Chapter 8 – The Enemy
The alarm surprised them all. Blaze jumped and yelled, “Holy Cheeseballs!” Marina screeched, and Inferno dropped to the ground. Earth shifted into a snarling wolf, standing in front of her friends protectively. Hickory and Thunder moved around everyone, and stood beside Earth. The alarm was a blaring BWOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
“What the pomegranate is THAT?!” Earth screams over the noise of the alarm.
“I have absolutely NO IDEA!!” Marina yells back.
“Can someone PAH – LEEZE SHUT THAT DARN THING OFF!!” Eliza screeches.
“Will you PAH – LEEZE BE QUIET?!” Inferno yells back sarcastically.
The teachers come outside to calm everyone down, and then explain.
“The alarm means that a threat has entered the community. Unfortunately, this has never happened before. Fortunately, we have gone through the procedures for this. Now, everyone, GET INSIDE!!!” Ms. Rainey yells.
The six new friends group together and head inside to the nearest classroom. Earth peeks through the blinds and sees an army of skeletons marching down the driveway to their school. She quickly closes the blinds and scurries over to her friends.
“Skeletons,” she whispers, nodding her head toward the window.
“What are they doing here?” Blaze whispers back.
“Who really knows?!” Inferno replies.
“One thing’s for sure, whenever they attack, we have to be ready. If they charge, we charge. If they don’t, we don’t. Just… know your opponents and know your battle,” Earth says, prepping her friends for the battle.
“Got it, Earth!” all five kids respond.
The friends huddle together, with Earth in a protective battle stance in front of them.
BANG BANG BANG!! A harsh knocking on the door frightens everyone in the room.
“Get down, children! Act like you aren’t here!” Ms. Rainey whispers frantically.
A sharp laser blast explodes open the door. Marina screeches and throws her arms on Thunder. Earth turns her head as debris from the door fly everywhere. Skeletons, almost like the battle droids in Star Wars, march into the classroom. They hold their guns across their rib cage and one barks out an order.
Surrender or die. We do not take no as an answer. We are here for the Skeleton King. You are here for us. Come, or you will be shot.
Earth glances at her friends. All have scared looks on their faces. She mouths, Skeleton King? Hickory shrugs, as if to say, no idea, Earth.
You must not move. We will be taking you hostage any moment, once we get our orders from our master. The commander skeleton says, thrusting his blaster towards Earth and the others.
Meanwhile, Earth fidgets with her hands, trying to get her powers to work. She had always done it by accident, and now, when she needed them to block the skeletons, the element inside her wasn’t working. Come on, work! she thinks to herself. She puts her hands out, palms facing the skeletons. Suddenly, they glow green, and a stunning emerald blast bursts out from her hands. The wave of elemental power throws the skeletons back, but doesn’t completely destroy them. Earth waves her hands around in the air, and poison ivy vines grow up out of the ground and old the skeletons down.
“RUN, EVERYONE, NOW!! GET TO THE SAFETY SPOT!!” Earth yells to everyone in the classroom. She glances back at the tied up, struggling skeletons. One was getting loose.
Just as she was about to yell another “hurry”, a skeleton’s gun fires. Earth froze, and turned around. A skeleton, the one who was getting loose, had managed to fire one last shot…
Straight into Hickory’s leg.
Chapter 9 – What Good Friends Are For
“HICKORY!!” Earth screams. Blaze, Thunder, Marina, and Inferno turn.
“No, no, NO!!” Blaze yells. He runs over to his friend, where Hickory is struggling to stand up.
“No! Don’t try, Hickory. It’ll only make it worse,” Earth tells him.
She waves her hands and a lamb’s ear leaf appears. She wraps the fuzzy leaf around the laser shot and pins it with a paperclip she pulled out of her sock. (Earth always keeps a paperclip on hand, just in case) Both her and Blaze pull Hickory up off the ground and help him hop over to the door. With one last flick of her hand, Earth sends a wave of helicopter seeds at the skeletons, along with a dosage of poison sumac to go with them. She closes the door behind everyone and rushes to catch up with the group, and helps Blaze with Hickory. Everyone rushes to the safe spot, a small, worn down barn just beyond the school after the railroad tracks. No one glances back, but when Earth does, she realizes that the skeletons have somehow escaped her vines she had them tied up in and broke down the door. Thinking that they could sneak up on the crowd of scared students, they had not fired their blasters. But since Earth noticed them, they right away start to fire their blasters.
“EVERYONE, DUCK AND RUN!!” Earth bellows to the crowd of frightened students in front of her.
Everyone drew nearer to the train tracks, which they knew, once they crossed over, they would be safe. Suddenly, a deafening horn blows from 50 yards down the train track. Heads turn as everyone looks at the incoming train. Shrieks from girls are drowned out from the blaring horn. Teachers, desperate to protect the students from the rapid fire of the skeleton’s blasters, hurry them across the tracks, toward the barn. The train is just in reach when everyone is across the tracks. That is, everyone except for Earth and Blaze, who are struggling to keep up with the injured Hickory.
“We’re never gonna make it!” pants Blaze, looking longingly across the railroad tracks to where Inferno, Thunder, and Marina are huddled with the rest of the kids.
Earth glances at Hickory, then to Blaze, and yells across to their friends, “STAY SAFE YOU GUYS, WE’LL SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN, I KNOW IT!!”
Inferno, with a very worried and sad look on her face, screams, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS EARTH?! YOU CAN’T LEAVE US HERE!!! COME BACK!!”
“YOU KNOW WE AREN’T GOING TO MAKE IT!! WE’LL FIND A WAY BACK TO YOU, I PROMISE!!!” Earth calls back to the three friends on the other side.
“Are we really doing this?!” Hickory says to Earth, astonished. He ducks as another laser blast whizzes by. Earth dodges another and replies,
“Yes, Hickory, I know I’m insane! But this is the ONLY WAY to escape the skeletons!”
“NOOOOO EARTH!! HICKORY!! BLAZE!!” Marina’s voice is drowned out by the roaring of the train coming closer.
“IT’S– it’s…” Earth, for once in her life, had found a lack of words.
“IT’S WHAT GOOD FRIENDS ARE FOR!!” Hickory yells, surprising Blaze and Earth.
And with that, they escape the skeletons… and jump into a passing train car.