This year our school was picking two people from each grade in middle school to go on a surprise trip to for 2 weeks, due to the highest grades. I was super excited, and I got all jittery. First, they announced my class because we were 8th graders, and my name got called. “In 8th grade, we have Alethiea Codwell.” I smiled broadly. “Our next 7th grader is Folmon Tornelis.” My smile faltered. I was hopeless.
Folmon jogged up to me while he smiled mischievously. “So, Meatball Face,” he started. “Don’t!” I snapped, shoving him aside so I could go to my desk. No one ever wanted to be friends with Folmon. He was hands down, without a doubt, the biggest jerk in the world. He called me Meatball Face and other horrible names because on my first day of middle school, I was walking to a table in the lunchroom, and he tripped me. I ended up with most of my meal on my face. When the teachers noticed me on the ground, Folmon pretended to be a kind student and helped me up. I was so mad at him that I slapped his face with my spaghetti-covered hand. The lunch mentor told me to go see the counselor for my “anger issues.” They told me that I didn’t need to be so aggressive when a student was helping me. The principal awarded Folmon with a trophy that said, Kindest Student of the Month. What a suck-up.
Four days later I boarded the plane an hour after school started, and, of course, I was seated next to Folmon, who took up most of the room with his large, meaty legs. “Move it,” I told him. He looked up at me from his sun hat and smirked. I sat closest to the window and pulled out my book. Folmon put his hat back on his face, and soon he was snoring as loud as a chainsaw.
We weren’t even ¼ of the way there when Folmon started twitching and talking in his sleep. “I’d like to order a quarter pounder cheeseburger. Hold off on the mustard a bit, and add a lot of pickles,” he mumbled. The obnoxious snoring started. I smacked his sun hat which did no good. He started snoring again, and I elbowed his pudgy stomach. He woke up in a start. “What! Where's the fire?” he asked, looking around. “There ain’t no fire, you hog. If you can’t already tell I’m trying to read, and you’re being a big distraction,” I snapped. He looked at my book. “The Book Thief?” he asked. “What kind of trash is this?” “This isn’t trash,” I said, glaring at him. The airplane's speakers came on before he could say anything.
“Turbulence is getting high,” the flight attendant robot told us, coming out of a room. We are going to have to take a detour.” I started breathing fast. “Listen, calm down, will you?” Folmon said, getting irritated. “No. You listen. I’ve never been on an airplane before, and I’ve only ever heard bad stories about airplane crashes, alright?” I was almost in tears and I got goosebumps.
Then, the plane started to move, even more, shaking violently.
“Listen up students,” Mrs. Jackalberry, the school’s superintendent, told us. “There’s no reason to worry. We’re just having some turbulence due to the Bermuda Triangle. “What!?” Folmon and I screamed in unison. “We’re going over the Bermuda Triangle?” I yelled.
“So, wait. Hold everything. You knew we were going to have to cross the Bermuda Triangle, but you didn’t care to tell us!” Folmon shouted, starting to look like he was on the verge of tears. “Well, students, we all just need to calm down and pray that-” Mrs. Jackalberry was cut off by all of the lights turning off. Everyone screamed.
Then, we all felt it. The feeling of being on a really high roller coaster, and then dropping 20 feet to what seems like your death multiplied by 50 and…. um. . . the actual plummeting-to-my-death experience. It felt as if I was dreaming. Some of the airplane’s walls tore off, and people were pulled out by the harsh winds. And then, it was all over. I hit something hard, and I blacked out.
I didn’t know how much time passed, but when I finally woke up, I was in a cave. I was so sore from what happened. Wait. What did happen? Then all of the memories came back. Going on a trip. Turbulence. Falling airplane. Blackout. It was all a jolt of emotions that made me sit up abruptly.
There was a fire going. Hmm. I didn’t start a fire. I tried to stand up but groaned at the attempt. I sat down taking a few deep breaths and then got up again. Walking over to the entrance of the cave, I inhaled and exhaled carefully. Where was I? I looked around and saw a bunch of people’s bodies lying on the ground. None of the people seemed to be breathing.
I looked up just in time to see huge talons grabbing for me. I screamed and ducked, just as the talons gripped on my hair. I laid there in silence for a few minutes. Then I saw a bunch of creatures, like the one I just saw, grabbing dead people off of the beach. They looked like. . . harpies from Greek mythology. It couldn’t be. Then, one of those creatures, a half-human half eagle-looking thing, swooped down to get me. I closed my eyes, waiting for the pain to come, but it never did. I felt little sprinkles fall on my face and realized that it was ash. I was just about to open my eyes when I felt something heavy crash into me.
“Go back to the cave, and don’t come out. I’ve got this,” Folmon said, shoving me to the cave entrance.I was so surprised, all I could do was agree and walk back to the cave. Around me, I saw a bunch of weapons. Arrows, spears, daggers, a three-foot-long sword, an ax, almost any kind of weapon that I could think of. Then it dawned on me. Folmon made all of these weapons to survive here. A bunch of questions filled my mind, but one question kept on popping up. How long have I been here?
My thoughts were cut off by a screaming Folmon, calling my name. He was being dragged over the sea by a harpy, which I’m still positive that they aren’t harpies, while he was holding its wing. He had no weapon, and he was dangerously close to the sea. My adrenaline was kicking up, and I grabbed the nearest weapon, thankfully it was the sword, and I ran out to the sea. The harpy was close to letting Folmon go, when I shouted, “Hey! Over here!’ That seemed to get its attention. I saw a glimpse of Folmon sputtering for air while he was close to drowning, and I had the sudden urge to fight. The harpy was closer now. It used its talons as a sword, and I fought like I never fought before, because, well, I haven’t ever fought before. Not like this anyway. The talons collided with my sword, making loud noises of clang! which only attracted more harpies. The one I was fighting with seemed to feel as if it was winning when I backed up. But when it got close to my face, and I saw its fangs, I charged at it. Sliding under it, I sliced through, and it turned to ash. All of the other harpies backed off, and I found my way to Folmon.
He was closer to the edge now, so close that I could grab him. I grabbed a firm hold on his hand. As I pulled him up, ignoring how much his weight reminded me of my Appaloosa horse at home, he sputtered and coughed up water. Once we were inside of the cave, I set him by the fire to warm up. “You probably have hypothermia now,” I muttered. Folmon’s lips were almost blue, and he coughed up a little more water. “You. . . you saved me,” he shivered. I scoffed. “Well, duh! I needed some source of food,” I responded. “You can’t eat me!” he objected. I stared at him in disgust. “Yeah, like I’d eat you. I was talking about having you for hunting animals and stuff.” Then I thought of the question that made me really queasy inside. “How long have we been here?” I asked. Folmon sighed. “Two weeks since I’ve been up. You were out for two weeks.” I cringed.
Two weeks? That was a long time. Folmon must have worked so hard. And. . . what if there were any survivors left? “There aren’t any people living. Just the two of us,” Folmon said, reading my mind. “Oh. Hey, what were those things?” I asked, flashing back to the harpy-looking things. “Harpies,” Folmon responded. “But. . . they can’t be real,” I said. “They’re only myths.” “I couldn’t believe it either,” Folmon agreed. “There’s a cyclops layer close to here. We shouldn’t get too close. They’ll eat us. They’ve already eaten half of the people on this island. Oh, and there are many other mythological creatures around here. We should probably try to make a sign for help. I’m sure there’ll be a search plane coming through,” Folmon said, getting up. “Where are you going?” I asked, standing up with him. “We have to work. My weapons aren't going to be strong enough to defeat all of the monsters at once. We need a plan.” I shook my head and sighed. “I should go. You need to rest. You probably have hypothermia, which won’t help our problem.” Folmon looked relieved and said, “The airplane had some emergency blankets that I collected. They’re over there.” He pointed to a wall that had a lot of other survival equipment.
I unpackaged the blanket and covered Folmon up. He shivered with warmth and blinked a couple of times. “Oh, Aletheia?” he asked as I was ready to leave. I turned to him. “When did you learn how to fight with a sword like that?” I shrugged and responded, “About ten minutes ago.” Folmon smirked and whispered, “Thanks.”
Okay, being out here was kind of a mistake. I felt as if there were eyes following me. Although my sword made me feel extra protected, I still had my doubts. I kind of regretted arguing with Folmon about coming with me because seriously, this place was giving me the creeps. There were bushes and trees with twigs that looked like snakes. Creatures were looming around in the darkness. Out to the sea, there was a storm brewing up. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was hunting for, considering most of the animals were either too fast, or they were too scary looking.
I was starting to get used to all of the strange noises when I saw something in the distance. A beautiful black cat. She had creamy black fur. Her chocolate brown eyes were mystical- almost too beautiful- as they made me draw closer. The cat didn’t flee when I approached it. It stood close to me, and soon, I realized that I had a friend. Well, as some friendships are, this was a quick-ended friendship. The cat started making growling noises, and its eyes were glowing yellow. “Um, good creature. Good,” I tried to coax, but it just stared at me with a look of hatred. Soon enough, I was running for my life from a hydra.
The thing was fast, but I was faster. The thing had nine heads! There was no way I was getting out of this. I knew that in the myths if the hydra had one head cut off, two more grew. It was simple. All I had to do was try not to cut the heads off. So, what? Then that basically left me with killing it in a different place or just running. I can do this, I thought. Then, as the hydra smashed its head against a tree, making the tree fall, I realized, I can’t do this. The hydra was gaining speed as I was slicing through bushes. Screaming for my life, I plummeted to the ground after tripping over a vine.
I thought that I was going to get crushed by the hydra as it lifted its foot over my body. But then, something hit its eye- or one of its eyes- and it howled in pain. The impact of it falling made me shoot backward, my back slamming against something hard. “Aletheia!” I heard someone shout. Folmon. He was out of bed and helping me survive. I staggered up and followed the voice as it screamed. While Folmon was distracting the beast, I snuck up from behind it and killed it. It rained ash, and soon I was panting really hard. Folmon looked up at me with a crazy look in his eyes.
“Are you alright?” he asked, making his way towards me. “What were you thinking?” I screamed. “Well I would’ve had to fight by myself if you’d died,” he shot back. I groaned. “Listen, Folmon, we need to get back to the cave. We can catch some fish or something. Someone will come. We just have to be prepared. We’ll take shifts to watch.” I turned to walk off to cave, Folmon following me.
The next few days, it became a routine. Fight monsters, eat, fight some more, take turns watching, and repeat. Folmon and I found it easier to cooperate with each other if we didn’t argue, and we ended up becoming somewhat closer to frenemies. Together, we got enough food to last for a few weeks, and in our free time, we just talked about our family.
“Hey,” Folmon asked one night. “When we were on the plane, you said something about losing someone due to an airplane crash. If you don’t mind me asking, who was it?” “My papa. He was coming home from a business meeting, and things went wrong with the airplane. Then it crashed, and . . . well, we got a call. That was the end of it.” “I’m sorry,” he said, looking away as if he knew he’d pushed it. “Don’t say that. Sorry only makes me feel even worse.” “Sorry?” It came out as more of a question. I rolled my eyes and got up. “It’s my turn to keep watch,” I said. “Go to sleep.” He sighed and did as told.
As I was watching outside for any source of a rescue device, I thought about home. My thoughts consumed me and by no time, Folmon came up to change shifts with me. Once I got back into the cave, I immediately fell asleep.
My dreams consisted of monsters that night. I was being chased by a Cyclops-Medusa, and Folmon was turned to stone. I had to make Medusa cry to get her tears to free Folmon.
I woke up abruptly in cold sweat, panting. I realized that it was my last turn to switch shifts with Folmon before we got ready for the day. I walked up to where he was, and saw him sleeping. “Folmon,” I said, kicking him. He plummeted down a little dip, and stared at me with wide eyes. “What are you doing?” he asked, angrily. “It’s my shift,” I said simply. He glared at me, and stalked off.
I was 25 minutes into the shift when I heard it. The sound of a helicopter. I thought that I was asleep, but then I saw a light up in the sky. I stumbled over a rock, trying to go to the cave and wake up Folmon.
When I finally stood upright, I bolted across the sand, into the cave. “Folmon! Folmon, wake up!” I said, kicking him. He groaned, and sat up groggily. “There’s a helicopter just outside of the cave. Come on,” I urged. Folmon rubbed his sleepy eyes, and stood up. We both ran out of the cave, up to the landing, and shouted, not caring what animals we woke up. “Hey! Over here!” Folmon shouted. The helicopter was over the ocean, which gave me a crazy idea.
“Folmon,” I told him. “I’m going to swim. You stay up here. We need someone to keep watch in both places.” Folmon looked at me like I was crazy. “I’ll be fine,” I told him. He hesitated before nodding.
I ran down to the beach and waved my hands. My first step in the water was cold, and I pulled back slightly. Then I pushed myself all the way in. “Come on, Posiedon,” I muttered. “If you’re real, you’ll help me.”
I swam out to the black sea, and waved my hands. I was doing fine until a huge, monstrous wave crashed down on me. I thought I was going to drown, but I found strength to swim back up to the surface. I coughed up water, and shivered. Then, another wave crashed down on me, and I sank lower. I could see almost everything in the water. I was losing breath, and strength. All I could think of was Jasper, my mom, Folmon, and my school. That’s where I was linked. That’s what kept me motivated to live. I swam back up to the surface, and sputtered back to life. I waved my hands, while being bobbed up and down in the black water, like a potato chip being dipped in french onion dip. Finally, I someone hurried down the ladder.
Then I was out.
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