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July 13th, 2012: The Arrival of Cindy and Mark
Told by: Margaret Wovinsky, Class A. Dimension Seeker
Cindy dove into the deep crystal blue water, the chill exhilaratingly fresh and cool. Pressing her goggles against her cheekbones to keep them secure, she opened her eyes and was amazed. Beautiful vibrantly colored fish glided through the water all around her, and she could even see a dolphin in the distance. Surfacing, she gestured for her brother, who was stationed on the boat, to come in. He just shook his head.
“C’mon,” he said. “Let’s get going. I’ve swam enough this past week to last me a lifetime.” Cindy and her brother, Mark, were on vacation with their parents in Hawaii and had taken the family’s rented boat out for a spin around the area. Mark had a boating license, and the siblings always loved stopping the boat somewhere and getting out to swim. For some reason though, Mark was hesitant to leave the boat.
“Mom and Dad said to be back by sundown,” the boy said. He glanced at his waterproof wrist watch. “There’s not much time left, and I wanted to go check out that little island over there.” He pointed to a small land mass about four hundred feet away from the boat. Cindy dove back under the waves and resurfaced beside the boat’s ladder. She climbed up, and, removing her goggles, threw herself down onto a bench. “Whatever,” she said. “But this better be fast. I’m starving!”
“Cool,” Mark said, a smile now prominent on his face. He took the steering wheel of the boat in both hands, and the vehicle began to glide over the serene ocean waves, barely rocking.
As the boat approached the island, Cindy could see that the land mass was heavily covered with jungle-like trees, the tall towers of bark swaying with the strong gusts of wind blowing in from the east. Cindy pulled on shorts and a t-shirt before joining her brother at the bow of the boat. They were only about ten feet from the now menacing looking island, and they could see that there was a dock right on the shore.
After tying up the boat, the siblings cautiously began to explore their surroundings. Cindy concluded that there must be someone alive on this island due to the footprints that led off into the forest and the presence of a dock. Squishing sand between her toes, she sucked in a lungful of foul smelling fish air. “I think someone lives here,” she said aloud.
Mark nodded. “Same here.” The boy stood about fifty feet away from his sister and was kneeling on the beach. “Come check this out!” He exclaimed excitedly. Cindy joined him and inspected the area of beach he was staring at so very intently. On the sand was a small circle of rocks. Within the circle, small pieces of burnt twigs sat smoking from a previous fire.
Cindy grabbed her brother and began dragging him over to the footprints. “Well look at what I found!” He shook off her hand and knelt down by his sister’s discovery. After a brief moment of silence, he looked up at his sister. “Well, you wanna follow them?”
After giving her brother a- “Are you stupid? That could be dangerous”- look, she began trekking back up the shore to the boat. Mark ran after her and grabbed her by the arm. “For real,” he said. “The prints lead right up to a path in the woods. Don’t you want to see where the path leads? Come on. You know you want to!” Cindy spun on her heel and folded her arms across her chest.
“Fine, but if we get in trouble the blame is going on you. All of it.” She began walking back towards the forest, Mark beside her.
Upon reaching the edge of the woods, both teens hesitated slightly before entering the tangled green creature. As they cautiously stepped under the deep shadows of the trees, a chill went up Cindy’s spine. She quickly backed out of the forest.
“No,” she said. “There’s something up with this place, and I don’t want to know what it is. We are leaving! Right now!” Mark closed his eyes in frustration, standing his ground in the forest. After arguing with Cindy about how much of a “scaredy-cat” she is, (those were his words, not mine) Cindy eventually relented and followed the younger sibling into the woods, where they trekked for what must have been half an hour before coming to an abrupt halt.
Before them stood a stone wall that stretched far into the distance. A large iron gate stood smack-dab in the middle of the structure, a bronze knocker in the very center of that. Mark raised his eyebrows at Cindy before taking hold of the handle. He knocked repeatedly but there was never an answer.
Cindy, becoming annoyed with her brother’s weak knock on the door, pushed him aside and grasped the knocker. Curling her fingers around the cool metal, she jumped backwards when she felt an electric pulse jump through her fingertips. After explaining what had happened to her brother, she went to place her hand back on the knocker again. Suddenly, with a loud swooshing sound, the iron door swung inwards, revealing another path that cut through thick woods.
Smiling, Mark jauntily strode in through the door, his grin more smug than actually happy. “See,” he said. “They heard my knock.” The two adventurous teens followed the path for about fifty feet before coming upon something strange. Off to the side of the path a small elderly man sat on a stool in the shade of a low tree. He looked up from the book he was reading as the two kids passed him. “Name,” he asked.
“Mark,” said Cindy’s brother. The elderly man shook his head. “No, not you, kid! I want the girl’s name.” Cindy and Mark quickly glanced at each other before Cindy gave her name out to the man. The man then began to rapidly flip through the thick book he had been reading. After a moment of silence, he looked back up at the teens.
“You see,” he explained. “I have this book of names of people who are allowed in. Your name is here, girl, but your friend’s name ain’t on the list. He can still go in with ya, but make sure to keep a tight hold on his arm there. He’ll fall right through a whole dimension. Who knows where he’ll end up?” The man ended his speech with a chuckle.
Cindy just stared at the guy with confusion. “What?”
The man laughed even harder, frustrating Cindy. “You,” the man said, “are a dimension seeker! You can, you know, move through dimensions. I would have figured a smart girl like you would’ve discovered your abilities by now.”
When the man noticed the look of confusion on both kids’ faces, he went on. “Listen, everything will be explained once you’re at the hall. Now, Cindy, you grab the boy’s arm. Things are about to get wild.” Cindy quickly grabbed her brother’s arm as the elderly man pulled down on a lever sticking out from a tree. As soon as it clicked into place, Mark was overwhelmed with a sensation of dizziness and felt as though he was falling, the trees and greenery around him beginning to fade.
As for Cindy, when she blinked her eyes, the forest had vanished and was replaced with a village. When she saw Mark stumbling around dizzily beside her, she righted him and lifted up his head. “What’s wrong with you?”
Mark looked at her like she was crazy. “You didn’t feel dizzy?”
Cindy shook her head. “I just blinked my eyes. Why?” Mark stumbled and grabbed his stomach. “I felt dizzy, and now I feel super nauseous. It must not be like that for you ‘cause you’re a dimension seeker or whatever.”
Cindy nodded and took a step forward, pulling Mark along with her. The boy swung about dizzily as they walked along the cobblestone streets of the little town. It was nighttime here, and the only light came from the dim streetlamps in front of every identical brick house. There was no moon, and at the end of the street where the two teens were standing stood a gigantic office building.
After discussing what to do, Cindy and Mark decided that they would head for the office building. They figured that someone there would be able to give them some information.
As they walked along, both of them scared out of their mind and just wanting to be home, Mark asked a question that had been on both of their minds. “Is this some sort of dream?”
Cindy shook her head, quickly dismissing the question. “No, I know that for a fact.” And she was right. This time, the story doesn’t end as a dream. These siblings were in for a big adventure. An adventure that would take them through hundreds of dimensions and then plop them back down onto Earth.
If I had the time, I would let you in on the story. But, unfortunately, this is where I bring the adventure to an unsatisfying close, for I am in the midst of a great adventure myself. Cindy, Mark, and I are discovering new dimensions every day and have become the best of friends. You see, dimension seekers are the few very talented people who have the ability to jump through dimensions, or alternate universes.
As you may have already discovered, Cindy is a dimension seeker like me, but Mark is not. That did prove to make our adventures more difficult, but who doesn’t like a challenge? After years of training together in a special dimension facility, we set out on our first mission, one of many more to come. We’ve spent years together, and I’m sad to say that our time has come to an end.
It is now time for the siblings to return home to their parents. They’ll remember the years we’ve spent together, but they’ll be returned to the exact date and time that they stepped foot on our magical island. Cindy will only be seventeen, and Mark will be at the young age of fifteen once again. They will have become mere children, distant memories.
That is why I am writing this. This is supposed to bring back memories of that exciting summer day that would change their lives forever.They’ll forget it all eventually, as will I, but I hope this short story preserves our friendship for the time being.
It was a great adventure.