Rātia’s home. She was the only human on the island, and she had never met another human in her life. Her friends were the animals that lived there; the monkeys, the elephants, the dolphins and the whales. A small lizard lived on her shoulder, she named it Mokomoko.

Rātia slowed down to catch her breath. The wind laughed at her and kept going. The wind, unlike her, never had to stop for breath. “That’s not fair!” She called after it. She spat at the wind’s feet. It danced around her mockingly and blew a wave of sea towards her, soaking Rātia through. Rātia turned her back on the wind and stomped back to the hollow tree she lived in. It was peaceful on the island, on her island. Rātia closed her eyes and drifted off into a slumber. 


  • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • 


‘She was fingering a tiny shell in her hands. The shell was curved and twisted into the shape of an ice cream cone. A giant bird swooped down from the sky towards her and knocked the shell from her. She cried out and tears rolled down her small cheeks. She raced into the water, searching for the shell. She saw it shining beneath the depths of the water. She reached out her tiny hand and was about to close her hand around it, but firm hands grasped her by the waist and pulled her way. She turned to face her Papa. “No Rātia, do not go to the water,” Papa said. 

“But Papa, it was a fairy shell! It was all twisted and and curved, and Papa, it looked like-” “Now, now Rātia. Stop talking and come inside and help your Mama make supper.” 

“But Papa-”

“NOW RĀTIA!” 

“Yes Papa.”

She wiped a tear from her eye and headed back towards the cottage.’


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The sound of voices awoke her, they were voices so much like her own. Her eyes opened to multiple faces staring back at her. She screamed, her eyes opened wide in fright. A rough hand coved her mouth and she felt herself being dragged away. Rātia sunk her teeth into the hand around her mouth and the hand pulled away. Strange creatures that looked like herself surrounded her. ‘Man,’ she thought to herself. The man belonging to the hand Rātia hand bitten was inspecting his hand. Rātia spat at the men’s feet and yelled at them; Ko wai koe, e aha ana koe i konei i runga i taku motu?” The men looked at each other curiously. Here was a woman alone on an island who spoke a language they did not understand. Rātia glared at each of the men, staring right into their eyes. There was a heavy thud, and dull throbbing in her head. Then the world Rātia knew vanished forever into darkness.


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‘She looked only at the waves as she ran back to the beach, searching for the shell. She searched and searched, but could no longer find it. Just as she was about to give up hope, she saw a sparkle in the water. She reached into the water and her fist closed around the shell. “Rātia!” called Papa. She jumped in surprise. The shell dropped from her hand again into the depths below. “Come Rātia! Remember, we do not go to the water.” 

“Yes Papa.” 

“Good girl Rātia.”

As Papa grabbed her tiny hand in his, she looked back into the watery depths, and once again wiped a tear from her eye.’


  • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • 


Rātia could feel a dull throbbing all over her body. She put her hand to her head and it came away with blood. She tried to remember what had happened before she became unconscious, but her memories were all muddled. She tried to stand but the floor tilted violently and she fell. She crawled over to the window and pulled at the blinds that hid the outside from her view. A vast blue sea surrounded her. Rātia looked around at her surroundings for the first time. She was in a weirdly shaped room made of wood, and through the small window in the door, she could see one of the men that had captured her standing by a funny looking wheel. ‘Boat,’ she thought, as she mimicked the way the man turned the wheel. It was funny, she thought, the man turned the wheel, and the wheel seemed to turn the boat. How did it work? The man at the wheel turned and stared at her through the window, then he shouted something, presumably to the other men. Soon, the men all came to the other side of the door and just stared at her. Rātia didn’t like being stared at, she glared at each man in turn and finally, one by one, the men left her by herself. Rātia wandered around the small room for a few minutes, then settled down in corner of the room. She curled into a ball and wept bitterly for her island. 


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‘She splashed around in the waves, the white foam gathered around her feet. Papa was busy helping Mama fix the bed, so she was free to run back to the water. There were sparkles everywhere, like fairies had flown over the water with pixie dust dropping from their wings. But the fairy shell did not dance with the waves. She waded out a little further into the water, so that it came up to her knees. The sun was blinding as it burned patches of uncovered skin on her arms, but the water was cool, it was soothing to the wounds that she felt consumed her. The fairy shell had flown away with the fairies. The waves were like the wind. The wind could catch the seeds of a dandelion and blow them faraway and then drop them somewhere entirely different, and the waves could wash a shell way to a distant shore, where the fairies could collect it again. A single tear rolled down her little brown cheek and continued down her chin, her chest, all the way down into the sparking waves. Then she saw it. Her tears had fallen on the shell, illuminating it from the cloud of darkness. She reached for it, but the waves danced, and so did the shell. It went further and further into the depths. She followed it in to the point she had to stand on tip-toes to keep her head above the water. 

Then the storm came.’


  • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·


Rātia was shaken awake by the fierce rocking of the boat. The men’s voices from the other side of the boat neared her and she sat up, bumping her her head on the low ceiling. The door opened and the men followed each other inside. Rātia stood up straighter, she felt braver now, more able to stand up for herself. “Why me here?” she asked carefully, using the words she’d picked up from hearing the men speak to each other because they’d thought she couldn’t understand. The men exchanged puzzled glances, then one of them stood forward and stuck out his hand to her. “Fredrick Mc Donald. Who might you be?” Something in Rātia’s mind clicked as he said those words. “I am Rātia of the Islands, and I demand you tell me why I am here.” The men all laughed loudly, except for the man at the front. “Silence brothers!” he shouted. “The woman has a right to know!” The men ceased laughing and put on their serious faces again. “You are here because we believe you know of this?” One of the men said as he held up a small shell in between his forefinger and thumb. Rātia closed her eyes and hummed softly to herself. She recognised this shell from her dreams. Eyes closed, she though back to the day of the storm…


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‘Rātia could feel it before she saw it. The soft wind picked up speed, and the trees began to sway dangerously. The waves gradually became bigger and bigger until they were towering above her. Rātia gasped as a giant wave came forward and knocked her off her feet, causing her to plunge deeper into the water. A swarm of fish encircled her and the waves kept pushing her further and further away. Every time she came up for breath, the fish parted, and then circled her again once the mighty waves pushed her underwater again. The waves came faster now, and Rātia could hear her Papa shouting out for her. “Rātia!” he called, “come back!” “Papa!” she shouted as another mighty wave knocked her underwater again. Her foot caught on a piece of sea coral and wouldn’t let go. She waved her arms around frantically, trying to resurface. But the waves kept crashing, and the coral never let go. She saw the shell just inches away from her, and she reached out for it. The last thing she felt was the massive weight on her chest as the waves freed her from the coral’s grasps and washed her away…’


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Rātia opened her eyes again to face the men. “That shell is mine,” she said softly. The men shook their heads. “No,” they said. “It’s ours.” 

A voice called from the deck, “Land ahoy!” And the men scattered, the shell momentarily forgotten. The ship anchors and the men lowered the bridge jumped of the boat. Rātia followed slowly, taking in her surroundings. One of the men grabbed her and said, “You’re home Rātia of the Islands, welcome home.” He pressed something small and twisted into the palm of her hand then walked away with the rest of the men in tow. Rātia watched them as they strolled down the windy… ‘path’ she thought. She waited until they were out of sight and then slowly opened up her hand. The fairy shell glimmered as she Brought her hand up to the sun. ‘Home,’ the man had said. If this was her home, Papa must be here! Papa, the man who had always warned her not to go to the water. She raced through the little town shouting, “Papa, Papa!” Eventually, she reached a place where old grey stones marked the ground. There were names of the stones. ‘Grave stones,’ she thought to herself. She scanned the names of the graves with curiosity. She soon came across the name, ‘This is the grave of Tapuā Kingston, Father of Rātia and Mika Kingston, Husband of Manui Kingston. May you Rest In Peace.’ 

“Papa-” cried Rātia as she knelt down and wept.


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‘She felt the gentle breeze wash over her like the waves that had carried her over the water. She felt the hot glare of the sun. She reached her hand up to the sky and wept. “Papa, Papa!” she cried out, willing Papa’s clear voice to cry out, ‘Ratia, we do not go to the water.’ But Papa’s strong voice did not respond, and never would. She looked around her with wet eyes, taking in the tall, swaying trees and the soft lapping of the waves on the shore. Some animals made their way up to her, cautiously. She knelt down and picked up a little green lizard. ‘Mokomoko,’ she named it. the wind teased her and rushed around her. Mokomoko nestled into shoulder and lay there, unblinking. She stroked him and planted a kiss on the lizards little nose.’


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Rātia wiped the tears from her eyes and stood up. 

“I’m sorry Papa, we do not go to the water.”

Rātia heard her Papa’s voice saying; “but you did go Rātia, but you did go to the water.”

“I know Papa,” she whispered, but only the wind seemed to hear her as she walked silently into the night.

March 04, 2021 06:38

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6 comments

Michael Boquet
22:58 Mar 05, 2021

You really nailed the mystery elements in this story. The whole time I wondered what was happening, and couldn't wait to find out. I like that you have a mix of suspense and magical realism. Tragic, but uplifting ending. Nice job. Hopefully you see this before the deadline, but a few spots I noticed: "She put her hand to her head a her and it came away with blood." -- delete 'a her' "at her surrounding for the first time." -- 'surroundings' "She curled pinto a ball" -- 'into'

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Arwen Dove
00:25 Mar 06, 2021

Thanks! Ops, I betta change those typos. Thanks for taking time to read my story!

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Daniel R. Hayes
06:40 Mar 05, 2021

Hi Arwen, this was a great story. The ending was sad, but the story was strong and held my attention the whole way through. I love the elephants name, Mokomoko. Just fantastic. Great job on this story, I really liked it :)

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Arwen Dove
20:33 Mar 05, 2021

Thanks so much! I kind of struggled writing this story. Every time I came to write it, I always got writer's block, but only for this story. Oh well, I'm glad it turned out. :) I quite liked the name Mokomoko too.

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Daniel R. Hayes
21:38 Mar 05, 2021

Your welcome, I think you did a great job. I really enjoyed it. I've had those days too, I think it can be hard to push through when writers block hits you. Sometimes it helps me to take a small break and then come back to it. Anyway, great job on this one :)

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Arwen Dove
00:23 Mar 06, 2021

Thanks again!

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